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View Full Version : Should I purposely run out of gas to determine the real bottom of the tank?



graybmg
05-09-2010, 08:58 PM
I have a plan. My gas gauge is so erratic I have the idea to run it all the way down to figure out when the gauge is really showing empty. I have a carburetor so I figure it's not going to cause harm if I run out of gas as opposed to fuel injected. Right? I have a 1 gallon can of gas with me to refuel and make it back the couple of miles to the gas station. So basic question is, is there any harm in running out of gas AND is there any difficulty starting after running out?

Thanks!

P.S. Got to watch the Blue Angels from my boat this afternoon. They were in town and it was awesome.

james yarosz
05-09-2010, 09:41 PM
Just keep in mind my Outback LS gets less than 3 miles per gallon.

you da man
05-09-2010, 09:51 PM
Funny that this was posted today. I was on the water today and with conditions very overcast and gloomy, hardly any boats were out. My friend riding with me sees a boat and a guy waving. Seeing that no other boats were in the area and the area being kinda remote for today I pulled up. The guy had his family out on their new Stingray boat just bought yesterday and he "thinks" they ran out of gas. I asked him what the fuel gauge says, he say "empty" and "the boat just died on us". Being 4-5 miles from the ramp I towed the boat a few hundred yards to a sandbar. We beach his boat and I tell him to get in mine and took him to his truck and he went and got a 2.5 gallon can at the near by bait shop. I took him back and he gave me $20 for the trouble. Needless to say, he found the very bottom of his tank.

BensonWdby
05-10-2010, 12:05 AM
The eratic nature of the gas gauge is a function of the movement of the gas in th tank (IMHO). This means that once there is no fuel in the tank the gauge will stop being eratic - and probably read empty. All your experiment will do is allow you to know how much gas you can put in an empty tank, which should be in the manual anyhow.

I will bet that your gauge will read empty long before you actually run out of gas.

you da man
05-10-2010, 12:35 AM
The eratic nature of the gas gauge is a function of the movement of the gas in th tank (IMHO). This means that once there is no fuel in the tank the gauge will stop being eratic - and probably read empty. All your experiment will do is allow you to know how much gas you can put in an empty tank, which should be in the manual anyhow.

I will bet that your gauge will read empty long before you actually run out of gas.

What your gas gauge says on the trailer is different than when the boat sits in the water as well...which sucks.

jmvotto
05-10-2010, 12:46 AM
My gauge starts to read empty with about 10 to 13 gallons in it, i think SC put a fear factor so no one is stranded.

http://moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?t=5653&highlight=empty

DOCDRS
05-10-2010, 01:19 AM
ran out of gas once on my 99 DD.......it was a pita to get started. lucky i was only 400 yds from my place so we paddled to the nearest dock and i walked to my place to get some gas. Still had to get it back to the boat. finally poured a wee bit right down the carb to get it to fire up. We were having way too much fun and i never noticed i was out of gas and my emergency 2 gal container was old gas. even though it was an outback it was a b#^$^h to paddle, so I can't even imagine a bigger boat. lucky we only had to paddle about a 150 ft. I'm always watching the gauge now. oh my new gauge now starts a 100% and reads off in %, one point at a time. I guess they are making them more sensitive now

zabooda
05-10-2010, 02:55 AM
I agre with others. The guage will show empty long before it is empty so you have to guess on fuel remaining. You'll learn how to guessimate over time but I usually don't start the day with less than a 1/4 tank.

sandm
05-10-2010, 07:10 AM
I play it safe and fill up prior to every outing. nothing worse than ruining everyone's day running out of gas.

best part is it gives those that may just jump on the boat and not pay the opportunity to see how much it really costs to play. I usually meet at an albertsons parking lot at the base of the hill to the lake. meet at the pumps and load up there. kind of a mind trick to get them to remember to pay for fuel, and if they didn't bring beer/food, hey, it's right there and the last stop :)

jmvotto
05-10-2010, 09:33 AM
I play it safe and fill up prior to every outing. nothing worse than ruining everyone's day running out of gas.

best part is it gives those that may just jump on the boat and not pay the opportunity to see how much it really costs to play. I usually meet at an albertsons parking lot at the base of the hill to the lake. meet at the pumps and load up there. kind of a mind trick to get them to remember to pay for fuel, and if they didn't bring beer/food, hey, it's right there and the last stop :)

Good thinking there:cool:

mmandley
05-10-2010, 10:52 AM
Yea tricky guy sandm

I will so the same thing as i go to the local Chevron here and fill the truck and boat up before we head out. Double whammy effect of fuel for the boat and truck. Course now my new truck i have to go to another Chevron and its to tight for the boat. Ohh well LOL

WaterBullDawg1980
05-10-2010, 01:40 PM
I play it safe and fill up prior to every outing. nothing worse than ruining everyone's day running out of gas.

best part is it gives those that may just jump on the boat and not pay the opportunity to see how much it really costs to play. I usually meet at an albertsons parking lot at the base of the hill to the lake. meet at the pumps and load up there. kind of a mind trick to get them to remember to pay for fuel, and if they didn't bring beer/food, hey, it's right there and the last stop :)

NICE IDEA!

Sled491
05-10-2010, 07:09 PM
So what are you supposed to do when you live on an island all summer with no bridge and the boat is on the lift all summer? Every one just keeps showing up ready to hang out, no one ever shows up ready to pay. Oh yeah and a pack of hot dogs and buns ain't gonna cut it!

moombadaze
05-10-2010, 09:27 PM
Sled, simple really-hand them a 5 gallon gas can and tell them next time when they show up, bring it filled up :), oh and if there family, hand them 2 6gallon cans ;). Put there name on "there" can so you know who is helping out and who is empty handed

zabooda
05-10-2010, 09:29 PM
When I go camping with the boat which usually a week at a time, I tell people who come up to bring gas since money won't do much when you're in the middle of nowhere. If we don't use it all then you can take it home. I tell them to bring firewood too since extra wood in the desert is hard to find. I actually have more necessities such as fuel, food and booze coming in than what we can use so it works really well. I rotate through the gas cans so everyone donates.

Sled491
05-10-2010, 09:48 PM
See I think the problem is my wife's family. Not being brought up around boats and such activities they really have no idea how it works. This is particularly disturbing as it is going on 12 yrs of this :(

Although I like Dazes idea about handing them each there own gas jug with there names on, that's pretty good

Laz
05-10-2010, 10:19 PM
Our gas gauge is also a wild guess. Better than running it dry, use the hour-meter and see how many hours you get between fill-ups.

We go through about 20 litres per hour of engine time. So a full tank on our Outback will give us 5 hours...well 4.5 to be safe.

Laz

Sled491
05-10-2010, 10:43 PM
Like we say when riding sleds in the UP, as long as the needle is bouncing your OK :D

graybmg
05-10-2010, 11:18 PM
I was figuring if it was still fluctuating then it is not empty. I'm a slalom skier so I don't want a full 25 gallons weighing down the back end of my boat. So I'd rather run 10 gallons down to about 2. Thus the whole reason for trying to figure the real amount in the tank. Plus my boat seems hard to balance so I figure with less gas in the tank to lean to one side my weight distribution problem won't be so bad.

Sled491
05-10-2010, 11:44 PM
We are skiers as well, when it's my turn to drive (every 3rd day) I drop in a fiver and have never had a problem yet.