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Need Help On Low Fuel Issue

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Was wondering if anyone has encountered this problem:

My 98 GS 400 gets down to just about 1/4 tank of fuel, and the low fuel light will come on. Less than 5 miles later, the car sputters to a crawl and acts as though it is completely out of fuel.

There is (according to the gauge) about 1/4 tank left, and when I go to fill the tank up after I get some roadside help (1/2 gallon of gas) the tank only takes 14.5 gallons before it is completely topped off.

I am taking it to the dealer on Friday but they claimed on the phone that they've never heard of such an issue.

Anyone with any advice please drop me a line!

Thank You!


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Sound like fuel gauge sensor or fuel pickup. <_<

Turbo- Thanks for your input. As the gauge shows about a quarter tank, and there seems to be fuel remaining in the tank, I can't imagine that the sensor isn't working. As for the fuel pickup, I am trying to locate someone that has actually removed their inline fuel pump from the tank... so they could possibly tell me if there is a tube or something that could split... causing the fuel to spray out the side of it once the tank level drops below the split. This exact situation happened to me once in a Volvo that I used to drive. However, the Volvo's inline fuel pump was attached to a rubber tube that (I presume) deadened the noise that the the in-tank pump created... However, from the diagrams I have studied on the Lexus, it looks as though the pump is one unit that is directly connected to the low (front) end of the tank.

Thanks again for your suggestions!

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  • 1 year later...

There are two fuel level senders, the main on the driver's side and the sub-sender on the passenger's side. