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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is going to be a bit long, sorry for that. If anyone has the time to read all this, I'm eternally grateful.

Next stop in my "idiot me bought a neglected car to learn about cars" agenda is this kind of non critic, but still annoying fuel issue that consists of more components. Fuel filter was changed a month ago.

The "Fuel left to empty tank" tracker isn't exactly accurate. It may jump from 100 miles to 80 miles, then rise to 90 miles ... I know it's not supposed to be completely precise, but I'd expect it to decrease constantly, not jump like my gf's mood. The fuel gauge needle can as well go the "wrong way" sometimes for a 1/3 of a section. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome driving and casually finding out you have 10 more miles to drive instead of 10 less miles, but it's only until you remember the reason is your car is probably broken.

Because of the inaccurate fuel level, I can't really track my MPG. When it shows 30 miles (50 km) left to empty tank, I fill the car with 5 gallons (20 liters) and start tracking the miles until I get the 30 miles left to empty tank message again. After the fill-up it shows 150 miles to empty tank, which makes the 5 gallons/120 miles ratio a 24 mpg, but this is an 2.4i and we're all grown men that don't believe in fairy tales. I'm getting 16-18 mpg (14l/100km) with exclusively (up to 50 mph / 80kmh) city driving (traffic jams sometimes included) in a city where there's a stop light, a roundabout or a dickhead that caused a traffic jam roughly every mile or so. Not pushing the pedal to the floor at every start, always trying to accelerate calmly. But I never know if I'm at really 30 miles left or it's 20, 40 or 50 though. Also is this a normal mileage (as I was expecting at least 20 mpg) for this type of driving or should I dive under the hood for fixes ?

The gas nozzle clicks always and everywhere except for one gas station, where it clicks only when it should (at full tank). Besides the cleaning I'm about to do, can the click be caused by bad quality gasoline? (all the fuel is awful in my country)

Fuel pump makes buzzing noise somewhere in the back below the rear seats, while it's not horribly loud and I was told that's okay to hear it buzzing, I'm adding it here just in case it may be a cause/indicator for the other issues described.

Worst issue 1: this swedish mule can stall when starting on low fuel. Two days ago when I was at 30 miles to empty tank parked on an even road (not a slope) it had a very hard start of around 6-7 seconds (opposed to the regular 1 second) and then it stalled. Tried again and the next 3 times it stalled instantly and showed --- miles to empty tank. After thinking for about a minute where's the closest gas station to have a walk there, I gave it one more try ... and when all hope was lost, like a sudden erection at 80 years, the car started, the dash was showing again 30 miles left and right when I entered the gas station territory after a mile of driving, the dash was now showing 50 miles left to empty tank. This car is just making fun of me.

Worst issue 2: very hard starts after parking overnight on slopes. Usually the car starts like vr-vr-vrooom, but on slopes with a tank that's less than half full it starts like vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vr-vrooooooooom. Any fixes to this besides keeping the tank always full ?


If anyone got the end, thank you for your time !
 

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I think it calculates "fuel left to empty" based on how much gas is in the tank and what kind of fuel economy it expects that you will get on the rest of the tank. When you drive it hard, it adjusts the expected economy down and you lose range, but when you drive it easier, it adjusts the expected economy up and gives increased range. At least, that's how I assume it works.

If you want to track fuel economy, reset the trip odometer at every fillup. Then, next time you fill up, calculate the mileage. Or reset the average fuel economy at each fill up - in my experience, it's pretty accurate.

I don't have a problem with the fuel filler clicking off. Maybe the fuel pumps are different where you are, or maybe you have a problem.

I don't usually go below 50 miles remaining, that's getting into the red zone on the fuel gauge for me. I don't have any problems with stalling or hard starts.

My hunch (noise, dying after starting) is that your fuel pump is going bad. I have a pickup with what it probably a bad fuel pump. If you turn the key to "ON" and wait three seconds, it will start. If you try to immediately start, it will die and then you have to restart...
 

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The "Fuel left to empty tank" tracker isn't exactly accurate. It may jump from 100 miles to 80 miles, then rise to 90 miles ... I know it's not supposed to be completely precise, but I'd expect it to decrease constantly, not jump like my gf's mood. The fuel gauge needle can as well go the "wrong way" sometimes for a 1/3 of a section. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome driving and casually finding out you have 10 more miles to drive instead of 10 less miles, but it's only until you remember the reason is your car is probably broken.

Because of the inaccurate fuel level, I can't really track my MPG. When it shows 30 miles (50 km) left to empty tank, I fill the car with 5 gallons (20 liters) and start tracking the miles until I get the 30 miles left to empty tank message again. After the fill-up it shows 150 miles to empty tank, which makes the 5 gallons/120 miles ratio a 24 mpg, but this is an 2.4i and we're all grown men that don't believe in fairy tales. I'm getting 16-18 mpg (14l/100km) with exclusively (up to 50 mph / 80kmh) city driving (traffic jams sometimes included) in a city where there's a stop light, a roundabout or a dickhead that caused a traffic jam roughly every mile or so. Not pushing the pedal to the floor at every start, always trying to accelerate calmly. But I never know if I'm at really 30 miles left or it's 20, 40 or 50 though. Also is this a normal mileage (as I was expecting at least 20 mpg) for this type of driving or should I dive under the hood for fixes ?



Gas Mileage calculations by the car are a rough estimate at best. Never trust the miles to empty. Sitting in traffic will absolutely kill gas mileage because you are only consuming fuel and not moving. If you want to calculate accurate mileage you need to record the mileage and how much fuel you filled up with and then at the next fillup you can get a pretty accurate calculation.

From the sounds of your other issues it sounds like your fuel pump is failing and probably has a bad check valve in it as that is a symptom of the hard starting issue. When the check valve goes bad all the fuel drains back into the tank after shutoff.

Best to get it checked properly.
 

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Own one with hard starting, bad check valve in the fuel pump. Some people will tell you dirty injectors but this is likely not the case in my experience with these cars. Fuel pressure is great and consistent for me when running (confirmed with vida and external gauge), so I just live with priming the pump a few times (cycling to pos 2). I'll replace it at some point, but it requires dropping the tank. :nono:

Like others have said, the fuel economy gauge is not super accurate... mine acts the same way... as does every car I've driven with that feature. It will instantly adapt to your style of driving, use cruise on the highway @ 60mph and it will sky rocket.
 

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I had a dirty or stuck injector on a Maxima once and it would die after being started. But when it restarted, there would be a lot of black smoke from the unburned fuel the injector had apparently let dribble out.
 
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