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Did a DIY fuel pump repair on my Tata Nano; car restarts after 2 years

In 2022, I was very sad whenever I looked at my Nano in the shape it was in the go-down. I badly wanted it to start running.

BHPian silverstreakcbe recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Now I understand, the sense of satisfaction, happiness and pride, of all the fellow Team-BHPians who have worked on their car themselves and were able to fix the issues. Whatever i did was a small fix but the happiness that i got after cranking my vehicle to start was extraordinary.

A little bit of history, i brought my Nano LX Sunshine yellow in 2011 January. During Dec-2011, i drove it from Coimbatore to Trichy to meet my parents. On the day of return, the car did not start. After trying everything, it did not budge and since it was relatively new car, the ASS promptly came to check. Since we brought it from VST, Trichy, they showed some accountability. After checking for a while, they said the Fuel Pump was faulty and will be replaced without any cost. Thankfully, the part was available and they replaced it the same day and i returned to Coimbatore for my journey aboard.

Back to 2020, I had asked my dad to crank the car at least once every 2 days to keep the battery alive and also engine running. For some reasons, he could not do it and he left it in his parking for many months. My dad informed me that our Tata Nano was not starting. When i came back to Coimbatore, I tried cranking but would not start. After charging the battery and some self inspection, we concluded that there was some issue with the fuel pump.

Called the Tata Mobile ASS and they were very prompt in arriving and assessing the issue. They did not even charge me saying they will collect it when they come for part replacement. They confirmed that the Fuel pump was faulty and had to be replaced and that they did not have in stock and on paying 50% amount as advance, they will order one. I paid the 50% and waited. after 3 weeks, they called back and said the part has arrived and will come and replace. I was happy that they called and came to replace. They replaced the part and the car successfully started back once again.

I decided not to keep the vehicle at my dad's house just in case if he failed again to start the engine. I took it to my home and since we had place only for one car in portico, i had to keep it inside my go-down in the basement. I used to follow diligently to start the car once every 2/3 days, run it for 5-10 minutes, check all the levels and instruments working and then switch off. Since my Go-down is elevated from ground, it was hard for me to take it for a spin every time. But I was happy to be able to keep the engine running.

Due to some official work, I had to leave for a week out of station. After returning back, I tried cranking and the vehicle started. But due to some reason, on the second try the next day, it did not. How much every I tried, it did not start and it was evident that there was no sound coming from Fuel pump. So, once again I went on to the same cycle of checking the battery. But only this time, the battery was bust. The battery mechanic said, the Battery is dead and cannot be charged. Thinking it might be the issue, I brought a new one and replaced it. To my utter disgust, the battery was not the issue, it was the fuel Pump once again.

Again called the Tata Mobile ASS, they arrived and checked everything once again. This time they even changed the fuse, starter motor relay. It did not budge. Once again, the same story of fuel pump had to be replaced. I told then I will call once i get a replacement and then can be replaced. That's all, I lost interest.

Now in 2022, I was very sad whenever I looked at my Nano in the shape it was in the go-down. I badly wanted it to start running. There was already service due for other vehicles. I did it one by one and then came to my Nano. But only this time, I decided to do it myself. After some reading from fellow Team BHPians experience and Youtube videos, decided I will fix my car's fuel pump rather replacing the entire assembly. I got to know that the fuel pump motor is the main source of the problem. After some googling and checking on boodmo, I came to know that the motor comes along with filter as well. So, I decided to buy and replace and then try to revive my Nano.

Since I had a long weekend on 13,14 and 15 of August, I decided it would be the right time to do it. On 12th, I woke up, finished my morning tea and went straight to go-down. First thing was to remove the Battery and give it for charging as I knew since it was replaced as a new unit. After some painful effort and some time, removed the battery and gave it for charging. The battery guy suggested that it will be ready only the next day. I agreed and planned to procure the parts required by the time and keep it ready.

Old fuel motor:

Old fuel filter:

Assembly unit:

On 13th, i went and collected the Battery and with some curiosity, tried my luck in cranking, but no. Did not even budge. But the Good thing was, I knew all other instruments were working. Next, was to remove the Fuel pump assembly and take out the motor for buying a new one. This was very painful. The position of the fuel pump was very odd and I had to fight hard to get it out. After spending some 45 mins, I was able to take out the assembly. Now came the task of removing the motor. Since I also had the very first fuel pump replaced in 2011, was to play around and understand how to remove the motor from the assembly. After spending some 15-20 minutes, was able to remove it and understand the wiring to be put back.

