Thursday, May 10, 2012

Out of Gas but Grounded

For the very first time today I ran out of gas, going uphill on an arterial road. Luckily I was able to back down the deserted street and maneuver into a large parking lot beside a bank. At first I was unclear as to why the car was no longer getting fuel delivered to the engine but the solution was soon obvious. The interesting back-story is that I recently installed a ground strap from the battery to the car chassis in an effort to quiet down a bouncing gas gauge. Well, the gauge stopped flickering and the new development was so exciting I forgot to monitor the actual fuel level! And so I found myself waiting for AAA truck and a gallon of petrol. A guy stopped by to chat about the car; he owned a 1972 Datsun 510, he said, and we compared notes while I looked sheepish. The AAA tow truck arrived and the driver put $5 worth of gas in the tank. A shot of fuel direct to the carb enabled the engine to fire long enough for the mechanical fuel pump to do its job and off I went, chagrined.
Shiny new ground strap proves to be a distraction from careful driving habits POSTSCRIPT: I discovered that I still had half a tank of gas when the tank supposedly went dry. Time to drain the tank and clean the sludge from the screen at the bottom of the fuel sender.

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