1995 Subaru Legacy wagon. The fuel pump was dying so I was getting around by banging the gas tank with a rubber mallet whenever the car wouldn’t start up (over the past couple days). I researched how to change a fuel filter on the net and it didn’t seem too hard (Subarus have access panels behind the back seat so you don’t have to drop the tank), so I drove to the auto parts store and bought a replacement. However, the fuel pump gave up the ghost then and there, and I can’t start it no matter how much I bang on it. So now the car is sitting in the auto store parking lot about two miles away from my house. I was originally going to replace the pump at my house where all my tools are etc. Now I’m facing the prospect of transporting my tools over and replacing the pump while in the parking lot. This wouldn’t be so bad but it’s 15 degrees F outside.
So, my question: those of you who know how to do this, is it something that can be done in 15 degree weather in a frozen parking lot, or am I being stupid and should just get it towed to my mechanic (15 miles away)? The main problem I see is siphoning out the gas in the tank. Well, that and working in the cold. It’s a big hassle to have to tow the car, I’ll miss work and such, so I’m trying to figure out which is the path of least pain.
You may be lucky on this one and not even have to drain the tank. From memory here, I think the pump is accessible from inside the car and the tank does not have to be dropped. Remove the rear seat cushion and there should be a removeable plate to access the pump. And of course, careful around an open tank of fuel; no smoking or banging tools together, and be careful of static electricity discharge.
It’s a doable deal; I’ve done a lot worse in the parking lots and on the side of the road.
I agree with OK4450 (shocking). This can be done through the access panel with out draining any fuel. I wish some of the jobs I did on the road side were that easy.
I read somewhere it’s wise to disconnect the negative battery cable when working around fuel (tanks).
http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1c/65/21/0900823d801c6521.jsp Click on this Auto Zone web page for a how-to on that fuel pump. Remember to leave a couple of windows open a crack when you take the access cover off the fuel tank.
While it may be possible to do it in the parking lot, most auto parts places prohibit working on cars in their lots for insurance reasons and the tackiness of it. I did do it once on my way out of state and needed to change my alternator but that was a 5 minute job. I’d consider just towing it home the two miles.
So, I did drive out to the parking lot last night to swap out the fuel pump. Everything went well and I would have been done except it looks like the auto parts store sold me the wrong model of pump. The little rubber holder thing that holds that pump in the pump bracket won’t fit in like the original. So I am going to bring old pump and new pump and bracket back to the store today and ask, “what did you sell me?”.
The store was closed when I was working on the pump, and the parking lot is huge–maybe five acres–so I didn’t have to worry about the store employees not liking my fixing the car in the parking lot. It was late at night, snowing, and cold. A cop pulled up next to me at one point, looked me over, and drove away.
Too bad I have the wrong part, or it would have been fixed by now. It was easy to pull out.
returned the improperly fitting pump and got another from a different auto parts store. everything went back together smoothly. fired the engine up and it sure sounded fine. thanks for the help and encouragement.
I kind of figured you would be ok with this repair and thank YOU for letting us all know that it got done with a minimum of hassle anyway.
Glad to hear you are back on the road. Thanks for the update. No more banging on the fuel tank.