Bad start after getting gas/fuel

Tiny
EKALEVI
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 NISSAN PATHFINDER
  • 86,000 MILES
If I let my Pathfinder go below half a tank and get a full tank of gas the car has a difficult time turning over (usually 3 rough tries) and idles rough for a minute. If I refuel above the half tank mark no problem. The "Service Engine" light is on, but it is always on. After servicing it will turn back on with in 1 week. The "Service Engine soon light" has been like this for 5 years.
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 AT 12:27 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
The "check engine" light is an indicator for a system that monitors many electronic functions in the system, also called the "malfunction indicator lamp" (MIL). It can come on for any of hundreds of different causes from any of the systems that the computer monitors. Some are very important and can lead to further component or engine damage and some are emissions related not as serious but still a problem and need to be repaired.

Your first step is to have the computer scanned to retrieve the trouble codes that were set when the check engine light came on. Those codes will give you specific information about what the computer saw and will get you pointed in the right direction to find your problem. With a 1996 or newer and some 95 cars and you have an AutoZone or Advanced auto parts in your area, they will read them for free. Once you have these code numbers, we can be a lot more specific about what your problem may be.

In tank fuel pumps are cooled and lubricated by the fuel in the tank. When you run a car out of gas or very low, it pumps a lot of air through the pump which overheats it and causes some severe wear and many times, failure when they cool off.
You will need to use a fuel pressure gauge to verify this
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 AT 2:39 PM
Tiny
EKALEVI
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I don't run the gas low but I have a teen son who might have.
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 AT 3:00 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
LOL, you can probably bet on that.
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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 AT 3:41 PM

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