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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Will the motor and transmission from a 95 Ford Explorer fit into a 2000 ford explorer sport

Hi there. If the engine size is similar and the transmission is identical (meaning an automatic w/automatic), then the motor mounts for the two vehicles should align. I would highly recommend consulting with a local engine replacement shop to confirm...

Q: Gas is leaking from fuel tank

Hey there. If your fuel tank is rusted to the point of leaking fuel, then you will need to have the fuel tank replaced. As rust spreads, it will leak worse every day and when there is no fuel leaking...

Q: can i drive with a code P1383

If the check engine light is not flashing it is OK to drive the car with the particular code you have noted during the limited interval you are describing. A flashing check engine light would signify constant misfiring and you...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...