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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 09-08-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
JayTee0115
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Fuel leak after fuel pump install. -Long Read-

So my '01 E46 wasn't starting and I realized it was my fuel pump gone bad. I DIY replaced my fuel pump and bam. It started. So I went to work, then after work I go to fill up my take which was at less than 1/4th a tank.

Around the 8 or 9 gallon mark of filling my tank, I hear dripping on the ground and smell fuek, then I noticed about maybe 1/8th a gallon spilling on the ground from under my car. It stopped when I stopped pumping so I'm thinking maybe I have a full tank. But full tanks usually leak out the nozzle inlet? I go to start my car and i only have 3/4 full.

Could I have damaged the tank when installing the new pump, or not put it in tight enough? I know I installed the rubber seal correctly and snapped it into place and the metal ring is securited pretty tight. The only thing I can think of is I had to cut the very end of the fuel line to get it off the pumps inlet. But I put TWO of the squeeze type easy clamps. I feel like I should replace with the screw type clamp and some electricians tape to seal before the clamp.

Any input?
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
blarf
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This is why I'm afraid of buying used cars. Put the proper type clamps on it and it will seal fine.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
serdar255
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I had the same problem. You didnt seat the gasket correctly.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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So the gasket is the large rubber seal correct that comes out with the pump?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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There are plenty of DIY's on Fuel Pumps. The rubber ring is supposed to be fitted onto the tank before you finally install the pump from what i remember
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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Replace the gasket?

No one mentions here if you replaced the fuel pump gasket when you replaced the fuel pump. Did you?
All DIY's I read before I did mine mandated replacement of the gasket which goes for about $6.
And no DIY's mentioned that with a new gasket made the re-installation of a fuel pump difficult. The new gasket had to be compressed with a lot of force down in order to get the retaining ring to where the screw threads engaged. It would have been nice to have the official BMW tool for this retaining ring, but certainly this is doable without it.

Also think about what you said, the tank leaked as you were filling it. At that point the pump was turned off, so no fuel would have come out of the outlet. It had to be the gasket you just redid.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:49 PM   #7
kjy2916
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Check, I did exactly same thing as this one, and everything is fine.

And, from my experience, when u put the sealing ring, u might bent or damaged the fuel guage floating arm.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
2001bimmer330i
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Just a question about this since I will probably be doing this. Are there any safety measures needed since we are sitting on top of a tank of gas? Do you need to ground any tools, etc.? Just wondering about sparks during all the banging and maybe dropping something that sparks. Should the tank be empty? Thanks for any help.

Great video by the way.

Last edited by 2001bimmer330i; 02-22-2012 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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I didn't ground myself to anything. There were like no sparks when I was doing the process. So you should be fine. Just learn from my mistake and put the rubber O-ring back in securely or you'll get a gasoline smell and SES Light for your Fuel System.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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PLAN AHEAD and wait till your tank is down below 1/4 tank full.

Don't do anything blatantly stupid. Common sense.

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Originally Posted by 2001bimmer330i View Post
Just a question about this since I will probably be doing this. Are there any safety measures needed since we are sitting on top of a tank of gas? Do you need to ground any tools, etc.? Just wondering about sparks during all the banging and maybe dropping something that sparks. Should the tank be empty? Thanks for any help.

Great video by the way.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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Leak from O-ring or Clamps?

Hello Jay-Tee,

Are you sure it was the o-ring and not the clamps? Or was it perhaps both? I am having the same problem. Please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dmarie View Post
Hello Jay-Tee,

Are you sure it was the o-ring and not the clamps? Or was it perhaps both? I am having the same problem. Please let me know. Thanks!
Be more precise about your problem. What exactly are you asking?
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:16 PM   #13
dmarie
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I just purchased an '01 325i. Picked it up with 1/4 tank, and added $20 to get home. No real problems-- but in hindsight, there may have been a faint gas vapor odor noticeable at that time.

Next morning, I went to fill up at gas station. After 9 gallons, liquid gas started spilling fast from beneath the vehicle. Put it on the lift and leak was coming from somewhere at top of gas tank on rear passenger side and draining towards the outer edge of the car. Strong odor inside and outside of the vehicle.

Indy Mechanic on duty suggested that he will need to "drop the tank". But based on my research in this forum, it sounds like we need to pop out the back seat and check the seal and hose on top of the fuel pump.

Lady DIY mechanic wants to know-- What do you think?
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #14
Stinger9
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Thanks for the detail.
Yes, you are on the exact correct path.
You need to remove the rear seat and then the fuel pump/sender unit cover with the four 10mm nuts as per following a youtube fuel pump replacement. Then you'll be able to see the top of the fuel pump with electrical plug and gas line connected. Very possibly someone installed the pump incorrectly as the install is not intuitive.
First you must put the rubber gasket in, fitting the rubber flange inside the top of the tank opening. Then the fuel pump assembly fits into the gasket opening.
Take a look and report back if you don't see the answer there.

If this isn't it, hope it's not the fill tube connection. Whoever sold this car to you knew the problem existed. This is fraud.

Dropping the tank indicates the mechanic is not familiar with the e46. We are.



Will look forward to your feedback!

Last edited by Stinger9; 05-27-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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Thank you Stinger. I really appreciate your input. Promise to report back with results!
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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So I'm doing this right now cause my car wouldn't start and now I'm trying to put the retaining ring and is there a trick to it it won't catch and I see that its pressed down to where it should catch.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #17
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did you read my post here at #14 in all the detail regarding installing the fuel pump gasket???
If you do it the correct way it will work.

where exactly in SoCal are you?
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #18
billj3cub
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Fuel pump seal; which side goes up?

I replaced my pump and the seal leaked when filling the tank. I took it back out and am trying to determine which side of the seal goes up. I think the face with the notch or score mark goes down against the tank because it fits perfectly against the tank opening when doing a trial fit of the seal without the pump. With the smooth, somewhat curvy side down against the tank in atrial fit it does not seam to center up very well at all.
I have looked everywhere and can find no information telling which way to put in the seal. I guess I'll have to just try it then report back.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:56 PM   #19
Stinger9
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If you follow the #14 instructions, you'll know when the gasket fits in correctly. The knotches line up and fit together.
Read #14
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #20
billj3cub
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I figured it out! All our leaking problems are solved!

I finally figured it out why we are installing pumps and having them leak and at the same time finding it very, very difficult (almost impossible) to screw down the locking ring:

The description was not quite clear enough. The sealing ring should be seated on the inside edge of the gas tank with the flat lip portion of the seal resting on top of the tank and the rest of the seal protruding inside the tank.

Once the seal is properly in place the pump assembly can be slid the last couple inches into position with the last half inch giving a satisfying "thump" as the pump squeezes into place in the seal and the pump flange hits the seal and gas tank. It is easy-peasy to screw down the locking ring with the seal properly in place whereas it was almost impossible to do so with the seal fully outside the tank and getting squished between the tank and the pump flange.
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