It is a usual practice by many people to refuel their cars after the fuel tank is almost empty. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the adverse effects of this common practice. Let’s explore what can happen if the fuel is low in your car. Your car’s engine needs four essential things to work at optimal capacity. These are petrol, spark, compression, and oxygen. If one of these four things is not provided, the engine will not work. If there is no petrol or diesel in your car, there will not be any combustion taking place inside the engine. Combustion of petrol/diesel is vital for your car’s engine to work.
Low Fuel and Working Dynamics of a Fuel Pump:
When the engine stops working, people usually think that the fuel pump is faulty. To properly understand this aspect of your car, you need to understand what a this pump does for your vehicle. The pump is fitted with the fuel filter inside the fuel tank of your car. It is attached to a suction filter so that any sort of particles do not go into the primary filter and get stopped at the suction filter.
The pump in your car takes petrol/diesel from the pump and through the filter to the injectors of the engine. The injectors then spray the gasoline into the engine. There must not be any raw particles in your tank. This is because when a pump sucks gasoline from the tank, it also sucks these particles.
These particles or debris get stuck in the suction filter; therefore, the pump has to put in extra effort to pump petrol or diesel from the tank. If there is no gasoline in your car and the car is at a standstill, the pump will suck in air. The pump is designed in such a fashion that it must remain cold and lubricated by virtue of the petrol that passes through it. When air goes through it, it becomes hot, and the pump can break. This will happen if you keep on driving your car on less levels of gasoline in your vehicle. You can also consult your car’s owner’s manual in this regard.
Watch Video on Low Fuel:
Damages of Low Fuel Pressure:
When the fuel tank in your car is about to get empty, then there must be at least one cylinder of your engine that is getting gasoline. While the other cylinders will not be getting any petrol. This particular situation results in the misfiring of the engine. The misfiring is when combustion does not occur in a cylinder.
When your car is moving very fast with less petrol in the tank, the pump is not supplying sufficient fuel to the engine to work at that level and rpm. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) will demand more petrol to sustain a specific high speed and rpm of the car. This level of fuel will not be present in the tank, and it will be problematic. This will eventually result in the knocking of the engine, which is not good. Therefore, when the fuel is low, do not drive fast as this can reduce the life of your engine.
Effects on the Catalytic Converter:
The catalytic converter in your car is an exhaust emission control device. This device helps in controlling the number of harmful gasses emitting from the exhaust system of your vehicle. When a higher proportion of un-burnt fuel passes through the catalytic converter, it will start to get hot and will get overheated. If the spark plug is working optimally, the fuel will not get burnt wholly.
This will eventually lead to overheating and breakdown of the catalytic converter. Getting your catalytic converter fixed or replaced is expensive.
All of the symptoms and adverse effects listed in this article are the ones that can probably happen to your car if you drive on low levels of fuel. There can be instances when you drive your car on low levels for an extended period, and nothing bad happens to your car.
A general rule of thumb is to keep your car’s tank full to at least a quarter of its total capacity. The debris or particles in the fuel usually get settled at the very bottom of your fuel tank. They can only get sucked by the fuel pump when the fuel level is shallow in the tank.
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