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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son ran out of gas last week in our 2002 Taurus with a Vulcan engine. It has 151K miles on it. How likely is the fuel pump to die on us as a result of running it dry? I plan to change the fuel filter shortly. Anything else I should check or be on the lookout for?
 

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Hi Tom,

It depends on how much crud, if any, got sucked into it off the tank bottom and how long it ran while dry. Be on the lookout for clogged injector(s) on restart, can throw a lean CEL code as a symptom. I'd put some high powered injector cleaner in with the refueling. -Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dan,

Right now, the Taurus just "skips a beat" every now and then and occasionally will "hunt" (rpms going slowly up and down a small amount). My son is getting a new fuel filter and a big bottle of Techron.

I'll also check it for any codes tonight after work. I didn't see any yesterday when I checked.

I have also changed the plugs and wires (Motorcraft) with no change in the performance of the engine. I was getting P0300 and P0316 trouble codes. I didn't see any codes yesterday and I did not re-set the P0300 and P0316 codes, they just cleared themselves due to the number of cranking cycles.

Thanks.
 

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My guess is as soon as the pump gets dry, it will fail to pressurize fuel and engine will starve to death. Am I wrong on this assumption?
 

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My guess is as soon as the pump gets dry, it will fail to pressurize fuel and engine will starve to death. Am I wrong on this assumption?
No, not at all. The issue is that running a fuel pump while dry greatly shortens it's life-span very quickly. The gas they move also lubricates them. The other issue is that running out of fuel can also sometimes lodge crud in an injector, causing it to squirt lean or not at all. In my experience, injector clogging shyte can get past a fuel filter, if not, why would they sell injector cleaner? The skipping and hunting could be a vacuum leak.
(Edit: I couldn't find the ref for a 0316 code, what is that one?)
 

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My opinion is that it will make very little difference on the life of the pump. You've got a fair amount of miles on the car already and it could need a new pump any time from here on out just because of the age. If it makes it another 10K miles and goes out will it be because because it ran dry once or because it has 160K miles on the car? Either way you can blame your son and make him change it for you :)
 

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My son ran out of gas last week in our 2002 Taurus with a Vulcan engine. It has 151K miles on it. How likely is the fuel pump to die on us as a result of running it dry? I plan to change the fuel filter shortly. Anything else I should check or be on the lookout for?
im not that expert enough to suggest but i think it suffice it all. you dont need to look or check something else. it will definitely dry if your car is 151K then you exceeded. that's make sense it will dry.

Goodluck ;)

darren
"fuel pumps matters!..."
 

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Running it out of gas will hurt the pump, shorten it's life.
I never go lower than 1/4 tank of gas, my pump was fine at 185k when I changed it when replacing a leaky tank. My Co. truck has 222k on the orig. pump and running fine so far.
Wife's GF bought a new Murano, always ran the tank to E, pump failed at 20k miles.
The kid ran out of gas, that means he runs it down to E on a regular basis IMO like most kids. He needs a gas tank R n R job as a lesson. Heheheh
Fuel pressure check is the only way to know it's health and even then if it's OK today there is no way to know for how long it will last.
 

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(Edit: I couldn't find the ref for a 0316 code, what is that one?)
Dan, P0316 is missfire detected during the first 1000 revolutions after startup.

The 2000+ pumps tend to last longer than the earlier ones since with the returnless fuel system, the pump doesnt run anywhere near max output (max pump RPM) 99% of the time.
 

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Fuel Pump

Dan, P0316 is missfire detected during the first 1000 revolutions after startup.

The 2000+ pumps tend to last longer than the earlier ones since with the returnless fuel system, the pump doesnt run anywhere near max output (max pump RPM) 99% of the time.
Thanks for that info. I was wondering when they went to the variable voltage pump that only works hard enough for the engine needs, not 110% all the time. Saves on elect usage and pump wear. Sounds like a good idea, and for testing, explains voltage at the inertia sensor not at battery voltage, as "back in the day".

Hard for this old coot to keep up.

-chart-
 

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It isnt quite a variable voltage applied to the pump, the pump is driven by a PWM (pulse width modulation) signal. PWM is basically a variable duty cycle 12V square wave applied to the pump. The IAC also uses PWM. EEC IV used a 40 Hz PWM system, and I THINK EEC V kept the same PWM frequency.

Since the PWM frequency is much higher than the refresh frequency, a typical DMM will read a lower average voltage at the pump than 12 V.
 

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Pwm

It isnt quite a variable voltage applied to the pump, the pump is driven by a PWM (pulse width modulation) signal. PWM is basically a variable duty cycle 12V square wave applied to the pump. The IAC also uses PWM. EEC IV used a 40 Hz PWM system, and I THINK EEC V kept the same PWM frequency.

Since the PWM frequency is much higher than the refresh frequency, a typical DMM will read a lower average voltage at the pump than 12 V.
I am quite famalir with PWM but back in the day, it was called duty cycle.

When I was employeed, we used PWM with control of electric heating units used in industry. Reason: half voltage = 25% watts while half duty cyle =50% watts. Linear watts to cycle duty. It is also easy to do and quite efficient.

Usually a mechanical meter will read the "effective" volts while a digital can read variable numbers based on the type of meter.

Anyway PWM used commonly in autos even on heater blower control. They get a lot of control in a small package with very little heat, and quite reliable.

I taught electricity and electronics in high school in the 60's but practice has long passed me by. Basics do not change.

Good info, thanks.

-chart-
 

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Pulsed power to the pump, I learned something today.
Just another reason battery and charging system health is critical today compaired to the old days........
 
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