Piston Slap: Denso'd Into Needless Markup?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC commentator/writer David Holzman writes:

Sajeev,

My ’99 Accord 5speed with 200k on the clock needs a new gas tank. The fuel pump is inside the gas tank. Should I get a new fuel pump with that gas tank? Changing the tank will cost about $600; including a fuel pump will add $300. I’m planning to keep this car another year and a half to two years, at which point it will have about 230k.

(I will replace it with whatever version of the Toyota FT86 reaches our shores provided the car does well repair-wise in its first year, and provided I like it as much as Bertel’s review suggested I would.)

PS: can you get this one up ASAP? I need to get the tank before I go on a road trip Dec. 24.

Sajeev Answers:

$300 for a fuel pump? Please check the prices on Rockauto.com and verify your shop isn’t marking up their parts costs.

That said, I don’t know if the pump needs to be replaced, there’s a good chance it will last 2 years. Even if it fails, you don’t need to drop the tank to install a new one. Tough call. A fuel pump should be more like $100-150 and labor should be nearly nothing considering the tank is dropped.

David replies:

Sajeev,

I suspect the $300 was for an OEM fuel pump. On Rockauto, they start at around $30, and a number of them are 100 and change. I guess one thing that makes me nervous is the thought of switching from my original to a non-OEM. I mean, it wouldn’t completely surprise me if the original went for a few more years and a non-OEM quit after a few years.

Sajeev Concludes:

I suspect that $300 was for the complete fuel pump assembly. Wait no, I never suspect that. As a tireless cynic when it comes to random mechanics giving quotes to my readers, I always go for the worst. That said, Rockauto sells the Denso fuel pump (OE part) for $118.00…and Denso stuff ain’t no joke, this is what you need.

Would a nameless, faceless shop charge over 200% markup for the same part you can buy online? Perhaps. It wouldn’t be the first time, son! Wrap up: there’s no wrong answer, replace or no. The only problem is the cost of said part.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com . Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

More by Sajeev Mehta

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 37 comments
  • Jweller Jweller on Dec 20, 2011

    FWIW - I have a 99 i4 5spd as well. It's got 260k on the original pump. since you can clearly see where the access is, replacing the pump in it is not really a lot of labor later on down the line. I could do it in a hour or so. I say just roll with the stock pump until it has to be replaced.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Dec 20, 2011

    @afuller: I don't see anything wrong with your retail markup. What's wrong is the outrageous Honda price on the tank to start with. Rockauto has a tank for a similar year Chevy for 79 bucks.

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
Next