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He's not mine
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A little while back, I started noticing the odor of gasoline both inside and outside my car. I foolishly filled the tank before taking it to a garage to have it checked. When I did, I noted that I had only had a range of 240 miles on the full tank, where my usual is around 300 miles.


So, I took it in. Diagnosis cost $50. Repair estimate is $776.
What the mechanic did: pulled the belly pan to take a look and showed me that the fuel tank was wet from a leak somethwhere on the top of the tank, out of view. He concluded it most likely is the fuel pump or its gasket which is causing the leak.



In either case, to effect repair, he said the tank would have to be pulled.


I've come here seeking views/opinions any of y'all might have on this. Diagnosis likely correct? How dangerous is the car to drive in the meantime? Repair estimate reasonable, and so on.
 

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A little while back, I started noticing the odor of gasoline both inside and outside my car. I foolishly filled the tank before taking it to a garage to have it checked. When I did, I noted that I had only had a range of 240 miles on the full tank, where my usual is around 300 miles.


So, I took it in. Diagnosis cost $50. Repair estimate is $776.
What the mechanic did: pulled the belly pan to take a look and showed me that the fuel tank was wet from a leak somethwhere on the top of the tank, out of view. He concluded it most likely is the fuel pump or its gasket which is causing the leak.



In either case, to effect repair, he said the tank would have to be pulled.


I've come here seeking views/opinions any of y'all might have on this. Diagnosis likely correct? How dangerous is the car to drive in the meantime? Repair estimate reasonable, and so on.
Nothing unheard of for an older generation smart car, or many other cars as well. May be a cracked/leaky fuel line, leaking connection where the pump mounts with tank, or even a cracked tank.

This is a relatively easy job. Overly simplified procedure: Remove the underbody aerodynamic + anti-corrosion shield, follow the industry standard fuel line/tank depressurization procedures, R&R the tank and the damage will be evident. 2 hour job.
 

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Hire the neighbor Kid for $10.00 per hour... 2 Hour JOB to pull the Tank... $20.00

Your estimate is over $300.00 per hour... That's NUTS

Drive your car with only 1/2 tank from now on is a option, and drive it for another 8 years.
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #4
Hire the neighbor Kid for $10.00 per hour... 2 Hour JOB to pull the Tank... $20.00

Your estimate is over $300.00 per hour... That's NUTS

Drive your car with only 1/2 tank from now on is a option, and drive it for another 8 years.
Well, the service station looked the job up in their book and said it was a 3.5 hour job. And that's with professional equipment, lifts and so on. So I think you're likely being a bit humorous, heh?

In their defense, they did say they were giving me a 'worst case' estimate and that it would be less if the repair required less expense, i.e. not replacing the fuel pump. But the exact problem wouldn't be known until the tank was pulled.

I'm slightly relieved that you don't feel I'm driving a time-bomb or a molotov cocktail on wheels. But, I'm still eager to get the repair done. It makes me uneasy. Sure glad I'm no longer a cigarette smoker!
 

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I would not continue to drive the car with a fuel leak. Usually, it's the plastic fitting that has cracked which is part of the fuel pump.
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #8
I would not continue to drive the car with a fuel leak. Usually, it's the plastic fitting that has cracked which is part of the fuel pump.
I'll easily accept that advisory and only drive when absolutely necessary until I can get it repaired. Between the holiday and TS Alberto that probably won't be possible until Wednesday or Thursday at earliest.
 

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Well, the service station looked the job up in their book and said it was a 3.5 hour job. And that's with professional equipment, lifts and so on. So I think you're likely being a bit humorous, heh?

In their defense, they did say they were giving me a 'worst case' estimate and that it would be less if the repair required less expense, i.e. not replacing the fuel pump. But the exact problem wouldn't be known until the tank was pulled.

I'm slightly relieved that you don't feel I'm driving a time-bomb or a molotov cocktail on wheels. But, I'm still eager to get the repair done. It makes me uneasy. Sure glad I'm no longer a cigarette smoker!
Are you kidding me?
Your driving a rear engine car (unlike an old VW Bug) the GAS TANK is also in the REAR WITH THE ENGINE instead of the front.
PLUS it has been determined that models years *2008-2009 sometimes catch fire. with the engine just underneath an access within the cabin of the car, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

You have choices. All are going to cost money or could cost a life.
Pay the price and have it fixed professionally by a place that will give you a written warranty.
If you are handy fix it yourself.
Drive it As Is and hope for the best. You have to remember, if you are hit from behind, what may happen from an already compromised fuel tank (think Ford Pinto).
Sell it As Is and maybe the next owner will have it fixed or risk their life driving it. :shrug:
Repairing it will not add to the value of the car, but not repairing will subtract from the selling price.
Depending upon the age of your smart you probably will not get your money back from the repair.
I had to do the same thing 5 years ago with my mint 1996 Chrysler with 75,000 orig miles when the trans. went out.
In perfect condition the car was worth $2500 but it was worth more to me than that. So, I ponied up the $2200 for the full rebuild of the transmission. The car is still in the family my 82 year brother-in-law the original buyer is back its new owner and it still has only 98,000 miles on it.

Best case. If you still like your smart and enjoy driving it. Get it fixed properly. Chalk it up to ownership costs.
Good Luck with your decision.

*I checked your profile and did not see the model year of your car.
 

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Man that is ultra disappointing. I'd recommend sending in a safety defect complaint to the federal agency concerned - if this is a common problem as Kamaal suggests, then it's recallable.

Definitely get it repaired, as few things are as scary as gasoline- fuelled fires. Keep the bill so when (if) the car is recalled you can get your cash back from the manufacturer. In fact I would ask them to pay now.
 

