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I normally hear the fuel pump engage when turning the key. Van won't start and I don't hear the pump hum. Likely culprit?

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First check fuse and relay. See relay tips at If this doesn't solve, please also review tips at and let me know if you have questions.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010


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2004 Chevy Astro van won't start. The engine turns over but it won't start. It's not the battery or alternator.

can you hear the fuel pump when you cycle the key ? turn the key until the dash lights come on and see if you can hear the fuel pump humming would do this with two people if not i'd lean towards crank sensor

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Where is the fuel pump relay or fuse on ford 7.5 rv chassis

maybe you can reed this:
Get in the van and roll all the windows, turn off radio and a/c and kids. Basically you want to create a quiet environment just for a second or two. Now engage the key as if to start the motor but don't turn the key all the way to start the motor, just before this point. You should now hear a "buzz" or "wind" behind you towards the back of the van, just for a few seconds. This is the fuel pump engaging and pumping fuel. If you don't hear this wind then try it again. It has nothing to do with pumping the gas pedal. It is an automatic item that turns on then off quickly because it thinks it has shot enough fuel from the tank all the way to the motor to start up. If no wind then I'd check and even replace the fuel pump relay which is right above the battery towards the back of it. Actually you will see 2 relays there and they are identical. You could always just switch them to see if the relay was bad. The other relay does something obvious on the van that I forgot but it will be apparent once you disconnect both as to what the other controls. If the fuel pump relay now works in the other slot then the relay is good BUT your fuel pump is most likely bad. This stinks because now you have to lower your gas tank to replace the pump which costs $150 or so. It is easy to do but takes a good 3-4 hours and an almost empty fuel tank is preferred before you begin because the tank is already heavy enough empty. The only special tool needed is a fuel line disconnect tool which is a $6 tool at any auto store. If you hear the sound then the relay is fine. You might want to check to see if your fuel filter is clogged. Again easy to do but messy. Use that same fuel line tool and wiggle it between the end of the fuel filter (right under the van driver's side) and the line. It won't fit that well but just keep wiggling. Now press the line towards the tool and pull line back and it should pop off. Have a rag handy because fuel will drain from the loose end of the hose that goes to the motor. Now get in the van and quickly engage the key again. You should have shot a few ounces of gas onto the ground (I say ground because you should do this outside in a well ventilated area and NOT in your garage). This means your filter is fine. Next I'd check your spark.
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2003 Chrysler town & country limited

First try and change the fuel filter. this also happened on a van i worked on. I cahnged the filter and it runs fine now.

Nov 16, 2011 | 2003 Chrysler Town & Country

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I ran out of gas and now my van doesnt start ,i out 20 litres of gas in it ,,could you tell me why or what the problem is thanks kev

If you ran completely out of gas while the engine was running, it could have damaged the fuel pump. Fuel pumps don't like to run dry. An easy way to check the fuel pump is to lay down on the ground with your ear as close to the gas tank as you can get. While you're on the ground, have someone else turn the key to the 'On' position but do not try to start the engine. When the key is switched on, you should hear a faint hum, or buzz coming from the gas tank. If you hear it, then your fuel pump is working. If you don't hear it, then it has gone bad.

Good Luck!

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I have a Mercedes 2003 C230. Checked my Fuel line, Fire to Ignition, and Change Camshaft Position Sensors. Car Cranks but still does not start. What else should I look at?

Turn the key and listen for a hum (keep doors closed but a window down and radio off). Don't turn the key all the way to try to crank it, just the turn to get all the lights in the dash on. If you hear a slight hum or buzz that last a second or two that is your fuel pump. If you don't hear it, check your fuse for the fuel pump, if that is not blown, your fuel pump may have gone out.

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You can start by checking your fuel pump fuse/relay or the fuel reset switch if your van is equipped. You should hear the fuel pump humming for a second or two when you first turn the key. Let me know if your hear it.

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I have a '96 cavalier that makes a humming noise in the gas tank within 5 seconds of starting. I have tried two fuel pumps but the noise is still there!!!

Your fuel pump is supposed to hum, when you turn the key it primes the system and it will hum. When the car is running the fuel pump is running and it will hum. If the noise is excessive then try a higher quality fuel pump, it may be less noisy. You will hear the fuel pump on a lot of vehicles tho when you are sitting at a stop light with your radio off and everything quiet in the car.

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My Safari will turn over but not fire? Why

When you turn the key to the on position, listen to see if you can hear the fuel pump running in the gas tank. You should hear a humming noise coming from under the van. If you do not hear the humming, check the fuses. If okay, use a can of starting fluid and someone to start the van(a two person process), spray the starting fluid into the air intake; keep spraying while the other person is starting the van. Do this for approximately 60 seconds. If the van starts up you have a fuel delivery problem; especially if you hear the humming noise coming from the fuel tank. The humming at least lets you know that you have power going to the fuel pump. The fuel pumps go out on these vans every now and then. If you live in a hot climate don't let your tank get below 1/4 of a tank; if you do this, it will lengthen the life of the fuel pump. More fuel in the tank allows the pump to run cooler. Check the fuel filter. When was the last time that it was changed? If the pump is indeed bad you will be changing the fuel filter, the pickup sock, and the fuel pump. Make sure you have not run out of gas.

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