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Was it Something I Did?

Last night I went shopping at the grocery store, car started right up as usual, drove about a block to the gas station with no problems. Filled up with gas and nozzle clicked off. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I squeezed in about another buck’s worth of gas to round it to the nearest dollar. I paid for the gas, came back out to the car, started it and it ran for a very short while and then died. It would not start again. Turned over fine, acted like it was going to start but would not run. I had a feeling it must be something with my gas-up, so I removed the gas cap and re-tightend it. Still would not start after several tries. Tried again removing & replacing the gas cap; no luck starting. I again removed the gas cap, but this time I gently rocked the car side to side, thinking maybe it had some type of air or vapor lock, and by rocking it with the cap off I could expel the air. I got back in the car and it started right up, and has been running and starting fine since. My question is, did I overfill it, was that why it wouldn’t start and I got lucky & fixed it doing what I did? Or, was it just a coincidence it happened at the pump and there may be another issue (weak fuel pump?) that may arise down the road again? (2001 Ford Taurus 3.0L)

I guess I’d be suspecting fuel pump. Banging on the tank will sometimes work to start it again.

It seemed that you put in a mere quarter gallon after the click. This ought not to cause problems.

We don’t have enough information on your no-start symptoms to venture any further guesses.

It is very unlikely that your efforts to fill the tank caused any problem that would prevent the engine from starting. There may have been some water in the fuel, or the fuel pump(relay) took a short hiatus. It would bear some attention though. Next time it might take a vacation.

Turned out to be the fuel pump, but it took 3 visits and numerous “no starts” before the shop figured it out. I actually diagnosed it myself. Realized I wasn’t hearing the usual sound of the fuel pump kicking on when the key was turned to on position when it wouldn’t start. After several tries of on-off, on-off, on-off, I heard the pump kick on & it would start. The shop was still leary but after replacement and about $600 later it has started ever since.