Essentially there are two main symptoms:

  • Fuel gauge: I usually drive about 260 miles before refilling. Lately the fuel gauge has been staying at full for the first 150 miles or so before starting to go down.

  • Refueling: My tank capacity is 11.9 gallons and I usually refill after about 10 gallons. Lately the pump has been automatically stopping after about 8 gallons and I have to fill the last 2 gallons in short bursts.

A perhaps unrelated issue that I will mention just in case it might be relevant is that there is a loud grating noise when the engine is on and I am not moving.

Another point I should mention is that my check engine light has been on for a while and my mechanic failed to fix it several times and finally said that he knows what the problem is (something to do with the gas tank, I can't remember what) but that it is probably not worth fixing and should not have any negative side effects.

UPDATE: The check engine light code is P1456.

  • If you had the codes read, it would be of great assistance in helping you to know what the codes are. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 21 '15 at 16:29
  • @Paulster2: That was a while ago, I don't remember. – Matt Apr 21 '15 at 19:07
  • Well, take it to Autozone or Checker or O'Reilly's and have them run the codes again ... they'll do it at no cost. It will probably help tremendously. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 21 '15 at 20:29
  • @Paulster2: Thanks for the tip about Autozone. Got it checked. – Matt Apr 22 '15 at 12:46

Not sure if this really answers your question, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

There is an electronic circuit between your fuel tank and the gauge. This circuitry does nothing more than reading the voltage coming from your fuel tank level sensor and sending this voltage to your gauge. This voltage should be stabilised by a regulator. This circuitry might be malfunctioning in your case. That could explain why the gauge will go down way later than it's supposed to be.

The noise coming from your engine when idling could be related to running to lean or too rich. When this occurs for a certain time, the "check engine" light will go on. This could indicate a wrong fuel mixture, or -more commonly if you haven't done anything odd with your fuel recently- an issue with your lambda sensor.

Before heading out to buying new parts and unbolting things it's best to follow Paulster2s advice and read the error codes with an OBDII reader, or go to a shop and have it done for you. This will help you a lot in troubleshooting.

  • Thanks, I got the codes checked. As for the gauge, I originally thought it was the circuitry, but when I had the refueling problem, I thought they must be related. The noise probably has something to do with the transmission because it goes away when I'm on neutral, but I mentioned it just in case because I read that fuel tanks with pressure issues can be noisy. – Matt Apr 22 '15 at 14:07
  • Now you have this error code, the following link will probably be useful: engine-codes.com/p1456_honda.html – Qwedvit Apr 22 '15 at 14:50
  • @Qwdvit: Could a leak in the tank cause both the gauge problem and the refueling problem? My intuition says a leak in the tank would more likely cause the gauge to read emptier than fuller. – Matt Apr 22 '15 at 18:18
  • @Matt: You would've noticed a leak in the tank by any marks on your driveway. A leak would also be indicated by a very fast lowering gauge. I don't think it's the tank itself, unless you've been hammering your car lately :) Have you dropped your fuel filler cap once while refuelling? It could be that there is any debris in your tank or your fuel filter. But I'm just guessing. Keep us updated! – Qwedvit Apr 24 '15 at 6:14
  • I'm pretty sure the cap is fine, and anyway the check engine light problem is older than the main issues I'm asking about, which just started a few weeks ago. – Matt Apr 24 '15 at 15:34
  1. The float in the gas tank might be getting stuck and so that could be the reason that the fuel gauge stays high and drops all of a sudden. if possible pull out the fuel pump wiggle the float a few times spray some pb blaster or WD40 or something wiggle it again in its natural direction of operation and let it dry and install it back and see if it works.

  2. There might be a foreign material in your tank which is making the last two gallons to get filled in short bursts, as long as the level in the tank is low the foreign floating material is floating low and as soon as the level rises I think the stuff is coming up to the surface and making the gas to be pushed back. This is because as you fill the gas the air in the tank finds its way back through the gas filler.

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