Thanks for fleshing out your perspective. It sounds like we don't know for sure, but we also do
know that not going below 1/4 tank certainly can't hurt. I suppose I'll continue my habit of going below 1/4 tank some of the time, when it's convenient (I don't normally go to "last drop," but rather between 1/8 tank and empty sometimes), but perhaps lean a bit more toward filling up sooner when I can.
I already have started to carry cash for fueling in some places, but (call me lazy!), it's such a pain compared to using a card at the pump. Go in, wait in line behind people trying to decide which pull tabs to buy, give them a large amount of cash, go out, fill tank, go back in, wait in line AGAIN to get the extra cash back. Ugh!
Perhaps the chip and pin cards will make skimming a bit more difficult? One can hope.
Another thing is that often I'm towing, and that's (to me) one of the disadvantages to towing with gas: The need to squeeze in to the "car" pumps at many stations. That can be a real pain (plus so easy for folks to nick something since I'm often too big to really tuck in properly). So those are times I'd rather fuel as few times as possible (given that there are plenty of stations so I know I won't get caught out).
Originally Posted by JWA
While I won't necessarily disagree with the author of the quoted passage I'd offer he's speaking from the perfect world scenario where residue inside the tank never collects around the fuel pick up, filters never clog etc etc. Perhaps his experience is 100% valid but time and time again when we hear of fuel pump issues it can be at least partially related back to frequent fuel usage below the 1/4 tank point.
Of course then we don't know how many people ran to nearly empty every time and *didn't* have a premature failure. But as you say, no way to really prove it, and so we can each make our own choices based on this sort of balanced presentation of info (thanks!).
I had an in-tank pre-pump on my last car, and didn't replace it until nearly 400k (and yes, I got gas as infrequently as possible). But that wasn't a Ford and too, it had an external main pump, so probably not even comparable anyway.
Originally Posted by JWA
I change spark plugs @ 50K, oil @3-5K, keep at least 1/4 tank of fuel at all times--
I'm totally with you on the maintenance. I had the plugs changed at 49k and always used to change oil at 3k (back when I ran non-synthetic in my previous rigs). I figure, as in boating, that it adds good karma to the "black box" when you take care of things well. But I still don't like to stop for gas
Guess I'll just take my lumps if/when I have to replace the fuel pump (but that said, I don't run down to empty all the time now either - just annoys me to feel like I "should" fill up before 1/4 tank every time for some reason - just a quirk I'm sure).
Thanks again for taking the time to expand your thoughts on this a bit. Now I have a bit more to base my habits on. Nothing worse than doing some behavior based only on a myth (like modern batteries stored on concrete, etc.).