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$400 for a fuel filter!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yup, my owner's manual says to change the fuel filter in my 2009 Pontiac G3 wave at 120 000 km.  It has 140 000 kms on it.  It began feeling like it needed a fuel filter several months ago.  My check engine code (lean burn) confirms the lack of fuel reaching the engine.  No air leaks, MAF sensors ok, too.  So I try to get it changed. 

 

Apparently you cannot get just a fuel filter for a 2009 Pontiac G3 wave; you have to buy the whole fuel pump assembly.

So you have a filter than needs changing on a scheduled maintenance plan, and you can't change it without buying a new $400 fuel pump.

 

How f*cked up is that GM?

post #2 of 28

Kind of like the rear Universal Joints in my Outback that I needed to replace.  Can't get them alone, had to get the entire rear axle.   Of course that's not a regularly scheduled repair like the fuel filter.

post #3 of 28

Are you trying to source the part from a dealer or an after market parts vendor? 

 

Rockauto shows a fuel filter for a 2009 G3 with a 1.6L L4 engine for about $20.

post #4 of 28

For that price difference I think I'd take my chances on aftermarket.  (Actually, Google shows someplace called motorhead has one for US $8.89.)

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

For that price difference I think I'd take my chances on aftermarket.  (Actually, Google shows someplace called motorhead has one for US $8.89.)


You must be looking at the wrong year.  This is all they had for the '09

http://www.motorheadautoparts.com/catalog-1/parttype/fuel-pump-and-strainer-set/pontiac/2009/g3-wave 

Still better than the GM stealership though.

post #6 of 28
post #7 of 28

I'm confused.  Is the issue that GM doesn't sell the filter, or that you can't get at it to replace it?

 

I'm just the peanut gallery here, the last time I fixed my own car was at least 20 years ago, probably more.  (Other than changing oil, and I haven't done that for 10 years or so.)

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

I'm confused.  Is the issue that GM doesn't sell the filter, or that you can't get at it to replace it?

 

I'm just the peanut gallery here, the last time I fixed my own car was at least 20 years ago, probably more.  (Other than changing oil, and I haven't done that for 10 years or so.)


I have all the symptoms of a clogged and becoming more clogged fuel filter.

My owner's manuals says the fuel filter should have been changed 20 000 kms ago.

The only fuel filter I can buy, is a "fuel pump module" that costs $400. where I am.

post #9 of 28

I believe the fuel filter for that car is external to the gas tank under the car at the back.  It's an inline fuel filter.  Here's the Rock Auto link:

 

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1573158&cc=1443788&jnid=431&jpid=1

 

Having said that, it may be the fuel pump.  Change the filter first, much easier and cheaper.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

That would work on an '08.  I'm thinking the mechanic would have noticed if there were an external filter to change, instead of halting the job because the only "fuel filter" he could order for my VIN was the $400 module.  He was clever enough to notice the disconnected fan, worn out sway bar links and right lower control arm, worn tires and check engine light.

 

I promise to crawl under the car tomorrow and inspect it closely for an in-line filter.

post #11 of 28

Oh if a mechanic has alredy looked at it he's probably correct.  Sorry Ghost.  :(

post #12 of 28

Look like there is a small metal external fuel filter.

The fuel pump assembly appears to be separate from the fuel filter. However top part of the fuel pump assemblies listed in most of the links show a strainer set as the upper section . Perhaps it is the strainer section that is clogged.

 

Rockauto list two (02) distinct fuel pump for the 2009 Pontiac 1.6L L4 engine - depending on the VIN #. Runs from $160 - $185.

 

I know Rockauto have warehouses in Canada so they may be better at shipping to Ontario. Sometimes I hear complaints about problems with customs and shipping when stuff goes across the border.  

 

BTW, don't forget the pump/tank gasket. Usually they go to hell when the pump is removed. 

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Look like there is a small metal external fuel filter.

The fuel pump assembly appears to be separate from the fuel filter. However top part of the fuel pump assemblies listed in most of the links show a strainer set as the upper section . Perhaps it is the strainer section that is clogged.

 

Rockauto list two (02) distinct fuel pump for the 2009 Pontiac 1.6L L4 engine - depending on the VIN #. Runs from $160 - $185.

 

I know Rockauto have warehouses in Canada so they may be better at shipping to Ontario. Sometimes I hear complaints about problems with customs and shipping when stuff goes across the border.  

 

BTW, don't forget the pump/tank gasket. Usually they go to hell when the pump is removed. 

Thanks for that.  Could be an intermittent (electrical connection?) fuel pump problem too.  However I'm not knowledgeable enough about the details to know if that would have been picked up by the on-board computer and stored as a different code.  It caught the lean burn due to excessive short term and long term trim. (adjusting, based on O2 sensors, how much to adjust the initial amount of fuel that is based based on mass air flow sensor).  Apparently there is a separate O2 code (not flipped on) that had it been flipped would have prevented the lean burn code, so O2 sensors should be good.  Who knows?- Maybe I have a pinhole leak in the exhaust just above the O2 sensor and I don't really have fuel problem, just too much O2 at the sensor that didn't go through the burn.  Sure feels like a clogged filter though.

 

Maybe I should just break down and buy the shop manual:dunno.

post #14 of 28

I had roughly the same problem with my Audi this year. The problem is that the fuel filter is in the fuel pump which is in the fuel tank! So you have to drop the fuel tank. Turned out the fuel pump itself was dead anyway, but whatever. It's the same in Formula 1 cars, so at least there's that.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

Apparently you can access my tank from the top under the flip up rear seat. 

post #16 of 28

As annoying as it sounds, it could be worse:  my wife's '07 Ford F-250 diesel truck needs a new fuel pump ..... which can only be done by replacing THE ENTIRE ENGINE. 

