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Thread: @Top_Fuel, question about refuelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacClyver View Post
    I've heard the fuel pump thing but think it's largely exaggerated or outdated.
    Where have you heard that? Whenever I google this topic, it's current articles (not outdated ones) claiming its not great for your car.

    I do live in the "Driftless" part of Wisconsin. It's very hilly! When I leave my driveway, I don't get past 2nd gear to climb the first small hill to my neighbors. Even with momentum, I have to drop to third gear to climb one of the hills coming home with my Mirage.

    Old & outdated to me is the "old timers" who talk about old vehicles having to climb some of these hill roads in reverse. The fuel tanks were gravity flow & getting fuel to engine meant going up hill in reverse sometimes. The road that I live on is a dead end. At one time it was connected to another road. Since the road had such a still hill on it, they eventually closed it. Thus, making two dead end roads instead. I know of a number of roads in my area that are like that. Thus, I sort of believe the "old timers" stories about climbing them backwards years ago.

    I live about 12 miles from the nearest gas station. Squeaking the last mile out of my gas tank isn't a high priority. I don't think a fuel pump has to be totally submerged, but there's a lot of very current information out there claiming it's not good to run car gas tanks low.

    Running your tank low is not only bad for your fuel pump, but your owner's manual has this added caution -

    "Running out of gas could damage the catalytic converter. If the warning display appears, refuel as soon as possible."

    I looked up catalytic converter costs, & this is what I found - "The average cost for a Mitsubishi Mirage catalytic converter replacement is between $907 and $939. Labor costs are estimated between $88 and $111 while parts are priced between $819 and $828."

    I am not really sure running your tank empty is really worth it, but good luck to those who think otherwise!



  2. #72
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    Mark, Richland Center how haven't I noticed that. I moved away when I was really little but am originally from Baraboo! Bluff country has nice scenery for sure.

    "claiming" and "proving" aren't the same. Wheres a study comparing cars filled up at a half a tank and those filled with a gallon say remaining, ran in the same conditions and measuring the distribution of pump failures occurring. Also comparing differences between 2500 series pickups and subcompacts? "Running your tank low is bad for the fuel pump" maybe accompanied by an empirical footnote, then gets read and repeated without anyone stopping to really think about it.

    Is there a hair of truth, surely, especially with gas hungry cars where the fuel pump has to pump a lot. But a mirage spending most of it's time pumping less than 2 fluid ounces of fuel per minute isn't spending much energy(producing much pump heat) to be dissipated. At a slow rate air can conduct heat away as well.

    The cat comment, lol. I saw in there too. That's simply a scare tactic, a sudden interruption in hot gasses flowing through the converter: running out of gas would just be like dfco activating as far as the catalyst cares.

    "I live about 12 miles from the nearest gas station.", that's a very valid reason! My commute is 14 miles and I have 15 gas stations directly along the road to choose from.

    Every caution need to be taken with a grain of salt in my opinion. Every situation analyzed ones self. Jumper cables can be clamped in whatever order you want as long as they don't touch and short, and for god sake obviously the parmesan cheese contains dairy products. If someone can't read the 72 size font cheese how will they ever notice the size 11 font "contains dairy products"...
    Last edited by MacClyver; 06-12-2019 at 05:03 AM.

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    For what it's worth I've changed zero Mirage fuel pumps so far. I've moved cars around the parking lots more than once with the low fuel light flashing. It doesn't make sense to fill up our cars if they have more than a 1/4 tank. Around here you can make it anywhere and back with that much fuel without worrying about running too low. We don't have much for crazy mountain goat roads here though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    For what it's worth I've changed zero Mirage fuel pumps so far. I've moved cars around the parking lots more than once with the low fuel light flashing. It doesn't make sense to fill up our cars if they have more than a 1/4 tank. Around here you can make it anywhere and back with that much fuel without worrying about running too low. We don't have much for crazy mountain goat roads here though.
    I don't or wouldn't worry about a quarter tank of gas either. I've let the last bar just disappear a few times myself. Even then, you have a little more than a gallon left. A gallon left in a small tank is more of a percentage than in a larger gas tank.

