I already mentioned that it appears?? the earlier fuel pump may last longer than the newer ones for some reason, but have no specific hard data on this phenomenon.
But again, its a personal choice if you want to run the car until it leaves you stranded.
I need to make a decision on my wife's 2006 E46 here soon. I can assure you that a PM fuel pump would be a BARGAIN compared to the drama that I will suffer, even if the car dies in the driveway and she is 100% safe and I have another car to get her to her ultimate destination on schedule.
My 16 year old daughter will soon take over our 2003 VW Beetle, not sure if the VW fuel pumps are like the BMW's, however, once she starts driving out of the local area, I will likely change the pump in it as well. Well worth the investment in my mind to hopefully keep her car reliable. Interesting that the pump in that car can be accessed from under the rear seat like the BMW as well. Will also put a pump relay in it as the pump primes in that car when you open the drivers door! I can tell you that the drivers door gets opened far more than every engine start!
Timing belt for that car is on the way was well. I look at it that I can replace the timing belt and plastic impeller water pump, tensioners and all parts for about $250 in parts and some of my time. Well if I do not change these things, the timing belt breaks, well the head has to come off and possibly 20 valves need to be replaced, then I still will have to replace the timing belt then anyway. Kind of like death and taxes, you have to change the belt at some point, I would prefer to do it on my schedule before having to remove the head and spending far more money that I need to! Also not to loose access to the car as well.
Heck I am worried about my 2005 GMC with 100k on it. I wanted to replace the fuel filter a while back, well it is built into the fuel pump and requires the pump to be replaced for the filter to be serviced as it is an integral unit! This requires the 26 gallon tank to be dropped as well. So I would prefer to replace this pump with the tank empty. This has been a very reliable truck and is my daily drivers usually, so I will keep the pump on my radar. Just did a PM radiator, hoses and thermostat as I was starting to smell coolant, but could not see anything. The radiator owes me nothing at at 7 years and I want to keep my truck reliable.
Its all about reliability and your schedule. I made people aware and then they can decide if it is worth spending $150 on the pump that WILL have to replaced at some point. To say well you may have AAA so towing does not cost me anything, but I have to remove the front bumper so the car does not get screwed up. Well when you are on your way to the wedding all dressed up and 200 miles from home when the car leaves you on the side of the road I certainly hope you still feel the same way then!
I try to maintain my cars to keep them reliable but not go over the top to much. I just hate to have something leave me stranded as with kids, jobs and other responsibilities, it is worth it to me to not get stranded or delayed.
You can see the number of folks that have read and appreciated this thread and replaced their soft failed pumps or shared their story of a failed pump and wished they had PM'ed it.
Even having a pump and the tools in the trunk is better than nothing!
Last edited by jfoj; 11-02-2012 at 04:41 AM.