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1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
08-06-2009, 04:18 PM
Post: #1
MyBB 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
Year: 1998
Model: Tracer
Engine Size: 2.0 Split port...
Auto/Manual: Auto
Mileage: 160000


I have a problem with my '98 Tracer. I cannot get it to start all the time. When it does start, it sometimes seems starved for fuel. I have checked the voltages and resistance at just about every connector in the fuel system and even at the PCM. I have gotten and tried the following used parts for trial and error: fuel pump, PCM, FPDM (fuel pump driver module), and the Fuel Pressure Sensor (regulator... it is a sensor on '98 & '99 models). When the fuel pump runs there is voltage coming from the FPDM, however when the pump is not working there is never any voltage coming from the FPDM. Is there another sensor that I don't know about (possibly a fuel tank pressure sensor)? Can I get any troubleshooting guides or wiring diagrams from anywhere? I have been working on this vehicle for two weeks with a highly intelligent former heavy duty truck mechanic who had specialized in and taught troubleshooting in classes, but we are both very stumped at this point. PLEASE HELP!!
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08-06-2009, 08:30 PM
Post: #2
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
There are several things that might help at this point. I think that I would check the fuel pressure. Even if the pump runs when it is supposed to doesn’t mean that it is building the proper pressure. After that, I think that a scan may save a lot of time and money. Write down all of the codes, post them here, and clear the computer. Between checking the fuel pressure and the codes you may find that you have a totally different problem. The one thing that a lot of people mistake for a fuel problem is a plugged exhaust.

I guess what I am getting at here is that it doesn’t really sound like and electrical issue to me. If the pump runs that sort of tells you that the electric is getting where it needs to be. Checking some other things might help.

Please keep us posted.
Thanks, Garner

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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08-06-2009, 10:01 PM
Post: #3
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
Could also be weak spark at that age and mileage but you have probably checked that.

BTW, I have run across several vehicles that start hard due to slightly low fuel pressure.... and we're only talking about 5 - 10 pounds. IOW, what seems to be in the ball park just isn't enough sometimes, especially at that mileage if it's an original pump.
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08-07-2009, 01:00 PM
Post: #4
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
The only thing with the pump is... that it doesn't run every time that I cycle the key. Rarely it will turn on and supply pressure. If the car then starts which it usually does at that point then the fuel pump runs but it seems like it runs non typical. I do know that it is a variable voltage pump and that it will run differently a little bit, but sometimes it quickly starts and stops... starts and stops... and so on. When the fuel pump is running it obviously is being supplied with voltage, however, when the pump doesn't run it is because no voltage is being sent to it. I don't know if that is because of a component sending a signal to the PCM and then the PCM tells the pump to stop or if there's bad wiring, or what, but I don't even know where to get good info as far as wiring diagrams/schematics for the fuel system or even a schematic of the grounds so I could check those. What it boils down to is this: when the pump runs most of the time my car starts, when it's running sometimes the vehicle acts like a WEED EATER motor when it's fully choked and the throttle being held down makes the motor bog down. That's what happens to my car. Then sometimes it quits. When it does quit, each time I never know if it will start again or not. Many times it will not and that is when I notice (most of the time) that when I turn the car off completely then cycle the key to the 'on' position the pump doesn't start running again. This car is CRAZY! Does any one know if I can find some good schematics or diagrams for wiring/grounds with any specifications for voltage or resistance? I think this would help. Thanks.
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08-07-2009, 07:33 PM
Post: #5
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
I'd start with fuel pressure as it's VERY common for a pump with that kind of miles on it to be mechanically bound up rather than electrically open.

I'm not personally familiar with the vehicle in question so it may be worth a call to the dealer to ask if it has a fuel pressure sensor and where that might be located.

As Garner pointed out, there may also be codes stored in the computer even though the light is not on.
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08-10-2009, 03:51 PM
Post: #6
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
The only thing is we have checked and changed the fuel pressure sensor and got nothing. I just wish that I could find some diagrams or something to tell me the correct voltages and resistance each connection is supposed to have. Does anyone know what and where a CCRM is? I have been asked by someone else if that my be my problem. I think it stands for Computer Control Relay Module or Constant Control Relay Module, but I don't know where it is or really what exactly it does.
-EzCarFixer
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08-10-2009, 10:23 PM
Post: #7
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
Try poking around in http://www.autozone.com as they have some decent parts locator listings that will be specific to your vehicle.

I believe it requires that you register your info on the site but it is free.
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08-10-2009, 10:35 PM
Post: #8
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
I don’t want to sound rude but you aren’t listening to what we are trying to tell you. Changing parts on a whim MIGHT accidentally find the problem. Change enough parts and you’re bound to find the problem, but at what cost? Rupe & I have done this type of thing many more times than I care to try to count. We are trying to tell you how to find the problem the most cheep, easy, and quick way possible. To recap:

Very first thing. There should be an electrical connector back near the fuel tank. You should be able to disconnect it and check for power with a test light as you turn the key on. If you have power and ground to the fuel pump at this connector I would suspect a bad pump. But, you should plug the connector back in and check fuel pressure at the port on the engine. As Rupe stated, and I have seen this myself, the pump may be working but the pressure is to low. Also, as Rupe said, this is usually due to mechanical binding in the fuel pump, not an electrical issue. When you look up the proper working pressure there is usually a section to tell you how to jump voltage across the relay to keep the pump running. There is also usually a section to tell you how to block the return line and check “dead head” pressure. Once you do this you will confirm if the pump is the issue or not. If you can jump the relay and the pump stays running, the wiring from the relay to the pump is good. If the pump quits, you can break the previously mentioned connector and test to see if constant voltage is reaching it. If it is, the problem lies from that connector back & is likely the pump. If the pump stays running but the pressure is low you either have a bad pump, pinched or leaking line, or a plugged fuel filter. I have seen the line leak inside of the tank where a short piece of rubber connects the pump to the steel line so don’t rule out a leak out because you can’t see it.

