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Running out of gas = problems?

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 AM
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Running out of gas = problems?

As some of you know my life has been kinda crazy the last few years... A couple months ago this contributed to me making a mistake... I ran my car out of gas (my fuel/temp gauge are currently broken, and the fuel light apparently only works intermittently, so I had been using the trip meter as a gas indicator...).

I have never done this to a car before and felt pretty stupid... I think the slope it was on was making it a little harder for the pump to pick up gas, as (based on my average mpgs and trip meter) I should have had a few miles worth of gas left... I never should have let it get that low in the first place as it probably dredged a variety of **** up and sent it on it's merry way to my motor...92 has had some 250,000mi to collect ****.

The miles on the trip meter had totally eluded me that morning before work (I had planned to get gas, but spaced)... Not even thinking about it that afternoon I did try to crank it quite a few times as it acted like it wanted to start... that was not the best idea, but I was having a slow day (one of many).

I've put maybe 1000-1500 miles on the car since this happened, and I have noticed a drop in MPGS from 27-28 down to 24-25. It also would not crank on a steep slope again after this and I had to roll it to level ground... plenty of gas that time! I am not 100% sure that this drop happened at the same time I ran it out of gas... I've managed to lose the sheet I tracked my MPGs on... which is just classic now that I actually need the damn thing...

So, my questions to you guys:

1) Typically, how problematic is running out of fuel in the first place??? What are the primary concerns (any other than pulling the sludge into the filter, injectors, etc???)

2) What steps do I need to take to help correct this??? Should I stop driving it until I get my fuel filter changed again (just did it in Feb., but I have about 12 more at the house...)??? Do I need to do anything other than change the filter, or should I see if that helps first??? I can run some lucas tuneup to help clean it out some...

Based on what I read online, I think I will always fill up by 1/4 tank from now on... better for the pump and less likely to get the sludge...

Please forgive me for doing this to my Lude!!!! Thanks guys!

Last edited by mr_y82; 09-27-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:22 PM
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missin' the lude.

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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Hey man, to answer your first question, I found this to be kind of useful:

Is it really bad to let your car run out of gas? - Yahoo! Answers

I personally don't think it's going to kill the rest of the engine's life span, but it might be a good idea to clean the fuel injectors/get new injectors.

To answer your second question, I would at least change the filter before driving it again.

Good luck to you brotha!
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:35 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

wouldnt hurt to change the filter. i never seafomed my car but from what ive seen on this site about doing it, it seems like a good idea to do and everyone got some positive results from it
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:32 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Thanks guys. djp, I read that same page before posting... just wanted to reassure myself with some opinions I trust. SoFla, I have never tried seafoam either, but I read about it as a remedy as well...

hope the pumps ok... wish I would have looked at the trip before trying to crank it again...... kdfj
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:55 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

i would try some simple remedy's first and see what happens
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:08 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Will do... was planning on having a timing belt/tune up soon anyway, so I will just have the motorsports shop look it over while they have it.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:56 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

thinking about whipping out the chilton's and throwing a new filter on the lude.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:35 AM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Damn man, sorry I missed this thread! Change the filter first, remember to depressurize the fuel system by removing the gas cap and have rags ready for the remaining fuel at the filter. Just open the first banjo bolt enough to break the seal, catch the fuel, wait for the sucking sound to stop and then finish removing it. Gas in the eyes hurt like a smurfer.

If the problem is still there, get an in line fuel pump, factory is always expensive. As a piece of advice: never drive till enough. You can keep one fuel pump running forever just by leaving 1/4 tank in there. Most are built to use the gas as coolant and lubrication. You never run your engine on 1 quart of oil right ? Same difference. Let us know the good news bro!

Where's the new car! I was expecting it in off topic, no show. What's up?
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:21 AM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

I will tell you guys all about the new car when it (is supposed) to get here this coming week and I have some pics... until then it's gonna be a mystery :) ... along with pics of the totaled ford...

Changed the filter and put some lucas tuneup in the tank... Thanks for the advice... I read similar things elsewhere online and don't know why I've been a dumbass for so long... I was not in the habit of running it too low, but I might wait a little too long if I thought I was coming up on cheaper gas ... won't do that anymore. 1/4 tank seems to be the consensus...

we all knew those kids in high school that only filled their car up to 1/4 tank, and then tried to drive for a week with the fuel light on... it amazes me that some people manage to keep a car on the road.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:55 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

pics are up...

wreck: CAR VERSUS COW!!!!!

new car: 6th Gen. Prelude!!!
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:10 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

a little update... but first, a question... Could the fuel pump be a culprit for loss of mpgs after running out of gas??? I get the impression you do think so sideswipe...

fuel mileage is still down a couple mpgs after a new filter/ lucas tune-up in a bottle... so, I decided it's too cold to do my own brakes this time and it's time for a new timing belt on the h22 anyway.. I'm gonna take it to my motorsports shop (would have already had they not moved twice as far away), and have them do a few things, fluid changes, etc... maybe they can shed some light on the problem (i.e. injectors/pump as mentioned above...) and get me patched back up...

