Bad to wait until fuel light come on before refueling?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ryan Tsang, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    Several of my friends got into a discussion about this topic. Is there any potential damage to a car to consistently wait until the fuel light comes on before refueling?

    My stand is no. Correct me if I'm wrong....I believe the fuel pump works harder when the tank is empty. But there is still a safe reserve to get to a gas station. If there is any damage by waiting, automakers would have built-in a safety margin. That safety margin is the light, reminding you to go get gas.

    Their daddy sez you should never go past 1/4 tank because it will suck in dirty contaminants into your engine. Is there any truth to this?

    Any mechanics out there?
     
  2. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I usually refill when it's about 1/8-1/16 of a tank left (judging by the tank gauge), or 300 miles. But that means knowing your car, and whether you've gotten some increased mileage from doing more highway driving than usual.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    from what I understand two things are bad, #1 running the pump without much fuel, something about the pump uses fuel to cool itself and can burn out prematurely, and #2 sucking crud off the bottom of the tank, which I don't know about, the pickup is on the bottom anyway so I would think that would always be the case but who knows. It's just "what I've heard"
     
  6. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I would image as fuel evaporates it's quite good for cooling, I think that's a pretty common method, that one I heard form an uncle that was a mechanic for years.
     
  8. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "My wifes old 88 Jetta had the worst system ever; the light came on after you ran out of gas"

    I guess that's the best way to find out that you are JUST out of gas, and nothing major happened.

    In my Civic(2003) my low fuel light comes on with about 3U.S. gallons left in the tank.

    Seems kind of dumb to rush and refill when you have another 100 miles to travel.

    I also remember that Honda uses external fuel pumps, and only the pickup is in the tank.

    Brent
     
  9. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    My dodge truck as that DTE thing on the overhead (distance to empty). So far it has been VERY reliable, but I've never let it get below 30 miles.
     
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  12. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Don't you know that the E on the guage stands for excitement... [​IMG]

    I always run my 96 civic down below the empty guage and have never had a problem. I refuse to buy gas in town (10 cents higher) so I am always pushing it to get to the local station ($1.15 currently)
     
  13. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Your local gas is only $1.15????????
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yup, Atlanta has some pretty cheap gas prices. [​IMG]
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  16. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Jez, am I the only one with a gas light that comes on about 100 miles before empty?! It's very hard to judge when to fill by the light in my car.

    That said, I usually run the car till it's below the E because I live 1 block from a gas station and I know I won't have to push far [​IMG]
     
  17. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "Jez, am I the only one with a gas light that comes on about 100 miles before empty?"

    Rob; not reading my posts anymore[​IMG]

    Brent
     
  18. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I fill mine up when it gets to about half. Why you ask, ok. I can drive ~330 miles on a tank. The first 100 miles the needle doesn't even move 1/8th. After 300 miles it sill shows it has half a tank left. Then all a sudden you turn around and it's dropped half a tank in only 30 miles. Quality GM products! I've ran out of gas twice on this peice of crap judging by what the needle says.

    I've also heard that it sucks the crud off the bottom.
     
  19. NicholasL

    NicholasL Second Unit

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    Damn! here in LA prices just went down, but only to $1.95 for 87 unleaded. A few weeks ago, we were paying $2.20 per gallon of 87!
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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