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Fuel problem

Dec 19, 2001
Canton, OH
1988 Flame red coupe 4+3
I had the car out yesterday and it ran fine. Started to leave yesterday evening and it acted like it was starved for fuel or air. Fuel was low and reserve light had just come on. Idled rough and would not run smooth. Put in a bottle of GM fuel system treatment and 1/2 tank of gas. Runs fine now. I have run car with reserve light on before without any problems. I know there is a sock around the pick-up. Could it be clogged at low level restricting gas flow? If so, can this be cleaned with cleaner or how tough is it to replace. Don't want to have to gas up every time I get to 1/4 tank on the road. Thanks for your help.



There was an earlier thread concerning how much petrol the tank could contain. Some were not able to hold the rated 20 gallons due to the liner coming loose creating a bubble between the liner and the tank wall, thereby reducing the amount of fuel it could hold.
As far as cleaning the sock, lift up the gas door...remove the plate and underneath you have access to the top of the tank and sending unit. Remove the connections, hoses and screws that hold it on and gently remove. I am told it will not come straight out , that you will have to gently twist, turn and pull it out.
This is also one of the area's that while you have it out there are things you might consider...replace the sock and possibly the fuel pump, depending on the miles on your car. I have always believed in preventative maintenance as well as better safe then sorry.
How many times have you had something apart, put it back together only to have another part go bad? Good luck...
Jun 20, 2002
Tallahassee, FL
none right now :(
The gas gauge used in the C4's don't seem to be accurate... Sometimes they are right, sometimes wrong... the bad news is mine (on my current and previous C4's) always seems to tell me the car has more gas in it than it actually does... i fill mine up when i hit half a tank now


Ahh Canton, my hometown. Home of the Hall of Fame. Memories.... * Oh yeah! The fuel issue!

It never hurts to put a new fuel pump in. If you want to change the sock you might as well change the pump too. Changing the sock itself is not hard to do and it is cheap as well. Just count on spending at least a half an hour on it. Which is why I would swap the pump at the same time and reassure yourself on fuel system intergrity. Mine was clogged with hair-like crap and someone elses had a hot sauce packet clung to the sock too. Could be the problem (the former not the latter!). Though my 84 pump was cursed before it ever left the showroom.


Gone but not forgotten
Jan 30, 2001
Hermosa Beach, CA
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
My suggestion (as always) is don't let the tank get below 1/4-full at any time. People tend to forget that the pump is submerged in the liquid, which aids in cooling the pump. If you let the tank get too low, the pump gets exposed to ambient temperature and will heat up somewhat, thereby shortening the lifespan of the unit.

Whether or not this has anything to do with your current problem is moot; I just get stirred up every time I see someone talking about how low their tank can go before they run out. :L

_ken :w

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