Will not start after running out of gas

Tiny
JAMES MCPHERSON
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 KIA SPORTAGE
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
I bought the vehicle listed above used. I was not told the gas gauge did not work. In fact, it registered over half a tank and gradually went down over several days as I drove around town. It started and ran fine. 2 days ago, the gauge registered 1/4. But the car quit abruptly and would not restart. I had it towed home. I put in six gallons of fresh fuel. But it would not start. I opened the air cleaner hose and splashed a small amount of gas in the hose. The car then fired and ran for a few seconds. This indicated to me the ignition was firing and the problem was fuel delivery. I replaced the fuel filter. The old one was very dirty and had to be cleaned out to just get air through it. Again, the car would fire but shut off with a little gas splashed in the breather hose. So, I purchased and replaced the fuel pump.
Still the car will not run. It will fire with a bit of gas splashed in the breather hose. But will not stay running.
I do not see any air bleed valve around the fuel lines or components. Does the fuel system need to be bled? Or is there some other component that needs to be checked or replaced. I am a retired person not a mechanic and have basic hand tools but no test equipment. I look at the fuel pump fuse and it is unbroken. I swapped the main engine fuse with the one next to it in the engine compartment as they look identical and have the same numbers printed on them. I am at a loss as to what to do next. Thank you. James
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Sunday, June 19th, 2022 AT 6:41 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Are you able to hear if the fuel pump primes for a couple of seconds when the key is first turned on? If not, then you really should perform a fuel pressure test. You will need a fuel pressure gauge, but most parts stores will lend one to you. Here is a link that explains how it's done:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator

Now, if you don't hear the pump and there is no pressure to the engine, we need to determine if there is power going to the fuel pump. Although the fuse is good, we can still lose power at other places.

There are two fuses of interest. One is for the fuel pump and the other is for the fuel injectors. Here is how it works: When the fuel pump should turn on, the ECM sends power to the fuel pump relay primary circuit which energizes the coil in the relay. This closes the switch in the relay allowing power to flow from the fuel pump fuse to the pump.

So, I need you to check both fuses. Note that the 10-amp fuel pump fuse will only have power when the relay is energized. The 30-amp fuse should have power with the key in the on position.

In addition to checking the condition of the fuses, make sure there is power to and from therm. Here is a link you may find helpful:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

If they are good, remove the fuel pump relay and switch it with a different relay in the box having the same part number. If there isn't one, here is a link that explains how to test a relay:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-an-electrical-relay-and-wiring-control-circuit

I attached the schematic related to the fuel pump for your reference.

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Take care,

Joe

See pic below.
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Sunday, June 19th, 2022 AT 10:01 PM
Tiny
JAMES MCPHERSON
  • MEMBER
I did not make it to a parts store to borrow a fuel pressure tester, but I did get a new battery for my VOM. So, I checked the fuses and found the one 15A that was labeled fuel pump. It was black on both sides so I could not see if it was burnt or not, but I went ahead and changed it. I checked the voltage at the pump connector, and it was 12+ with the key on. I still cannot hear or feel any sound or vibration from the pump when cycling through the second key on-off several times. But when I checked the output to the engine side of the fuel filter by disconnecting the fuel line after a period of on-off and trying to start the engine the line had fuel in it. I have not gotten fuel out there before. The problem is I have to walk to an auto parts store about 5+ miles from me. At 80 years old in this heat wave that is a bit too much. I had a friend let me use jumper cables to do the above ignition on off and try to start. I still do not see any air type value on the fuel intake area. My friend will come by later this week on his day off. Is there anything I check in the meanwhile? Thank you, James
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 8:33 AM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If you are getting fuel to the filter, will it now start or at least try to start? The idea of you walking five miles is a bit disturbing. I wish I were there to help.

Take care and let me know what I can do to help.

Joe
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
JAMES MCPHERSON
  • MEMBER
It will hit and run for a few seconds when I pour a little fuel into the air intake hose. Today I caught a ride with a guy and got a battery charger. And a fuel pressure tester. Also after trying to crank, it several times, I pulled the hose off the output side of the fuel filter and gas ran out. I never got that before. So with the battery on the charger overnight, I can try to test fuel pressure in the morning.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 5:41 PM
Tiny
RANDY B
  • EXPERT
Hi guys. I wanted to add a note of value earlier. On my old rusty trusty '88 Grand Caravan, the fuel pickup sits in a bowl in the middle of the tank. That keeps the fuel from running away when cornering with very low fuel level. When refueling, the fuel runs out of the fill hose and dumps into that bowl. That lets the engine restart right away with as little as a quart of gas. When running, that bowl is kept full by the fuel returning from the fuel rail and pressure regulator on the engine. It rushes up a ramp around the bowl. That action suctions more fuel along with it that runs uphill into the bowl to keep it full as the tank level gets real low.

On my '94 Grand Voyager, the fuel from the filler tube misses that bowl and just goes into the rest of the tank. I found that after running it out of gas, it takes a minimum of five gallons when sitting on level ground, for the fuel level to get high enough for some to overflow into the bowl. 4 1/2 gallons isn't enough to spill into the bowl, so you'll have a crank / no-start due to lack of fuel.

I saw six gallons mentioned in the original post and wondered if that simply wasn't enough to reach the fuel pickup assembly. You might consider adding a few more gallons before pursuing the hard stuff. If that helps, feel free to think I'm a genius. If not, you'll have to continue on with the diagnosis.

Carry on.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 6:00 PM
Tiny
JAMES MCPHERSON
  • MEMBER
Regardless I consider you one of the good guys for caring.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That is excellent info. Thanks, Randy. It certainly is worth trying. By chance, have you tried?

Let us know.

Joe
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
JAMES MCPHERSON
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 KIA SPORTAGE
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
I somehow lost my thread, but I have run a fuel pump pressure test = 0, checked all fuses I do not hear the pump run within the first 2 seconds of key switched on. The car will not start. What else do I need to check? Injector power? Fuel pressure regulator? Where are those and how to check? The car hits with a little fuel in the air intake hose. New fuel pump, new fuel filter. What do I do next? James McPherson
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 AT 9:46 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi James,

We need to determine if the new fuel pump has power to it. Have you checked the fuse and fuel pump relay that I mentioned in an earlier post?

If you have and they are all good, we need to check for power at the fuel pump. At the pump, there is a green wire with a yellow tracer. That will have power for only a couple of seconds when first turning on the key to start the vehicle, so you will need a helper to do this.

Also, there will be a black wire that is for ground. If you find there is power to the green/yellow wire, then you need to confirm continuity to ground on the black wire. If there is continuity and there is power, you must have gotten a bad pump.

Do me a favor. In addition to checking the black wire for continuity to ground, locate where it grounds at the right rear of the vehicle and make sure it is in good condition.

Here is a link you may find helpful:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

Let me know what you find or if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe
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Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 AT 8:34 PM

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