How to Replace the Fuel Pump on a 2002 Chevy S-10

by Tim Petruccio

The 2002 Chevy S-10 is a piece of American history today as it is no longer being made. Changing the fuel pump in your S-10 should take no more than three to four hours, even if you have never worked on a car before. The fuel pump assembly is located inside the fuel tank. The side-mounted tank has a simple design for easy removal and installation. You can find a fuel pump at your local parts store or Chevrolet dealership.

Remove the gas cap to relieve the fuel tank pressure. Set wheel chocks in front of and behind the passenger side tire. Place a rubber mat under the bed, just below the fuel door.

Lift the front driver's side of the vehicle by raising a jack under the frame and placing a jack stand under the lower control arm. Raise the driver's side rear wheel at the rear axle housing and place a jack stand under the shock mount on the axle housing.

Place a block of wood on the jack and raise it until it is resting against the fuel tank. Do not raise it higher as you may puncture the fuel tank.

Remove the fuel tank strap bolts with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet set. Lower the tank halfway to the ground and remove the electrical connections to the fuel pump at the top of the tank.

Mark and remove the three fuel lines that go into the pump with masking tape (A, B and C from left to right), so that you can reinstall them exactly the way they were removed. Remove the fuel filler neck hose.

Lower the fuel tank down onto the rubber mat. Gently pull the fuel tank out from under the vehicle to access the fuel pump.

Remove the fuel tank lock clip by tapping counterclockwise, with a hammer and screwdriver, on the protruding tabs. Remove the fuel pump.

Inspect the fuel tank for leaks. If the fuel tank shows any sign of leaking, this is the time to replace it. Inspect the new fuel filter and make sure it comes with a new screen. Putting an old screen on a new pump will ruin a brand new fuel pump.

Clean the tank surface with engine parts cleaner sprayed on a rag. Do not spray near the tank directly to avoid contaminating the fuel. Wipe only the top surface, being sure not to touch the side molded edges or the inside of the fuel pump hole. Wear gloves for this operation.

Install the new fuel pump into the fuel tank. Slide the fuel tank back onto the fuel tank straps. Lift the tank halfway using the piece of wood and the jack. Reassemble the fuel lines and the electrical connections to the fuel pump. Reconnect the fuel filler hose.

Lift the fuel tank all the way until it touches the bottom of the bed rails. Align the straps underneath the fuel tank. Tighten the fuel tank straps using 65 to 80 ft.-lbs. of torque. Tightening the tank straps will set the tank back where it was vertically. Shimmy the tank side to side to set it in the right horizontal position.

Reconnect the positive battery lead. Turn the ignition to "Accessories" (one click before start) then off again, three times in a row. This will prime the fuel lines and the engine with fresh fuel from the tank. Do not just crank on the key until the engine starts. This can cause ignition issues as well as internal engine problems.

Tips

  • check Never let your tank go below 1/4-full during the winter months. Moisture collects inside the fuel tank and causes damage to all parts of the fuel system. Fuel systems are made to handle petroleum-based products, not water.
  • check Clean your fuel injectors with a cleaner kit at least once every year. This will keep the top of the engine clean and prevent the spark plugs from being fouled as well.
  • check Changing your fuel filter every 20,000 miles can add to the life of your vehicle. You will also notice better fuel economy.

Warnings

  • close Failure to wear hand protection, during this project, can result in severe lacerations, loss of limb or even death.
  • close Gasoline is an extremely flammable substance. Do not perform this project on hot asphalt, near open flames or anywhere that extreme heat or a spark could be emitted.
  • close Gasoline can cause severe irritation or burns to the skin. If gasoline contacts the skin, flush the area for five to 10 minutes under cold water. Use dish washing detergent to repel the gasoline off of the skin. If redness and irritation persist, contact your physician or seek medical treatment immediately. If gasoline comes into contact with the eyes, flush them under cold water for 15 to 20 minutes then seek medical attention immediately.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Tim Petruccio is a professional writer and automotive mechanic. His writing combines more than 20 years of mechanical experience in automotive service, service management, automotive education and business ownership. He assisted in the automotive beta, which launched March 2011.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera gasoline door image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com