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Is it bad to let your car's gas tank run to empty? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Is it bad to let your car's gas tank run to empty?


Thunderball
03-30-06, 02:51 PM
I've googled on this for a bit, and I've found both YES and NO answers.

If it was really bad for your car, they'd have a built in warning system to yell at you the moment you get below "danager" zone. Someone told me it burns out the fuel pump faster.

I figured I'd ask you guys.

Fact or fiction, its bad to let your car run all the way down to empty before reilling the tank.

RunBandoRun
03-30-06, 02:53 PM
I don't know about the fuel pump itself, but it can damage the fuel injectors. Most cars have a low-fuel light -- that's your warning system.

The Bus
03-30-06, 02:56 PM
Yes. To be safe, any time your near a quarter tank of gas, you want to fill up. Long story short, any sediment in your fuel tank gets guzzled up and either:

- trapped in your fuel filter, shortening its lifespan
- burned in the fuel injectors or engine, damaging your car's performance

Y2K Falcon
03-30-06, 03:10 PM
You also could get stuck somewhere unintended, looking for fuel...

Charlie Goose
03-30-06, 03:15 PM
Most importantly, never EVER fall for a banana in the tailpipe.

Minor Threat
03-30-06, 03:20 PM
Some cars have the gas pump inside the gas tank - running out of gas will cause the gas pump to burn up.

BassDude
03-30-06, 03:33 PM
Yes. To be safe, any time your near a quarter tank of gas, you want to fill up. Long story short, any sediment in your fuel tank gets guzzled up and either:

- trapped in your fuel filter, shortening its lifespan
- burned in the fuel injectors or engine, damaging your car's performance

Concur. Cream may rise to the top, but the crap in many gasolines settles. Best ta leave it there as much as possible.

4KRG
03-30-06, 03:51 PM
This is something I would say was once fact and due to technology and better automotive designs has turned into fiction, with a couple minor exceptions.*

* One minor exception is in cold weather. You want to keep your gas tank as full as possible to avoid condensation inside the tank

* The second would be if you have a car that submerges the fuel pump in gas inside the tank to keep it cool during operation. It is *possible* you could hurt the pump on a completely empty tank.


The theory that a ton of crap will suddenly rush into your engine when you run out of fuel is complete bunk. All cars today have a fuel filter that will keep this from happening. Fuel is always taken from near the bottom of the tank anyway, even if the tank is full, so you will suck stuff in no matter what if it is in the tank to start with and in a position to get sucked in.

Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.
03-30-06, 03:55 PM
no, its not bad at all!

Seantn
03-30-06, 03:55 PM
If it was really bad for your car, they'd have a built in warning system to yell at you the moment you get below "danager" zone

NEVER, and I mean NEVER let your car go below the danager zone.

Jeeden
03-30-06, 04:02 PM
Here's a thread:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=459205

Giantrobo
03-30-06, 07:04 PM
You also could get stuck somewhere unintended, looking for fuel...


Yeah, I was just telling a friend who -always- waits til the light comes on.

Living here in California means that a Quake, or race related rioting for that matter :p , can happen at any time and and you could get stuck with no gas when all the stations are shut down or price gouging.

TomOpus
03-30-06, 07:15 PM
Here's a thread:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=459205

This thread and that thread should've been a poll :grunt:

The Bus
03-30-06, 07:42 PM
This is something I would say was once fact and due to technology and better automotive designs has turned into fiction, with a couple minor exceptions.*

* One minor exception is in cold weather. You want to keep your gas tank as full as possible to avoid condensation inside the tank

* The second would be if you have a car that submerges the fuel pump in gas inside the tank to keep it cool during operation. It is *possible* you could hurt the pump on a completely empty tank.


The theory that a ton of crap will suddenly rush into your engine when you run out of fuel is complete bunk. All cars today have a fuel filter that will keep this from happening. Fuel is always taken from near the bottom of the tank anyway, even if the tank is full, so you will suck stuff in no matter what if it is in the tank to start with and in a position to get sucked in.


It's not theory, it's fact.

In your example, you've pointed out that all it does is go into the fuel filter. Like I said, easy way to lower the life of your fuel filter.

kantonburg
03-30-06, 07:48 PM
Although I'm probably jinxing myself. My car ran out of gas for the first time about 2 months ago. My fuel pump is inside my gas tank. Long story short. It still works. I consistantly run my car to empty. It's almost 11 years old. Same fuel pump.

Breakfast with Girls
03-30-06, 07:52 PM
If it was really bad for your car, they'd have a built in warning system to yell at you the moment you get below "danger" zone.
Revvin' up your engine
Listen to her howlin' roar
Metal under tension
Beggin' you to touch and go

Highway to the Danger Zone!
Ride into the Danger Zone!