These are the first steps to either FIND or ELIMINATE the most common causes. I would also like to state again the value of a scan. OBD-II systems monitor enough controls to really help track down a lot of problems. I’ll suggest again getting a scan and posting the codes here & have the codes cleared.

One last thing; if the pump runs while the relay is jumped, the pressure is good, and a scan doesn’t turn anything up then you will need to look deeper.

Please keep us posted.
Thanks, Garner

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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08-11-2009, 10:45 AM
Post: #9
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
I don’t want to sound rude but you aren’t listening to what we are trying to tell you. Changing parts on a whim MIGHT accidentally find the problem. Change enough parts and you’re bound to find the problem, but at what cost? Rupe & I have done this type of thing many more times than I care to try to count. We are trying to tell you how to find the problem the most cheep, easy, and quick way possible. To recap:

Very first thing. There should be an electrical connector back near the fuel tank. You should be able to disconnect it and check for power with a test light as you turn the key on. If you have power and ground to the fuel pump at this connector I would suspect a bad pump. But, you should plug the connector back in and check fuel pressure at the port on the engine. As Rupe stated, and I have seen this myself, the pump may be working but the pressure is to low. Also, as Rupe said, this is usually due to mechanical binding in the fuel pump, not an electrical issue. When you look up the proper working pressure there is usually a section to tell you how to jump voltage across the relay to keep the pump running. There is also usually a section to tell you how to block the return line and check “dead head” pressure. Once you do this you will confirm if the pump is the issue or not. If you can jump the relay and the pump stays running, the wiring from the relay to the pump is good. If the pump quits, you can break the previously mentioned connector and test to see if constant voltage is reaching it. If it is, the problem lies from that connector back & is likely the pump. If the pump stays running but the pressure is low you either have a bad pump, pinched or leaking line, or a plugged fuel filter. I have seen the line leak inside of the tank where a short piece of rubber connects the pump to the steel line so don’t rule out a leak out because you can’t see it.

These are the first steps to either FIND or ELIMINATE the most common causes. I would also like to state again the value of a scan. OBD-II systems monitor enough controls to really help track down a lot of problems. I’ll suggest again getting a scan and posting the codes here & have the codes cleared.

One last thing; if the pump runs while the relay is jumped, the pressure is good, and a scan doesn’t turn anything up then you will need to look deeper.

Please keep us posted.
Thanks, Garner

EzCarFixer: I have power and ground at the pump sometimes, and the pump is good. When the pump does work I have a lot of pressure even at the fuel rail (and the release valve). Either way I don't know where to find out or look up the proper working pressure. The hoses on the pump are good and I have actually taken the pump out and hooked it up to 12 volts and the pump runs like a top. I also have already scanned the cars system and the scan has turned up nothing. It was with an older scanner, but it still showed nothing.
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08-12-2009, 01:53 PM
Post: #10
RE: 1998 Tracer Fuel System Problems
Ok, you have power & ground to the pump sometimes. This is possibly the proper condition. As you turn the key on you usually have power & ground for about two seconds. At that point the pressure should be high enough for the pump to turn off. The pump turns off because the power to it is cut by the computer. This is why you have to bypass the computer when testing the pump pressure.

When the pump does work you have “a lot” of pressure. The problem here is that “a lot” is a relative term. If you have 50 pounds, that’s a lot. However, if it takes 60 to make the car run it’s not enough. That is why we check for the proper pressure. As both Rupe & I have stated several times, we have been finding that a very small pressure drop has been causing the problem that you are having. Here’s another example of how important actual pressures are and how “a lot” is relative. We previously determined that 50 pounds was “a lot” of pressure. I operate a dozer that anything under 2,500 pounds pressure won’t even lift the blade. 2,500 is now “a lot” until you look at the press that my brother operates. The press needs to develop 250,000 pounds to do it’s job. For each piece of equipment you need the proper manual to know the proper procedures and measurements. I don’t have the information for your car in front of me. Possibly someone else on the forum may have it for you. You also could go to the library and check out a “Motor” or “Chilton” manual to find the proper pressures & test procedures. You also can get one at your local parts store that is vehicle specific usually for under twenty dollars. Either of these could really help you out. If you get a manual you can also look up the “CCRM” that you asked about. I think that you will find that it is a Constant Control Relay Module. This is a big term for a relay that works your air conditioner.
Hope this helps.
Thanks, Garner

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

Interested in Mining? Look here: Coal Mining, PA
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