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  #1  
Old 08-22-06, 09:03 AM
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Settle this ?

We have a dispute going over keeping your gas tank filled below 1/2 and if it will do damage. I have a 97 minivan and 95% of the time I keep the gas tank below 1/2 ( usually around a third) even in the winter months. Never had a problem. My mother in law never ever ( god forbid) will let her tank go below a 1/2 because someone once told her it could damage the fuel pump or something like that. who's right? Thanks
 
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Old 08-22-06, 09:48 AM
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I rarely fill untill the light comes on (ive got about 4-5 gal at that point) ive got 197,000 on the orignal pump

the only damage I can see is if you often run out of gas and the pump goes dry .

sounds like a old wives (or mother in laws ) tale
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-06, 10:20 AM
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I often run mine until the last few gals with no problems, my wife starts hollering she's out of gas when it gets close to 1/4

You might pick up more trash[or water] when the tank is near empty but I doubt it would hurt the pump - might cause the fuel filter to need replacing a little sooner.
 
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Old 08-22-06, 12:32 PM
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when the pump is submerged in gas it would tend to run at a lower temperature than if the tank was near empty and only partly submerged dont really think it has much affect on fuel pump failure.
 
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Old 08-22-06, 12:50 PM
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I think the older people "No offense" remember back before they started adding all the additives our fuel has in it these days. 30 years ago it was common to get fuel line freeze up due to moisture in the tank. With a low tank of fuel there would be a very good chance your car wouldn't start on a cold day due to the large amount of water that condensed into the fuel. Also the old tanks would rust on the inside from the water vapor. Now most fuel has additives to "dry" the gas to prevent fuel line freeze up. I remember about 15 years ago that was one of BP's big advertisments. "Gaurenteed no fuel line freeze-up".
 
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Old 08-22-06, 01:09 PM
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As long as you don't store the vehicle for extended periods of time with a third of a tank of gas or less; no problem! During storage, you should keep the gas tank near full (not topped off to give room for expansion) and use a fuel stabilizer.
Phil
 
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Old 08-22-06, 01:48 PM
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I like it full

The reason is it keeps the condensation down and the fuel pump under fuel. If you let your tank run close to emty and you go around corners or stop and go the fuel might slosh around and pump will suck air for a few seconds.
Also I feel better driving around with a almost full tank ready to go.
I do let it get less then half but not much.
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-06, 01:51 PM
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Ok, I'll play devil's advocate - every gallon of fuel you carry adds six pounds of weight to the vehicle, so the less gas in the tank the better your gas milage.
 
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Old 08-22-06, 02:12 PM
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[the less gas in the tank the better your gas milage]
That's a good point but it depends on your perspective!
Here in Michigan in the winter months, the roads can get pretty slick from the slush. snow and ice. Every gallon of gas you carry helps with traction!
Phil
 
  #10  
Old 08-22-06, 02:23 PM
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I agree with Mattison. Fuel line freeze up, in the northern tier of states, was once a big problem. Keeping the tank near full reduced condensation. When the oil companies started adding a de-icer additive, some offered to tow your car free if the fuel line froze while using their gas.
With today's fuels it's no longer a problem. However, I have heard that running the tank near dry too often can overheat and fry the fuel pump. Urban legend? Maybe, but I try to refill before the low gas warning dings.
 
  #11  
Old 08-22-06, 03:10 PM
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The reason I don't let it get really low is that you just never know when you're going to get stuck in traffic and not be able to get to a gas station.
 
  #12  
Old 08-22-06, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jcraft
.... tank go below a 1/2 because someone once told her it could damage the fuel pump or something like that....
The electric in-tank fuel pumps of todays cars are designed to be submerged in fuel
Constantly running some of them at a low level (below 1/4 tank) could lead to pump whine and even premature failure
Moisture, cooling, sucking air...all usually not fatal in low doses, but constant running @ > 1/4 tank could be begging for problems
 
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Old 08-22-06, 10:50 PM
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Tank should be at least 1/2 full at all times in case of an emergency think of running to the pharmacy in the middle of the night or one of your friends needing a ride etc.
You dont go around all day on a empty stomach why should the car be always near empty ? it doesnt make much sense to me.
 
  #14  
Old 08-23-06, 07:02 AM
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Talking Full or empty

"You might pick up more trash[or water] when the tank is near empty"
The fuel pick up tube is on the bottom at all times anyway so since water would be on the bottom how is full different from empty? Aside from the concentration of water and derbis to fuel.
 
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Old 08-23-06, 08:57 AM
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I m married to a woman who thinks E means get gas when you get around to it

I can't tell you the number of times I get in her car and the needle dosnt move off empty when you turn the key on .

thing is she has never run out that Im aware of ,,
 
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Old 08-23-06, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mango man
I m married to a woman who thinks E means get gas when you get around to it

I can't tell you the number of times I get in her car and the needle dosnt move off empty when you turn the key on .

thing is she has never run out that Im aware of ,,
honey? is that you???
 
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