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  #1  
Old 01-19-2017, 05:11 PM
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Exclamation Fuel Pump Lifespan warning

FYI
My fuel pump lasted 226,000 miles. Car just died while driving so about $700 repair with filter.
I cut the fuel filter apart, looked black but not that bad, no large particles. Not sure if it was clogged but does not matter, I was way past due. BMW says lifetime fuel filter but not true.

Change your fuel filter and pump yourself if over 150k miles in my opinion as colder climates harder on pump.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2017, 05:53 PM
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Not a bad idea, I should probably replace my fuel pump and fuel filter since mine are most likely still original at 213k miles.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2017, 06:01 PM
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Mine kicked out at about 195K right after a fillup in cold January weather almost 2 years ago to the day...had it towed to the shop to swap for a new one - thank goodness for the trap door, so I didn't have to sacrifice a whole tank of gas!
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:33 AM
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To be honest that's pretty awesome life at 200k+

My X is at 93k and based on that lifespan the fuel pump should outlive the car lol
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:39 AM
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Amazing X fuel pump lasted that long. My M5 fuel pump died on me with only 75k on it
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:17 PM
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My original E46 fuel pump is at 120K miles and my E53 original pump is at ~97K miles.

They are both on my radar to preemptively replace in this coming year to insure no surprises as a result of this high mileage component.

Mike
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:38 PM
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Studies show a fuel pump should last 4000-6000 hours. The fuel filter is probably 80-200x as large as "old school filters" so the filter really is lifetime, that said it also is the pressure regulator so not a terrible idea to replace every quarter million miles or so :-)

The pump is not difficult to replace. The siphon pump (left side) has no moving parts save the level measuring float. If the car can drive down to single digit distance to empty, don't need to worry about the left side of the tank.

226,000 miles means average of 45 miles per hour on an average amount of pump hours, not unreasonable if mostly highway miles. I personally wouldn't bother pre-emotive replacement but should my car make 200k (miles) I would maybe buy a pump and keep it real convenient (e.g. In the trunk on a cross country trip). With amazon prime you are only one day (often same day) away from a pump in hand and its not a one hour job to replace the pump.

If you live in the Midwest and are forced to use shitty gas, there is a single actual benefit: alcohol in the fuel greatly increases the lifespan of a fuel pump. Probably 30-80% longer lifespan. (With 20% alcohol it almost eliminated wear)

Amen for the trap door access to the pump! It's straight up brilliant. I built a proper tool to open the pump but you can get away with a screwdriver and hammer in a pinch. It's about 4/10 difficulty to replace the pump.

I replaced wife's at about 131313 miles (guess shouldn't have been surprised at the bad luck). Pump was still working ok-ish just weak and siphon pump wasn't working properly. Actual problem turned out to be a bad o-ring on the siphon pump. See my thread about the gas pump. Her pump would have lasted 10s of 1000s of miles but it didn't bother me a bit that I spent an extra $105 on a decent warrantied off-brand pump. I could tell it was pumping harder based on the test 6 feedback.

If you can get an idea of your average speed you can get a good sense of lifespan by multiplying by average hours.

A fuel pump should last 4000-5000 hours in clean gas, about 6000-8000 hours in polluted (alcohol added) gas. I didn't see an equivalent long term test for diesel pump.

I would estimate an average lifespan of 150,000 to 200,000 miles (30-40 mph average). With that type of range and that it's easier to change the pump than the battery or the thermostat, I wouldn't bother with a preemptive strike, however since the pump will likely "soft fail"; as soon as you see symptoms of a weak pump (can't maintain full power at WOT (wide open throttle) or can't drive down to 10 miles DTE then it's time to replace before it leaves you stranded. I definitely recommend driving down at least to the low fuel light regularly as a soft rail (weak but working) pump will typically show itself by the car stalling with out of fuel (lean no gas) code with 20-30L of gas in the tank.

It would not be too difficult to hook up a tube directly between the two tank hookups to measure the fuel volume the pump can push to get an objective measurement of the strength of the pump rather than guessing. I've seen the gauge that a shop would use and it may be inexpensive enough to own for preventative maintenance.

Thanks OP for the input to the group. Sorry to hear you got stranded the same recently happened to me twice a week apart because the car had a fuel pump problem but *also* a failing CPS so since the codes matched CPS I replaced that first without knowing the fuel pump siphon wasn't working so I got to "run out of gas" with 20% left on the gauge twice in a week.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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Interesting posts. Mine went out yesterday at 125K. Along with the alternator mount bracket gasket which causes an oil leak.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for those estimates on service life.

I'm a fan of not having surprises, so the further away from surprises I can be the better for my service uptime.

Just did a 1200 mile trip and once ran it down to 25 miles DTE, not a comfortable feeling since I had never been in that zone before with my E53. I quickly bought a couple gallons a few miles before my low cost planned fuel stop at Sam's Club in Joplin, MO. Felt a lot better

If I had a little gas can (with 1.5 gallons or so) in the vehicle at the time, I would have been less concerned.

Mike
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:06 PM
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As preventive maintenance it's quite important to drive down to at least half way into the low fuel light, it's the only way to know the fuel delivery is working properly. The way the x5 works, once below half a tank of gas, it is always using the last 8L of gas and there is no difference in operation down to a about 10 miles DTE e.g. up or down hills, cooling the pump etc, none of the "don't drive less than 1/4 tank" myths apply to an x5: down to about 1/30th of a tank the engine has no idea its low on fuel.
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