Should my mother's mechanic have caught a failing fuel pump earlier?
March 21, 2012 11:56 AM Subscribe
Should my mother's mechanic have caught a failing fuel pump when he repaired a closely related relay?
posted by aaronbeekay to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
My mom has a 2002 Ford Focus wagon with 106xxx miles, which has recently had a few fuel pump issues.
Earlier this week, her car died on the road and refused to start again. After some troubleshooting on the side of the road, we got it towed to my mechanic, who passed it along to his "electrical guy". That guy dropped out the fuel tank and checked the fuel pump- he says it tested good. He then did some troubleshooting on the associated wiring and repaired bad wiring and a relay- the work order says "NO START REPAIRED WIRING, R/R CCDM RELAY".
Fast forward about four days. The car dies again, won't start again, in the same way. We have it towed to the same place, where the diagnosis comes back: fuel pump is dead. The quote for part and labor is just north of $500, which jives with an over-the-phone quote from another local shop.
Should the mechanic have caught the failing fuel pump when he investigated the first issue, since he dropped the fuel tank out and said he tested the pump? The referring mechanic, when asked, said "that sucks, it sounds like you had bad luck but that sort of stuff happens, and you don't want to just go replacing good parts". This sounds fishy to me, but I don't know how quickly this part fails or how common this problem is. (Should the pump have been replaced as a matter of course when he went in the first time?)
I trust the original mechanic - he came to us with great recommendations. And I don't have a reason to distrust the "electrical guy" - he gave my mom a few pages of troubleshooting flowchart from Alldata and explained things well, it sounds like. But I'm suspicious anyway. Any insight?