Isuzu pickups, fuel pumps, and empty gas tanks

My father has a small mid-90s Isuzu pickup (I don’t remember the exact year and model). At some point, he let the gas tank get to empty, and the truck wouldn’t start. Upon taking it to a garage, he was told that he could not let that particular year and model get empty, because “something” happened to the fuel pump which required it be replaced (at a cost of $800).

Google searches have not been too helpful in tracking down anything, though MSN Carpoint lists fuel pump failure as a potential problem on 1998 Isuzu Hombre’s.

But, this sounds like pure bunk to me…is there a problem with a particular mid-90’s model of Isuzu truck where the fuel pump is screwed if the gas tank is empty? If so, how? Thanks,

Some fuel pumps can burn out if you let the gas run out. They use the gas as a form of lubrication and as coolant. But I don’t know how long it takes to do that.

Running empty is generally stressful on electric fuel pumps, for the reasons Joey mentioned. That doesn’t necessarily mean the pump will be ruined by one such incident, although it is possible. Some particular pump designs may be more vulnerable to damage than others, and it’s reasonable to assume that the older the pump, the closer it already is to wearing out.

If the truck failed to start even after the tank was refilled, and then started with a new fuel pump, it seems pretty logical that this pump went over the edge from this occurrence. You could probably get a pretty good idea of the typical effect of running out of gas on the model in question by talking with some mechanics who have a lot of Isuzu experience. Still, knowing the typical result doesn’t prove or disprove what happened in this particular case.

$800 for a fuel pump? Was it sterling silver? is where I usually look for guys who have the same car & what they think about it. I don’t
know if they have a forum there anymore for each car.

I wondered about that too, but it ain’t my truck (or wallet) :slight_smile:

I had to replace my front tank’s pump for $130, did the work myself. If you let the tanks run dry, the pumps can and eventually will burn out. But it is my habit to let both tanks run dry to see how my MPGs are doing…w/o doing any paperwork.