Tank on EmptyTank on Empty
 

Low-Fuel = High Repair Cost

August 8, 2007 about Chevrolet Silverado
 I used to regularly run my Chevey Silverado down to empty.  For a 6 cylinder engine I get pretty good gas mileage, between 18 to 22 miles per gallon.  I ended up paying for my mistake.  I'll tell you why.
 At about the 35,000 mile mark(2,000 miles out of warranty)the fuel pump failed.  Most vehicles now have the fuel pump in the fuel tank and they rely on the fuel to cool the pump motor.  When you regularly run your vehicle low on fuel the pump is no longer submerged in the fuel and can cause premature failure of the pump as it did in my case.  The new pump was over $800 for the repair.  Moral of the story, trying to extend your mileage may cost you big.  If you are close to a quarter of a tank don't pass the gas station, stop and fill up.  It could save you a lot of trouble.
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Story replies

May 8, 2008 by Ron

Good point. The fuel does cool the pump in the tank. I never let my silverado go below 1/2 a tank before taking on fuel. It is an expensive proposition to repair same..

June 5, 2008 by Robbie

I also ran my silverado low on gas and the fuel pump went out. That was $800 I could have used for other things!

July 16, 2008 by Jack bothwell

This is something that a lot of people don't understand that the fuel in the tank cools the fuel pump to run them on empty can shorten the life of the fuel pump and cost up to 1000.00 to replace with some of the new module pumps in some models.

July 17, 2008 by Doug

I had the same problem, I thought the only thing to worry about was the the dirt in the bottom of the tank. since I bought the truck new, and it had dual tanks, my reasoning was to run the truck out of fuel and then switch tanks. All I had to do was keep my fuel filters changed. When I told the local parts store manager my theory, he said "that explains why the pump only lasted 5 years" and wanted to sell me one for the other tank also... he didn't care for my other theory either, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I guess I was lucky that the other one never went out, it went dry as often as the other one did.

March 10, 2011 by Tom

Actually, it's just a fuse that blows to save the fuel pump. But GM won't tell you that, instead charges a bunch of $$ to 'reset' the pump. It's labeled 'prime' in the main electrical center under the hood.

February 4, 2013 by CJD

Same thing happened to me. Also paid $800 to replace the cracked fuel pump. Don't let your Silverado go below 1/4 tank very often or you'll pay for it.

January 22, 2015 by Joyce

News reporters rlelay like to misinform the public about how the engine rlelay works. Its NOT powered by water. Its powered by Hydrogen, a component element in water composition. H2O (2 Hydrogen, 1 Oxygen)In order to run on Hydrogen, you first need to separate it. This process is called electrolysis and uses VAST AMOUNTS OF ELECTRICITY. Electricity that comes from, (guess what) coal, oil and nuclear power.Instead of? misinforming, we need new "clean" standards and better nuclear power.

February 15, 2015 by Marcelo

News reporters rellay like to misinform the public about how the engine rellay works. Its NOT powered by water. Its powered by Hydrogen, a component element in water composition. H2O (2 Hydrogen, 1 Oxygen)In order to run on Hydrogen, you first need to separate it. This process is called electrolysis and uses VAST AMOUNTS OF ELECTRICITY. Electricity that comes from, (guess what) coal, oil and nuclear power.Instead of? misinforming, we need new "clean" standards and better nuclear power.

August 22, 2015 by ROFL

As for the guy paying $800 to fix a truck with 35,000 on it. The pump was covered under the factory warranty. You should have looked into it. I had one fail like that on a Silverado with the V8 that was about the same mileage. They repaired it and I have since found out that they had some bad fuel pumps. After that repair I have never had another problem with the truck and it now has been to all of the lower 48 states and it has 155,000 miles on it. I never used to let the gauge get passed half way when that happened. Now I do it all the time and have had no issues.

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