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1996 Corsa Trip - Fuel problem?

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Nov 5, 2012, 4:22 AM

Post #1 of 3 (1493 views)
1996 Corsa Trip - Fuel problem? Sign In

Hi Guys,

New here and know very little about cars! So looking for a little bit of advice really..

My first car is a 1996 P Reg Corsa Trip. Good little runner, works well for my first car. It passed its latest MOT with flying colours (6 months ago) and has full service history.

Anyway, last saturday whilst driving home.. It broke down. I hadn't noticed any unusual behaviour but suddenly the engine just cut out.. I tried starting it up again but no luck, just kept turning over.

I checked the petrol gauge.. Low, but not THAT low. It was just entering the red, and from past experience I have driven it 20-30 miles from that point. Anyway, we drove to the petrol station to fill up a can.. Filled it up, and put the £5 worth of fuel in. My dad tried again and again and nothing.. We give it one final turn after about 10 attempts and it just kicked into life.. I managed to drive it home <1 mile.. It was a bit jittery but just got it home, breaking down just as I turned into my street again!

We got it going again, and left the engine running for a few minutes whilst static.. I then hopped in it and drove it to the petrol station again - got there ok and filled up with £20 extra worth of fuel.

I have driven it a few times this week, and it has run ok. Not as good as it used to, but hasn't stalled or broken down. Anyway, I have done 60 miles since I filled up with £25. Went to drive it again on Saturday night, didn't start. My dad seemed to think it ran out of petrol, AGAIN... This despite the last time I was driving it was about 30% full on the gauge.. However, I filled up another can and put it in.. A few turns later and it kicked into life again. Also this week, I have noticed the engine management light come on twice. Not for long periods, just about 10 seconds each time - not sure if this is related.

So the questions are.. Why is my gauge showing my tank to be a third full and then running out of petrol? And then why am I only getting 60 miles to £25 worth of petrol? My dad seems to think the could be a problem with the lift pump in the fuel tank?

Do you think it's a garage job? It seems to run fine when it has half a tank of fuel, but there's no way I can continue having to have my tank half full all the time AND getting such a low miles to gallon ratio. It will cost me a fortune.

Sorry for the long winded post. Any questions, fire away!

MarineGrunt profile image

Nov 5, 2012, 6:28 AM

Post #2 of 3 (1452 views)
Re: 1996 Corsa Trip - Fuel problem? Sign In

"Why is my gauge showing my tank to be a third full and then running out of petrol?"

More than likely it's not that you're out of gas and you actually do have 3/4 of a tank. Being out of gas doesn't explain why it was a bit jittery. If your engine management light came on there should be codes stored. Here in the states we can go to a local auto parts store and they will scan it for free. Not sure if you have the same service on your side of the pond. Your first step should be taking somewhere and getting the codes pulled. Once you do that come back here and post the exact codes and the mechanics here should be able to help.

You came across a great site and they should be able to help figure it out. They have helped me out numerous times!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 5, 2012, 6:29 AM

Post #3 of 3 (1452 views)
Re: 1996 Corsa Trip - Fuel problem? Sign In

Don't know this car or layout for squat but almost all put the fuel pump in the fuel tank and the fuel (petrol) keeps them cool which is critical to some of those. You should check fuel pressure especially when it is not behaving for you.

Side note: I can't know how much fuel you are getting for for how many British Pounds (£) which could vary greatly by location as it does in the US 25% or so.

Not the point but you need to fill it up as it isn't saving money to run on just the lower 1/2 of capacity. That isn't the fix for this problem but could prevent a fuel pump from overheating and less loss to evaporation which is (should be) caught as an emission control and burned later but not getting the full use of that loss IMO.

OK - It's costing you once to fill it up then refill at the money amount from there if that is your budget.

Check fuel pressure now and if below specs I don't have don't fill it up if an in tank pump as it just makes it more work to replace a bad pump if tank is full,


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