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Fuel issues in 2004 Suburban

I have a 2004 suburban with a pproximately 125k miles on it, it is nominally my wife’s car.

Recently it seems to not be able to access the last 1/4 tank of fuel. A couple of weeks ago my wife (who likes to run it down to the dregs) got it sub 1/4 tank, and it cranked but didnt start…put in 2 gallons from a can, started right up…took it to a gas station, filled it up (less the approximate 1/4 tank of fuel).

So, fuel pump? Pickup clogged?

If so, what does it take to replace/repair, or should I take it to my mechanic and put myself at his tender mercies?


By far the simplest and best solutution here is to stop running the tank down to 1/4 or less of fuel.

Admittedly, though, getting the wife to change her ways will be the most difficult part.

Good luck.

One possibility is that your fuel pump is on the way out. Dying fuel pumps are often worse when they’re hot. The fuel in the tank helps to keep it cool, so with little fuel it’s running hotter.

Another possibility is that you’re building a vacuum in the tank. When you removed the cap to add the fuel, did you hear a rush of air going in? You could try just removing the cap and putting it back on without adding fuel to see if this makes a difference.

no, no vacuum in the tank, and yes the simple solution is to keep it at 3/8ths or higher…of course in the past 3 months I have had to run gas to her 3 times :frowning:
Another symptom is when the car is running, it will run well below 1/4 tank, stop it and it wont restart until refille above the magic mark…
time between stoping and starting doesnt seem to be significant, 5 minutes or next day, wont restart.
This is why I think it may be the fuel pump…suction from the engine keeps it running, drop suction, drop fuel…your done.
Is my logic sound?

First, I’d try a new fuel filter. Then, if that doesn’t work, a new fuel pump.

But before that, take it to a trusted local mechanic and, with a full gas tank, have him shut off the engine and check the fuel pressure, and write it down for you. Then, after a week or so of driving, when the tank is down to 3/8thsor so, go back and have him shut off the engine and check thhe pressure again, and compare it with the previous reading. That may give you some insight into what is happening.

Could this be something as simple as the gas gauge is off? When it get down to where it dies, fill it up and see how many gallons it takes. Does it match the tank size?