I have an '06 GMC Canyon and I had it not starting in a parking lot last night. The starter was turning, but the engine would never actually turn over and start. There was an old timer that came by and said that fuel pumps were notorious for going bad in them, and when he checked the pressure on the fuel line it was weak. Diagnosing it as the fuel pump, he left.

After a few minutes of talking on the phone with warranty people, I tried again. It started and was able to get us home (about a ten minute drive at 45 mph).

My question is, knowing this, is the fuel pump probably okay? I'm wondering if there might just be a faulty connection in the relay or something.

EDIT Maybe my wording was wrong. The engine is turning with the starter, but it never fires up. Maybe that's a better description?


3 Answers 3


I finally figured out what the problem is here. GM apparently has put in a "PassLock" system that reads something to do with the key on startup. If anything goes wrong (invalid key, electrical problems, etc) the fuel system is disabled for 10 minutes. Just thought I would let everyone know in case this problem comes up again. I have not actually fixed the problem yet, but at least I have it pinpointed to a certain problem.


It could be the fuel pump, especially if the pressure is low. However it could also be that the fuel filter is clogged. It might be about time to replace the fuel filter anyway, I would go ahead and do that no matter what assuming it is easy to get to. (Sometimes they are hidden above the fuel tank and a pain to reach.)

If the starter is turning and you can confirm you are getting fuel then look next at ignition and make sure your engine is getting good spark from the plugs.

  • Thank you. I will probably look at the fuel filter first (as it is the cheaper of the two possibilities, and as you said, it's probably something that needs done anyway). Then I can go from there. Thanks!
    – Andy
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 11:36

A faulty fuel pump can prevent the car from starting, but you said it wasn't turning around. The starter motor turns the engine even if there's no fuel, so I suspect something else. It could be the starter relais, starter motor or a weak battery.


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