I have a very irksome issue that the local Ford dealership doesn’t seem to know how to fix.
Several things happened which I think would be important to list sequentially, so I’m presenting the things that happened in a list format:
- Car was running fine, getting 40.8 MPG
- Ford issued a recall on the fuel pump on my car, so I brought my car in for the recall service and had it done
- A week later, the check engine light came on -> brought it to the dealership and they changed an “O ring”… light went away
- Another week later, check engine light came on AGAIN. I noticed that the light came on shortly after I filled up my gas tank. The interesting thing is that the light went away after I’ve used about 1/2 tank of gas (I have a 13.5 gallon gas tank)
- Brought the car to the dealership again. They did some more testing and said that a “ventilation valve” was stuck… so they ordered a new one and replaced it
- Thought my problems were over, but this is when the current issue started. The next time that I filled up the tank, I noticed that the fuel gauge was dropping its level pretty quickly. Driving for about 70 miles after filling up the tank, I was left with a 3/4 tank. The 3+ gallons of fuel should have given me almost 130 miles.
- I thought I was leaking fuel, so brought it into the dealership, but they find no leaks. There’s no gas residue in the garage when parked overnight.
- I did some calculations on the fuel usage situation… my car is now getting about 20 MPG (previously 40.8 MPG)
- The strange thing is, the car would only get the 20 MPG when the fuel tank was full till about 1/2 empty. After the gas tank hits 1/2, I get about 40+ MPG again.
- This last observation makes me think this fuel usage issue has something to do with the previous check engine light problem (since they both show up only when the fuel tank was full to 1/2). I tried to tell the dealership this, but apparently all their tests come up negative.
So this is where I’m stuck now… the dealership doesn’t know what to do. They’ve started to ignore my calls and emails… and I’m left with a hybrid which gets only 20 MPG half the time, which is really really irritating (defeats the whole purpose of paying an extra $8000 for the hybrid).
Any ideas what could be wrong? I don’t think it’s just a fuel gauge reading error, because my total range on a full tank of gas dropped from about 550 miles to just above 400 miles. The amount it costs to fill up a tank is about the same… and doing usual driving, I used to fill up the tank once every 2 weeks, but now I can last only a little more than a week. I’ve attached some pictures of the fuel gauge and odometer reading.