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Yesterday I was driving around town in my 99 Taurus, had the air conditioner on as it was very hot out. (90F). I was very low on fuel approx an 1/8 of a tank. All of a sudden without warning the car just died. No check engine lights nothing. Shut everything down and attempted to restart and it would not start. Waited 10 minutes seemed like it wanted to start but would not. Could not hear the click/hiss of the fuel pump, so thought it may be fuel pump? After 20 minutes and various attempts to start the car restarted, it finally started back up, like nothing had happened. Is it possible, that because of the heat, very low fuel, that the fuel pump just got too hot and shut down? The one thing I dont like is it seems like running the A/C robs this car of any power that it has. Any ideas? I don't know if there may be a pending code, have to pick up my scantool. Is the fuel pump scenario valid?
Both Engine temps and trans temps were in check at the time.
 

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if you didnt hear the fuel pump while turning the key then yeah it can be goin bad. a sign of it gettin ready to go is good mpg.
 

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Cel

Yesterday I was driving around town in my 99 Taurus, had the air conditioner on as it was very hot out. (90F). I was very low on fuel approx an 1/8 of a tank. All of a sudden without warning the car just died. No check engine lights nothing. Shut everything down and attempted to restart and it would not start. Waited 10 minutes seemed like it wanted to start but would not. Could not hear the click/hiss of the fuel pump, so thought it may be fuel pump? After 20 minutes and various attempts to start the car restarted, it finally started back up, like nothing had happened. Is it possible, that because of the heat, very low fuel, that the fuel pump just got too hot and shut down? The one thing I dont like is it seems like running the A/C robs this car of any power that it has. Any ideas? I don't know if there may be a pending code, have to pick up my scantool. Is the fuel pump scenario valid?
Both Engine temps and trans temps were in check at the time.
Remember this:

CEL in most cases does not set unless it has more than one failure. Good code reader will find a "pending code" but no light.

So do not expect to see a light when things go wrong.

And I have had that experience but I called a tow and when they go to the car, it started and ran just fine. Very HOT day, driven 60 miles before a stop, then no pump.

As a curious sort of old coot, I had the pump replaced, and kept the old one. I put wires on it and used it in a bucket of kerosene for a parts washer. Now the curious old coot. With no kerosene in it, it would run. Put it in the hot sun for hours and powered it up and it was stalled. Cooled off and it would run just fine. No noise.

Point is, they can be temp sensitive and be a bad pump, but still be quiet and run on cooler days.

You do well to know about listening for the pump on no start.:)

-chart-
 

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Yes, it is almost certainly a situation where

the fuel pump is overheating and shutting down.

I have had this happen at least 3 times until I put two and two together.

Same situation - very low fuel (near empty). Twice while I was waiting in line at the Costco gas station meaning shutting down and restarting while working my way down the line of cars waiting to fuel.

Same symptom - cranking with misfiring followed shortly by no firing at all. After being pushed out of line and waiting about 20 minutes, engine started again. After the 2nd time, I noticed no fuel pump priming sound when turning on ignition.

Someone else in this forum suggested that low fuel means the pump motor which is normally immersed in fuel and relies on it for cooling gets too hot and a thermal cut-out gets tripped. I don't know the precise design of the pump but that sounds plausible.

After suspecting a bad fuel pump relay and replacing it, I had the problem again so that ruled out that cause. Once the pump is running, it seems to keep going but I wouldn't keep the practice of running gas too low.

Since I now refuel around 1/4 tank on the gauge, I have not had a problem. I also changed out my fuel filter.
 

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Pump Overheat

the fuel pump is overheating and shutting down.

I have had this happen at least 3 times until I put two and two together.

Same situation - very low fuel (near empty). Twice while I was waiting in line at the Costco gas station meaning shutting down and restarting while working my way down the line of cars waiting to fuel.

Same symptom - cranking with misfiring followed shortly by no firing at all. After being pushed out of line and waiting about 20 minutes, engine started again. After the 2nd time, I noticed no fuel pump priming sound when turning on ignition.

Someone else in this forum suggested that low fuel means the pump motor which is normally immersed in fuel and relies on it for cooling gets too hot and a thermal cut-out gets tripped. I don't know the precise design of the pump but that sounds plausible.

After suspecting a bad fuel pump relay and replacing it, I had the problem again so that ruled out that cause. Once the pump is running, it seems to keep going but I wouldn't keep the practice of running gas too low.

Since I now refuel around 1/4 tank on the gauge, I have not had a problem. I also changed out my fuel filter.
Ever see inside a fuel tank?

The pump sits inside a plastic tub with shaped inlets that let fuel in with the forward/backward and side ond side to side movement of the vehicle. This keeps the pump under gas. Also, the return from the engine, pressure regulator bypass goes into that tub.

While sitting still, running hot, the return fuel is hot, and the fresh from the tank is not sloshing into the tub.

However, in my case of a heat stuck pump, I was not sitting in traffic, and the tank was not low. It was just a sensitive pump. No cure except to pay for a pump.

-chart-
 
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