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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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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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