 

There; feel better now?  ;)

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

I took a close look at the car today.  Bad news is there is no external in-line fuel filtre on the 2009 Pontiac G3 Wave.

 

The good news is I managed to find an air leak that could account for the lean burn condition (due to unmetered air) in one of the big accordion type air tubes going from the filtre box to the intake manifold.  It was hidden down in one of the folds.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

Just back from the stealership.  Bad news is that that little 4" diameter 7 inch long (aprox.) rubber hose costs about $280.  Of course it is sold ONLY as a module that includes the mass air flow sensor and hardware, and the short bit of hose on the other side of the MAF sensor.  Local auto parts store couldn't order one either. If I can't find one of an aveo at the local auto wrecker I'm using duck tape:mad

 

Sorry GM - you've changed, and not for the better.:nono: 

post #19 of 28

There ain't nothing a hammer and a roll of duct tape can't fix. :D

 

Some of the high performance plastic adhesive may work if movement of the bellow is limited and judicious application of a bit of duct tape.

I also found that the aluminum duct tapes used by the HVAC trade holds up pretty well in the elevated temps generally found in the engine compartment.   

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post

There ain't nothing a hammer and a roll of duct tape can't fix. biggrin.gif

Some of the high performance plastic adhesive may work if movement of the bellow is limited and judicious application of a bit of duct tape.
I also found that the aluminum duct tapes used by the HVAC trade holds up pretty well in the elevated temps generally found in the engine compartment.   

What do they say? "You only need 2 things to fix anything-duct tape and WD-40". If it moves and shouldn't-use duct tape. If it doesn't move and should-use WD-40!
post #21 of 28

This is on my agenda of things to do this week on the Miata. 

 

Should be pretty straight forward...

 

post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 

Found a hose at Canadian Tire eh, originally designed to go from the cold air intake to the breather of an old car (with the round air filter sitting in a frying-pan with handle looking thing that would sit atop the carb on a V8).  Correct diameter.  Worked like a charm  $8.  NOT $300.  (I swear GM is trying to convince me to buy a Honda).

 

EDIT:  Note to self (and other's reading) Lean stumble caused by massive amounts of unmetered air entering intake manifold on modern car feels very much like lean stumble caused by plugged fuel filter.


Edited by Ghost - 5/31/15 at 9:03am
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

Maybe I should just break down and buy the shop manual:dunno.

 

Forget movies; shop manuals are what torrents are really for.

post #24 of 28
Sadly, I think think there only two Long term solutions. Toyota or Honda.
post #25 of 28

I had a similar experience with reear axle seals on my Nissan Frontier, under warranty (less than 60K miles) it was a 3 day excursion to the dealer for a complete rear axle shaft with bearings and the whole 9 yards to the tune of 1000 plus if I had to pay for it,a nd thats JUST the assembly, not labor.

 

4 years later the other side goes at 111,000 miles.  My mechanic replaced the bearings and seal for about 200 bucks.

post #26 of 28

I haven't read this whole thread carefully, but has no one said DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU FOOL WITH AN ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP!?!

 

Replacing a high pressure fuel filter is not a DIY job for me anymore, especially if it's in the gas tank.

 

Also, it seems to me the OP is jumping to a lot of conclusions.  140 k is not really much over the limit for a 120 k filter, and it doesn't seem like he's eliminated the pump as a source of the problem.  He should also eliminate other problems, especially faults in the engine control system, like O2 sensors or a bad ground somewhere.

 

Also, an air leak between the air filter and MAF sensor won't cause any problem except a little unfiltered air.  Probably every Pontiac still on the road has the same issue. They probably all have their original fuel filters too.

 

But most of all DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU FOOL WITH AN ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP!

 

BK

post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
 

I haven't read this whole thread carefully, but has no one said DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU FOOL WITH AN ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP!?!

 

Replacing a high pressure fuel filter is not a DIY job for me anymore, especially if it's in the gas tank.

 

Also, it seems to me the OP is jumping to a lot of conclusions.  140 k is not really much over the limit for a 120 k filter, and it doesn't seem like he's eliminated the pump as a source of the problem.  He should also eliminate other problems, especially faults in the engine control system, like O2 sensors or a bad ground somewhere.

 

Also, an air leak between the air filter and MAF sensor won't cause any problem except a little unfiltered air.  Probably every Pontiac still on the road has the same issue. They probably all have their original fuel filters too.

 

But most of all DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU FOOL WITH AN ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP!

 

BK

Try to keep up :duck:


Fault was unmetered air.  The MAF sensor is downstream of the airbox, but upstream of the air leaky hose going to the intake manifold.  The Owner's Manual with the fuel filter change recommendation was likely a cut and paste error from the 2008 manual - they forgot to change it in the 2009 manual when they eliminated the external fuel filter.  In my case O2 sensor code would have been set preventing the setting of the lean burn code.  Might of been the MAF, but that checked out ok.  Too bad the stealership mechanics couldn't find two big holes in the air intake hose.:nono:

 

Lot's of safety concerns with working on cars, today and fifty years ago.  Safely release pressure from fuel system (usually with banjo bolt at end of fuel rail) on fuel injection systems, don't crawl under a car supported only by a jack, disconect power from electrical system before working on anything connected to the electrical system, don't breathe the brake dust, etc.

 

Still thanks for the warning; it's nice to know somebody cares.

post #28 of 28

on an old 80's vintage Jetta my son drove for a while the hose from the MAF came loose.....it would not even start.  I'm at lunch in a white shirt and tie messing around to get him going and noticed it a bit later than I should have.  shoved it back on and vroom!  off he went...

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