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Parking on a Hill with 1/4 tank

DogMan914

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City, State
Ossining NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Explorer ST
Hey Everyone! First time post here! So, TWICE NOW, when my 2020 Explorer ST(2500miles) has been parked in my driveway with 1/4 tank of Gas or just above that, the car has not been able to start. To the point where I had to have roadside come and put gas in the car to get it going! I looked and have not seen anyone else post about this. When I called the dealer he said he has heard of this and that he thinks a "Bulletin" will come out soon, but nothing yet. Anyone else out there? Any advice?
 



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hi folks i've leased ford explorers for about 15 yrs. my 2020 with 4 thousand miles will not start on my hill where i live if it has a half tank of gas or less. been towed back to dealership 4 times with nothing being done. engineer told me to always keep a full tank of gas !!!! better business bureau is now involved early stages as well as lemon law in ma. i had to put it in nuetral 2 different times and roll it down the hill where it started on level ground. york ford in saugus ma. not very forgiving.

Your thread has been merged with the current thread on this topic. You are 1 of 2 people reporting this since the 6th gen started 1 1/2 years.
 
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hi folks i've leased ford explorers for about 15 yrs. my 2020 with 4 thousand miles will not start on my hill where i live if it has a half tank of gas or less. been towed back to dealership 4 times with nothing being done. engineer told me to always keep a full tank of gas !!!! better business bureau is now involved early stages as well as lemon law in ma. i had to put it in nuetral 2 different times and roll it down the hill where it started on level ground. york ford in saugus ma. not very forgiving.
Learned my lesson too the hard way, my driveway is slanted, parked it with 1/4 tank, and it won’t start the next day. Roadside manually put the gear to neutral, went downhill to a level part, and it started. So never park on a hill with 1/4 or less gas. I had a RAV4 before and never had a starting problem, sometimes with almost empty
 
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Welcome to the Forum Dave. :wave:
Could you not have moved it yourself by putting it in neutral with key in accessory mode?
Do you park in the driveway nose up or down? The pump is in the rear of the tank.

Peter
 
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Hey Everyone! First time post here! So, TWICE NOW, when my 2020 Explorer ST(2500miles) has been parked in my driveway with 1/4 tank of Gas or just above that, the car has not been able to start. To the point where I had to have roadside come and put gas in the car to get it going! I looked and have not seen anyone else post about this. When I called the dealer he said he has heard of this and that he thinks a "Bulletin" will come out soon, but nothing yet. Anyone else out there? Any advice?
My 98 has run out gas sitting a forward slant, if the gauge was under 1/4 tank. I just always try to have 1/2 tank.
 
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Hey Everyone! First time post here! So, TWICE NOW, when my 2020 Explorer ST(2500miles) has been parked in my driveway with 1/4 tank of Gas or just above that, the car has not been able to start. To the point where I had to have roadside come and put gas in the car to get it going! I looked and have not seen anyone else post about this. When I called the dealer he said he has heard of this and that he thinks a "Bulletin" will come out soon, but nothing yet. Anyone else out there? Any advice?
My first post here as well, so go easy.
I just encountered the same issue with my 2021 Explorer XLT, 3 months old/1500 miles.
1/4 tank of gas (3 bars on the gauge actually, and the DistanceToE said 110 miles), in my sloped driveway nose down.
Slope of the driveway is 5 degrees.
Started OK, then when backing out the engine stalled and car began to roll forward (toward the house) before tranny changed to Park (yep, it was a jerk). Then would not start.
I've run a few cars out of gas (worked on a farm in my teens) and this was exactly the symptom.
Added a gallon of gas and then it started up. Though now the dash is flashing at me "Danger: 17 miles to E", and the gauge went from 3 bars to 1.

I expect the "distance to E" to be inaccurate, but not the gas gauge.

On a related note, if the fuel tank is 17.9gal (according to the user manual for the 2.3L model), curious how gauge shows 1 bar, but when I filled it only took 12.6gal (1 gal from gas can, 11.6gal at gas station).

In any event, I'll see what Ford service has to say. Thanks for the tip on parking facing uphill when <1/4 tank.
 
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The fuel gauge and distance until empty both rely on the tank being level. Any slope will affect both the fuel gauge and DTE. So don't let that bother you and think something is wrong with the truck, it's the same for 100% of all vehicles.

Where the fuel pump is inside the tank determines which direction is fine to park on any hill, and which is bad to do. Most Explorers can be parked on a steep hill facing up. But avoid parking down facing if the tank is below about half. This is for vehicles with a long front to back tank, and the pump at the back.

