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Don't Turn Left

Q. Hi, Problem for last 30,000 miles: When the fuel tank is half full or less the car will stall when making a left turn. The check engine light does not come on. The oil pressure and ABS light comes on. The car is somewhat difficult to restart. Seems like it is out of fuel. The fuel filter has been replaced and problem remains the same. Never stalls on right turns or straight line stops. Present fix is not to let the car get to ½ tank of fuel.

  • 1991 Chevy Caprice
  • V-8
  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • ABS brakes
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control

Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide.

A. This is easy to fix, just don't make any left turns. Huh? Not the right answer? Oh well, let's see what else I can come up with.

Actually I sat and thought about this for a long time and I know it's going to be, what we in the business call, "something stupid." I tried to think of what the inside of the tank looks like when it's half full and what happens when a car makes a left turn. I had a 1984 Nissan Maxima with a similar complaint. When the tank got around a ¼ full, the car would die. I took out the gas tank and found a beer can (empty) in it and when it got near the bottom, it was pushing the strainer on the fuel pump and cut off the fuel flow.

Don't ask me how it got there, but it was a Japanese beer can.

The fuel pump and the fuel sending unit in your car are mounted on the same frame. It is possible that when you make a left turn, the rod for the float may be interfering with the fuel pump in some manner. Perhaps it is has been rubbing on of the wires and causing a bad connection. Outside of looking inside the fuel tank, I can't think of anything else to check for.

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