Q: Not getting power to the fuel pump and the secondary air injection pump fuse keeps blowing

asked by on June 07, 2016

Well I own a 2001 blazer Xtreme and I've been having trouble maintaining power to the fuel pump. First I thought it could be a bad pump so I replaced the pump and that wasn't the problem. I narrowed it down to the fuse box because the wire wasn't getting power from it. So I replaced the fuse box. That fixed it for about a week ... No problems occurred during that week. Then one day again it happens no power to the pump... I checked all the relays there all good the fuse box is good it's reading like it should but I still don't have power... I feel like it's a bad wire somewhere mid vehicle but it just doesn't make any sense. I have ground and I even jumped a wire from a different fuse that worked for a day but then the next morning it doesn't start like it has a mind of its own... I'm also having trouble with the secondary air injection pump the fuse keeps blowing... My buddy has it in his mind that it's a bad computer but I don't think so that just doesn't make sense please help

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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There are quite a few reports of PCM (Powertrain Control Module, AKA computer) failures causing your problem, but before you go replacing the PCM, do some more pinpoint tests. This may require you to find a wiring diagram of all the wires coming from the PCM.

The first thing I would do is to connect a scanner to the car and see if you can communicate with the PCM. As a technician, I have access to communities of technicians where repeat failures are reported. In these reports, it is most common when the PCM fails in this fashion, that you will not have PCM communication. If you do have communication and the Check Engine Light turns on with the key on, I would be leaning away from the PCM being the problem.

However, this is by no means conclusive. You could be correct in your thoughts about a wiring problem mid vehicle. On most GM vehicles, there is a connector along the frame rail for the wiring harness that services the fuel module in the tank. This has problems with corrosion because it sits under the vehicle exposed to the elements. But why am I doubtful of this, and this will require you to confirm where the power starts and stops, is you stated you didn’t have power from the fuse box. This would be before this connector and the fuel pump. If this is the case, I wouldn’t be thinking of a wiring problem mid vehicle anymore.

I am wondering if you confirmed the fuse box was getting power? It is a very common problem that when we move wiring we inadvertently move the damaged wiring and fix the problem for the short term. You may have done this when replacing the fuse box. Not to mention you seem to have an intermittent failure on your hands. This compounds the process quite a bit.

I’m not sure how you are confirming you have power at the various points, but I highly recommend a test light over a multi-meter. A test light draws current and a multi-meter does not. There can be voltage present but not a good enough connection to carry current. This is a very important distinction when you are battling bad connections. The problem with a test light though, is knowing when it shouldn’t be used. Some test lights draw too much current and can damage computer modules. Even us technicians perform tests on modules at our own risk.

The best way to test a relay is to simply use a jumper wire to bypass them. If I suspect there is a problem with the power supply to the fuel pump, this is the first thing I do. This way I can be sure it isn’t the relay or the PCM that turns the relay on. If the fuel pump does not run, use the before mentioned test light to find where the power stops. This requires you to methodically track the wire back to the fuel pump. I usually start at the central connector, if it has one. Not all of them do. I go directly to the pump if I can, but this is often not easy to access without dropping the fuel tank down. If you successfully confirm power to the pump, it maybe a bad ground, in which case the easiest way to confirm this is to add a ground yourself.

If this circuit checks out good, a few other things to check are power and ground to the PCM. Locate the wire from the PCM that powers the fuel pump relay. This can be done at the relay connector while you are testing the fuel pump circuit without the relay. When you turn the key on, on of the four terminals should receive power from the PCM for a few seconds. It will turn off after a couple of seconds if the PCM doesn’t see a signal that the motor is running. This is normal operation.

As for the air pump, I wouldn’t think this is an indication of the problem unless this occurred at the exact same time as the fuel pump failure. If so, I would suspect a wiring harness is shorting to ground somewhere. If they didn’t occur at the same time, this is most likely a separate issue.

The challenge you have here is isolating each part of the system. The PCM, the fuel pump relay, or a wiring issue. The PCM is actually fairly easy to check. Is the Check Engine Light on with key on and does it communicate with a scanner? Then follow the fuel pump relay test I outlined above. If it is a bad connection somewhere in the system, you will need a good wiring diagram and a well thought out plan to isolate where the problem is. This can be the most difficult to diagnose, especially if the problem is intermittent. Find a wiring diagram and study it carefully. If you’d like help, you can have a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to inspect your car’s loss of power and make the correct repairs.

Good luck. I hope I have been of assistance.

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