When Fuel Pumps Give Up The Ghost
By Matthew Keegan
Cruising down the highway at 70mph in your ‘98 Bimmer you notice a strange sound coming from somewhere underneath your car. You proceed down the road a few more miles before exiting and making the turn into your subdivision. The sound magically disappears and you dismiss it as something that must have wedged itself underneath your car and then worked itself free. However, your car engine buckles, hesitates and then dies as you make the turn into your driveway. Fortunately, you made it home. Unfortunately, your fuel pump has gone to auto parts heaven.
Sure, we can dream that your fuel pump died just as you got home. How convenient. In all likelihood the problem would have surfaced while you were on a long trip, on a Sunday afternoon, miles from no where. Fuel pump failures can happen without warning and without any engine codes signaling the problem. In other words: when it happens you are SOL.
Replacing a fuel pump is a job that many weekend mechanics would feel comfortable with doing provided they are at home and have the right tools on hand. Still, you will be working with gasoline which will require you to prop your car up and then drop the gas tank down to replace the pump. I did say that the fuel pump is located inside of the gas tank, didn’t I? Oh, yeah, one small matter...you need to have the replacement fuel pump on hand before proceeding with the work.
You can go to a local auto parts store and have your pick of low priced generic pumps that just may last you a few years. Chances are that once you have gone to all the trouble of installing the low priced model, you would have wished you put in a Bosch fuel pump or given your Bimmer a BMW fuel pump even though it would have cost you plenty to buy one, right? Well, not exactly. By shopping online you can turn up some very good prices provided you select the name brand fuel pump and that you buy it from a reputable dealer. Ebay may work well for buying dolls and trinkets but your automobile parts should come from someone you can trust.
Once you have the right part on hand you can continue with the job. Follow your owner’s manual instructions to get the job done and done right. Your Bimmer will be glad, particularly if you remember to install a new fuel filter with your fuel pump.
Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Car Parts Stuff, an online supplier of high quality and well priced automobile parts.
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