Many technicians agree that when replacing a fuel pump it is also important to replace the strainer. Did you know if you install the strainer incorrectly you could cause the fuel pump to prematurely fail?
Let’s take a look at a fuel pump that failed due to an incorrect strainer installation and see how we could avoid this type of failure in the future.
A common fuel pump used on many early 1980s – mid-1990s GM vehicles is the low pressure, twin turbine FE0115 fuel pump. FE0115 is typically used on a conventional style fuel sender and uses a mesh type strainer which is pushed onto the fuel inlet of the fuel pump.
The image shows a low pressure twin turbine fuel pump with a typical mesh strainer installed on it.
Avoid hammering it into place or using excessive force of any kind, otherwise internal damage can be created inside the strainer in the form of small broken fragments. These fragments can then be drawn into the fuel pump, causing the pump to lock up and fail.
Unfortunately, this type of damage frequently goes undetected since the damage in the strainer is internal and difficult to see.
This pump locked up due to a plastic fragment entering the turbine and causing the pump to bind. The plastic fragment is a piece from the strainer, which had been broken off due to incorrect installation on the pump.
The fragment found inside the pump came from this damaged retainer.
This is the strainer that was returned with the failed fuel pump. Note the circular damage on the strainer caused by a striking force used to install the strainer onto the pump. This force damaged the strainer internally, creating the plastic fragment which was then drawn into the pump, causing the failure.
To prevent strainer damage and fuel pump failures, use hand pressure only to gently place the strainer onto the fuel pump until it is fully seated. Avoid “hammering” the strainer into place, which could internally damage the strainer and lead to premature fuel pump failure.