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Old 02-24-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Gas guage wrong/ Reserve tank?

So I noticed in my owners manual says that fuel capacity is 16.9 gallons with a reserve of 2.9 gallons. I try to not run the car on low often, but lately its been happening more which brings up my question.

The low fuel light will come on. If I keep driving to the point where the needle touches the first line on the guage and fill up I can only get roughly 14.5 gallons in. Is this normal for all or is it possible that my gauge is wrong and kicking the light on early?

Can the car be driven below the first line approaching the larger orange section? I read somewhere that the pump is cooled by the gas so its not good to drive it low on fuel because the pump can then run hot and cause it to have an earlier life. This true?

Off that subject, I just ordered the "red clip" for the top so I can set the alarm with the top down. Do the windows still need to be up or will it work with them down also?

Thanks, Jake

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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Red clip works with the windows down too. BTW, many colour the red clip black to make it more inconspicuous.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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Red clip works with the windows down too. BTW, many colour the red clip black to make it more inconspicuous.
I like your style
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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Disconnecting the battery can alter the fuel level gauge calibration which must be done by dealer, but your gauge seems simular to my 2000 S. I have run my car to a needles width below the 1st mark & refilled just under 15 gal.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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jake -

this confused me when i first got my car. turns out that the 'reserve tank' is actually the same tank. it's the amount of fuel left in the tank when the red light comes on.

that having been said, my '99 doesn't hold anywhere NEAR the 16.9 gallons claimed in the manual. i have run it out of fuel before; when i refilled it, i was only able to put in around 15.2 gallons.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Couple of items to share:

My fuel indicator needle never went to 4/4, so I thought it was a faulty sending unit and paid my mechanic to put in another. It resides inside the fuel tank along side the fuel pump. I was instructed to bring him the car with as little fuel in it as possible, so I ran it down to below the line. Then, I helped him by pouring in a cup of fuel in the tank as he monitored the PST tool to calibrate it.

The stupid thing still doesn't read full, even when I know it's full because fuel is pouring out the spout. And yes, he zip tied the fuel lines off inside the gas tank so the float could rise and fall unencumbered.

I asked him why my low fuel indicator light came on when I was at a 1/4 tank and if I could ignore it and he said, "Sure, if you want to replace your fuel pump regularly."

Evidently, the fuel keeps the pump from overheating and when you drive around on empty too often, it overheats and seizes up. So what you heard was validated by a Porsche tech.

So, I refill the second I see the lamp come on, or even earlier, mostly when I have a half tank or less. I recommend you do the same to insure a nice long fuel pump life.

Red clip: I have one too and have found that keeping the windows up is a great security measure. Makes reaching in all the more difficult. But painting it black defeats part of the purpose of it. With it on and in it's normal color, in-the-know thieves will be deterred by it, knowing the horn will sound if they reach in. Why camouflage it and invite them to attempt theft?

Secondly, I always forget it's on and it's red, not black like my interior! Man, I'd be even more forgetful and frustrated if it blended in with the rest of my car.

Use it for a while before you paint it. I think you'll see what I mean.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 02-25-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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randall -

it sounds like the needle on your guage cluster isn't pointing the right direction. you can open it up & rotate the needle on its pin so that it reads full when it's actually full. once you do this, the light will come on when you have just under an eighth of a tank.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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Insite, if it was consistent I'd give it a try. However, every now and then I fill up and it goes to 4/4, so I do not think it's needle placement.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
Insite, if it was consistent I'd give it a try. However, every now and then I fill up and it goes to 4/4, so I do not think it's needle placement.

ah. the evap purge tank can cause your car not to fill up all the way.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake D
I read somewhere that the pump is cooled by the gas so its not good to drive it low on fuel because the pump can then run hot and cause it to have an earlier life. This true?

Thanks, Jake
Jake,

It's true. Fuel is carried through the pump and does keep it cool. However the most damage to the pump is done by running it DRY. This normally will make the pump seize. If it doesn't do that immediately it will score the inside of the pump shortening the life of it considerably.

Years back this was a common problem on VW's with the continuous injection systems. But is true for all electric pumps that use some sort of spinning impeller to move the fuel. Don't run it out of gas! An old Lucas style pump would be immune to this abuse...but you don't have one!
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insite
ah. the evap purge tank can cause your car not to fill up all the way.
Does mine need replacement or adjustment or cleaning or what?

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