Went and brought the Motor and filter combo. It costed me around 800rs. While returning, went to a electronic shop to get the wire soldered. Spent 25rs for the soldering. Also, brought petrol for 300rs in case if needed to replace. Now, all set for putting it back together. When i checked the fuel tank, it was horrible. The fuel was corroded and with some bad odour coming and also lots of dirt pieced inside. I decided to clean the fuel tank and used the old way of doing it using cloth. Put it in, soak petrol and squeeze it out onto a container. I spend some good one hour to clean all the fuel and also the tank to some extent. after convincing myself that it was ok to put it back, i assembled the fuel pump motor, with some effort the fuel filter on top and locked it in. Then placed the fuel pump back to place.

Fuel tank emptied & cleaned:

Old & new fuel pump motor & filter combo:

After soldering the wires:

Putting all together:

Only problem was, i could not put the circular metal bracket that comes with the fuel pump. The screws on the fuel tank did not align to the bracket that was there. So, i had to skip the bracket installation and directly put the fuel pump to the screws as it was earlier done by the ASS. After fixing it and then pouring the new fuel to the tank, time for truth.

As soon as I turned the keys on, I could hear the fuel pump motor run as it used to do earlier. Convinced that it will work, I cranked it, with one go, the engine came back to life on my first crank. I was happiest man at the moment. Excited to see my Nano back to life, i was happy to hear the engine roar again but only to be short-lived. The engine stopped after 5 minutes of running. I tried again, it started but stopped after 2 minutes.

Thinking the Fuel might have run out, I went and brought another 500rs of fuel and poured in. This time also, it started and ran for 2 minutes and stopped. Then I thought to check if fluid levels, opened the engine lid, checked the oil level, Coolant level, and also the radiator level. All were fine. I had a doubt on the radiator, so poured enough water to bring it to the brim. After closing the lids, tried again and it started. This time, put it on gears and tried to move, it was struggling. I tried to keep the throttle raised so that at least I can bring it out from the go-down. I put it on reverse and brought it out to some 3 feet, the engine went silent. This time, there was not indicator on ignition as well. Thinking something went really bad, I guessed it was due to battery loose fitting. I did not screw it all since just trying to revive. After putting the battery cables in place, tried, it started back to life.

This time, there was no struggling, the engine was running without any hitches. I was able to bring it out from go-down and then put to forward gear and take it out for a spin. But since it was idle for more and a year, one of the tyre was flat. I had to replace with the spare, but that was also down. So, went and got it filled up and then again replaced it. This time, started, it happily started and I took it for a spin. I drove for some 5-7 kms, got all four tyre pressure checked. My Nano was running as smooth as ever, the gears shifted like butter. I enjoyed the feeling. Then came and parked it near my home. First thing I wanted to do was to give it a nice wash, then discuss with my mechanic and do a complete service.

Since my wife also had a connection with our first car, she was also very much joyful to see it back to life. We both washed it and cleaned it and the Sunshine was once again glowing (only from outside). Then we decided to go for a short ride for evening and visit temple. By the time i got refreshed and ready, it was already late, so we decided to go to temple the next day and for the evening just do a small ride. My daughter also was happy to join. I informed up front that there was no AC and only natural air. They all agreed happily and we set out. Visited some eateries and has some chat items and came back. All this time, Nano was running absolutely fine.

Sunshine Yellow, shining:

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I was very a happy and satisfied person to see my Nano back on road. The next day, we got ready and took our Nano to nearby temple and did some customary rituals as it was once again back to road and this time we want it always to be. We drove for some 20-25 kms and came back to home. After checking with my mechanic, went and left the vehicle for service. Below are the fixes had asked to be done:

  • Tighten fuel pump screws along with the metal bracket.
  • Tighten and place the battery in its holder and bracket.
  • Engine Oil/Filter.
  • Coolant oil.
  • Gear oil.
  • Brakes.
  • Replace wiper blade (completely torn).
  • Put all screws in place for the engine lid.
  • Few other minor fixes.

This is the happy story for now folks, once the Nano is back, I am planning to do the below additions:

  • Replace new carpet.
  • Steering wheel cover.
  • New foot rest.
  • New seat covers.
  • New sun visor.
  • New rear parcel tray (broke off in 2011 due to those dumb people in service).
  • New speakers for the audio set.

Now I understand the kind of happiness it is for some who fix their own cars and see it working. Thanks to all Team BHP experts who helped me with their knowledge and advice. I will share the update once i get my car from service. Till then, bye for now.

Regards,

Raaghav K S.

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