Fuel Pump Issues


Asked by Aug 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM about the 1997 Pontiac Firebird Formula

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 97 firebird formula (just reached 100,000 miles and pump was humming loudly). Dropped the tank and replaced the fuel pump.  

Prior to replacing the pump, I could just turn the key to on, let the pump cycle for about 5 seconds and the car would start right up.  Now I find myself having to turn the engine over 2 to 3 times before the car starts. In addition to that, if I allow the fuel to get around a 1/4 tank, the car wants to stall on hard right and left turns.

Any suggestion on whats going on?

12 Answers


I have 87 Firebird, but had a similar problem. Check if you have placed the fuel pump and gas tank correctly in. Did you change the fuel filter also? And the last problem, that I had was the rubber fuel tubes have 2 layers and often the inside layer may get old and it may crumble at the connection points or if the gas tank is not fitted in the place correctly it may press the rubber tube and no gas get's to the engine. Give a msg when you find the solution. :) Good luck.

1 people found this helpful.

The replacement pump is weak and defective. I usually replace mine with walbro 255 pumps. great pumps and if you ever upgrade the motor it will handle almost any set up from stock to full race cars.

2 people found this helpful.

I still have fuel issues. The reason I changed the original pump was due to load humming after about 50 miles in outside temperatures of 90 degrees and higher. It would get loud then the car would stall. The new pump I have is putting out 50 psi with key on not running, 40 psi when running. However, I still have to put the key to the on position 3 or 4 times before I start the car, if not I'll turn the engine over 2 to 3 times before it will start. In addition to that, this new fuel pump is showing the same symptoms in high outside temps except I'm not stalling. The vacume is fine and I've checked the fuel and return lines for any visible pinches and or damage. Could it be the regulator is faulty, blockage in the return or yet another crappy fuel pump?

3 people found this helpful.

That's a good question. If you bought the fuel pump in normal store, then it should be good. Of course there are faulty one from factory, but I don't think that's the problem this time. Do you have the original fuel tank? I had one car that didn't have the original tank, but original pump and all the stuff and when the tank was getting empty pump just couldn't reach the fuel so it became louder - it was outside fuel and i could hear it and the car started to stall. And I don't know how it's called correctly in English, but there should be a valve near fuel tank which let's some air through the valve in the tank. There's also possibility that the regulator ir faulty. Sorry I'm just a beginner myself so don't have anymore opinions.


I'm waiting for a new fuel pump myself at the moment and I'll tell you if have the same situation. And maybe Steven will be right about original pumps.


i put a new Airtex fuel pump in my '94 Z28. Before I had problems, it started on the first whirl 99% of the time. now, like you, it takes alot longer. I think it's just the craapy pumps they are selling us, but it could be somrthing else... Did you replace the fuel-filter? What about the wiring-harness to the pump (I've read that these can get weak), the other things I plan to look at are the O2 sensors. Hope this helps! Let us know if you get to the bottom of it!

i have the same problem with my firebird i have to turn the ignition on three or four times before it will start right up and someone told me it might be the regulator but when i replace it i will let you know if that was the problem


anyone ever solve it??? having issues now


How do u check psi

1 people found this helpful.

has anyone ever cut a access to there fuel pump. I have a 1988 Formula and I'm getting ready to now. Just seeing if anyone has dimensions so i don't cut wiring harness or fuel lines.


I'm getting ready to put in a BBK fuel pump. I will let you guys know what the results are. Also does anyone know where I can find a crossfire fuel injection system. They put them in early 80's 3rd gen. Z28 and T/A's.

1 people found this helpful.

There is a coating inside the tank that crumbles loose from the tank. One side looks like rust the other side is silver. It will stop up the pump filter and the in line filter. If you empty all the gas from the tank you will see it when you look inside the tank through the top where the fuel pump mounts. I put my hand inside the tank that crap just flakes off when you touch it. I recomend replacing the tank, pump, and in line filter. Also blow out the fuel lines before reconnecting them.

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