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?

A: The fuel sending unit is not accurate and i...

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car clicks and doesn't start.

Even though it just clicks the battery can still be the problem. Low battery voltage wont have enough juice to turn the starter all the way. The partial engagement will sound like a click. A few other things like bad,...

Q: Diesel in gas tank

While not common I have seen it happen before. The repair is quite extensive. The fuel tank will need to be removed and emptied and the entire fuel system flushed. I suggest possibly getting a mechanic such as one from...

Q: Car only runs when jumper the fuel pump

Check to see if you are getting power when you test the green with orange stripe wire going to the fuel pump module. If you have no power then check the the fuel inertia switch, in the left kick panel,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.