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Old 01-05-2015, 06:25 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 46
Fuel pump gauge

My fuel pump went out at 255,000 miles while driving cross country. Filled up 40 miles prior to failure but fuel gauge did not show "full." I have now seen it reported that failures are often immediately preceded by gauge problems.

Lost power, low geared to truck stop 10 miles away and then it failed completely. Had AAA 200 mile tow insurance and flatbed arrived w/i an hour.

My '99 ML320 had the old filter which I had never upgraded and changed. Had to this time because of the new pump plumbing. Dealer wanted $882 for all parts but my Seattle corner mechanic (Continental) charged me $750 for parts and labor and says they are original equipment. These prices seem high compared to on-line discounts but I needed the wheels, the upgrade leaves room for confusion, and gas is at relatively high pressure in lines adding a safety concern to repairs.

Gauge still wasn't right but I removed fuse 13 with ignition off and reinstalled fuse with ignition on to successfully recalibrate.

An unexpected rationale for changing fuel filters to save pumps.
The argument for replacement of filters despite clean US gasoline is the pump is in the gasoline tank and all the moving parts, including the brushes and commutator (they spark if in the air), are directly immersed in gasoline. Better if that gas were routed through a clean filter before conveying microscopic grit from the tank into the brush assembly where the grit can accelerate wear.
Got 255,000 miles out of my pump anyway.

Last edited by Arminius; 01-05-2015 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 46
Gauge reads empty

My last post was incorrect. After filling the tank, the gauge read "empty" for about 30 miles. The fuse trick may work on a post 2001 but not on my '98.

What worked was rotating the fuel pump about an inch counterclockwise. Fill the tank. Pull some of the fasteners and rotate the rear drivers' side seat forward sufficiently to peel back the carpet and expose and remove the tin access plate. Mark the location of the pump retaining ring as you have to unscrew it about 2 full turns with a hammer and a blunt punch. Turn on the ignition and rotate the fuel pump to the left till the gauge reads full. Tighten the retaining ring as it was before loosening. Clean and silicone the access plate into position. Replace seat.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 46
fuel pump cost $65.20

The MB BS line is getting to me. I paid an independent over $800 to replace the pump and do the filter upgrade, thinking I had to get the filter done to have the right number and correct type of lines. When the fuel gauge had the problem referenced above, I figured it would be easier to fix it myself.
I fixed the gauge and found the pump only has 2 lines. My mechanic said it was "OE" but it doesn't have the Mercedes logo on it. Turns out all the replacement pumps are advertised as OE so my mechanic wasn't lying. However, they only cost $65.20 on-line and are delivered overnight. Thing just pops right in!
Best to just tear into problems and not invent complicated reasons why you shouldn't get started, like always.
Here's the video of a replacement done using only a Leatherman tool:
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