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· He's not mine
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
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!
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
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.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
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.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
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.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
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.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Y'all have convinced me that I should contact someone from smart or MB on this matter. Any specific recommendations, like the dealer I took delivery from, or somewhere up the line? Got a phone number?

Can't hurt.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
That leaves about $500 from the repair estimate for labor. Around here, garage rates run about $100/hr. Replacing the fuel pump is not a 5-hour job.

~toaster
Last I took note they were charging more like $150/hour here, although I didn't ask specifically yet at this garage this time. They said 3.5 hours. At $150/hour that's $525. The guy looked the repair time up, he didn't pull it out of the air. But I don't know what he used for a reference.

It would be nice if they'd apply the $50 diagnostic fee I've already paid. But I asked about that and the answer was negatory.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
... if you purchase you own part, the mechanic most likely will do the install and verify it works, with no ongoing warranty if it fails shortly after.
I've talked with them with my questions. And, the above statement was confirmed. I decided to pay the extra $70+ dollars for the peace of mind the warranty on their work offers.
Unfortunately, the part isn't expected until Friday afternoon, and the work is scheduled for Moanday morning. Clearly, I wish it would be sooner, oh well.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Y'all have convinced me that I should contact someone from smart or MB on this matter. Any specific recommendations, like the dealer I took delivery from, or somewhere up the line? Got a phone number?

Can't hurt.
I hope someone will pitch in on my questions. Or, is this a hopeless line of thought? I mean, this matter is going to cost me roughtly $800. It would be so nice if MB would accept some responsibility and help me out financially. My income presently is $1064/month.
 

· He's not mine
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9,655 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
What was the out come of the 'determination' ?
The car has been repaired. Here's the followup:


After days of delays getting the part (tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow),
the job was done Wednesday afternoon. When I picked it up the mechanic showed me the original fuel pump. As he was showing me the problem with the plastic fitting, as described by greybeard above, it easily snapped clean off of the pump in his hand.


So, yeah, it was the pump. Cost me $776 plus the $50 diagnostic fee which they didn't apply. Labor alone was over $300. As I was paying up I mentioned that in light of the multi-day delay I'd hoped they would've given me a break on the labor cost. But, he said it wasn't their fault. And I guess he's right.


So I've been driving it for four days and it seems to be running fine. 100K on the clock. I wish I could get my roof fixed now, LOL, or at least have it permanently sealed so I could quit with the twice-a-year Gorilla Tape routine.
 
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