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Old 07-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car Stalls at 1/4 Tank of Gas

My pre-owned 2008 Forenza has twice stalled with about 1/4 tank of gas. No warning lights before stalling. After 5-10 minutes I can get it to run again long enough to at least get to a gas station to fill up.

I've read that it might be due to a faulty gas pump that works only when the tank has enough gas to deliver adequate pressure. But that doesn't explain why it can restart and drive afterwards. I've also read that it could be due to contaminants or water in the tank. What is the best way to test for the cause? Do I need a pressure test or tank cleaning? Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi. You really need to have it checked by a mechanic. They can check various things the pressure, make sure the pump is getting the correct voltage, make sure the float isn't getting stuck. Sounds a bit strange that it happens when the car hits 1/4 tank. Maybe a faulty level sender.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply 7-even. I think the hard part will be finding a shop that can do a fuel pressure test. I took the car to a Suzuki dealer last week for a $122.00 diagnostic (confirmed need for a new catalytic converter/O2 sensor) but a pressure test apparently wasn't included. I'm finding that there aren't a lot of Chicago repair venues that will work on a Forenza for other than routine maintenance stuff. I just hope it's a relatively cheap fix.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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First, are you sure that it's not a gauge issue?

Easy way to determine...if the tank is let's say a 16 gallon unit, and when at 1/4 and the fun begins, does it require nearly 16 gallons to fill it (or only 12 which would be a normal top-off from if the gauge was OK)?

My guess is that the in-tank filter / sock is partially clogged. When you have an abundance of fuel in the tank, that height (head of pressure) masks the issue. But when you reach the lower tank level the fuel pump starves. You'd need to pull the pump / filter to confirm by (probably) dropping the tank on your model.

Do you also have an external fuel filter? If so, the same (partially clogged / tank level low) scenario can cause fuel starvation.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks for chiming in max! i havent dealt with the fuel system yet so im no expert about it lol im almost positive there is no external filter the only one is the in tank filter sock.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Max, I'll try your advice regarding the fill-up and see how much it takes. According to the manual it takes 14.5 gallons.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I tried running the gas down close to the 1/4 mark as safely as I could. The tank stopped filling at 10.1. gallons, which seems about right for my 14.5 gallon tank. I'm still surprised that the car didn't stop on me, and am beginning to wonder if recently installing the new catalytic converter and O2 sensor helped. Or maybe I just didn't run the gas down far enough.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Naw. The sensor and Cat replacement isn't the answer. If the fuel gauge is correct as it appears, then it's the fuel delivery issues discussed earlier.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok Max, I trust your knowledge so I'll continue focusing on the fuel delivery. I'm going to first try finding a shop that can do a fuel pump test when the tank gets back down to 1/4.

If necessary, it looks like replacing it won't be as financially painful as I thought.
fuel pump (not incl assembly parts): $213.63 at lehmansuzukipartsonline
automd estimated the labor at 0.5 hr.

Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't fall for a wholesale replacement of the pump yet, as the chances of simply a filter or sock clogging (as mentioned early on) being the SOLE issue to address here.
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