How To Replace a 2002-2003 Cavalier Fuel Pump

Fuel pumps can fail suddenly after years of use, and they're not always the easiest thing to replace. But it can be done - here are the instructions.

The first thing to do is make sure that you run your fuel almost out before you even start. You will need to be able to store the remaining gas outside of the fuel tank while you work on the car, so it must fit into a storage container. If you start to siphon out the gas and the container is not large enough, you will end up with gas everywhere.


  • Wrench
  • Socket wrench with extension
  • Siphon
  • Mechanic’s ramps and creeper
  • Small jack
  • Empty gas can to hold fuel for short-term storage
  • Level parking place
  • Fuel pump


  1. Park on a flat, level surface and disconnect the positive battery terminal. Place the mechanic’s ramps behind the rear tires of the car.
  2. Siphon out the gas tank and let it run into the empty gas can. If you purchased a siphon, it will have instructions on it on how to use it. Read these and follow them. Remove the gas from your vehicle into the gas can.
  3. Push your car backwards up onto the mechanic’s ramp in order to give you access to the underside of the fuel tank. You have to do this after you have removed the fuel, or you will not be able to get all the fuel out of the tank.
  4. Use the creeper and roll under the back of the car to the fuel tank. It is a large black tub under the backseat.
  5. Two metal straps hold the tank to the frame. Use the socket wrench to unbolt it from the car. Since it is empty, it is going to be lightweight enough that when it starts to drop, you can leave it on your chest for a moment. You need to be able to disconnect the wiring before you can place it on the ground.
  6. Push the white buttons that you see on the fuel lines and the wiring harness. This will disconnect them.
  7. Once the tank is disconnected, you can pull it out from under the car and clean off the top of it.
  8. There are bolts holding the fuel pump onto the gas tank. The cylinder has two tubes coming out of it.
  9. Pull the fuel pump up and let it drain into the tank before you remove it from the tank. Make sure that no debris gets into the tank.
  10. Take your new pump and bolt it into place onto the gas tank.
  11. Take a small jack with you when you slide back under the car to reconnect the fuel lines and the wiring harness. You will need the jack to hold up one end of the tank while you reattach the metal straps that hold the tank in place.
  12. Tighten the strap bolts so the tank is secured to the frame of the vehicle.
  13. Replace the fuel that you siphoned out and reconnect the battery terminal.
  14. Drive down from the ramps and make sure that everything is working properly.

Replacing the fuel filter should clear up any issues you may be having with the engine not getting enough fuel. If you run into any problems, or this does not clear up your fuel delivery issues, contact your local dealership for assistance.