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Running with the gas tank almost empty

I have on one occasion run my gas tank almost empty, and sludge in the tank most definitely clogged the fuel filter in the tank. I am sure of this, because removing and replacing (or cleaning, I don’t recall) the filter fixed it, and I drove the vehicle many thousands of miles afterwards without a recurrance. I’m surprised that you guys haden’t seen this happen, as you poo-poohed the problem when the caller mentioned it. Or maybe your brain cells are as scrambled as mine are (I’m over 50 fer sure). -PJ

Oops. haden’t = hadn’t. I don’t want to be known as “that bad-spellling guy”.

When you dumped the filter out did you actualy see sludge type material? If you did you are on borrowed time you need to have your tank removed and cleaned out. Not every tank has this much sludge in it,your condition is not the norm.

Are we talking about the sock that goes over the pump pickup or a actual filter? Did the sludge make it to the filter on the outside of the tank?

What type of car are we talking about?

Take the gas tank apart, I think you will find the fuel pickup is on the bottom of the tank. So no matter how much fuel you have in the tank you are still drawing off the bottom where your supposed sludge is accumulating.

There is a thing known as “refiner’s silt” which sometimes gets through the distribution system. Last happened to me almost 30 years ago, but it was fine enough to get through the fuel filter. Carburetor was a mess.

Indeed it was the “sock” that I cleaned, and called a filter, but ain’t it a filter of some kind? And yes there was “sludge type material” - I like that phrase, but I think I’ll just say “sludge” for short.

I bet I WOULD have been living on borrowed time but for {1} I did clean sludge from the tank (drove it many more miles afterwards) & {2} I got rid of that clunker a long time ago. But I swear it really happened and I didn’t dream it. I always remember when I lost sleep coz I needed to crawl under some #$#&^! car.

Type of car: It was a Dodge or Plymouth minivan. Don’t recall the year, but it was sometime after 1923.

OK I am being a pest. This is my 3rd post in a few mins. Just re-read DavidKelly’s post. You are right, of course, about the fuel pickup at the tank bottom, but I do recall now that I was having some sputtering-type problems, and I bet that running the tank close to dry that time was the er… last straw, for lack of a better phrase. One day it finally wouldn’t pump enough to keep running, hence the sock-job.