2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SES Fuel Gauge

My '05 ZX4 SES fuel gauge reads empty when there are still a few gallons left in the tank. The manual says that the full tank has a 14 gallon capacity, but when I run the right side of the needle to the
middle of the empty bar and then fill the tank, only 11.6 gallons go in. Has anyone else experienced this? I know that there is supposed to be some dead volume that the engine requires, but I can imagine that it is ~2.5 gallons. Any comments?
Thanks,
Dan Pilloff
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On 18 Apr 2006 15:16:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
:>My '05 ZX4 SES fuel gauge reads empty when there are still a few :>gallons left in the tank. The manual says that the full tank has a 14 :>gallon capacity, but when I run the right side of the needle to the :>middle of the empty bar and then fill the tank, only 11.6 gallons go :>in. Has anyone else experienced this? I know that there is supposed :>to be some dead volume that the engine requires, but I can imagine that :>it is ~2.5 gallons. Any comments? :> :>Thanks, :> :>Dan Pilloff
The last 3 new Fords that I've owned, a '99 Escort ZX2, a '02 Focus ZX5 and my current '04 SVT Focus all are supposed to have a 13.2 gallon tank. On all 3 a fill up as soon as the low fuel light comes on requires right at 10.0 gallons. On all 3 running until the gas guage hits empty would take around 11.5 gallons to fill up which is right in line with what you're seeing.
BTW, I'm 61 years old and I have never owned a car where the gas guage was anything more than a rough approximation of what was actually in the tank. :-)
me/2
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wrote:

My experience with the '05 ZX4 Focus I drive has been exactly the same. At about 10 gallons down the light comes on. The gauge reads empty (panic time) at about 11.5 - 12.0 gallons down (2 or so gallons reserve). I guess I should be grateful that I have a working fuel guage (my '93 Escort fuel guage never worked), but it is strange to me that panic time comes with so much fuel still left in the tank...
-=RaOuL=- '05 Focus ZX4
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[..]
Strange, iirc get easily 50l (13.2 gallon (US)) in my 99' Focus once the low fuel light came up, 55l (14.5 gallon (US)) is the announced capacity, which might be quite right, mostly you get a little more filled in.

Sure, in addition with the trip odometer it's good enough. Though the Focus could have a bit more fuel capacity for my taste.
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Michael Heiming wrote:

I'm only 58 <g>, but by my gauges I usually fill up at about 1/8 tank remaining, at about 240 miles. The fuel gauge consistently claims I'm getting 100 miles (by the odo) on the first 1/4 tank -- wish I could maintain that. :)
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Looks like you are mixing up things here, I didn't wrote that.
Get easily 200 km (124 miles) out of the first 1/4 but often only 100km (62 miles) out of the next 1/4, the reason might be that the needle doesn't move at all for the first 100 km (62 miles).
Which might be a feature, at least giving you a warm and fuzzy feeling how economic your car is.;-) Non moving fuel gauge during the first 100 km (62 miles) is in my experience common to any Ford I had.
At least that both US and European Focus deliver such different straight numbers, makes you wonder?
BTW Did you experienced better mpg - l/100km with more tire air pressure until now?
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Michael Heiming wrote:

Oops.

Yeah, it takes a while here for it to get started, too.

The whole breed. I'll be darned.

I decided to increment the pressure upward.
I went to 35 psi and got maybe 1.5 mpg more, from 21.something to high 22.something (I'm not home where my log is). That was with the same mostly-city driving profile. Oddly, the next tank was at least half highway driving, and mpg didn't increase.
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[ fuel consumption ]

2.4 bar if 'gonvert', which I got my hands on after online conversion calculator always seem to miss the units you just need, got it right. It supports hundreds perhaps even thousands of units.
Luckily have summer wheels/tires mounted lately, in combination with the suspension kit found out 2.7 bar (39 psi) working most effective in terms of road stability, fuel consumption and leaving a little comfort, usually about 26 mpg (9 l/100km). With a little more care 29 mpg (8 l/100km) are not a big problem. But then there's no stop and go on my way nor much city driving, which helps a lot.