Headin' into twilight
You're burnin' rubber tonight
She's almost out of gas
And there's no pump for miles

Highway to the Danger Zone!
I'll take you right into the Danger Zone!

They'll never say hello to you
Until you get it below empty
You'll never know what you can do
Until you get it down as low as you can go

The needle's way below E
Always where I burn to be
The further below the line
The hotter the intensity

Highway to the Danger Zone!
Gonna take you right into the Danger Zone!

<i>Highway to the Danger Zone!!!</i>

4KRG
03-30-06, 07:54 PM
It's not theory, it's fact.


If you have crap in your gas tank, it goes down the line no matter the fuel level.

Just because the fuel level runs low, doesn't magically mean crap goes down the line.

and

the opposite is also true, just because your tank is full, doesn't mean crap won't go down the line. If you don't belive me, go dump a pound of dirt in your full tank of gas and see what happens, a gallon of water would also prove my point.

If the filter catches crap, then it is not in the engine, right?


In your example, you've pointed out that all it does is go into the fuel filter. Like I said, easy way to lower the life of your fuel filter.


The fact is that crap sticks in the filter **NOT** in the engine. Who gives a crap about the cost of replacing a filter? The life will be the same no matter the level of fuel in tank.

Condensation in the colder months is the biggest problem with a low tank. A $1 bottle of dry gas will cure that.

namja
03-30-06, 08:08 PM
So ... YES and NO.

Do octanes matter? Again, YES and NO.

DVD Polizei
03-30-06, 08:29 PM
Most importantly, never EVER fall for a banana in the tailpipe.

:sad:

atari2600
03-31-06, 08:07 PM
Although I'm probably jinxing myself. My car ran out of gas for the first time about 2 months ago. My fuel pump is inside my gas tank. Long story short. It still works. I consistantly run my car to empty. It's almost 11 years old. Same fuel pump.

haha me too - http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=459205

oddly enough i just saw another guy on the side of the street yesterday who ran out of gas. guess its becoming a cool thing to do :)

DarthVong
03-31-06, 08:12 PM
Shouldn't be a problem unless 2 things happen.

1.You run out of gas in West Virginia around the Kanawha River.

2.You have a "purty mouth"

Patman
03-31-06, 10:19 PM
For some reason, this was a topic of conversation at my workplace as well. One of the ladies was talking about not wanting to stop at certain gas stations, and running the risk of running out of gas due to her perceptions of those gas stations have crappy gas. Then it went to how long they could drive on fumes (given the gas needly reading just below empty). I thought they were nuts to be driving on fumes or low gas levels. I tend to re-fill when I go about 250 miles on a tankful of gas (can easily get 300 on a full tank, and over 360 if I'm doing highway driving).

criptik28
03-31-06, 10:49 PM
These days I seem to be running my gas tank pretty empty, until the warning light comes on.

That's not good, considering on any given day I may be stuck in horrendous Atlanta traffic.

Quake1028
03-31-06, 10:58 PM
The real question is: does using your AC burn fuel and cause your MPG to go down?

The Cow
03-31-06, 11:24 PM
It costs more to fill up if you let your tank run down.

MartinBlank
04-01-06, 12:20 AM
The real question is: does using your AC burn fuel and cause your MPG to go down?

Regardless of the AC burning fuel or not, your MPG will stay the same, you're just now using fuel to power the AC....techinically, you'll still get ?? miles per gallon as you drive. Semantics.

VinVega
04-01-06, 10:19 PM
Regardless of the AC burning fuel or not, your MPG will stay the same, you're just now using fuel to power the AC....techinically, you'll still get ?? miles per gallon as you drive. Semantics.
What?

Using the AC, or any electrical system will put more of the car's energy into running those things instead of making the wheels go round and round, so it will effect your fuel economy.

If you want the best mileage you can get, keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer's standards, avoid using a lot of electrical devices that pull from the altenator (ie the AC), don't drive with a lot of crap in the car (keep extra weight down), along those lines, don't fill up at half a tank, let it get down to at least 1/4 of a tank, so you're driving longer with less weight in the tank, and avoid stop and go traffic.

HistoryProf
04-02-06, 01:23 AM
I had a cutlass ciera that got better mileage with the AC on than with it off. I tested it numerous times on numerous trips...AC on always averaged 4-5 mpg better. Figure that one out.

joltaddict
04-03-06, 12:25 AM
Every once in a while you gotta let the car know whos boss.
Keep your pimp hand strong.