Restarting a Diesel Motor that has run out of Fuel

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 16:42
ThreadID: 101632 Views:9158 Replies:6 FollowUps:12
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Hi Fellow Travellers: I am currently experiencing a problem with the fuel gauge for the main tank of my GU Nissan Patrol 4.2 Turbo Diesel. Even when I believe the tank is nearing empty, the gauge shows 5/8 full. My concern is running out of diesel. I intend to have the gauge looked at when next near a Nissan dealer.

In the meantime, could some kind person advise me: What are the problems, if any, with restarting a diesel motor which has run out of fuel? How do you start the vehicle?

The vehicle has a 30 litre sub tank which in the past I have transferred when the yellow low fuel warning light comes on. I have not been game enough to run the car so low in diesel to see if the warning light still works. I suspect not.
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Reply By: Swartsy - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:02

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:02
Just fill her up, crack one of the injectors and crank over the motor until she fires. Keep it running til she stops spluttering and farting then tighten up the injector and you will all good.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:50

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:50
Swartzy
If the line is empty the battery may go flat and the starter will overheat/burn before you get the engine pump to prime and deliver to the inj pump.
Cracking one injector line will only bleed that injector IF and only IF the fuel is being delivered by the injector pump.

Not what I would do first up.
Ross M
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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:04

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:04
Dude! How come you have all the luck.

This is what you do if the problem is definitely NO fuel.

(1) Get some fuel back into the main tank.

(2) Locate the Diesel filter and on the top of the filter carrier there should be a priming device ( usually a black plastic/rubber disc of some description) that you operate up and down with the palm of your hand. This is a mini hand pump that drags fuel from the main tank up to the filter.

(3) Once you have loaded the filter canister with fuel and think you can't get any more into it, crank it over with the key and see if you can get it to start.

No start = more pumping on the priming pump until you get the fuel up to the filter Pack. The lift pump should then drag it through. (usually)

(4) If you have a passenger, get them to crank it over whilst you operate the priming pump.

I've kept it simple simple and 9 times out of ten this will work. The tenth time may including bleeding the mother at the filter, or between the filter and the pump.

This is only for when you have RUN OUT of fuel.

In the mean time use your trip gauge to avoid embarrassment/s. Zero it each time you fill it and then you know how many Kilometers you have done, and should know how many you can do before the tank is dry again.

DD
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:52

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:52
All good info DD but I think your last paragraph was the most important piece of advice. Priming a diesel isn't rocket science but a nasty smelly job and easy to avoid. (;-))


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:11

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:11
Another little tip that just might help to get fuel into the injector pump quicker. Undo the hose from filter to injector pump first (at the pump end if possible)...n stick the end of it in a container of some sort to catch fuel...pump up the filter to full ..or until it stops bubbling air...reinstall hose ....and then operate hand pump until hard. Crack 2 or 3 injector lines until motor tries to fire...tighten lines n it will go (well..mostly) straight away. I used to do this everytime I changed fuel filter...now I dont have to. Installed a lift pump ages ago...n now just turn key on until fuel runs outa hose ...hook it back up n shes apples.

Cheers Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:36

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 21:36
I agree with DD. I used to have a dual LPG/Petrol patrol and I used to fill the gas by monitoring the trip meter. I wasn't happy with the diode meter that told me the gas level as it was difficult to see where it had been mounted, down by the steering column.
It was easy and became second nature to wait for my trip meter to clock up around 300-320 km's and fill her up.
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Follow Up By: desray (WA - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:52

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:52
Not a good idea to ,, Crack 2 or 3 injector lines ,, a lot of the newer Diesels will not reseat the injector pipes if you undo them ,they are a replace job if taken off .
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:58

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 17:58
............................






Lynton!

When you find the problem on the Patrol, let me know. I have the same problem. I have checked the tank sender but looks ok but who knows? Michael














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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:01

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 18:01
Hmmm ! Don't know what happened there!!
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Follow Up By: Axle - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:07

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:07
Looks like your Puter is running out of diesel as well Mike!...LOL.



Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:13

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:13
G'day Michael
Is the Patrol sender a wire resistance type or an electronic capacitance type?

If it is a wire type, you may have a resistance problem in the line.

If it read higher than it should you may have a, partial earth or resistve connection to another appliance, of the wire to the tank gauge which would make the gauge read higher than the true fuel level.
Anybody done any wiring on the vehicle and added items?

Ross M
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:41

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:41
Axle ! I'm getting old you know, maybe I had a little nap and my forehead hit the space bar! LOL. Michael
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:47

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:47
Ross , its the old resistance type, it all looked good but I couldn't check as my multi meter died. Some Patrol owners say normally a solder joint or something obvious is the problem but it all looked good. I'm not keen on buying a new one until I can be sure its the problem, about $350 for a GU sender and about $80 for a GQ. Michael
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Reply By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:08

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:08
hi disconnect all batterys for around 30 mins to reset the computer there is a chance that it will zero the fuel gauge back to default morry
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:50

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:50
Morry! I had the battery disconnected for a day when my two batteries passed away a few weeks ago, it made no difference but I appreciate the info. Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:51

Thursday, Apr 11, 2013 at 19:51
Sorry Lynton, I didn't mean to hijack your Post. Michael
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Reply By: Life Member-Doug T NSW-Ex NT - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:09

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 03:09
My old 94 Troopy will fire up after around three or four 15 second cranks on the starter.


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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:37

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 09:37
Aww c'mon Doug

You not trying to tell us that when an "old tech" diesel like yours or mine runs out of fuel you don't have to dance around it 3 times waving a feather adorned rattle, kneel in front and kiss the 'roo bar and then get it towed to the nearest dealer and have the putor re-programmed????

(;-))

Cheers
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