Hard to start only when low on gas

Hi, what would cause a 2000 Honda Civic to hesitate starting only when low on gas? I googled but found pother types of problems, nothing showing that a car runs and starts normal with lots of gas but before the low gas light even comes on, it has problems starting

And, you are absolutely positive that your gas gauge is absolutely correct?
The short answer: I don’t know. The long answer: I can find out; or, at least, fix it…which isn’t necessarily the same thing.
To possibly fix it, change the fuel filter and check the fuel pressure; Correct fuel pressure as needed. If further problem, further checking, and testing, of the engine management system is needed.

My 1999 Civic EX has the same problem. If I turn the key On and Off a few times before turning it all the way to Start, it helps. Each time the key is turned to On, the fuel pump runs for a few seconds. So I think the problem is that fuel pressure and or fuel volume at the fuel injectors somehow decreases when the car sits with a low volume of fuel in the tank. Maybe a check valve somewhere is not sealing as well as it should. Someone on this forum or another once referred to a pulsator valve that is part of the fuel pump system - maybe that’s the culprit.

Have a fuel pressure and volume test done.

What Joe said, make sure tank is low and car hard to start before test…

Yes, the other day i waited until it was low and intentionally waited until low gas light came on to see if it was somehow off but it did eventually come on & allowed me to drive for many miles. Much appreciated feedback, i see many other great ideas here that will be implemented.

Thanks, will definetly try that next time to see.

Will do, calling Monday to schedule, thanks much.

Great, much appreciated!

Will also post an update as to what occurs post repair…

I am curious as to what you find. The “key dance” has always worked for my 1999 Civic EX. The car has never had any other symptom of low fuel pressure or volume, even at wide open throttle climbing hills. I do replace the fuel filter at the recommended times. If it’s a simple repair I might try it.

I have the same vehicle as shanonia, in coupe form. I don’t do the “key dance”, I just move it to the start position and let it alone for a few seconds, then start it.
Usually happens once it gets about 1/4 tank, and is a good indication for me to get gas.


curiousj, did anything definite come of the efforts to diagnose and cure this hard starting problem?

Atta boy, that’s what we need to see more of.

It only occurs when low on gas and same regardless if i play with key
Sorry it has taken a bit to reply, i got the car bak to my little sis & she said when she has the money she will take it in for those tests but for now, she will not let it run low…

I certainly have suggested that to her for now, i helped her out by buying it used since she was struggling.
Sorry it has taken a bit to reply, i got the car bak to my little sis & she said when she has the money she will take it in for those tests but for now, she will not let it run low…

I was about to leave it at mechanic again when my little sis asked for the car (i was helping her by buying it used) I told her to please report back to me once she is able to take to the mechanic but i dont see her as concerned as i was. I think she might just avoid a low tank…

I notice the same thing with my 1998 Civic. However, after I bought it, I learned to drive a tractor trailer, which you must leave in the “on” position for a few seconds before you start it up. As a result, I have gotten into the same habit with my car. I let it sit in the “on” position for a few seconds before I crank the engine. It doesn’t happen when I use that technique, no matter how low the fuel is.