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Refuel problems (false signal to pump trigger?)


Queenie
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I'm currently on a road trip around the UK.  I went to refuel yesterday and the trigger on the pump was playing up, like the car was giving the signal that the tank was full when it was half empty.  I asked my fella to take a look while we were there and he couldn't see a problem but something he did caused a load of crud to fall out on the floor of the forecourt.  Where it came from I don't know :-( I told the guy working the till that there was a problem and he said the pump was known to be faulty but the same happened today at a different gas station.

I've had the car almost 2 years and this hasn't happened before.  I need to refuel again tomorrow and not sure what to do next.  The car isn't due for its MOT until September.  

Any suggestions?  All advice would be appreciated as I still have hundreds of miles to go tomorrow.  Thanks in advance.

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Fuel pumps detect when fuel has reached the nozzle from inside the tank and that's why they cut off. I doubt the crud came from the nozzle, or from inside your filler neck. I'd suggest it came from under the rear wing. The fuel filler neck passes through the rear wheel arch where it gets muck thrown at it. This sits on top of the neck. Was the crud a grey colour as that's what it usually is? It's not unknown for the filler neck to corrode through due to the crud acting as a poultice, keeping it nice and damp. That's why when I wash my Yaris I point the hose up there and get my hand up there to dislodge it.

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Thanks Tom.  

The crud was grey and kind of sandy in texture from what I could see.  And it would make sense for it to have come from under the rear wing (the man did stick his hand under there and some more came out but the bulk fell out beforehand).  I don't have the facility to wash the car myself due to no car access near my house so I end up at cheap hand car washes - probably an epic fail on my part 😞 Sounds like I may need to get someone to inspect the filler neck then?

The trigger cut out when the fuel indicator in the car showed half empty on both occasions which is what was so strange.  I've read elsewhere that pushing the nozzle too far in can mean the end touches the fuel, causing why detection, but it wasn't all the way in and I couldn't see the any fuel when I gave it a visual.   

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Happened at 2 different pumps (one at a supermarket, one at a service station).  Hopefully third time will be OK but when you're hundreds of miles from home you don't want to risk finding out your fuel tank wasn't as full as you thought 🙂

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Don't worry as long as u fill up u will be fine. I had this quite a number of times on a car I had for 3 years, nothing wrong with it. I put it down to the pump or angle inserting the pump in. 

Happy motoring!

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