As is prone to happening in life, sometimes even our most reliable of things let us down from time to time.
My car, Svetty, is an old dame.
She runs exceptionally well most of the time, but this past summer she's begun experiencing an ongoing procession of hiccups and age related problems that has resulted in several costly replacement part installations. Between batteries, spark plugs, cables, hoses, and now a fuel pump, she's gobbled up a good portion of my finances. It's all well worth it to me in the end if I can get my old car up and running again, as I genuinely aim to keep her until she falls to pieces. Ideally I'd like to get her into the million mile club, but to get there I'm going to have to overcome obstacles like this from time to time. It's all part of the process.
As she was incapable of driving, I ended up going with YourMechanic for the repairs as they were a mobile mechanic company that could diagnose and repair issues without having to leave your home. My mechanic, Patrick, was exceptionally pleasant and didn't mind my hanging around watching, photographing or asking questions throughout the process.
Once he got the old bird propped up off the ground, he got to work.
The original fuel pump, tucked away inside the trunk compartment, was all dusty after years of use!
Patrick had to crawl inside the trunk to remove the original pump. One thing he noted that he found interesting was that the hose was engineered to create a complete seal without needing additional attachments. Well done, engineers of Volvo.
Once he got the pump loose, we had to drain the gas down a bit to prevent it pouring all over the place. He utilized an air compressor in a clever method that mimicked blowing bubbles into a straw to create a vacuum displacing the gasoline and cause it to pour into the containment vessels I had.
There's some build up inside the tank :( Something I'll have to look into later…
Fortunately! We were able to save most of my gas, so I still have a full tank!
Once he pulled the old part out of the car, it was obvious why she was having hiccups. The filter that protected the original fuel pump had disintegrated and was likely just clogging the system now.
Stained yellow from years of soaking in the gas, or came that way?
I thought they looked remarkably like little sci-fi ray guns…the new one, on the right, is shock white! You could see the pump mechanism inside the downward facing tube. Neat!
I like learning how these things work.
Size comparisons on the fuel pumps and filter.
Patrick was a good sport and posed with the fuel pump/sci-fi blaster for me!
The shiny new pump and car are prepped and ready for installation!
All plugged back in together!
The new fuel pump worked great for two days…I drove her around the block not long after repairs were completed and she handled beautifully, accelerating better than she had in months and starting up immediately! When the battery started to go sour she started sputtering on ignition and over the course of several months it gradually grew worse until the battery died. Even once the battery had been replaced she had a lingering hiccup during ignition and now it appears the alternator has gone bad on me.
If it's not one thing, it's another, right?
So it goes.
At least it was a pretty day!
Life goes on.
She'll be back in working order eventually, and hopefully the alternator isn't nearly as expensive to replace as the fuel pump was!