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Old 03-17-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
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Gas gauge misleading?

Hey all. I'm new here but had a question. Maybe one of many I might have.

Just picked up my 2011 access cab a few days ago. Mostly love it so far. I put on 1080 miles so far. Question, though. The fuel tank is supposed to be 21.1 gallons, but I ran it down into the "E" on the gauge and the little warning light came on. I drove for another 20-30 mi. after that both times. Both times when I went to fill up, I only got a little over 18 gallons and the second time a little over 17.5 gallons in the tank. What's up? Is there still 3+ gallons in the tank once it's on E and the warning light comes on? Why would it mislead me like that?
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Every vehicle has a reserve.

Running it down empty is a nice way of killing your fuel pump since the fuel cools it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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3 gallons isnt alot. Thats about an inch of fuel at the bottom of the tank........
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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search please
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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quick replies...thanks...so does that mean i can get another 50 miles or so out of it on the highway before the next gas station? My old Ranger had a 17 or 18 ga tank...don't remeber exactly. i would run it down to the warning light and then put in enough gas to make it within about a half gallon of what the manual said the fuel tank capacity was. not used to the difference, i guess.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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08pretaco...I did search, and I'm not gonna search anymore. That's the point of a discussion forum. I'm not new to these. If you don't like my post, don't answer.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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08pretaco...I'm not gonna search. That's the point of a discussion forum. I'm not new to these. If you don't like my post, don't answer.
good answer
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Hey don't worry about him. Anyway yes the little bit of reserve is left to cool the fuel pump. If not it would burn up and fail (costs alot of $$$ to replace). Its actually better to fill up at half tank bc when there is more room for air in the tank the gas turn into vapor quicker and can evapoarte easier. Plus the more fuel in the tank the cooler the fuel pump stays.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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Thanks...I guess I was wondering because I'm sometimes far away from gas stations. I do field work during the summer in some remote places in MT, SD, NV, etc...I was just wondering how long I have to get my butt to a gas station after that ominous light comes on below the fuel guage

By the way...My truck came with Dunlop Grandtrek At20's. What do you think about those? Any experience? (I've heard they are crap, but haven't been off road yet to really try them out)
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks...I guess I was wondering because I'm sometimes far away from gas stations. I do field work during the summer in some remote places in MT, SD, NV, etc...I was just wondering how long I have to get my butt to a gas station after that ominous light comes on below the fuel guage

By the way...My truck came with Dunlop Grandtrek At20's. What do you think about those? Any experience? (I've heard they are crap, but haven't been off road yet to really try them out)
there not very good offroad,but i have 20K on mine now,and they still look like new
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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ya...i had Wildcat Radial A/T on my Ranger...about the only thing I'm gonna miss about that POS.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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My truck came with them stock 265/65r17. Took them off at 500mi for Goodyear Duratrac 2655/70r17. Sold them to our used car depart. for $375 to get some of my money back. The sucked in the rain and terrible in snow (good thing for 4x4). Go to tirerack.com for some surveys on tires.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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The gas gauge isn't an exact measure of how much fuel is in your tank, it is just a rough estimate. As others have said, I wouldn't run too long once your dummy light pops on, the fuel filter is cooled by the fuel.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:44 PM   #14
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Thanks Dude Tim...I'm checking out the link right now
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:59 AM   #15
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There could also be an amount of unusable fuel trapped in the tank. Thats standard with aviation, done for sediment and water sumping. Could be a similar reason in vehicles.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:15 AM   #16
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As everyone said on here before, there is a little left over for reserve. I wouldn't make it a habit to get down that low. When you start hitting the bottom of the tank, you pull in sediment and anything else that is left in the tank and can wind up hurting your fuel system and eventually killing you MPG. I hate to have mine get past a quarter, never know when an emergency is going to come up in the middle of the night and you dont have time to stop at a gas station
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:32 AM   #18
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All I know is the only fuel pump listed on rock auto is $816 so I try not to run it low. I live in a rural area so I try never to get below a quarter tank because gas stations are few and far between with nothing available late at night. On the highway in the winter I try to keep it above a half tank because you never know when you could get stranded on a closed highway or in a ditch or something.

If you spend a lot of time in the boondocks and run real close to empty on a regular basis you should look into some form of supplementary fuel storage. There was recently a post about tying down some NATO metal fuel cans in the box and there's aftermarket rear bumpers with fuel storage racks. You can get combination toolbox/tidy tank setups too.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:56 AM   #19
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David K did a research on that same subject in here. Search for his name, I think the link for the QTY of fuel in tank VS needle is in his signature.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by supralight View Post
David K did a research on that same subject in here. Search for his name, I think the link for the QTY of fuel in tank VS needle is in his signature.
Yes... thanks!

I am monitoring my gauge all the time... and it is very consistant...

FULL: 21 Gallons
3/4 Line: 16 Gallons (down 5)
1/2 Line: 12 Gallons (down 9)
1/4 Line: 8 Gallons (down 13)
LIGHT ON: 4 Gallons (down 17)
E LINE: 3 Gallons (down 18)

The above figures have been consistant within 1/2 gallon +/-.
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