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Re: 4000SQ starting probolem: Fuel pump relay for $400? Hmm..?

Huw Powell says:
> well, this why we learn how (and ask how) to fix our cars ourselves...

Yes, unfortunately I heard many different possibilities, and didn't
know which one it might be!  I actually made the dealer a possible
list in which I summarized the possibilities.  One thing I suggested
was the fuel pump, and said that it had starting buzzing lately (it
had been quiet).  He told me it could be the relay and even explained
how to test it by bypassing it.  But when I brought up the fuel pump
later, he insisted the car was getting fuel, and said it was an
ignition problem.

But it sounds like people here think that diagnosing a bad fuel pump
relay isn't easy, so I should pay the $400.  Since the problem was
intermittent, I think I can understand the time, so I'll pay up.

> they have a legitimate labor charge there, they spent the time, anyone
> might have - or longer.  Too bad about the relay, would have been
> cheaper elsewhere, but the dealer is where the job was done.  You also
> got some smoked wires replaced, that's a Good Thing.

Actually the problem there was I crossed a power wire with the tiny
ground for the LED in the headlight switch when replacing a melted
headlight switch.  I replaced that tiny wire, but it was bundled
with other wires that were slightly damaged.  Didn't ever seem to
cause any problems though.  I put in a new wire for the LED.

That was the second headlight switch I'd melted.  The only possible
culprit I've found is the frayed tail light wires going into the trunk,
which I've taped as a temporary (2-3 years now) fix.  The headlight
switch still seems to heat up on occasion though.

> You can't expect them to be able to instantly pinpoint an electrical
> problem, and unfortunately you also can't expect to just pay for the
> thing that finally fixes the car.

I agree, my question was really, how hard should this be to diagnose?

> condolences.
> but hey, it runs great now, right?

Picking it up today, will let you know.  I'm not getting my hopes up
too high.  They always seem to take a few tries to fix anything.  They
replaced my fuel distributor, blaming it for fuel leaking out of my
air filter housing.  When I got it back - same problem.  Then
they said they made some adjustments, which seems to have fixed it.

Looks like part of the "adjusting" was sealing the little door on the
bottom of the air filter housing with rubber cement, and my fuel filter
looks new too.  Very strange.  (This was all about 6 months ago.)

Anyway, I decided to not complain, as it seemed anyone might have
thought I had a bad fuel distributor.

John Baker
'85 4KSQ for myself
'98 Honda CR-V 4WD for the wife (and me when my Audi's broken!) 
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