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Progressive decrease in maximum fuel tank capacity

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by bigblueexplorer, July 31, 2009.

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  1. bigblueexplorer

    bigblueexplorer New Member

    Joined:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1999 Ford Explorer LTD
    Hi. I was wondering if someone could help me with my explorer. I am trying not to take it in unless I know something can be fixed as my car has recently encountered some maintenance issues (ie. stolen radio = broken/disconnected wipers, air, etc; replaced brake pads and batteries)

    I noticed over the last three to four gas fills that my fuel tank has decreased capacity.

    Normally during the summer, I can get about 22+ gallons (about 370 miles per full tank). During winter, it averaged about 350 per full tank. At least over the last four years prior to storing my car.

    I had my car in storage with the battery out for the last year. And I did move from Pennsylvania to Illinois.

    Upon my first fill, I was able to get up to 360 miles or so on a full tank.

    Since then, with EACH fill, it's decreased about 20 - 30 miles. Now on a full tank, I can get about 300 miles. While bad, I can't even top off thinking the sensor at the gas stations are broken or what not.

    Could anyone PLEASE help me figure it out? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
    My fuel economy really hasn't changed though.
     
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  3. jlsparky7

    jlsparky7 Well-Known Member

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    City, State:
    Woodhaven, Mi
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1996 5.0 XLT AWD
    Its your gas mileage thats going down. Not your fuel tank size. There are tons of threads on stuff to do to improve fuel mileage on this forum. Do some searching and im sure you will find your fix. Not trying to be mean or anything, just letting you know.
     
  4. MrShorty

    MrShorty Explorer Addict

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    City, State:
    Spanish Fork, UT
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    92 XLT and '87 Bronco II
    My first thought is: is it still taking the same amount to fill up? I'm not sure how the 2nd gen float is designed, but I've heard of cases on the older BroncoII's and 1st gen Explorers where the plastic float ages, develops a hole, and starts to fill up with gas. Then, it doesn't float as high, and it indicates empty earlier than it used to.

    2dn thought: as jlsparky noted, perhaps something is happening with engine management that is causing gas mileage to decrease.

    1st suggestion: If you kept records, how many gallons did it take to fill up when you went 360 miles on a tank? How many gallons did it need when you went 300 miles per tank? If it took the same amount of gas, then you need to look into why your gas mileage is decreasing. If it's taking a lot less gas to fill (miles driven divided by gallons to fill is still the same), then I would suspect an issue with the fuel level sender.
     

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