Your bed mounts are safe, unless you live in Bedrock

Dear CarTalk:

I have enjoyed your column for years and actually learned a lot and saved myself money in the process many times.

Now, though, I have an issue of my own that I hope you can help me with. I have a 2001 Ford Ranger with 150,000 miles. Five weeks ago, the fuel pump started leaking, and the repair shop replaced it and the accompanying lock ring. They told me the pump and the lock ring were both broken (cracked).

Three weeks later, it started leaking again, and they said the pump was cracked again. They installed a new one for nothing but said if it happens again, we will have to figure out what is causing it. They mentioned shocks and struts and something about bed mounts.

The truck does not bounce around or rattle any more than any old pickup and certainly no more than when I acquired it five years ago.

Do you have any suggestions for what I should be looking for? thanks

— Gordon

How about a new truck, Gordon?

This is a strange one. It sounds like your mechanic suspects that your truck is getting slammed around to such an extent that it’s cracking your fuel pump — which is suspended inside the fuel tank. That’s why he mentioned bed mounts — the mounts that hold the bed to the frame.

That feels like a long shot to me. It’d have to be running on Fred Flintstone wheels to bang around hard enough to crack the fuel pump. And if it was riding that hard, it’d probably crack a bunch of other stuff, too, like your teeth.

So, I think the mechanic-to-English translation here was: If this happens again, don’t come back, ’cause I have no idea what’s wrong.

I see two possibilities here, Gordon. One is that your mechanic accidentally mangled the rubber gasket that goes between the pump and the flange on top of the metal tank when he installed that first pump. A bad gasket could be what caused that second leak.

If that’s the case, he’s already replaced it — presumably correctly — and it may never trouble you again. That would be the best case scenario.

If the problem does return, then I suspect the problem is the tank. There’s a flange welded to the top of the tank that the pump and the lock ring connect to, and that may be damaged. In fact, that may have been the cause of your original leak.

So, if the problem returns, the next thing I would do is replace the fuel tank itself, which costs about $200. And if that doesn’t work, reread the first line of my answer, Gordon. Good luck.

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(c) 2022 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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