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

asked by on June 17, 2016

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?

Car starts and then dies Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

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.

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

What others are asking

WONT START

There are two common items that can cause an intermittent no start with this car. You already replaced the crank sensor, which is one of them. The other can be the key, and/or the Electronic Ignition Switch (EIS). If...

Car shaking and making noise

You should have a cylinder contribution test and code scan performed to determine the cause of your problems. Malfunction of the ignition coils, mass air flow sensor, and timing chains are all common causes of the symptoms you described,...

Loud popping noise where header and exhaust meet

Hi there - the "combustion bang" you hear taking place at the header flange probably indicates a leak at the donut gasket as you suspect. Unburned, or still burning, fuel catches some fresh oxygen at the flange, and ignites, producing...

Difficulty accelerating

Hello. It sounds like your clutch is worn out and going bad. The clutch is what allows your transmission to shift into gear and it also allows the transmission to provide power to the wheels while driving. A lot of...

What kind of maintenance should I perform on the battery?

Proper battery maintenance will ensure long battery life. A functioning battery is necessary to keep your vehicle running. But batteries can also be dangerous. Whenever you perform battery maintenance, make sure you take all of the necessary safety precautions. To...

Air conditioning is noisy and slow to blow cold

Hello,From the description provided, there seems to be two different scenarios behind the problems being experienced by your Acura’s air conditioner. Though the information is limited I can try and guide you in the right direction to why that is....

Loose timing chain

If you drove your engine until it shut down from overheating, then you may have done engine internal damage to the cylinder heads and head gaskets. I am not saying the engine is shot, but you may have major engine...

Dead battery

This depends on the engine you have in your Ford F250. As you may know, this truck had an option available with a diesel engine which generally would require much more cranking power than the 5.3L motor that would have...

locks up at high rpm then able to free up and run again

The problem may be the transmission pilot bearing for the transmission input shaft on the back of the crankshaft seizing up or the input shaft on the transmission seizing. If it is not the transmission, then it is the internal...

Related articles

What Does It Mean When an Engine "Knocks"?
If your engine is making a knocking noise it means there's a problem. The wrong fuel octane, carbon buildup, and bad spark plugs can cause knocking.
How to Troubleshoot a Car That Makes Clunking Noises Over Bumps
Cars that make clunking noises as they drive over bumps may have worn struts or leaf spring shackles, or damaged control arms or shock absorbers.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Intermittent Wiper Relay
Common signs include the wiper blades only working on one speed or a different speed than you selected, not working at all, and making humming noises.