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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 05:12 am
Don't Taze Me, Bro!
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Default Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway, instead
of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and there...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html

Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because repeatedly
running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 05:28 am
mjc13
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

Don't Taze Me, Bro! wrote:

> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway, instead
> of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and there...
>
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>
> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because repeatedly
> running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.
>
>


While Fox "News" might on occasion slip and let a fact slip through
their filters, I wouldn't count on it. We've been running our cars down
to 1/4 or even 1/8 of a tank on a regular basis for 25 years, and have
never had a fuel pump fail. I just sold my 1986 Civic Si with the
original pump. It's much more important to replace the fuel filter at
the recommended interval.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 05:34 am
Bill Putney
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

Don't Taze Me, Bro! wrote:
> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway, instead
> of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and there...
>
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>
> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because repeatedly
> running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.


I see that thing about running low on fuel damaging fuel pumps posted
all over the internet, but personally I think that's total b.s.

All the critical parts in the fuel pump - bearings (bushings), armature,
brushes/commutator, pumping elements (vanes, rotors, or rollers) - are
constantly bathed in the fuel as it flows thru the pump. That
lubricates and cools the parts regardless of fuel level in the tank.

With regulator bypass pumping/circulation that modern cars have, there
is full volume of fuel going thru the pump at all times it is running
regardless of engine demand. The only effect of low fuel in the tank is
a slight temperature rise of the volume of fuel in the tank (due to same
electrical power dissipated in the pump being absorbed by less mass of
fuel), and that rise will be very small - power used by fuel pump is
small - temperature rise of the fuel in the tank and the tank itself
will be very small - lots of mass compared to the power being dissipated.

*BUT* - again - the fuel is constantly flowing thru and around all
internal components of the pump whenever it is running providing cooling
(unless you actually run out and the engine stops - but that is a
different scenario altogether, and even then, the pump will still be
full of fuel at that point with a full column of fuel from its lowest
end to the fuel rail - only the pickup will be filled with air, and
there won't be any flow - and most cars turn the pump off when the
computer senses that the engine is no longer running).

If anyone wants to argue this, be sure of your facts beforehand - I used
to design automotive fuel pump components.

Bill Putney
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
address with the letter 'x')
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 05:44 am
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

In article <%HP0k.6360$%Z1.4068@trnddc05>,
"Don't Taze Me, Bro!" <N00One187@NoWhere.Com> wrote:

> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway, instead
> of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and there...
>
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>
> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because repeatedly
> running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.


Um, no it won't.

Interesting that the article just threw that out there with no further
explanation. But then, that's Fox News for you.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 06:22 am
Enrico Fermi
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?


"Don't Taze Me, Bro!" <N00One187@NoWhere.Com> wrote in message
news:%HP0k.6360$%Z1.4068@trnddc05...
> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway,
> instead of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and
> there...
>
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>
> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because
> repeatedly running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.

It's like every "factual" story in the media is just all spin. So, is this
guy an Oil Company shill trying to get us to fill-up and inflate the price
of gasoline? A futures trader? A tow-truck operator? An idiot? It could be
anything but the truth. There is so much unadulterated BS in the media, from
NAFTA Superhighways to infomercials for Jack LaLanne Juicers. The Reader's
Digest used to be the main source of of this righteous nonsense (That's
Outrageous!) but now it is everywhere. Do you awaken with a painful need to
urinate? You need a new drug! Do your too-small briefs leave red marks on
your skin? It's cancer! My favorites are the ads for Lunesta: Side effects
many include drowsiness! WTF? Sorry for the rant...........


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 07:53 am
jim beam
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

Enrico Fermi wrote:
> "Don't Taze Me, Bro!" <N00One187@NoWhere.Com> wrote in message
> news:%HP0k.6360$%Z1.4068@trnddc05...
>> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway,
>> instead of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and
>> there...
>>
>> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>>
>> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because
>> repeatedly running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.

> It's like every "factual" story in the media is just all spin. So, is this
> guy an Oil Company shill trying to get us to fill-up and inflate the price
> of gasoline?


no, that could /never/ happen. not ever. not in a million bajillion
years. no sir.

oh, wait, the fuel pump thing is utter bullshit, so...



> A futures trader? A tow-truck operator? An idiot? It could be
> anything but the truth. There is so much unadulterated BS in the media, from
> NAFTA Superhighways to infomercials for Jack LaLanne Juicers. The Reader's
> Digest used to be the main source of of this righteous nonsense (That's
> Outrageous!) but now it is everywhere. Do you awaken with a painful need to
> urinate? You need a new drug! Do your too-small briefs leave red marks on
> your skin? It's cancer! My favorites are the ads for Lunesta: Side effects
> many include drowsiness! WTF? Sorry for the rant...........

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 09:35 am
hachiroku
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 05:53:18 -0700, jim beam wrote:

>> It's like every "factual" story in the media is just all spin. So, is this
>> guy an Oil Company shill trying to get us to fill-up and inflate the price
>> of gasoline?

