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2002 Honda Accord Question: fuel tank and gauge problems

 

Question

drwoody, 2.3L 4 Cylinder, Spring, TX, May 29, 2010, 06:33
 Rookie

I have a 2002 Honda Accord EX. The fuel gauge has been flawless and I have never had a problem filling the tank ...

Then the incident in April - I filled up at a gas station in Tomball, TX and their pump did not properly shut off. Fuel flowed out all over the place.

Since that over-topping incident I now have two problems:

1) I can no longer fill the tank completely. The gas pump will stop and when you turn on the ignition the fuel gauge will show only 3/4 full. Sometimes the gas pump shuts off after filling only a few gallons into the tank even though the gas gauge was indicating 1/4 full when I started to re-fill the tank. I have to repeatedly start the pump to get a few tenths of a gallon into the tank each time before it stops again. Then I finally give up and drive with the fuel that I could get into the tank. Oddly, when I listen closely at the gas filler tube while placing fuel into the tank, it sounds like the gasoline is climbing up the tube and you hear the normal pressure sounds that occur as the pump reaches the automatic shut-off point.

2) Either the gas tank is actually not getting full, or it is indeed filling up and the gas gauge is no longer calibrated correctly. But the troublesome part of the situation is that the gas gauge also no longer functions normally at the bottom end of the scale. In addition to not indicating "full" after I fill up, the low fuel warning light now begins to glow when I still have about 3/8 of a tank left. It begins to illuminate far sooner than it previously did before the over-topping incident in April.

I took the car to Autozone and checked for codes - none related to these problems.

Causes???

- Does the gauge need to be recalibrated?
- Did the over-topping of the tank stir up debris and cause the sending unit to be dirty or unable to show both extremes of the voltages - when full and when nearing empty?
- Is the vent tube on the filler neck a possible problem?
- Are one or more solenoids in the tank now damaged?
- Is the charcoal canister (or the line leading to it) now full of fuel and will not let the tank properly fill up?

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