Rusted Fuel Filler Neck

2005, Nissian Sentra. Fuel was leaking when filling so I figured it had to be the filler neck. Which he could see was rusted. But he insisted on doing a smoke test. So after he told me the Fuel neck was rusted he wants to charge me 450 to 500 parts,labor,taxes. He said the Filler neck was 350 to 400 at the different places he called. Everywhere online I’m seeing them for 60 to 110. And did he need to do the smoke test since the gas was only leaking when filling? Am I missing something with the part cost?

Yes he needed to do the test because if you had two separate leaks and he just fixed the filler neck, you’d be right back in his shop fussing at him because you were still leaking gas.

As to the price of the part, it’s hard to comment. He has to warranty his parts which means he’s not going to get them from Ebay. That doesn’t always mean 300% more than what you can find it for, but sometimes it does.

Must be a real easy part to change on your car if he’s only charging $100 for taxes and labor.

Or did you read it backwards, $100 for the part, $350 for labor, for a total of $450 ?

Have you considered taking the car to another shop? If you don’t trust your mechanic why would you let him work on your car?

No. I didn’t get it reversed. He called several places right in front of me. Maybe I could get a floor jack and do it myself but I’m not sure it’s that easy for someone who never works on cars.

Do you think you could remove the old one and install this new one?

You’ll also need jack stands.


They guy who runs it is gone for the month. I have trusted them in the past.

I just found a marked up estimate online which has it at 213. well under 350 to 400.
I knew there had to be a leak in the fuel filler. There was no more of a reason to believe there was a leak anywhere else since I never noticed a leak other than when it was filling. It never dripped a drop when I was parked.
My advice would be if there is no leak noticed other than while filling than insist on NO smoke test. It’s wasting your money. Just replace the filler neck. Unless there are somehow leaks coming from other places that will only happen while filling other than the filler neck. But I don’t think so.

There’s a lot of possible leaks on top of the tank. If a shop gives an estimate for only the filler neck and labor and then calls you with that part installed and informs you that the entire tank must be replaced for an ourtageou$ additional amount the happiness might be overwhelming. You might offer $100 for diagnosis and go elsewhere for a cheaper repair.

Long ago when gas was $.25 a gallon there was a joke about cheapskates whose gas tanks rusted out at the $2.00 line because they never put more than that in the tank and condensation would rust above that line. It wasn’t a joke though. I have seen cars rusted internally along a ring at the pinch weld.

$500 for that job doesn’t seem way out of line to me. It’s a very important safety issue and the work must be done correctly. It’s going to be difficult to get out of any shop with less than a $500 invoice when the job involves replacing rusted and corroded parts. IMO this – or anything fuel related – isn’t a good job to start with for a beginning diy’er. Start learning how to work on your own car with common jobs such as changing the oil and filter, replacing the thermostat, even the starter motor, something that doesn’t involve gasoline.

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You’ve already admitted to us that you don’t know much about cars. That’s fine, nothing wrong with it. But the mechanic also knows that you don’t know much about cars. Even those of us who do know about cars, if we go to the mechanic and he doesn’t know us really well, he’s gonna assume that we don’t know much about cars.

He’s not going to take your word for it as to the diagnosis when it involves something that could set your car on fire. That’s a lot of liability to expose himself to and he’d be crazy to do it.

If you think his prices on parts are too high, feel free to try your luck at other shops, but don’t expect to get the parts at wholesale cost, and don’t expect the next guy to just blindly replace what you tell him to without making sure the rest of the system won’t cause a fire and get him sued.

I’m not a professional mechanic. I’m just a guy who’s been fixing cars since I was in college. But if I were a professional mechanic and a customer insisted that I not protect myself from potential liability by making sure that the thing I touched won’t set the car on fire after I touched it, I’d decline to do any work on his car whatsoever.

That’s not even addressing the fact that all mechanics are familiar with the customer who gets work performed on one specific part, and then wants the mechanic to replace half the car for free because “well you touched it last and it wasn’t doing that when I brought it in.”