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I just returned from a long-distance trip during which my car died, from a blown fuel pump fuse. More specifically :

I had been traveling eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road (fairly bumpy pavement) in my 1996 RM wagon, with about 90K miles. No previous problems with this car. About 10 miles from the Ohio border, with gas gauge at about 5/8 full, the gas gauge started pegging to max, then coming down to the correct level, pegging to the max, and so on, repeatedly. Then it stayed pegged. (this had never happened before) Once in Ohio, I pulled into the service plaza to fill the tank, since the gas gauge was not working. As I pulled near the gas pumps, the car died and would not restart. Engine cranked fine, but no sound from the fuel pump. So a call to AAA and a flatbed trip to a garage. By this time it was late afternoon, and I had to wait until next morning for anything to happen. Next morning a mechanic found that the fuel pump fuse had blown, so he replaced that. He also replaced the fuel filter. There did not seem to be anything else obviously wrong -- the car now started and ran without incident. He said he could drop the tank and replace the fuel pump, but getting the pump might take an hour or two, and a couple or three hours to swap the pump in. But he felt there was a good chance the car would get me home, and I decided to take the chance. He also sold me a few fuel pump fuses, "just in case." Drove conservatively all the way home, and kept the tank full to at least 3/4. No gas gauge fluctuations.

Does anyone have an opinion as to what might have happened? "Something" must have shorted the pump 12v feed, but what? I certainly don't want this to happen again.
 

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Yep,I run my fuel pump/sender ground directly to the body while still under the car. Bypassing the additional wire,connector(s)....
 

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Does anyone have an opinion as to what might have happened? "Something" must have shorted the pump 12v feed, but what? I certainly don't want this to happen again.
As mentioned, check the easy things first like the trunk mounted ground. Really not a bad idea to remove it, clean up the area to get a better connection and then reattach. But this area being at fault will most likely just cause the pump to stop but NOT cause the fuse to blow.

A blown fuse means something has shorted somewhere. Are you good at looking at schematics and tracing wires? If so, just take a look at the FP circuit and visually/electrically trace out what you can to assure nothing is frayed in the harness.

My "gut" tells me you have a issue in the tank that could just be a pump with a bad winding/wire or the intank harness/connector. On a car of this vintage and never an issue, I would strongly suspect your car would benefit greatly from a clean up and replacement of tank internals. If you do drop the tank, pay close attention to the bulkhead fitting the harness attaches to. This is an area that has got me in the past.

For now, you may just want to try and keep the car close to home and periodically get it on some bumpy roads. At the first sign of a hiccup with fuel pressure, I'd be strongly considering a tank drop before my next long trip. GL
 

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Probably in-tank wiring is failing and kilning the pump as well. You better drop the tank and see what's going on inside before you get stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of winter.
 

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Check the connector under the center rear of the car. Three wires. This is exposed to moisture and whatnot and can easily get corroded. Get a flashlight and a mirror and look for the color "green" on the terminals on both the male and female sides of this pairing. Green would be corrosion from moisture.



Could a faulty ground cause the current to blow the fuse? Yes, but then the pump motor would have to be barely crawling and at highway speeds, the car would likely sputter with a lack of consistent fuel pressure.


If the DC pump motor is struggling or getting stuck, the current can go through the roof.



If the connector is clean, I'd seriously consider replacing the fuel pump. These things do not behave oddly and then simply get happy ever after.
 
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