How to Change an S10 Fuel Pump

by Dan FerrellUpdated August 16, 2023

What is a Fuel Pump?

The fuel pump is an important part of a vehicle's fuel system. Its main function is to supply fuel from the fuel tank to the engine at the pressure required for performance. Here are the main components of the fuel pump:

  1. Electric Motor:‌ Most modern vehicles use electric fuel pumps. The electric motor is the main driving element of the pump.
  2. Impeller:‌ The impeller, also called impeller, is driven by an electric motor. Rotate to build pressure and push fuel from the pump to the engine.
  3. Fuel Filter:‌ Acts as a filter to prevent debris from the fuel tank from entering and damaging the fuel pump.
  4. Check Valve:‌ The check valve maintains fuel pressure in the fuel line when the engine is off. This ensures instant fuel delivery upon vehicle restart.
  5. Pressure Regulator:‌ In some systems, a pressure regulator is used to maintain the correct pressure in the fuel line.Normally it returns excess fuel to the tank.
  6. Fuel Pump Relay:‌ This electrical switch turns the fuel pump on and off. When you turn the ignition key, the relay sends an electrical signal to start the fuel pump. If the engine is running, the relay will continue to operate the pump until the engine is stopped.
  7. Fuel Lines/Lines:‌ These are the lines that carry fuel from the pump to the engine.
  8. Fuel Filter:‌ While not a part of the pump itself, the fuel filter is an important part of the fuel system. It is usually found along the fuel line (between the fuel tank and the engine) and filters dirt and rust particles from the fuel.
  9. Fuel tank:‌ again not part of the pump, but a main part of the fuel system. This is where the fuel is stored before it is sent to the engine.

The fuel pump is essential for the functioning of the engine. If it is not running properly, the engine may not run or run poorly due to insufficient fuel supply.

Fuel Pump Replacement Cost

Typically, the total cost to replace a fuel pump is between ‌$900‌ to ‌$1,200‌ including parts and labor. Mechanics charge an hourly rate between ‌$100‌ to ‌$200‌ depending on experience and the complexity of the job.

How long will fuel pump replacement take?

Fuel pump replacement can take anywhere from ‌4‌ to ‌5 hours‌.

The replacement time varies due to:

  • Vehicle Design
  • Whether associated components are being replaced at the same time (e.g. water pump)


  • These are estimated costs and actual costs may vary.
  • Always seek out a trusted professional for a specific quote based on your specific vehicle and situation.
  • The cost of replacing a timing belt can vary widely depending on:
    • The vehicle make and model
    • The specific complexity of the task
    • Where you live.

How Long Does a Fuel Pump Last?

The life of a fuel pump can vary widely and depends on many factors including the make and model of the vehicle, the quality of the fuel used, and how often the vehicle is used. On average, however, a fuel pump should last ‌100,000 to 150,000 miles‌.

Proper maintenance can extend the life of the fuel pump. For example, constantly driving a fuel-efficient car can cause the fuel pump to work harder and wear out faster, since the fuel in many vehicles cools and lubricates the pump. Therefore, keeping the tank at least a quarter full can help prolong pump life.

It is also important to use good quality fuel as poor quality fuel can cause deposits or damage to the fuel system, including the fuel pump. Replacing the fuel filter regularly, as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, can also help extend the life of your fuel pump by preventing dirt from entering the pump and causing damage.

As with any auto part, fuel pumps can fail prematurely. Therefore, it is important to know the symptoms of a fuel pump failure and to consult a professional if your vehicle exhibits any of these symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Fuel Pump?

A faulty fuel pump can exhibit various symptoms that indicate a malfunction or malfunction. Here are some common symptoms of a failed fuel pump:

  1. Misfires or Engine Stalls:‌ A failure of the fuel pump can cause intermittent or continuous misfires or engine stalls. This happens when the engine doesn't get the right amount of fuel to run properly.
  2. Difficulty Starting:‌ If you are having trouble starting your vehicle, especially after it has been parked for a long time, the fuel pump may be defective. A weak or damaged pump may not be able to provide the fuel pressure needed to start the engine.
  3. Loss of Power or Poor Performance:‌ A fuel pump failure can result in a loss of power or a noticeable drop in engine performance. The vehicle may have difficulty accelerating or may be slow to respond to the accelerator pedal.
  4. Squeaking in the fuel tank:‌ A worn or damaged fuel pump can produce a high-pitched squeaking noise, especially in the fuel tank. This noise can indicate that the fuel pump is overloaded or there is an internal problem.
  5. Fuel Odor:‌ If you notice a strong smell of gasoline in or around your vehicle, this could be a sign of a fuel pump leak.A leaking pump can cause fuel to spill, creating a noticeable odor.
  6. Sudden drop in fuel economy:‌ A failure of the fuel pump can cause a sudden drop in fuel economy. If you find that your vehicle's fuel economy has dropped significantly for no other apparent reason, you should consider a possible fuel pump problem.
  7. Engine jerks or stalls:‌ A defective fuel pump can cause the engine to jerk or stall when accelerating. This can manifest itself in uneven power delivery or crackling in the engine.

