Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car chugs & dies when gas gauge gets to 1/4 full

asked by on

My car has been acting very strangely. When the gas goes below the ¼ tank mark, the car starts chugging. It’s as if, for a few seconds, the tank is empty. So I get gasoline and then it will go up again. But then it dies, with a quarter tank. Refueling at the ¼ mark has been the only solution. What do you suggest?

The fuel sending unit is not accurate and is empty at 1/4 of a tank, or you have a fuel pump that has a faulty bottom screen which has come off and sucks air below a 1/4 tank. A big problem that these vehicles have is the plastic fuel tank. It can get deformed in the center of the tank, where the fuel pump and sender sit, and will cause the issues you’ve described.

Either way the tank should be inspected and replaced if it is deformed. Some of these vehicles have had recalls on the tanks. I’d recommend checking with the dealer to see if you are due for any recalls on the vehicle.

Feel free to contact a certified technician who will be able to diagnose these symptoms firsthand and find out why your car is dying. One the necessary check are made, an accurate repair can be followed through.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Seems like a belt squeal upon cold start and gets louder with acceleration. Stops after the car is warmed.

This may be related to a squeaky belt. In cold weather these belts will make this kind of squeal when the rubber belt material is cold. The cold weather causes rubber to be less pliable and a bit brittle. As...

Q: Vacuum sucking noise in a gas tank on a 2006 Jeep Cherokee Liberty when the car is turned off

You'd want to have your EVAP canister vent valve checked. Because when they break and stick, they'll often do that and make the sucking noise. That is a Jeep, and when you shut it off, the EVAP system actually has...

Q: Idles and stalls again.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a dirty or faulty idle air control valve. The idle air control valve is a small valve on the engine's intake system that reads the air intake as it comes into the...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...