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RIP
RIP, Lead Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 5591
Experience:  A.S.E Certified Master Technician, AC Delco service training, Ca State Smog License, L1 level
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My car ran out of gas i put gas..back firing..be i replace spark plugs

Customer Question

My car ran out of gas i put gas in it its missing and back firing what could that be i replace spark plugs
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  RIP replied 8 years ago.

Hi, welcome to Just Answer.

  1. How many miles are on this Malibu?
  2. Was it running fine before running out of fuel?
  3. Is the check engine lamp on now when it runs?

Rip

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: 114000 miles it was running fine check engine light was on
Expert:  RIP replied 8 years ago.

Just to clarify, was the check enigne lamp on prior to the problem now, or did it show up after this happened?

Rip

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: before the problem i was told when i bought it it was the oxygen sesor i only had the car for 27 days.
Expert:  RIP replied 8 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX common problems with the oxygen sensor heaters and that wouldn't cause this type of problem. Can you tell me if you bought fresh fuel, or if you used some out of an old gas can? If you used old fuel or a dirty can, it could have contaminated the fuel and the fuel pump. If the fuel was good, than you may now have a plugged fuel filter. Often when the gas runs low or completely out the fuel pump will take in sediment at the bottom of the tank, water, or other contaminent. This can be pushed through the pump and into the filter, where a partially plugged filter can become worse. Or in other cases the pump will suck in the sediment and go bad itself. If the filter is replaced and the problem continues, we'll need to do a fuel pressure test to verify a bad pump. Missfire and lean backfiring are good indicators of insufficient fuel pressure.

Also, one other thing to try is disconenct the battery cables and leave them for about 30 minutes unhooked. This will not only clear the original check engine lamp, but it will reset the computer fuel strategy. This way if the computer for some reason learned a value during the fuel running out...it will be reset and we'll know if that was the cause. Be sure you reinstall the battery cables tight and they are not corroded. Loose or corroded cables are known on these to cause a voltage drop to the engine computer as well.

Fuel Filter location:

graphic

graphic

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to RIP's Post: the fuel was from a old gas can. do i have to replace the fuel pump also the needle is broken on gas gage so i was playing the guessing game.
Expert:  RIP replied 8 years ago.

I think you should run out and get about 5 gallons of premium fuel...putn that in the tank and let the engine idle for about 10 minutes or so...see if the symptoms reduce. If you added a gallon or less of contaminated fuel...by adding 5 gallons of fresh high octane fuel...it should dilute enough to get the engine running decent, if not normal. If the problem continues, we'll need to remove the fuel filter and see if it got plugged or has evidence of dirty fuel in there. If the fuel filter is replaced and the problem still persists, than we should strongly consider removing the pump or taking a fuel pressure test.

Rip

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  RIP replied 8 years ago.

Hi there...have you seen the post above? Have you used different fuel yet and serviced the filter?

Rip