    I find myself filling up when getting gas for lawn mowers, buying milk, eggs, or bread. I am filling gas cans all the time lately. A sign that my to do list is to long! I seldom stop for just gas for my Mirage.

    Personally, I think letting your tank reach the final segment or filling up shortly after the final segment disappears is fine. You haven't ran the tank dry. Going beyond that may or may not shorten the life of your fuel pump? Just because you haven't replaced a fuel pump doesn't mean the practice of running on fumes isn't shortening the life of one. The damage may not appear until years later. For your company cars, they may be long gone by that time. I would like to keep my Mirage for most of its lifespan. I really do believe doing the little things help. That reminds me. Time to do an oil change. My Mirage went past 25,000 miles today, & I like changing oil every 5,000 miles. Steve has 10x that many miles on his Mirage. A little TLC goes a long ways with machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacClyver View Post
    Mark, Richland Center how haven't I noticed that. I moved away when I was really little but am originally from Baraboo! Bluff country has nice scenery for sure.

    "claiming" and "proving" aren't the same. Wheres a study comparing cars filled up at a half a tank and those filled with a gallon say remaining, ran in the same conditions and measuring the distribution of pump failures occurring. Also comparing differences between 2500 series pickups and subcompacts? "Running your tank low is bad for the fuel pump" maybe accompanied by an empirical footnote, then gets read and repeated without anyone stopping to really think about it.

    Is there a hair of truth, surely, especially with gas hungry cars where the fuel pump has to pump a lot. But a mirage spending most of it's time pumping less than 2 fluid ounces of fuel per minute isn't spending much energy(producing much pump heat) to be dissipated. At a slow rate air can conduct heat away as well.

    The cat comment, lol. I saw in there too. That's simply a scare tactic, a sudden interruption in hot gasses flowing through the converter: running out of gas would just be like dfco activating as far as the catalyst cares.

    "I live about 12 miles from the nearest gas station.", that's a very valid reason! My commute is 14 miles and I have 15 gas stations directly along the road to choose from.

    Every caution need to be taken with a grain of salt in my opinion. Every situation analyzed ones self. Jumper cables can be clamped in whatever order you want as long as they don't touch and short, and for god sake obviously the parmesan cheese contains dairy products. If someone can't read the 72 size font cheese how will they ever notice the size 11 font "contains dairy products"...
    I don't mean to be super critical of all this, & I am not a mechanic. When the car reaches it final gallon of gas, I just feel it's time to fill up. When that final bar disappears, you know it's that time. I sort of like that. I also like the flashing feature of the final segment and final bar flashing when the final segment disappears. For a simple little car, I really like the gas gauge on it. I've paid closer attention to this in recent weeks, and the 8 segments do really seem to represent one gallon each. I realize fancy features on some cars will give you exact mileage left, but I have a soft spot for our simple little Mirage!

    It's easy to overanalyze things, and this forum is great for that! I use jumper cables all the time. I own to many things that have batteries. I witnessed a battery blowing up on my dad once when I was kid. I still have a vivid memory of that! Thankfully, he wasn't seriously hurt. It was on a tractor, not a car. I still cringe a little every time I use jumper cables because of that. It hasn't stopped me from using them, however. I've learned to love battery tenders in recent years, too. I hope to never stop learning!

    I am originally from Northeast Wisconsin (45-50 miles north of Green Bay area). I moved to SW Wisconsin after college. I thought that I would be here for 2-3 years. That was 33 years ago! I live 35 miles from Baraboo. I go there all the time. Baraboo has Menards, Farm & Fleet, and Gander Outdoors. What else would a man need? Plus, Devil's Lake State Park is beautiful year round!

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    Over-analyze? Not here! This is only an 8 page thread about how much fuel the tank holds
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    I have run my Mirage out of gas many times. Many, many times. I almost always wait until the tank is near dry to fill it up, and do this so often that I actually carry a small can of gas in the trunk just in case I run out (which happens regularly).

    Over 120,000 miles now, and never a problem. I replaced my sender/pump assembly a little while ago because the gauge had become a bit inaccurate. It would show between 1-3 gallons even when the tank was bone dry. There was never a problem with the pump.

