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Old 11-26-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Ford Focus - Bad Fuel Tank / Guage Design

2013 Almost new Ford Focus Titanium HB.

Just went through quite an ordeal for a terribly simple design flaw. We just bought a new car, 30 minutes after getting the car home from the dealer with a solid 1/8th a tank of gas the car sputters and dies in the driveway while going through the user manual.

http://i.imgur.com/GeIHDzo.png

The dealer was very helpful and towed the car back to diagnose the issue. 3 days later the dealer calls us up and says it was just low fuel and a sloped driveway! The driveway is definitely a bit sloped (just measured 8.5° exactly) but nothing that extreme. Coming from a hilly city like Vancouver this is a pretty bad design flaw, wouldn't want my car cutting power out going up a hill! There was no low fuel light or chime or anything yet (I hadn't owned the car long enough to know if it even has one... ).

After doing a lot of research on the car's other issues, I have a feeling this bad tank design may be related to other issues people have had sputtering on slopes and sputtering doing gentle acceleration around town. The fuels probably sloshing to the back of the tank causing stumbles or flat out causing the car die if on a hill.

I hope this helps someone! In a way we're glad it happened, as this would have been a nuisance down the road for us!

Dealer was very helpful, they took the car back no problem.


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Old 11-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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It took the dealer 3 days to diagnose low fuel !?
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #3
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To be fair, it didn't get back to the dealer until a Saturday afternoon so I'm guessing the mechanic wasn't in until Monday. Still... you would think a junior mechanic could have at least taken a look on Sunday.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Yet another reason why you don't drive around with a nearly empty tank...
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Yet another reason why you don't drive around with a nearly empty tank...
Seriously? I think we're in a day and age where cars should not "run out of gas" until a bit past E - not at 1/8th a tank, without a low fuel light/indicator or anything.

To the consumer this isn't convenient or expected. Especially when i have had 3 other cars park in on the same driveway for years without this ever being a issue. :P
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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Do all 3 of your other cars have a 12 gallon tank?

I've never had a car where the fuel gauge was 100% accurate, either. Slopes will change that accuracy considerably, as well.

The low fuel light only comes one with about a gallon of fuel left. Add in a considerable slope, and you will have issues.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Do all 3 of your other cars have a 12 gallon tank?

I've never had a car where the fuel gauge was 100% accurate, either. Slopes will change that accuracy considerably, as well.

The low fuel light only comes one with about a gallon of fuel left. Add in a considerable slope, and you will have issues.
2009 Yaris 11.1 Gal
1989 CRX 8 Gal
1995 Z28 Camaro 15.5 Gal.

An 8.5° slope is NOT a terribly bad slope. Perhaps the dealer could have put a tad more gas in as well.
Yes i'm very aware gauges are inaccurate - but this is beyond a reasonable amount of inaccuracy. The car wasn't exactly moving either. You must be the local Troll, last reply from me :).
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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1/8th of a tank isn't nearly empty IMO - wonder how much gas is in the tank when the needle hits E
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:26 PM   #9
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I think the real question is why didn't the dealer fill your tank before driving off the lot?

Every car Ive (or my family) have ever bought (new or used) always had a full tank of motion lotion when taking delivery.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:55 PM   #10
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A good case of a penny wise and a pound foolish? :) SkyPilot that's a really valid point!

I still think the gauge shouldn't be that misleading. That picture was taken with the car idling for some time in that position.

Quite simply, if they were to address this root issue by solving the problem the car would be a better car after. My guess is Ford was too aggressive with trying to maximize their mileage per tank stat at the expense of this type of an issue.
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