I bought an old used Honda recently, and I may need to have the fuel tank replaced. I did a google search for replacement tanks (I’m not an expert), and the prices were in the $200-$250 range, but when I called a local mechanic for a quote, he said the cost for the tank (excluding labor and tax) would be at least $400. Is this normal? Any insight would be appreciated.
That’s about right!
And if you’ve never replaced a fuel tank, it’s not fun.
There’s a few other things to consider also.
You state this is an old used Honda so that brings up the question about the old used fuel pump that may be in that tank and if rust is the reason for replacing it then the tank straps and many other things on the car also subject to rust and possible replacement.
Okay, thanks for the feedback.
Tester - is there anything else that should know about it being not fun? And, if $400 is about right, any idea why I’m seeing ads online for so much less?
ok4450 - yes, rust is the reason for replacing it; what other costs should I be on the lookout for? How much is a replacement fuel pump and/or straps?
Thanks again for your help.
You said “OLD” Honda. I can just see the tank strap bolts snapping off from rust. Now the fun begins!
The pump prices vary quite a bit but you can safely figure a couple or three hundred dollars along with a new filter.
Tester is also correct about those tank bolts snapping off from rust. Tank strap bolts can sometimes be very difficult, or impossible, to remove even on a car in which the rust does not look that bad.
As to tank prices, a shop is usually not going to go searching on-line for the cheapest price. They will deal locally and will also mark the price up. Without a price markup most shops would be belly-up very quickly.
It’s no different than a plumber marking up the price of that PVC pipe or hot water heater.
We have had lengthy discussions on here before on repair shop mark-up and whether or not it is a shady practice. Here’s some food for thought: I worked at a fast food joint several years ago. We sold a particular sandwich for four dollars, but actual cost to make that sandwich, in materials and labor, was right around 60 cents. Shady, huh? How come they can’t sell it for 65 cents? They’d still be making money, right? Yes, I jest about this. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with a repair shop dealing locally and marking up a part they install on your car. Everybody has to earn a living and eat, and no shop could do that by installing the cheapest parts they can find and making customers wait weeks for the cheap parts to arrive, then making the customer wait for months when that cheap part fails so they can remove it from the car, ship it back to the online seller, and wait for another one to arrive, then the process repeats itself. Professionals prefer to deal locally with known good suppliers, and yes it costs more, but to most people, it’s worth it.
Depending on whether you want to order the part and replace it yourself or have someone else do it for you as to what you’ll have to pay for the tank. As has already been said fuel tank replacement isn’t an easy job, but I’ve found in working on my own cars for the past 35 years there are lots of jobs that are much harder. Two of my cars don’t have access ports to get to the fuel pump without removing the fuel tank. I’ve taken the fuel tank out and replaced the fuel pump on those cars a couple times without a lift or personal assistance and never ran into any unforeseen problems. All I used was a set of drive on ramps to get the car high enough off the ground to remove the fuel tank from underneath it. Each time I’ve been able to drop the tank, clean it out, replace the fuel pump and strainer and put the tank back in, in a few hours time. You say your car is an older Honda, mine are '88 Ford Escorts, also older and been exposed to rust causing conditions.