Do you always fill fuel to full? - Page 2
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Thread: Do you always fill fuel to full?

  1. #11
    Newbie mercstryker54's Avatar
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    At half a tank I always fill up. Experience has proved to me that it saves replacing a fuel pump. In tank fuel pumps are not cheap. When you get down to fumes to many times it taxes the pump and can lead to failure. After 13 years working at O'Reilly Auto Parts/HiLo I have seen and heard to many stories about fuel pump failures.

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  3. #12
    OptimaForums Veteran KingFatty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercstryker54 View Post
    At half a tank I always fill up. Experience has proved to me that it saves replacing a fuel pump. In tank fuel pumps are not cheap. When you get down to fumes to many times it taxes the pump and can lead to failure. After 13 years working at O'Reilly Auto Parts/HiLo I have seen and heard to many stories about fuel pump failures.
    What is your theory for why fuel pumps fail? I understand that the fuel can keep the pump cool, so you don't want to run the pump for excessive periods with zero gas in the tank.

    But I feel like whether you have half a tank of ten gallons, or an empty tank with only one gallon, your fuel pump will be just as happy keeping cool with one gallon or ten or 18. So I don't see how refilling at half tank would make your fuel pump last longer?

  4. #13
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    My two cents guess--perhaps at very low fuel tank levels (e.g., 1-2 gallons of gas left) the fuel pump may be partially *exposed* (i.e., not completely immersed/covered by gas); also there is the possibility that *sediment* can collect at the bottom of the fuel tank, so at low fuel levels the sediment may be stirred up more and thus sucked into the fuel pump. Sure the fuel filter (if there is one) might catch much of it but even then fuel filters can get clogged, thus causing the fuel pump to work even harder.

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  6. #14
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    I get fuel at about 1/4 tank, and always fill it up.

    ominousone

  7. #15
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    I always pull a Kramer and go until I am on vapors. 100k on the 2013 sx and never had a problem. So this can likely be chalked up to a automotive nonsense issue. If I filled up at 1/4 tank I'd be filling up every 4 days since I get terrible mileage.

  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freetree123 View Post
    I always pull a Kramer and go until I am on vapors. 100k on the 2013 sx and never had a problem. So this can likely be chalked up to a automotive nonsense issue. If I filled up at 1/4 tank I'd be filling up every 4 days since I get terrible mileage.
    So you honestly think that the fuel pump in your Optima is bulletproof and can/will never go bad for as long as you own your car? The fuel pump in my 2004 Yukon eventually went bad at a little over 105K miles; if you were to tell me that I must have done something wrong to have contributed to the fuel pump failure, then please tell me what it was I did to have caused it to fail, short of my possibly pouring something other than unleaded gas into my fuel tank?

    To be fair, it is not beyond the realm of impossibility to get very long life out of a fuel pump but to insinuate that it's near-impossible for it to fail due to user habits (e.g., consistently running fuel tank to near-empty) is *nonsense*.
    Last edited by tonester; 05-17-2019 at 12:04 PM.

  9. #17
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    I'm not saying its impossible for a fuel pump to fail. I'm saying so long as the fuel pump has liquid flowing through it smoothly getting down to 1/10 full is not going to wear it any faster than 1/2. The only operational user error that would likely shorten a fuel pump life is running the vehicle to EMPTY. And that would be caused because the pump uses the fuel to cool the motor. If it is running uncooled it would possibily shorten the lifespan.

    My ONLY point was driving to 1/2 tank just to save your fuel pump is just classic unsubstantiated automotive nonsense.

    I'll let you know if my fuel pump fails but like I said I ran it to almost empty for 100k with no problem. And even if it failed now it could just be like the failure of any other part in the car. At this point in the vehicle life no individual part failure would surprise me.

    I think these topics are generated by people who can gas their car up every 4 days because they are retired anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by tonester View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Freetree123 View Post
    I always pull a Kramer and go until I am on vapors. 100k on the 2013 sx and never had a problem. So this can likely be chalked up to a automotive nonsense issue. If I filled up at 1/4 tank I'd be filling up every 4 days since I get terrible mileage.
    So you honestly think that the fuel pump in your Optima is bulletproof and can/will never go bad for as long as you own your car? The fuel pump in my 2004 Yukon eventually went bad at a little over 105K miles; if you were to tell me that I must have done something wrong to have contributed to the fuel pump failure, then please tell me what it was I did to have caused it to fail, short of my possibly pouring something other than unleaded gas into my fuel tank?

    To be fair, it is not beyond the realm of impossibility to get very long life out of a fuel pump but to insinuate that it's near-impossible for it to fail due to user habits (e.g., consistently running fuel tank to near-empty) is *nonsense*.

  10. #18
    OptimaForums Veteran KingFatty's Avatar
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    It would help to know the specifications of the fuel pump motor.

    Perhaps the motor has known operational parameters including temperature.

    I just wonder - how hot would the motor get without gas? Would it become red hot and smoke would pour out of the motor?

    Now think for a moment - IT'S SURROUNDED BY GASOLINE! Why would any car use a motor that gets hot enough to ignite gasoline, when it is designed to pump gasoline?

    Maybe I'm speculating too much, but I would venture a guess that the motor might be designed to tolerate a good amount of running without any gasoline. And even so, it would stand to reason that the motor would not generate explosively dangerous levels of heat.


    Could someone just explain how heat would cause damage to the fuel pump? Because my impression that in order to cause damage, you'd need a lot of heat. But that's nonsensical because then you'd risk igniting the fuel vapors due to heat. So how can there be enough heat to cause damage to the motor, but not enough heat to cause a fire risk?

  11. #19
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    My guess is the fuel pump must be designed to shut itself off if there is no gas. In that case even running out of gas wouldn't hurt it. But we would need someone to confirm this idea.

  12. #20
    OptimaForums Veteran KingFatty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freetree123 View Post
    My guess is the fuel pump must be designed to shut itself off if there is no gas. In that case even running out of gas wouldn't hurt it. But we would need someone to confirm this idea.
    Oh, right, I didn't think about that. Has anyone run a fuel pump in air, just to see how hot it gets and how long it would run before it fails?

    maybe it's like we have X number of hours of operation in air before failure, and 100X number of hours of operation in fuel before failure?

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