Kalia's "Sediment Fill Up" question... (05/24/08)


I agree with Tom and Ray’s answer that of course the pump sock, being that it isn’t torn, should filter out any sediment along with your inline fuel filter before it gets to the engine.

However, I had always been under the impression that filling up the the tank before “empty” in vehicles with electric in-tank pumps was beneficial in that the fuel helps to prolong pump life due to a dissipation of heat in the surrounding fuel or a “cooling” effect.

I would think Tom and Ray would’ve addressed this as a valid point to why she should still fill up the tank before it hits empty, but they didn’t.

So, is this another myth? Does keeping the fuel level high enough to maintain the fuel pump submerged lead to longer pump life?


Call it another myth. You can’t expect Tom & Ray to address every one of them.

  1. Even when your gauge reads totally empty you still have a gallon or so of fuel in the tank, enough to submerge the pump or nearly so.

  2. As long as the fuel pump is able to suck up fuel at a normal rate, it is circulating enough fuel to handle cooling chores.

  3. Say, just how hot do you think a fuel pump can get? Most electrical appliances feel slightly warm to the touch when in operation. Same with a fuel pump. Expect a few extra degrees, that’s all. The engineers are not going to place a high-heat device inside a container of gasoline! Give them some credit for sanity.


Many times I’ve seen fuel pump failures from running out of gas. This comes from burning up the fuel pump due the lack of cooling from the gas. You have to remember, these are high pressure electrical pumps. And when you ask any kind of pump to put a liquid under high pressure, it runs hot from the get-go.



Several of my friends who get their kicks from driving on vapors have had their fuel pumps burned out; usually on Fords. I always advise to keep the tank full and gas up at about 1/4 mark in the summer. Never had a fuel oump failure.