Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Fuel pump whine — diesel engines

Fuel pump whine and hard start on diesel engines

GM has issued a service bulletin #18-NA-103 to address a fuel pump whine issue on their 2010-20 diesel vehicles. The fuel pump whine may also be accompanied by the following trouble codes:

P0087 Fuel Rail Low Pressure
P018B Fuel Pressure Sensor Performance
P228A Fuel Pressure Regulator 1 Control – Forced Engine Shutdown
P228B Fuel Pressure Regulator 2 Control – Forced Engine Shutdown
P2635 Fuel Pump Flow Performance

Cause of fuel pump whine

GM has determined that the cause of the fuel pump whine and hard starting and the listed trouble codes is diesel fuel gelling in cold temperatures.

Background on diesel fuels

Fuel distributors blend #1 and #2 diesel fuels for seasonal requirements in a particular region.  You should always use the fuel rated for temperatures in your climate. Do not let summer diesel fuel sit in your tank during extreme cold cycles without adding a winter fuel anti-waxing or icing additive.

The anti-gelling additive you use must not contain any metal-based additives, alcohol, or other water emulsifiers. Those components can compromise the operation of the water removal effectiveness of the fuel filtering system.

Diagnose diesel fuel pump whine and hard start due to fuel gelling

Bring the vehicle inside and allow it to warm to more than 0°C (32°F). This may take up to several hours. Then try starting the engine. Monitor the fuel temperature sensor data on a scan tool. If the engine starts, drain the water separator at the bottom of the fuel filter.

If the fuel pump’s whine sound is gone, the problem was caused by the fuel.\

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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