Express & G-Series Vans Offered in both a full size van, or a large box truck, the Express is the modern GM workhorse

Chevrolet Express
Platform: GMT Van

TOTAL NEWBIE. One problem and many questions

Old May 20th, 2019, 1:41 AM
CF Beginner
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default TOTAL NEWBIE. One problem and many questions


I have been a Land Cruiser user all my life so, you know, didn't have to do much repair over many years. Plus it was super easy to diagnose any simple problems because when I opened the hood I could see all the engine from all sides. Not the case with the Chevy Express.

My 2002 Express has the 5.7 engine with 90K miles on the clock. For the last 15 thousand miles it's been driving like a champ, never missed a beat. Until now... If I start the van on a daily basis it drives perfectly. If I let it sit for around 12-15 hours it starts right away (one crank and engine starts) and it drives perfectly. When I let is sit for over 24 hours it won't start. I need to crank it for half an hour until the battery can hardly make it and suddenly the van starts and from that time on it drives perfectly. I can start it anytime I want unless I let it sit for more than 24 hours.

While trying to start the engine there is some stutter, something like a hiccup: I crank for 10 seconds, let off the key and the van burps a few times as if it were trying to start the engine. Half an hour later the van starts suddenly although with hesitation. I stomp on the gas and after 5 seconds of hesitation the engine revvs and operates normally.

a. I think this might be a fuel problem. Something causes the fuel lines to lose fuel which returns to the tank. I need a lot of cranking to fill the lines again. Once fuel is delivered there are no misfires or stuttering, even on bumpy roads so it's nt an electrical issue.
b. There has to be a fuel pump in the tank. Maybe it's going bad. Like it no longer operates well on 12V but needs closer to 14V to deliver proper pressure. Dunno...
c. There has to be a fuel pump relay which gives the pump two working speeds. Maybe it's bad and doesn't turn on the pump. But on the other hand it drives perfectly once it starts.
d. A leaking injector would have filled the cylinder and seized the engine so that's probably not that. Engine cranks normally but simply doesn't start.
e. While I am cranking I can smell fuel but I have no fuel leaks from underneath although I had one big 'pop' sound, like a mini explosion which separated part of the intake, the plastic resonator which is after the air filter and air sensor. This backfire indicates that there must have been some fuel. Is there an additional starting injector in the Chevys?


1. Could anybody help me narrow down the problem. I have no garage so when I start working on the van in front of everyone's building I want to be discreet, fast, efficient and not take apart the wrong parts.
2. Where do I download a Factory Service Manual for the Chevy Express? I used to have these for the Land Cruisers and they were very detailes, every part was shown, every circuit explained etc.

Many, many thanks :-)
exmotech is offline  
Old May 20th, 2019, 7:31 AM
CF Addict
oldchevy's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Miami, FL.
Posts: 3,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

There is a check valve in the fuel pump. when it goes bad it lets the fuel drain back into the tank. Spray some starter fluid into the throttle body and if it starts , then the check valve is bad. In that case you can either replace the fuel pump assembly or add a check valve in the fuel line next to the tank.
oldchevy is offline  
Old May 20th, 2019, 8:13 PM
CF Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

if you turn your key to the on position the fuel pump should pressurize the fuel rail......wait a few seconds before you try to start it so the pump can pressurize...
loopedr1 is offline  
Old May 20th, 2019, 9:49 PM
CF Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,583
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

repeat loopedr1 suggestion a few times before only cycles the pump a few seconds each time....
canucklehead is offline  
Old May 20th, 2019, 10:20 PM
CF Active Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Check your fuel pressure. If it's bleeding off you might need to replace the check valve, spider if it has one or fuel pressure regulator.
jimmydriver is offline  
Old May 21st, 2019, 11:39 AM
CF Beginner
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Thanks for the replies. It indeed looks like it is the check valve in the pump. I was told by the previous owner that he changed the injectors (he was a mechanic and worked himself on the van) so I assume they are OK, which actually looks like the case as the van drives good.

Where can I get the factory service manual? I am not interested in Chilton manual as it is too vague, would prefer a link to the factory PDFs
exmotech is offline  
Old May 21st, 2019, 3:17 PM
I'm here for the party
Irish_alley's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 751
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

before replacing parts do like suggested and check the fuel pressure. it does sound like a fuel pump issue but i would check pressure before replacing parts
Irish_alley is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2019, 5:17 PM
CF Beginner
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 14
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Regarding the FSM, HelmINC used to publish the FSM, but last time I checked it was no longer available/in print. So, your best bet is eBay, or equiv. That's where I got my (used) copy of the FSM for my '02 Express. It is a 3 volume book set, with well over 1000 pages. Worth every penny.


Last edited by MiragePilot; May 22nd, 2019 at 5:19 PM. Reason: typo
MiragePilot is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: