Car drives better on a near empty tank?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by eswaroop, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. eswaroop

    eswaroop Guest


    I seem to have come across a funny pattern, my car seems to drive
    better(more responsive, less hesitation during acceleration) when the
    fuel tank is close to empty and the fuel light comes on. I am yet to
    confirm the pattern for sure, but could there be a logical explanation
    for it?
    eswaroop, Apr 21, 2004
  2. eswaroop

    Hugh Graham Guest

    Less weight in the car?

    Hugh "a pound of feather or a pound of bricks" Graham
    Hugh Graham, Apr 21, 2004
  3. eswaroop

    mike Guest

    when you get to the end of a tank, by then the lighter aromatics in the gas
    are finally being sucked into the fuel system. thats why its always a good
    idea to bounce the car up and down a few times after refuelling, to mix the
    aromatics from the refining process.
    mike, Apr 21, 2004
  4. eswaroop

    Tegger® Guest

    (eswaroop) spake unto the masses in

    Don't keep the tank empty. It's hard on the fuel pump and contributes to
    premature fuel pump failure.

    Also, water will build up in the tank much faster due to condensation from
    all the exposed tank surface. This is bad for rust, the fuel pump and the
    injectors. Keep the tank as full as possible at all times.

    Any "responsiveness" is most likely due to the fact that a hundred pounds
    of gas is absent from the car's weight.

    If your car has an actual problem with "hesitation" that is ameliorated by
    keeping the tank empty, that would only mask trouble. Get it looked at.


    The Unofficial Honda FAQ

    How to find anything on the Internet or in Usenet Groups:
    Tegger®, Apr 21, 2004
  5. eswaroop

    eswaroop Guest

    This is not actually a power gain during the empty tank but rather a
    power loss on full tank, my car used to drive normally till sometime
    before, until it actually started playing tricks. Sometimes, even on a
    near full tank it drives well.
    eswaroop, Apr 21, 2004
  6. Huh? Gasoline is a mixture of miscible components - there should be no
    separation into layers and certainly not in a car which is driven over the
    usual bumps. Think about it: if it got layered in your fuel tank it'd be
    layered in the storage tank - you would never get a consistent product
    delivered at the pump. Aromatics have never been the lightest components
    in gasoline and the lightest one is banned in most places now.

    Rgds, George Macdonald

    "Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
    George Macdonald, Apr 21, 2004
  7. The fuel is probably getting hot (friction + pump's heat) when the tank
    is low. See if your intake manifold is being heated properly by engine
    coolant. You could also have dirty injectors or a failing O2 sensor.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Apr 22, 2004
  8. eswaroop

    eswaroop Guest


    The problem is that the effect is not consistent. Sometimes, the car
    runs well even on a full tank (have to check if it were always on
    sunny days!)

    Also, when it runs bad, the accelerator pedal seems heavy.(maybe coz I
    am stepping more on it.)

    I also thought of a bad o2 sensor, can someone think of other problems
    which might be noticeable because of a bad o2 sensor? (IT is not
    throwing any code)
    Maybe that might pinpoint towards something. Also, will/can o2 sensor
    problems be intermittent?

    The car hesitates and stumbles during acceleration or surges and
    stumbles. (not a smooth acceleration)
    Sometimes it does not respond to my stamping on the gas.

    It is really bugging me, and I have been trying to figure out what is
    wrong for the past 1 month!

    eswaroop, Apr 22, 2004
  9. eswaroop

    Mike Smith Guest

    Maybe too obvious but - e.g. 15 gallons of gas weighs about 100 pounds...
    Mike Smith, Apr 22, 2004
  10. eswaroop

    eswaroop Guest

    It still pulls harder and stronger even if there are like 3 to 4 125-
    150 pounders (people) in the car. The difference is just too drastic
    to be just due to 100 pounds of fuel.
    eswaroop, Apr 23, 2004
  11. Less weight.
    Alex Rodriguez, Apr 26, 2004
  12. eswaroop

    TCS Guest

    and you're running on 2 cylinders.
    TCS, Apr 26, 2004
  13. Could you add info about year, model, engine, transmission?

    Also, you say that with a full tank it is intermittent (sometimes seems
    good, other times has these drivability problems). Is the problem also
    intermittent with an empty tank, or is it ALWAYS good with an empty tank?

    Lastly, have you confirmed that your check engine light can actually light
    up? It should come on as a test for a moment when you switch on the ignition.

    Arthur Russell, Apr 27, 2004
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