A Crown Vic for a different example has a sideways tank, with the pump centered almost perfectly. Those are very unlikely to be able to park sideways on a steep slope, to uncover the pump pickup. For those the tank can be run closer to empty and never have this issue reported here.
 
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..........................................................................
On a related note, if the fuel tank is 17.9gal (according to the user manual for the 2.3L model), curious how gauge shows 1 bar, but when I filled it only took 12.6gal (1 gal from gas can, 11.6gal at gas station).

In any event, I'll see what Ford service has to say. Thanks for the tip on parking facing uphill when <1/4 tank.
Welcome to the Forum Steve. :wave:
When the gauge reads "E" it does not take into account the 'reserve' although that capacity is not 5 gallons.

Peter
 
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Yes, the fuel tank is long and if you park on a steep enough incline, front down, it may uncover the fuel pump pickup, and it won't get gas to start it.

If you may park on an incline with a low fuel level, just be sure to park uphill, front facing up, and never downhill. That will solve the problem if you are thinking about it when parking.



Ford made the gas tanks longer starting in 1995, using steel instead of plastic(which had the tanks shorter and wider).

I wish Ford would buy or invest in the existing aftermarket fuel pickup technology. You can buy fuel screen units that can be adapted to many pump types, which use capillary action to pull fuel. Those don't have to be submerged fully, they will still pull fuel even when uncovered in majority. Summit Racing sells them on their site, typically those run in the $100-$200 range, but not most don't easily fit OEM pumps. Those are aimed mainly at racing, so a lot of them have outlet fittings not like the OEM. But a few do have outlets that can be adapted to some OEM pumps.

New fuel pump pickup screens run in the $15 range, so $150 is a big difference, most people will not pay that kind of extra cost. but if you park on hills a lot, it might be worth a look.

Below is the length difference between a 1st gen Explorer 22 gallon tank, and the 2nd gen which hold the same 22 gallons;

View attachment 327466

There is no way this is right. Either one of these is cut off, or one is a sport tank.

I installed a 2000 tank in my 1991, and it's the same size. It bolted right up.

And everyone knows a 1st gen gas tank skid plate will bolt right up on a 2nd gen. It uses the same mounts.


As far as parking with less then 1/4 tank on a hill nose down, don't do it. We learned this with our first apartment. We had a steep driveway, and it would never start with less then a 1/4 tank. We would always back it in if less than a 1/4 tank.

Now you can bump it sometimes. We would leave space, so you could let it coast in neutral a few feet and brake hard. This would slosh the gas around enough to start, throw it in reverse, and haul ass up the driveway to level ground. It was quite comical.
 
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There is no way this is right. Either one of these is cut off, or one is a sport tank.

I installed a 2000 tank in my 1991, and it's the same size. It bolted right up.

And everyone knows a 1st gen gas tank skid plate will bolt right up on a 2nd gen. It uses the same mounts.


As far as parking with less then 1/4 tank on a hill nose down, don't do it. We learned this with our first apartment. We had a steep driveway, and it would never start with less then a 1/4 tank. We would always back it in if less than a 1/4 tank.

Now you can bump it sometimes. We would leave space, so you could let it coast in neutral a few feet and brake hard. This would slosh the gas around enough to start, throw it in reverse, and haul ass up the driveway to level ground. It was quite comical.
The picture I posted before is of two 4dr tanks, one my 93 Limited, and the other my 98 Mountaineer. They are way different in length, and both are 22 gallon tanks.

I do have a 199 Sport tank, which I was planning to install into my 98 with a BW4406 TOD transfer case. Then I discovered that the old 93 tank was the same length as the 2nd gen Sport tanks. I also have the skid plate from the 99 Sport, it fits the old 93 Limited tank perfectly.

So I don't need the 99 Sport tank now, but I was going to try to install the top section(sensors and pickup) into the old 93 tank. I'm slow, it will be a while before I possibly work on that.
 
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Hey Everyone! First time post here! So, TWICE NOW, when my 2020 Explorer ST(2500miles) has been parked in my driveway with 1/4 tank of Gas or just above that, the car has not been able to start. To the point where I had to have roadside come and put gas in the car to get it going! I looked and have not seen anyone else post about this. When I called the dealer he said he has heard of this and that he thinks a "Bulletin" will come out soon, but nothing yet. Anyone else out there? Any advice?
I have a 2020 and have had it happen 4 times. I always back in and my driveway is barely a hill but apparently just enough. Pulled in driveway last night with 103 miles to empty, no staff today, take my kids car to get 1.5 gallons. It started and I moved to flatter ground and now says 36 miles to empty. So I was on vapors? Dealer keeps saying they’ve heard of no issues but tell me to pull in forwards or park on flat ground. So work around is always have at least what I think is at least half a tank. Also have had 6 audio control modules replaced in last 2 years. Besides this has been great 😂