Strange, presuming you were forced to creep along from low speed limits anyway?
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Michael Heiming wrote:

As I thought about that tank as I was calculating my mileage for it, it seemed like most of the highway miles had been at a reasonable speed. *Some* stop'n'go, but mostly not. But today I noticed my fuel gauge at 1/2 with 180 on the tripmeter. That's more mileage than I'd seen at a half-gauge, and nearly *all* of *that* half-tank (indicated) had been non-stop'n'go highway travel. So as a test I gassed up. 1. Despite the fual gauge's "curve" (as we discussed), at a half-tank indicated, the nozzle cut off the puchase (I never top off) at 6.6 gallons -- surprisingly accurate for my 13.2-gallon tank. 2. Mileage for that half-tank test was 27.4 gph. That's better.
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Blinky the Shark wrote:

Uhhh..,27.4 mpg, not gph. I think someone else was moving my fingers, there.
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[ fuel consumption ]

Unsure what you mean with reasonable highway speed? IMHO 160 km/h (about 100 mph) are what I'd call reasonable on an more or less empty/dry highway allowing to travel at the speed easily.
Quite relative, recently drove on a more or less empty highway with my motorbike, there was a speed limit of 80 km/h (~50 mph) in some tunnel, ascended with only a little more on some slower cars, mirrors showed no other vehicle behind me, moved slowly in direction of the left lane. Even if you'd think it wasn't really needed to watch left over your shoulder, did this out of practice. Woom, there was another motorbike out of nowhere taking over with estimated 290-310 km/h (180-192 mph) with respectable incline. At my speed there was no cam at all at this point, the bike was out of view in under 2 seconds. It didn't looked like the driver would like to survive this season...
So keep care if you are driving on a highway over here and never make the mistake to think you would be going fast, usually it takes only a few seconds until someone will prove you aren't...

Or about 8.5 l/100km, doesn't sound that bad. ;-)
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Michael Heiming wrote:

A speed that is not stop-and-go traffic jam. Call it 70mph; the speed limit is 65mph.

I shan't be. :)

Still 2.5 under the sticker rating, but I didn't do that under perfect conditions on a test track. :)
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70 mph == 112 km/h
Guess I'd get a much better mpg, lower l/100km out of my car with that speed limit any ware. ;-)
The non existing speed limit on many highways was one of the main reasons to get a complete susspension kit, road holding simply sucked at high speeds. ;( At least remarkable how one could sell a car that fast with such susspension?

Pretty difficult, as it depends on so many effects. Nice things like A/C may use that much fuel in addition, for example.
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Michael Heiming wrote:

Yes, I was certain you could work that out. :)

Haven't been using it, but sure.
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On 18 Apr 2006 15:16:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

14 gal??? That's new to me - my '04 Focus has only a 50 litre (13.2 gal) tank. Did they get around to changing this for the '05 model? Do you have the 2.3 litre engine?

Yep, it's stupid! or is it? (in Ford's mind????)
Ford uses a combination fuel pump/sensor that is installed in the fuel tank. I've heard that if the pump runs dry due to inadequate fuel in the tank that it could possibly overheat and/or malfunction causing false readings.
The early NA Foci had that problem - in fact I had my fuel pump replaced in my 2000 sedan under Ford's silent warranty program. I don't recall if there was an actual recall notice ever sent out because I think Ford was trying to avoid the "Pinto syndrome".
It's one of two big pet peeves I have with the Focus. When the low fuel light comes on you still have a usable amount of fuel in the tank but if you refill at that point you in effect are lowering the operating range of the vehicle.
My other peeve is the shift ring for reverse gear. I haven't used any other car that required this shift mechanism "feature" and it is a pain in the butt whenever I let someone else drive my car because I have to "educate" them.
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Roarmeister wrote:

Another datapoint, FWIW: my '03 2.3-liter (USA) has a 13.2 gallon tank.
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You mean the collar that you have to pull up to shift it into reverse? That's the same type of reverse lockout used on old Volvo 200-series cars.
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