The 1998 Chevrolet C1500 uses an electric fuel pump, which is located in the fuel tank. The fuel helps to keep the pump cool, so that it doesn't overheat. The pump comes as a module, together with the sender. To replace the pump, you must remove the gas tank; thus, the cost of fuel should be figured into the cost of replacing the pump. Prices vary by region, and again, according to the brand of fuel pump available for purchase.
Compare Prices of Fuel Pumps
Depending on where you purchase the fuel pump, the gaskets may or may not come with the pump. Always check with the parts store, so that you don't get halfway into the job just to learn that you need some gaskets. Most pumps come with the gaskets. In addition to calling the parts stores, check with the dealership -- usually, the dealer is more expensive, but if the parts store has to order the pump from the dealership, you can cut out the middleman and save some money. As of early 2011, fuel pump modules cost about $300 at some auto parts stores.
Labor prices vary from shop to shop, and of course, you may choose to do the job yourself: It takes about two hours to replace the pump. Most shops use one of the labor manuals that are published, but the manuals vary in the time needed to complete the job. Call around to shops and the dealership to ask how much time it takes to replace the pump and what the labor cost amounts to per hour. If the going rate is $90 per hour, it will cost $180 for the labor to replace the pump.
Diagnosis and Extras
Most shops charge a fee for diagnosis. The fee may be the shop's hourly rate, or the shop could choose to charge a "diagnostic fee" of an average of $100, regardless of its hourly rate. You also need to figure in shop supplies and other fees the shop may be forced to charge by law, such as disposal fees. Shop supplies and disposal fees usually total less than $10. If you replace the pump yourself, you don't have the diagnostic fee of the other fees that shops are forced to charge.
If the fuel tank is full when you need to replace the pump, you must also figure in prices for fuel cans to hold the fuel. You can't pull a full tank down without spilling the fuel, plus it is too heavy to handle. If you are doing this yourself, and you only have one can, you'll have to pour the fuel into a different car; or, you may have to buy extra cans. Once finished, you need to put the fuel back in, if you are in the habit of keeping a full tank. This cost must also be added to the price of the fuel pump.
Changing the fuel pump is not an inexpensive process. Save money by shopping around for the part and replacing it yourself. If you must have a shop replace it, most will not let you bring your own parts, but you may try and ask -- however, bringing your own parts is like bringing your own food to a restaurant; some shops might do it, just to get the business, and hope for a repeat customer.
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