Note that some of these symptoms may overlap with other fuel system or engine problems. If you suspect a fuel pump problem, we recommend having your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic who can accurately diagnose the problem.

Urgency of Fuel Pump Replacement

The urgent need to replace a defective fuel pump is relatively high. That's why it's important to fix the problem quickly:

  • Vehicle inoperative:‌ A fuel pump failure may cause the engine to stall or prevent the vehicle from starting. This can immobilize you and prevent you from driving until the pump is replaced.
  • Safety considerations:‌ Sudden power failure while driving due to fuel pump failure can be dangerous, especially in certain situations like entering a highway or driving in heavy traffic. This can affect the ability to control the vehicle and respond effectively to road conditions.
  • Risk of engine damage:‌ A defective fuel pump can lead to a lean air/fuel mixture and thus to overheating of the engine. This can potentially lead to engine damage and even engine failure if not addressed quickly.
  • Other fuel system damage:‌ Failure of the fuel pump can put additional stress on other fuel system components such as the fuel filter or fuel injectors. Continuing to operate the vehicle with a damaged pump can damage these parts, leading to more extensive repairs.
  • Inefficient fuel delivery:‌ A weak or malfunctioning fuel pump may not be delivering fuel at the correct pressure or volume that the engine requires.This can lead to poor engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and increased emissions.

Given these reasons, if you suspect a problem with your fuel pump based on the symptoms or diagnostics, it's crucial to have it replaced as soon as possible. Addressing the issue promptly can help avoid further damage, potential safety risks, and inconvenience associated with a non-operational vehicle.

How to Replace Fuel Pump?

Change Your Chevy S10 Fuel Pump

1. Park in a Safe and Level Surface

Park your Chevy S10 in a safe place with a level surface. Make sure you have enough room to work around the truck.

2. Disconnect the Fuel Pump Relay in Engine Compartment

Unplug the fuel pump relay, which is located in the fuse/relay box in the engine compartment on 1995 to 1997 2.2L engine models. Markings on the relay or the back of the fuse box lid should identify the relay. On other models, press the small stem inside the Schrader valve--similar to a bicycle-tire valve--located on the fuel inline rail, right before the first fuel injector. Cover the valve with a shop rag as you depress the stem with a small screwdriver to catch the squirt of fuel.

3. Raise the Rear of Truck after Disconnecting the Negative Battery Cable

Disconnect the black, negative battery cable and raise the rear of the truck with a floor jack. Safely support it on two jack stands.

3. Drain the Fuel Tank Safely into Approved Container via Filler Pipe

Drain the fuel tank into an approved container through the filler pipe. Use a hand siphon pump if necessary.

4. Detach the Filler Hose from Tank Using Screwdriver

Disconnect the clamp from the filler hose at the tank with a screwdriver and remove the hose. Remove the tank shield. Support the fuel tank with a floor jack and a piece of wood on the jack pad to avoid damage to the tank.

5. Remove the Tank-holding Straps

Remove the tank-holding straps with a ratchet and socket.

6. Lower the Fuel Tank to Disconnect Fuel Lines from Sending Unit

Lower the fuel tank so you can disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel pump/sending unit assembly on top of the tank. Unplug the pump electrical connector and lower the tank to the floor.

7. Turn the Lock-ring Tabs Counterclockwise

Turn the lock-ring tabs holding the pump/sending unit assembly to the tank counterclockwise with a drift punch and a soft hammer until the ring is released.

8. Replace the Pump within Fuel Sending Unit Assembly

Lift the pump/sending unit assembly off the tank, remove the pump and install the new pump in the pump/sending unit assembly. Discard the pump/sending unit O-ring seal.

9. Install a New Sending Unit

Install a new pump/sending unit O-ring and set the pump assembly in the tank.

10. Lock the Assembly Lock Ring

Lock the assembly lock ring by turning the ring clockwise until it locks in place.

11. Reconnect the Fuel Lines and Electrical Connector to Sending Unit Assembly

Connect the fuel lines to the to the fuel/sending unit assembly and plug the pump electrical connector.

12. Reposition and Secure Fuel Tank with Holding Straps

Raise the tank to its mounting position and install the tank-holding straps. Install the tank shield and connect the filler neck to the tank.

13. Lower the Truck and Plug the Fuel-pump Relay

Lower the truck, plug the fuel-pump relay and connect the black, negative battery cable.

14. Refuel, Start Engine and Check for Potential Leaks

Refill the fuel tank, start the engine and check for leaks.

More Articles

article divider