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Old 9th September 2005, 19:57   #1
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Default The last liter of Petrol - Things to watch out for!

Just thought I'd share this little tid bit of experience and kick off a thread on it...

My fuel tank was damaged by a tow truck while lifting the car for illegal parking (a whole separate story) and I wanted to get it welded (should that be "braized"? not sure) ... The leak was from a hair line crack and petrol was wetting the bottom surface of the tank, but not dripping, so I judged it "safe to drive"... I refrained from filling it and kept just as much petrol as I thought was neccessary to get me to a nearby MASS and a little more just incase I needed to drive out. I know from experience that my Esteem tank holds exactly 7L when the fuel indictor is on the "E" mark... and I know that the car averages between 13 - 15 Kmpl...

I set out for the MASS at Thane (Navnit Motors on Kholshet Road), about 5 Km away from my place, when I was into my last 30Km and parked the car in the only slot available... with the car tilting about 15 degrees to the left.

The MASS was choc-a-bloc with flood damaged cars and they told me that the earliest they could even look at my car was 2 months! I decided to drive to the a local auto welder, but, when I tried to start her up, the engine came to life, coughed a bit and then went died... strangely, I could hear the fuel pump whining away continuously (it normally stops in a few seconds when the engine stalls) ... and I realized what was happening!

There was probably the last 1 - 2 liters in the suitcase shaped tank that was about the size of the rear seat... it could not have been more than 1/2 inch deep petrol... and the car was parked tilting sideways... The MPFI Esteem's fuel pump sits inside the fuel tank and sucks fuel from the center. With so little fuel in the tank and it being parked tilting sideways, no fuel was getting to the fuel pump intake!

I ended up having to buy an empty gallon, buy more fuel and fill her up a bit before I could get her started, even though I had enough of fuel to go where I wanted to!

So, here's my two paise's worth of advice (ain't got 2 cents )

When low on fuel:

1. Don't park on tilted surfaces as far as possible!
2. Know the position of your fuel intake pipe in your Petrol tank and park with the car tilting towards it if not on a level surface.
3. Don't leave the ignition on when the Engine is not running, if the fuel pump runs dry for too long, it will be ruined.

Other obvious stuff:
- Dont run the AC
- Dont rev unneccessarily; stick to highest gear possible without knocking
- Dont idle unneccessarily

I have heard people say that one should not let the fuel level go so low because then dirt & water from the bottom of the tank will get sucked into the fuel pump... can't understand the logic of that cuz I have seen that the FP sucks fuel from the BOTTOM of the tank! That's where the water / dirt would collect anyway! Right?

Guys & Gals, contribute anything else you think may be useful...

- T u r b o C -
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Old 9th September 2005, 20:58   #2
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It sucks fuel from the bottom, but due to vibrations etc., the dirt et al is mixed to an extent in the entire fuel. So if you have just a litre the percentage of dirt and impurities will increase.
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Old 9th September 2005, 21:05   #3
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When low on fuel:
the main thing which you should do is

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