...in a few years the lude can become a boost project when I get myself a subaru BRZ...
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:18 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

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Originally Posted by mr_y82 View Post
a little update... but first, a question... Could the fuel pump be a culprit for loss of mpgs after running out of gas???
...in a few years the lude can become a boost project when I get myself a subaru BRZ...
Wait till they turbo from the factory. or just turbo the Civic. I like the BZR/SCION thing, but I already have a nice RWD.

Fuel economy is such pain in the ass. Just to clear the air, VTEC burns fuel like a V8. The fuel could be a bad EGR valve or PCV valve. If those get blocked, the ECU takes over.

Also the other problem is you had such great mileage because you had a clogged filter giving just the right amount of fuel so it didn't run rich. Get a DYNO and you'd probably got +20whp!

Now is the time to go through the PDF and diagnose the fuel mileage, although for a 1992 prelude sounds right.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:42 AM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

yeah, the BRZ "STI" should be a mini monster... I might just do that.

pretty sure I fouled something up since I kept such good records and def. developed the problem when I ran out of gas.... I was perusing google search earlier and came across the PCV valve idea... I'll be sure to have that and the EGR checked out... get the mani etc cleaned if I have to.

+20whp, lol... "butt dyno" says not, lude was tuned on the lean side (but I have always gotten black deposits on the back, but don't use much oil), and the problem developed before I changed the filter...

I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:51 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

ok...here's the deal...

took my car to my shop, Blue Ridge Motorsports... told them about my issues (had them do the brakes, lines, etc... while they had it... I'm lazy... also had timing belt/water pump done with h23 manual tensioner conversion, 20,000 mi tuneup for my h22/m2b4)... This is what they did that might affect fuel economy. They didn't replace the fuel filter again (I just did it in Oct in case that was a culprit); not sure why I had one in the trunk for them and it was on the list...

-new NGK spark plugs (same as I had before)
-walbro fuel pump (the stock one was ancient and I didn't want to get left sitting)
-replaced cheap dry flow cone with K&N cone air filter
EDIT: -replaced PCV valve


Problem??? I was getting around 23-24 mpgs before all this (I told them I was hoping they would do something that would get me back to the 27-28 mpgs I was used to), and I still seem to be in that boat... I've had the car idling more than usual... but not that much... I want to take some longer trips and see if I am doing better, but I'm getting pretty frustrated (having mouse problems again too...****!!!!)

So... What the **** do I need to do???... am I going to have to tear the intake manifold off and clean some ****??... seafoam? I bought a box of like 12 purolator fuel filters a few years back... it was only a few months after I put the first one on that I ran out of gas and started having trouble... I can't remember the timing exactly... could the fuel filter have anything to do with this??? I might buy one with our gift card at honda (from buying the civic) and see if that helps... if so I guess I'll get rid of the purolators... but I doubt that is the issue...

Any advice is greatly appreciated...


They also replaced the PCV valve and did various seal and such, and I needed a master cylinder... MTF replaced... and (again because I am lazy and busy) I had them fix my climate controls instead of working on it myself...

2000 in parts and labor later (I did have a lot done...) I'm getting kinda pissed about the troubles... at least I fixed my brake switch...

Last edited by mr_y82; 05-15-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Exhaust issue does not seem to be related to the fuel economy problem... I'm running out of ideas... I think I will try running some seafoam in it to clean it up and see what happens... Advice???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideswipe SI View Post

Fuel economy is such pain in the ass. Just to clear the air, VTEC burns fuel like a V8. The fuel could be a bad EGR valve or PCV valve. If those get blocked, the ECU takes over.
My motorsports shop changed the PCV valve... maybe I need to look into the EGR (I think they would have since I asked them to try to get to the bottom of the fuel economy thing)..

As always, Thanks Sideswipe... I don't know about that extra 20 whp, lol...

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:53 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Well, that is the problem of owning old cars. Mystery gas mileage. We've narrowed the problem down to egr. Next thing is the motor. Just swap it for a f22 and see I you still have poor gas mileage. Probably a injector stuck on open. Who knows?
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:58 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

or, just swap in a v6 and call it a day. :P

I'll let you know if we ever get it figured out.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:02 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

have u changed the fuel filter, injectors?
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:13 PM
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Re: Running out of gas = problems?

Have not replaced the injectors... if sea foam doesn't do it that might be the next step... or the egr as sideswipe advised.

I appreciate the support...

On another note... seeing as I have to get this hole in the flex pipe resolved, I might try to scratch together the money for a hytec replica... assuming that would be okay with my 2.5" crush bent exhaust... I don't know that I can get the whole thing replaced now. Should be fine, right?
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