Do not run out of gas!

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am presently driving my first fuel injected car. A friend told me to be sure not to run out of gas, as it is a problem with fuel injected cars. Is it?

TOM: I've got news for you, Floyd. Running out of gas is a problem no matter what you're driving!

RAY: Actually, Floyd, your friend has probably had to replace clogged fuel injectors at some point in his life, and he's trying to help you avoid a similar fate.

TOM: The problem with running out of gas in a fuel injected car has to do with the sediment at the bottom of your gas tank. Small particles of dirt and rust are concentrated there, and when the fuel pump sucks them up, some of that dirt can work its way past the fuel filter, and ultimately, to the injectors.

RAY: Although these contaminants are not very big, they're big enough to clog fuel injectors, which is why the fuel filter is so vital.

TOM: So rather than worry about running out of gas, Floyd, you should worry about whether your fuel filter is clean. Changing it frequently is your best defense against clogged injectors. We suggest you change it even more often than your owner's manual recommends (once a year is just about right). Filters are much cheaper than injectors, so they're a
cheap form of insurance (even cheaper than that stuff Ed McMahon sells!).

RAY: So while we generally recommend to our readers that they try not to run out of gas, we'll leave it up to you, Floyd. If you have a clean fuel filter, you can run out of gas as often as you like.

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