In my 1986 Ford F-150 (carbureted) when I go left around a corner, the engine sputters. Feels very similar to running out of gas, but it picks back up once I stop turning. Only happens in a sharp corner, and only left, not right.

I've experienced this before in a 1995 VW Golf. In that case the engine only cut out when turning right. I had it serviced at a shop back then, and as I recall it was something in or near the gas tank along the fuel line that had cracked and was letting air into the line.

Is this a common problem? Any highly suspect parts I should be checking?

  • Does it happen even when the tank is full? Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 7:00
  • It does. Same when both full and empty.
    – Troy
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


My theory is you have a stuck float in your carburetor. This is causing the fuel bowl not to fill completely. When you go around the corner, the main jets are without fuel (sucking air) and this kills engine power. Getting the carb rebuilt (or at least looked at) will probably solve the issue. You may also try using a plastic handled screwdriver and using the handle, thump on the fuel bowls a few times (don't do this too hard). This may release the float and allow it to run right temporarily. Usually, this isn't going to cure itself.

  • Interesting. I'll try that test. Would you expect the engine to be running poorly otherwise, with a stuck float? Other than the turning problem, the engine runs very smoothly, at idle or at speed, seems to have plenty of power, etc.
    – Troy
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 21:58
  • @Troy - I think if you went wide open throttle for too long, you'd find it leaning out pretty quickly since the carb couldn't keep up with the demand. I don't think I'd try that test though. The float being stuck seems like the only logical thing considering your description. Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 0:14

Kind of a long shot, but I had this problem with an old Nova, turning right. That was due to loose screws in the carb. It might have been the mounts to the intake manifold; but, my vague memory is of tightening screws on the topside. It was a long time ago.

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