Thanks for the reply. There's more to the story though because this can happen to any car. The pickup for the fuel pump lies on the bottom of the tank, so if sludge was blocking it, the fuel level would not be a factor. The more common cause is using ethanol in the gas. Mold grows on that alcohol and it can plug the pickup screen. I've had to replace those screens three times on two cars. They become plugged about every 200,000 miles. When you have an engine that uses a fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail on the engine, the clue is the stalling occurs after the first ten to fifteen miles of driving, and when the highest volume of fuel is being pumped, ... Which is during coasting. The flow draws the mold in the tank to the screen and blocks it. The second clue is if you wait for about five minutes, the blockage will clear up enough for the engine to run fine for another mile or two. In my cases, the second vehicle this happened to had fuel injection. Once I figured out what was causing the stalling, the additional clue was to disconnect the vacuum hose at the fuel pressure regulator, and plug it. That caused pressure to be too high, but it greatly reduced the amount of fuel being pumped. The only fuel that had to make it through the screen was what the engine was using. That is far less that what is normally flowing.
A similar problem occurred on Chrysler products, but it affected their fuel pumps. Their pumps are uncommonly quiet, but that is because they are built to very close tolerances and clearances. The mold, and other debris, causes the rotor to lock up. The dead pump causes a crank / no-start. People replace the pump four or five times over a period of months with ones from an auto parts store, then get frustrated and buy one from the dealer's parts department, then never have another problem. Their assumption was the aftermarket pumps are junk, but that is not the case. Each replacement pump collects some of that debris, and by the time the Chrysler pump is installed, there's no gunk left to lock up that one. Also, if you buy a replacement pump from NAPA, (and probably from some other stores), you're getting the same pump as from the dealer. Some of the auto parts stores get their pumps from the same suppliers that sold them to Chrysler.
The proper fix, when you know about it, is to have the tank steam-cleaned at a radiator repair shop, and replace the pickup screen when a new pump is needed.
Also, most fuel pumps sit inside a little bowl in the middle of the tank. That insures the engine won't stall from lack of fuel when going around a corner and fuel runs away from the pickup. The pickup is always sitting in about five inches of gas, even when the tank is almost empty, and more when the level is higher than that bowl. The only thing that might cause fuel level to be a factor is the debris suspended in it will be more concentrated and more likely to fully block the screen.
Thursday, January 19th, 2017 AT 3:23 PM