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· Registered
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a video I made for you all, since you've all helped me with issues in the past. I figured I should contribute to the community.

At minute 3:19 of the video, you'll see what exactly it sounds like when the vacuum pump and pipe is functioning properly. At minute 1:43, you see what it's like when the vacuum pump and pipe is NOT functioning properly.

You will need:
13mm socket
10mm socket
jack and stands
tire removal kit (it's easier to remove the driver front tire to access pump)
flathead screwdriver
occasional profanity to pull pipe off

Parts included:
vacuum pump $150 new (I bought used from Ebay for about $100 because I'm a recycler)
*vacuum pipe assembly $75 new (it includes microswitch sensor kit, comes in tamper proof packaging, cannot be returned after opening!)
*Microswitch Sensor Kit $28 new

*denotes tentative part. If vacuum pump test passes after initial installation, you don't need any of the marked parts. If the pump fails to start after installation, you have an electrical problem, pointing toward the Microswitch Sensor (which was recalled!) If the pump runs continuously, you have a leak. Test the hose with your finger until the pump stops to check for leaks. If the pump stops after placing your finger on the end of the hose, and at the end of the pipe assembly, then the leak is inside the brake booster system, which will need to be replaced. Don't replace the hose if it could be the booster, because that's $75 you won't get back.

Here is the video



· Registered
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

A few questions for you. My car has never had the switch recall done, I've always tested the vacuum pump like what you've done in the video.

Did you ever install the switch? Do you think trying just a switch from an ebay dealer would be the first start vs. buying the entire hose? How brittle and difficult is it to carefully pull out the factory switch? I have the recall procedure.

I can't think of an easy way to determine the switch vs. the pump. I'm looking for a place I would see voltage, without going down to the pump connector.

Did you just pull the wheel? No wheel liner removal, or did you do that also? Your camera moved a round a little down there..

Thanks for the pointers..
I may have removed the wheel to make it easier, but I cannot remember. It was not necessary to remove the liner.

If your vehicle was recalled for the microswitch, then you should first look into replacing the microswitch. Chevrolet should perform the service at no charge, and they are able to tell you if the possible previous owner had the recall serviced. They keep file of this across the country.

If this does not fix your problem, then they will most likely notice that the system is still not working, and they'll probably proceed to replace the vacuum pump, and hose assembly (if necessary). Generally, if the car is recalled, and the pump is required to know if the recall has been fixed, GM will write off the service at no charge, unless they're being douchebags, but I've never heard of them being this cruel.

Either way if it's the pump, or the hose, you need to have that recalled microswitch replaced, or else it may cause the pump to go out again.

There's no point in performing the job yourself when Chevrolet will do it for free, unless you have severe trust issues. I am fortunate enough to trust my service department, and I use them as an absolut last resort, unless it's a free job like this.
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