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I bought a 2009 F-150 5.4L Platinum used in spring 2011. While I didn't notice this problem initially, my engin began cutting out when the tank got below 30 miles to empty. It was especially pronounced when I was coming to a stop down hill. Logically, I thought perhaps my fuel intake had been worked on at some point and positioned too high in the tank, thus sucking air and forcing the engin to seize. I have taken the truck into the dealership I bought it from 5 times now and each time they said there is nothing they can do, their answer is "don't let your fuel get below 30 miles left". I sometimes forget to look how close I'm getting and it's continued to be a pain. Today, it cut out (24 miles to empty) at a stop light and wouldn't start (this is a first). I ended up putting the truck in neutral, drifting into the intersection, starting in neutral and driving on to the nearest gas station.
My question to all of you: THIS CAN'T BE NORMAL, can it? Dealership says they can't reproduce the problem when I take it in - should I just hold their feet to the fire? Anybody else experiencing this? I may want to sell my truck in the next few months and I DON'T want to pass this issue on to the next owner.
At "30 miles to empty" at best you have (maybe) 2 gallons of gasoline in the tank (and that's spread over the ENTIRE bottom surface of the 36 gallon tank). AND that's figuring that the guage and warning system is accurate.
Agree with the dealership ... DON"T LET YOUR FUEL GET THAT LOW.
You do realize that you're not only running-out of fuel, you're also ...
shortening the life of your fuel pump. *The gasoline cools the fuel pump.
promoting condensation in the tank (and the fuel).
in general, stressing the fuel delivery system and engine operation.
not to mention the incovenience and potentially dangerous situation(s) that you're KNOWINGLY causing.
At the risk of being disrespectful ... Bless their heart, there are some beings that are too stupid to live.
EDIT: Went back and did some ciphering (albeit rough) and determined that at your "30 miles to empty" point, there is less than ½" of fuel covering the entire bottom of your fuel tank. And that's assuming the vehicle is level. That amount is 5% of the total amount of fuel possible.
Well. that's not normal. Yea... Letting get low is bad on the pump... But whatever. My tank lasts me 2 weeks... Each paycheck i fill up. Sometimes i have hauled stuff or driven somewhere extra that used more fuel, and since Im not wealthy, well off or anything close to it, i do have to wait to fill up on payday. I have an 09 4.6. My fuel gauge was reading 7 miles to empty... And it was running just fine. 7 miles... I average 15.8 mpg.. So that was less than 1/2 gallon.. And even less than the 1/2" or whatever covering my tank. It ran fine and has....
Mass produced vehicles are all going to read differently, mine has hit empty once and I still made the 4 miles to the gas station. I don't like to get below a 1/4 tank for all the above reasons. If you're on a tight budget, leave a $10 spot in the console in case of an emergency-no beer in the fridge does count as an emergency by the way.
Another reason not to let you tank get that low is because sediment accumulates in the bottom of your tank and it will easily clog your fuel filter and injectors. The older the truck the more the sediment. It can really be a problem in older trucks.