I left the running overnight

I accidentally left my sons 2002 Honda Accord EX engine running overnight for about 15 hours. He drove the car and said most of the gas was gone and that the car was jerking while he was driving. Will the car be fine? Thank you

You may have gotten to the bottom of the tank and sucked up some junk into the fuel filter. As long as it did not overheat or run out of gas it should be OK. I would start with replacing the fuel filter and check the levels on all the fluids.

I agree with Knfenimore…I think it just is either a clogged fuel filter of maybe a fouled plug.
Have him replace the fuel filter and take it for a good drive to clear the system. If it still jerks, a new set of plugs may be in order.

I doubt you did any damage


I would not change the fuel filter. The fuel pump always sucks from the bottom of the tank so it really doesn’t matter if the fuel level gets low. Fill it up and a few hours of normal driving should take care of the problem. The computer may have to relearn how to operate the engine at other than idle.

I would check the transmission fluid though. Long periods of idling can be rough on the ATF. It might be the transmission jerking and not the engine, even though it was in Park (I hope).

A properly running car should be able to idle that long without causing any problems. The biggest risk is if something goes wrong and it overheats. Were any warning lights on when he got into the car?

By the way, I hope this happened outside and not in a garage!

Idling a vehicle like that will not cause it to jerk like that. A rough ride home from the bar will.

Whats the rest of the story? There has to be more.

The spark-plugs may have fouled…Pull one and see what it looks like…

I have a 2005 Accord. If your fuel filter is like mine, and it probably is, the filter is attached to the fuel pump inside the gas tank. I don’t think it is any dirtier than it was before you left the car running. If there is a problem, it must be something else.

In addition to a fresh tank of gas, you might also want to check the ECU for any stored fault codes. If it was sputtering, there should be some.

And since we don’t know how many miles are on this 12 year old car or when its last tuneup was, a new set of plugs can’t hurt.

A properly operating modern engine can run without harm until the tank runs out. But your son’s car could have been overdue for plugs, and that could have caused misfires that manifested themselves as carbon deposits.

In any event, there’s no serious problem. But the sputtering does need to be fixed.
Um, I’m assuming it was still sputtering AFTER he fueled up?

I doubt you did any harm to the car. Honda’s engines seem to idle pretty cool, with the radiator fan coming on less often than on other larger engines. I might try putting some fuel injector in the tank to see if things get better.