    The pump motor itself is bathed in fuel only when the tank is over half full, as the fuel pump assembly is in the top of the tank. Like any electric motor it will get warm if run continuously for a long time, but the idea that the electric motors in fuel pumps are special and need liquid lubrication or 'cooling' lest they fail prematurely is an automotive urban legend.

    If running the tank dry or near dry regularly were going to cause problems on these cars, believe me...I would know about it. And I can report no such issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I don't mean to be super critical of all this, & I am not a mechanic. When the car reaches it final gallon of gas, I just feel it's time to fill up. When that final bar disappears, you know it's that time. I sort of like that. I also like the flashing feature of the final segment and final bar flashing when the final segment disappears. For a simple little car, I really like the gas gauge on it. I've paid closer attention to this in recent weeks, and the 8 segments do really seem to represent one gallon each. I realize fancy features on some cars will give you exact mileage left, but I have a soft spot for our simple little Mirage!

    It's easy to overanalyze things, and this forum is great for that! I use jumper cables all the time. I own to many things that have batteries. I witnessed a battery blowing up on my dad once when I was kid. I still have a vivid memory of that! Thankfully, he wasn't seriously hurt. It was on a tractor, not a car. I still cringe a little every time I use jumper cables because of that. It hasn't stopped me from using them, however. I've learned to love battery tenders in recent years, too. I hope to never stop learning!

    I am originally from Northeast Wisconsin (45-50 miles north of Green Bay area). I moved to SW Wisconsin after college. I thought that I would be here for 2-3 years. That was 33 years ago! I live 35 miles from Baraboo. I go there all the time. Baraboo has Menards, Farm & Fleet, and Gander Outdoors. What else would a man need? Plus, Devil's Lake State Park is beautiful year round!
    I love devils lake state park. The rock hike up to the top was a great trail that my five year old and I went up. It was a challenge for her but I carried her up some of the sections.

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    I won't argue that running a pump dry or low and sucking air all the time isn't great for it. I don't run my own junk dry, mainly cause with my luck I'd run out at a while making a left turn. I used to run out of gas every few day's when I was too stupid to realize that just because my broomstick showed there was a few inches of fuel in the tank doesn't mean the fuel pickup is low enough to suck fuel that low. That was in a 70' ford truck though.

    Speaking of fuel pumps, I may have one on it's way out....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    Like any electric motor it will get warm if run continuously for a long time, but the idea that the electric motors in fuel pumps are special and need liquid lubrication or 'cooling' lest they fail prematurely is an automotive urban legend.
    It's good know this is not a concern for you, & it hasn't been a problem for you. Thanks for sharing!

    I can't find an article stating this is an "automotive urban legend"? Pretty much everything is to the contrary of that. The most common fact stated - "The gasoline acts like a coolant for the electric fuel-pump motor, so when you run very low, this allows the pump to suck in air, which creates heat and can cause the fuel pump to wear prematurely and potentially fail." This type of statement is found in endless articles. No one claims running your tank low a few times or even empty will instantly trash your fuel pump.

    I can't find a source that doesn't say this - "Electric fuel pumps are generally located in the fuel tank, in order to use the fuel in the tank to cool the pump and to ensure a steady supply of fuel."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_pump

    Obviously, all things don't need a fuel pump. A gas tank above the engine of an old motorcycle takes advantage of gravity. Fuel pumps weren't always inside gas tanks. Why do you think they were put in there? The reasons are several.

    A friend of mine borrowed my compact diesel tractor a few summers ago. He ran it out of fuel. It took a lot of work on my part to get it running again. Thankfully, gas engines like the Mirage are not like that.

    Older drivers like myself may look at this issue differently than younger drivers. One articles I found alludes to that somewhat.
    https://www.bellperformance.com/blog...ur-Fuel-System

    Personally, I don't have time to worry about my tank running low. Rather than put gas in a gas can & carry it around, I rather put gas in my gas tank.


    Last edited by Mark; 06-13-2019 at 04:05 PM.

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