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fuel level/draw problem


Guest cwebx2

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Hello and thanks for any and all help. I have 89 Reatta, the second I have owned and love them. When I purchased this one at 1/4 tank on the gauge and 1/4 tank of fuel still left in the tank the vehicle quits pulling fuel from the tank. Any tips on what to check will help and I would also like to know what the fuel button on the dash is for, the one when you push it lights up the fuel gauge and shows only empty to 1/4 tank on the gauge. thank you CW

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Guest re-reatta

The second fuel gauge display just gives you a more detailed look at the remainder of your gas. My '90 coupe starts making noises in the tank, just before reading empty. I had to run out of gas once to convince myself that when the pump growls, I better feed the tank.

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Never let the fuel tank fall less then 1 half,I all ways keep the auto above. you never know if you will not be able to get gas due to bad weather.

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There are several things that can cause fuel tank problems. The pump is attached to the steel tube that exits the tank with a rubber hose ....... the one car that I have worked on was probably not a virgin so I am not certain if the hose is just a press fit or has clamps.... I guess they don't care it it leaks a little as it leaks back into the tank. So you can have a leak there inside the tank... more likely a bad rubber hose.

On the other end of the pump is a filter "sock" This is a plastic strainer to keep the big lumps out of the fuel. These can get plugger, they can collapse reducing the flow of fuel and they can come apart and plug themselves.

If your car is running well then you probably don't have a fuel feed problem and your problem is just the sending unit.

To verify the source of the problem, you can unplug the connector at the tank. The connector will usually be on top of the tank but there is enough wire so it can be moved to where you can see and work with it.

Unplug the connector (it should have a purple, pink/black, black/white wires)

If you connect the purple and pink wires together and look at the gage it should show FULL

Connecting purple and black together will read empty (remember you are jumpering the connector on the side that goes to the front of the car.

If you get the proper readings, the the unit in the tank is defective.

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Guest steveskyhawk

I agree with nemo but for additional reasons. The pump is submerged so the fuel not only keeps the pump cool but it provides lubrication. The guys I have talked to say that they never need to replace a fuel pump in a car or truck that has a full tank of fuel. In other words pumps fail when run low or dry. There is an old saying in aviation that says somthing like "the only time you may have too much fuel is if you are on fire."

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Guest Richard D

I read that the most useless runway is the one directly behind you. And that a rudder is a device that steers boats. Thanx Bax.

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If I fill from 1/4 tank all the way to full it takes approx 12 gallons, tank will not take any more fuel. I'm not sure how large the tanks are but I would guess 16-18 gallons. I need to refill before 175 miles which takes me almost down to a 1/4 with mostly freeway driving. If the gauge gets down to 1/4 then it stops pulling fuel and acts like empty tank. I know I could just keep over 1/2 tank but traveling from LA to Vegas it would be nice to fill up one time during the trip instead of 3 or 4 times. thanks for all the input and suggestions. CW

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If you are getting only 175 miles on 10-12 gallons, you have other issues. Your mileage should be better than that for highway mileage. The gauge could be off a bit. If someone replaced the fuel pump (common for this car) they may have bent the sensor a bit. it doesn't take much to throw them off and it's easy to do as you have to twist and turn to get the unit back in the tank. Most users here report highway mileage here at 25 to 30 mpg. If you aren't getting that, check o2 sensor readings and then the many other mileage robbers. O2 sensor's are $20+ and an easy switch. Padgett and others change them quite regularly as routine maintenance. The redneck way to check the gauge would be to carry a few gallons in spare and run it out once. Notice how far you went on the 1/4 tank and adjust accordingly.

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