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A little while back, I started noticing the odor of gasoline both inside and outside my car. I foolishly filled the tank before taking it to a garage to have it checked. When I did, I noted that I had only had a range of 240 miles on the full tank, where my usual is around 300 miles.


So, I took it in. Diagnosis cost $50. Repair estimate is $776.
What the mechanic did: pulled the belly pan to take a look and showed me that the fuel tank was wet from a leak somethwhere on the top of the tank, out of view. He concluded it most likely is the fuel pump or its gasket which is causing the leak.

In either case, to effect repair, he said the tank would have to be pulled.


I've come here seeking views/opinions any of y'all might have on this. Diagnosis likely correct? How dangerous is the car to drive in the meantime? Repair estimate reasonable, and so on.

This seems to be a not uncommon problem with our smarts. There are two ports on the top of the fuel pump, one of which has been known to leak/break. Sounds like you currently have a leaker... which could easily turn into a gusher. :(

Don't park it in the garage!

Replacement fuel pumps for the smart run $200 - $500, the rest is labor.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/i-m-smelling-gasoline-fuel-pump-port-139449/

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f353/fuel-leak-77546/#post921290

~toaster
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #12
Pay the price and have it fixed professionally
<snip>
If you still like your smart and enjoy driving it. Get it fixed properly. Chalk it up to ownership costs.
Good Luck with your decision.

*I checked your profile and did not see the model year of your car.
I don't know how you could've gotten any impression other than that I am EAGER to get it fixed. So, what decision is it you're talking about?


Every member who has taken the time to construct one has a "garage", which is linked to at the bottom of the left column. There is also a link to it on the profile page.
 

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I don't know how you could've gotten any impression other than that I am EAGER to get it fixed. So, what decision is it you're talking about?


Every member who has taken the time to construct one has a "garage", which is linked to at the bottom of the left column. There is also a link to it on the profile page.
I got that impression from the first line of your first post.
A little while back, I started noticing the odor of gasoline both inside and outside my car. I foolishly filled the tank before taking it to a garage to have it checked. When I did, I noted that I had only had a range of 240 miles on the full tank, where my usual is around 300 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I got that impression from the first line of your first post.
Alternate reality? Even the parts you quoted seem to express concern, not question whether or not a repair needs to be done. It goes without saying you read no further than that or you'd have realized the decision had already been made. It's not as if this is a multi-week, thousand post thread.


Forgive me for inserting a national holiday and a tropical weather system into the works.




Thank you for your input.
 

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FWIW, the fuel pump outlet (pressure) fitting cracked on the Applecrate a couple of years ago.

I noticed a strong fuel odor when I stopped in a parking lot. Looked underneath and fuel was literally pouring out from the belly pan. I had to drop the tank to investigate the leak, and as I was removing the tank, the fitting completely broke off the pump. The fittings are just molded plastic.A new pump is the only fix. The job isn't awful if you don't have much gas in the tank. There's a sticky about tank removal.
Also, I think the gasket (green silicone rubber square O-ring) that seals the pump to the tank would be unlikely to randomly start leaking.
 

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I believe the fuel pump part number is 4514700294. Here's some internet pricing:

$225
https://www.mbpartsusa.com/oem-parts/smart-fuel-pump-4514700294

$481
https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premium-SP5129M-Module-Assembly/dp/B01AWCW8VE

$216 - $667
https://www.ebay.com/sch/pump+4514700294

$246 - $426
https://www.rockauto.com/en/partsearch/?partnum=4514700294

Quite a range. If you are having a shop replace it, it may be worthwhile asking what they are charging for the pump alone and procure it yourself.

~toaster
 

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If you contact the mothership to request a freebie, you could mention that if they decline to fix this obvious safety hazard for free, that the NHTSA will be getting a safety complaint. They'll probably ignore it anyway but I have had a few "goodwill repairs" over the years from my dealer with cars 10 years out of warranty.
 

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Man that is ultra disappointing. I'd recommend sending in a safety defect complaint to the federal agency concerned - if this is a common problem as Kamaal suggests, then it's recallable.

Definitely get it repaired, as few things are as scary as gasoline- fuelled fires. Keep the bill so when (if) the car is recalled you can get your cash back from the manufacturer. In fact I would ask them to pay now.

I wasn't singling out smart. I was referring to automobiles in general, across the board. A fuel leak is not uncommon. Especially not a fuel pump leaking or the gasket seal to the tank. Gaskets leak, pumps leak, especially when vehicles begin to age. And some of these smarts are beginning to get long in the tooth. Fix the leak, enjoy the car, and keep driving. A 2-4 hour procedure is not worth all the stress IMO. :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I believe the fuel pump part number is 4514700294. Here's some internet pricing:

$225
https://www.mbpartsusa.com/oem-parts/smart-fuel-pump-4514700294

$481
https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premium-SP5129M-Module-Assembly/dp/B01AWCW8VE

$216 - $667
https://www.ebay.com/sch/pump+4514700294

$246 - $426
https://www.rockauto.com/en/partsearch/?partnum=4514700294

Quite a range. If you are having a shop replace it, it may be worthwhile asking what they are charging for the pump alone and procure it yourself.

~toaster
$257 to the door for a smart OEM pump. I'd bet a beer (or two) that's a couple hundred less than I'd get from the garage. I believe they were sourcing from Advance Auto Parts, but don't quote me on that.

I will absolutely ask the garage what their price is for the pump, and tell them what I've found (you led me to).

Thanks! Great tip.
 

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Just had a recall done for our 2004 Mazda RX8 for possible leaking fuel pump gaskets. Older than any of our U.S. smarts and still supported by the company.
 
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