>
> no, that could /never/ happen. not ever. not in a million bajillion
> years. no sir.
>
> oh, wait, the fuel pump thing is utter bullshit, so...



Once again you show how little you know.

The fuel pump is cooled by fuel. If you run on a low tank that doesn't
cover the fuel pump, it can fail prematurely. At $190~425 for a fuel pump.
it's probably cheaper to keep enough fuel in the tank to cool the pump.

What did I expect from someone who changes his oil at 12,000 miles whether
it needs it or not.

Reply when you get a clue...


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 09:36 am
hachiroku
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 06:44:48 -0400, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

> In article <%HP0k.6360$%Z1.4068@trnddc05>,
> "Don't Taze Me, Bro!" <N00One187@NoWhere.Com> wrote:
>
>> Consider filling up your tank and not letting it drop below halfway, instead
>> of keeping it on low and only putting in 2 gallons here and there...
>>
>> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361347,00.html
>>
>> Not because you could run out of gas and get stranded but because repeatedly
>> running on low tends to ruin the fuel pump.

>
> Um, no it won't.



The pump is cooled by the fuel in the tank. You want to keep in enough to
cover the pump.


>
> Interesting that the article just threw that out there with no further
> explanation. But then, that's Fox News for you.


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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 10:05 am
Elle
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Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

"Bill Putney" <bptn@kinez.net> wrote
> *BUT* - again - the fuel is constantly flowing thru and
> around all internal components of the pump whenever it is
> running providing cooling (unless you actually run out and
> the engine stops - but that is a different scenario
> altogether, and even then, the pump will still be full of
> fuel at that point with a full column of fuel from its
> lowest end to the fuel rail - only the pickup will be
> filled with air, and there won't be any flow - and most
> cars turn the pump off when the computer senses that the
> engine is no longer running).


"most"? I would think you would want to err on the side of
safety and not inconveniencing a driver with a sudden pump
breakdown.

Barring presentation of a study showing no detrimental
effects of either regularly running on a very low tank or
running to empty, I think not doing these things is easy
enough and indeed an investment that costs one only a litle
extra time getting gas over the life of the car. If possibly
burdening the pump by forcing it to move air is not really a
problem, then I remain concerned about dirt in the bottom of
the tank clogging the filter and lines downstream of the
pump prematurely, or possibly wearing mechanical parts on
the pump, causing the pump to have to work harder, meaning
it draws more current, aging electrical parts more quickly,
etc.

Does rust accumulate in fuel tanks? If so, does running it
near empty hasten the buildup of rust?

What are the leading causes of fuel pump failure? If it's
"age," what exactly causes aging to accelerate?

I do not want your speculation. I am well experienced in
pump design myself. I want facts from a study of pump
failure.


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jun 2008, 10:39 am
rigger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Repeatedly Running On A Low Tank?

On Jun 2, 8:05*am, "Elle" <honda.lion...@spamnocox.net> wrote:
> "Bill Putney" <b...@kinez.net> wrote
>
> > *BUT* - again - the fuel is constantly flowing thru and
> > around all internal components of the pump whenever it is
> > running providing cooling (unless you actually run out and
> > the engine stops - but that is a different scenario
> > altogether, and even then, the pump will still be full of
> > fuel at that point with a full column of fuel from its
> > lowest end to the fuel rail - only the pickup will be
> > filled with air, and there won't be any flow - and most
> > cars turn the pump off when the computer senses that the
> > engine is no longer running).

>
> "most"? I would think you would want to err on the side of
> safety and not inconveniencing a driver with a sudden pump
> breakdown.
>
> Barring presentation of a study showing no detrimental
> effects of either regularly running on a very low tank or
> running to empty, I think not doing these things is easy
> enough and indeed an investment that costs one only a litle
> extra time getting gas over the life of the car. If possibly
> burdening the pump by forcing it to move air is not really a
> problem, then I remain concerned about dirt in the bottom of
> the tank clogging the filter and lines downstream of the
> pump prematurely, or possibly wearing mechanical parts on
> the pump, causing the pump to have to work harder, meaning
> it draws more current, aging electrical parts *more quickly,
> etc.
>
> Does rust accumulate in fuel tanks? If so, does running it
> near empty hasten the buildup of rust?
>
> What are the leading causes of fuel pump failure? If it's
> "age," what exactly causes aging to accelerate?
>
> I do not want your speculation. I am well experienced in
> pump design myself. I want facts from a study of pump
> failure.


If you don't mind me breaking in to ask a question?

How hot would the fuel need to become in order to
accelerate the breakdown of the materials used in
the fuel pumps you're familiar with? In my mind I
can't imagine most materials responding in a neg-
ative manner unless temperatures reach very high
levels (over 200 deg. F?) as I'd imagine they are
chosen for temperature resistance, among other
things.

dennis
in nca
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