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engine overheating from low fuel

My 2000 Chevy Tahoe fuel guage has not been working for weeks. Now my engine is overheating. I am told it might be the fuel pump. I do let the gas run very low before refilling. Can my engine overheat from a hot fuel pump?


  • edited April 2009
    No. it cannot. The fuel pump is located in the gas tank and has no relationship the the engine overheating. However, running out of fuel could fry to fuel pump, so start filling it more often.

    Have you checked your coolant level?
  • edited April 2009
    Yes. There is pink fluid in the white plastic jug. So is the gas guage issue separate? thanks for your help.
  • edited April 2009
    Yes, the fact that you run your gas low is seperate from the overheating problem. Keep doing it and you may cause another problem, but it's not related to the overheating.

    I'd suggest you get the vehicle to a shop ASAP, before the overheating creates permanant engine damage. It'll probably be just a $15 thermostat, but it needs correcting.
  • edited April 2009
    Thanks. I have been crying since yesterday over this and it might cost $15 dollars! You just made my day. The guy at the garage told me I might need a new fuel pump and the cost was a few hundred dollars. He said he couldn't take me until Monday thank God! I appreciate your help! I'll fill up sooner from now on. Have a great weekend.
  • edited April 2009
    Um...please understand that while the overheating is unrelated, needs correcting, and may be only an inexpensive thermostat, you may have already caused the fuel pump problem.

    In other words, you may have two problems. I can't tell from here.

    Please don't cry. Repairs are only a normal part of car ownership. It is, after all, only a machine.
  • edited April 2009
    Its starts up and runs for a bit before overheating. The garage that told me it was the fuel pump spoke to me on the phone only and asked I drop it off on Monday at 7AM. I am hoping the thermostat is the issue. That would be great news.
  • edited April 2009
    Beside the coolant overflow tank, have you removed the radiator cap (with the engine cold!) and checked the coolant level in the radiator?

    The gas gauge in my 2000 Blazer stopped working 2 years ago. I keep track of my mileage and mpg and try not to let the fuel tank go below 3 or 4 gallons. So far the fuel pump is holding up. Unfortunately the fuel pump is an expensive repair.

    Good luck,

    Ed B.
  • edited April 2009
    You've brought up 3 problems-
    1. fuel gauge doesn't work - unrelated to fuel pump, but a reason to keep the tank full. Get it fixed or you might be stranded in a bad place some day.
    2. fuel pump - nothing you've described is related to a fuel pump problem. A fuel pump problem would prevent the Tahoe from running, not cause it to overheat. I would not trust a mechanic who said a bad fuel pump would cause the truck to overheat.
    3. overheating - This is the immediate problem, could be a simple as a thermostat, but who knows. Also, the part may be $15, but it will cost more to replace it. Like other said, you need to check the radiator (cold engine only!), add water if it's not full before you drive it to a mechanic.

    If you need to find a mechanic use the car talk mechanic finder:
  • edited April 2009
    I'm no chemistry major, but for some reason, a lean burning mixture leads to high combustion temperature. So low fuel can possibly lead to overheating.
  • edited April 2009
    Cars stop running at that point.
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