Running out of gas | FerrariChat

Running out of gas

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Jim Riggs, Mar 1, 2004.

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  1. Jim Riggs

    Jim Riggs Karting

    Jan 25, 2004
    I was wondering what would happen if a fuel injected F-car were to run out of gas. I had just purchased my first F-car (an 348SS) in LA and was driving it back to Texas last month. I was past Barstow out in the middle of nowhere when the warning light on my fuel level came on. As I was driving into the next town about 50 miles away, I started thinking about what kinds of problems that might result if I ran my F-car out of gas out there, besides being stuck out there.
    When I filled up my 348, it took only about 18 gallons, but I read later in the owners manual that the gas tank holds almost 24 gallons. The warning light must have come on with about 7 gallons of gas left. If there is that much "reserve", I wonder if running out of gas is to be avoided at all costs. Thanks for your ideas. Jim
  2. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    I think running out of gas on any car should be avoided. Why?, because you suck up all the crap that is sitting in the bottom of the petrol tank.

    I ran my Alfa GTV out of gas many years ago (I was young and poor ;)), and it never ran right again ... admittedly I then pulled it apart to restore :D

  3. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    In addition the fuel pumps on FI cars are cooled by the fuel passing through them.
  4. zsnnf

    zsnnf Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2003
    I always wonder when I hear this...... If "all the crap" sits on the bottom of the tank, and the fuel pick up sits on the bottom of the tank, Don't you "suck up" "all the crap sitting in the bottom of the tank" all the time any way? Or, does it float around when there is MORE fuel?
    AND, isn't there a filter on the pump to keep "all the crap" out of the system?????
  5. JSinNOLA

    JSinNOLA F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 18, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Sounds logical enough...
  6. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Actually what happens is that the crap does not get sucked up if you drive your car sedately ... like normal people. It is heavy and thus sits at the bottom. Your fuel pick up pipe does not go all the way to the bottom for this reason.

    Many years ago I entered my first race in my 'restored' Alfa Sud ... and I ofcourse did not clean out the fuel tank ... I was young ;). In the first race the engine soon started misfiring, etc. and just would not run right. It would run perfectly back in the pits (and on the way home).

    What was happening was that my aggressive cornering was stirring this stuff up and it was sucked into the filter and restricted the flow of petrol. At high rpms you need good petrol flow otherwise the carbs float bowls run low and the engines tune goes off ... hence the misfires.

    Thus at normal operating speeds it probably would not be a problem, but the next time you rev your baby she may not get all the juice she needs ... and she will not be satisfied, and may damage something.

    Also regarding the car I ran out ... it probably had not had a filter change in 10 years ... and thus probably had holes letting the crap into the carbs.

  7. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    LOL, Rick doesn't know anything about high RPM's, so you must forgive him! :)
  8. carl63_99

    carl63_99 Karting

    Oct 22, 2001
    Back in the 80's when US cars were going to FI that if you allowed the car to run out of gas it would guarantee a tow back to the dealership for a service call to have the system repressurized. I have yet to find a single case of this happening. I replaced the fuel filter on my '92 Saturn about five years ago, pulled the fuse, ran it till she died, did the work, replace fuse, and start it. Took about two seconds to start. I never had a problem.

    Most modern gas tanks are treated to prevent 'crap' from building up inside them, so other than an embarrassing walk, there wouldn't be any other effects.
  9. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Sep 5, 2001
    Full Name:
    Tom D
    stuck out by barstow? been there done that, a fellow f-chatter's 308 blew a coil out there on the way to vegas, thankfully an auto parts place was near by. I would note most f-cars have very narrow necks on the gas tanks, thus the newer pumps which are sensitive think the tank if full before they infact are, combine this with fuel gauages that are off and you don't ever know how much gas you really have unless you track the milage :)

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