9DFCE5C0-A898-4565-AA49-007B3A7BEEE9.jpeg
 
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hi folks i've leased ford explorers for about 15 yrs. my 2020 with 4 thousand miles will not start on my hill where i live if it has a half tank of gas or less. been towed back to dealership 4 times with nothing being done. engineer told me to always keep a full tank of gas !!!! better business bureau is now involved early stages as well as lemon law in ma. i had to put it in nuetral 2 different times and roll it down the hill where it started on level ground. york ford in saugus ma. not very forgiving.
Same thing here. Is absurd. I love the way my ST looks but otherwise worst of my 6 Ford’s I’ve ever had (by a wide margin)
 
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Welcome to the Forum Dan. :wave:
See my post above, Parking on a Hill with 1/4 tank
The way you are parking, nose down, will cause the fuel to settle at the front of the tank. With a very low fuel level, you risk leaving the fuel pump exposed to just air. Best to keep at least a half tank of fuel if you want to keep parking that way. There is actually nothing wrong with the vehicle itself, it is the design of the fuel tank.

Peter
 
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Welcome to the Forum Dan. :wave:
See my post above, Parking on a Hill with 1/4 tank
The way you are parking, nose down, will cause the fuel to settle at the front of the tank. With a very low fuel level, you risk leaving the fuel pump exposed to just air. Best to keep at least a half tank of fuel if you want to keep parking that way. There is actually nothing wrong with the vehicle itself, it is the design of the fuel tank.

Peter
Thanks Peter-I do recognize at this point that it’s definitely a design flaw and not a vehicle flaw but it’s still annoying as hell. The part that drives me crazy or is that I will pull in my driveway where it’s telling me I have a solid quarter tank of gas as I’m at 100 miles to empty but then after I pour gas in it to get it going I’m at a fraction of that. Was ion vapors the whole time? Or is it just that the computer has an updated? Just frustrating as my wife’s 2017 XLT explore could have nothing but fumes in it and it will start.
 
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I believe that the initial reading is probably correct. Instead of having to add fuel to get it started, have you considered just letting it roll down to level ground?

Peter
 
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I believe that the initial reading is probably correct. Instead of having to add fuel to get it started, have you considered just letting it roll down to level ground?

Peter
Well that is also an issue as unless there’s something I’m missing something. The only trick I see online is opening the bottom of the key and pulling that pin back in the center console. It worked one time out of the four times that I’ve had this happen but I realize if I don’t put the parking brake on before I put it in park there’s no play in it to allow me to shift it to neutral. I also recognize I’m a moron for having had this happen multiple times but when I see 100 miles to go I always feel like I’m safe but somehow I’m not. I am definitely going to be pulling in forwards for now on. My first boss many many years ago had been a commander on a nuclear sub and the rule was you pull forwards into a parking spot or back in and I just can’t get that out of my head. 😂
 
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There's no excuse for Ford not putting some sort a baffle in the tank to hold fuel on an incline so the vehicle starts. Really stupid not to do that. I would complain to the dealer and send a customer service complaint directly to Ford.
 
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There's no excuse for Ford not putting some sort a baffle in the tank to hold fuel on an incline so the vehicle starts. Really stupid not to do that. I would complain to the dealer and send a customer service complaint directly to Ford.
I would agree with all you said except for complaining to the dealer since there isn't anything they can do and they are not likely to forward your concern to Ford.

Peter
 
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So the other frustrating component is car tells me I have 35 miles to empty and now I go get gas and this is all it takes to fill up.
There's no excuse for Ford not putting some sort a baffle in the tank to hold fuel on an incline so the vehicle starts. Really stupid not to do that. I would complain to the dealer and send a customer service complaint
I would agree with all you said except for complaining to the dealer since there isn't anything they can do and they are not likely to forward your concern to Ford.

Peter
Yup unfortunately the dealer looks at me like I have two heads when I bring it up. I think they’re frankly sick of me because they’ve had to replace six audio control modules in a year and a half. Vehicle was a dealer for three months total. I have had such great luck with Ford but this one seems to be kind of jinxed.

047B8572-FED9-4089-A5C2-B409702363EF.jpeg
 
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If you want the gauge to read more accurately, roll it to level ground abs turn it off and back on again. It’ll take a more correct level indication. There’s no way it can give you a reading on an angle.
 
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