Q: Q: ran out of gas, now won't start

asked by on

I drove my kids to school today and came home, parked it in the garage, realizing I should have gotten gas. I came back out to go to the gas station and it sounded like it would if it was out of gas, only half of the light on my dash and interior are working and it just makes a ticking noise, went and got a gallon of gas (only held 1 gallon) do you think I just need more gas or do I have a bigger problem?

My car has 100000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your first attempt at resolving should indeed be to simply add more fuel to the tank. Three more gallons will be sufficient if the problem is low fuel. If the starter motor itself is not functioning (i.e., no engine cranking), then the starter circuit has to be diagnosed. If the starter motor is functioning, but the car is still not starting after you have added sufficient fuel to the tank, you could have a circumstance where the fuel pump overheated because it was run dry. That could cause the pump impeller seal to fail. First, check for the characteristic, but momentary, whirring sound from the in-tank fuel pump at key "on". If no fuel pump operation is detected at key "on", check for battery voltage at the pump wire harness at key "on". If no voltage is detected, that circuit has to be diagnosed all the way back to the battery to find the fault. If there is power to the pump, but no momentary pump operation at key "on", the fuel pump would be condemned and replaced. If the pump does operates, check fuel pressure in fuel rail to confirm that it is operating properly and supplying adequate pressure. If you desire that a certified mechanic resolve this, please request a no start diagnostic and the responding mechanic will get it diagnosed and repaired for you. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Q: ran out of gas, now won't start

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: One strut mount we up with a dust cap on, one without. How big of a deal is it?

Hi Dan. Thanks for the question today. In regards to geometry, handling and "whether it's fine", a dust cap should not have that great of an impact. I'm curious as to why the mechanic did this - as to me,...

Q: 98 Ford Expedition, the Catalyst monitor and evap monitor is on before a smog test can be done. How to get 1 of these off?

The monitors may take up to 200 miles to get them to pass since it takes special conditions to get them to pass. You can have a mechanic run the monitor test before taking to inspection stations to get checked...

Q: Can I use E 15 gas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows use of E-15 fuel in model year 2001 and newer autos and light-duty vehicles as well as all flex-fuel vehicles (FFV’s). EPA has NOT allowed the use of E-15 in vehicles from the...

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...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.