2008 ForTwo odor, chasing fuel leak (bad fuel pump) - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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2008 ForTwo odor, chasing fuel leak (bad fuel pump)

Revisited my 2008 ForTwo with an odor / fuel leak, after it having sat since about last September. Sad the recall didnít address fuel leaks yet. Started & drove the car into my garage (so as not to annoy neighbors), now up on jack-stands, up doubly-safe with solid cinder blocks under the tires, emergency brake pulled hard. Engine ran not more than 2 minutes. Gas odor returned. Rear portion of undertray off with 4 screws. I saw nothing wet, but could see a faint residue where maybe something has leaked in the past. Started the car for 10 seconds then off, nothing wet. Restarted the car for 60 seconds then off. Fuel slowly seeping down on the passenger-side forward-corner of the fuel tank & dripping onto my floor. Took a movie with my phone. Turned on a large fan to blow air rearward out of my garage. Reviewing steps for tank removal next so I can see the issue. Tank shows half-full BTW, bummer. Update to follow.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Disconnected battery. I loosened the hose clamp & disconnected the fuel filler hose at the fuel tank. I then siphoned most of the gas from the tank. Removed the 5 screws securing the tank, driver side rear screw removed last, eased the fuel tank down onto a couple 2x4s (to not overstress the fuel lines) on the floor. Left it under the car. Visually I saw nothing obvious wrong. Disconnected the outer fuel-return hose connection from the pump, saw no fuel, no obvious issue. Reconnected that hose. Decided to try powering-up the fuel system to see exactly where it leaks, expecting fuel under pressure to start leaking. Fire extinguisher handy. I turned on the ventilation fan blowing rearward, reconnected battery, turned key to ON position, looking carefullyÖ no leaks. Cycled the key OFF then ON several times, no leaks. Turned key to START, let engine run about 60 seconds then OFF, continuously watching the fuel pump hose connections, no observable leaks. Disconnected both fuel pump hose connections, some fuel under pressure sprayed out for a moment from the center hose. I canít see a problem with either hose or fuel pump connection - pump connectors appear structurally strong.

Itís puzzling. I really expected to see an active leak somewhere at the pump. All I did at first was disconnect & reconnect the return line hose. Had that been the leaking connection that was resolved when I mechanically refreshed that connection? Iíll revisit this again in the morning. I may have to put some fuel back into the fuel tank & let the engine run for a while (probably an hour) to be confident the leak is resolved. Feeling lucky I donít have to chase a $200+ fuel pump, at least not yet. Update tomorrow.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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This morning I reconnected the fuel pump electrical connectors & hoses, sealed the fuel tank fill port using a baggie & rubberband, turned on the fan to blow air rearward from the front of car (for cooling as well as ventilation). I tilted the fuel tank to put more fuel in the fuel pump end of the tank. Turned on the key to pressurize the fuel lines, no leaks. Started the engine & my stopwatch. Watched continuously for a fuel leak. Engine began to sputter then ran out of gas after 15 minutes, not a single leaking drop observed.

I guess my next step is to add a couple gallons of gas, re-orient the gas tank flat, try running it again for an hour, watching for a leak.

I'm not too impressed with a fuel connection that can be so easily disconnected by depressing a spring-loaded catch. It opts for quick & easy versus the security of time-proven hose clamps. I'd happily replace both fuel hoses if I could, just for connection insurance. Has anyone replaced fuel hoses?

I'll try the 60-minute run trial this afternoon. I'm open to any ideas about what else to consider now. Please add your $0.02, thanks.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:19 AM
 
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My $0.02...

The charcoal canister and its associated hoses/valves?

Possibly the now almost empty tank does not have a high enough level of fuel to seep out of a crack or fitting?

A plastic fitting on the fuel pump is a known weakness... it tends to snap off. I forget if it is the outlet or return line... I'd be tempted to wiggle them a bit and see what happens.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 01:45 PM
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You may have filled the vapor cannister with fuel if you routinely fill the tank. When the you fill at the gas pump and it shuts off don't try to put any more gas in the tank because you can overrun the charcoal cannister and I guess it makes it spit and sputter and possibly leak a little. There's a post on the forum somewhere about that problem. DCO
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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I added a gallon gas to the fuel tank then resealed the tank, turned the ignition key ON, fuel is leaking at the main, pressurized fuel pump connector. There is a little play in the connection, I can slide that hose forward & backward at the pump connection, fuel squirts out with the slightest hose movement. There could be an unseen crack, but at this point I think the hose connector is bad. I base that on noting when I'd had both hoses off, I pushed / pulled on those pump hose connections gently, they were surprisingly firm. I guess I'll have to remove the remaining hoses & free the fuel tank from under the car to have a definitive look at the top of the pump.

Searching our archives, I can't find an instance where someone found & replaced a defective fuel line except for one instance where there's speculation the dealership may have damaged one during a fuel pump replacement. I think the hose in question goes directly to the fuel injector rail. Anyone ever replace a ForTwo fuel hose? The part# may be 451-476-1601 according to my local Smart Center.

If I conclude its the (weak-link) connector, I'll consider my repair options, like conventional fuel hose & hose clamps. Thoughts?

Last edited by den458; 08-21-2018 at 02:45 PM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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You can see that the fuel pump OUTPUT connection appears very damp with fuel, the RETURN connector appears dry.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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These are the 2 ends of the fuel pump OUTPUT to fuel injection rail INPUT hose. The 90-degree connector feeds a short fuel hose which feeds the fuel rail.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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This is the hose connection to the fuel rail.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by den458 View Post
If I conclude its the (weak-link) connector, I'll consider my repair options, like conventional fuel hose & hose clamps. Thoughts?

The rigid plastic hose is likely preformed, but the quick release connector is likely a standard automotive part. My ford truck uses them on the fuel filter. Try NAPA.

I believe inside the fitting is a replaceable O-ring... again a NAPA part.

~toaster
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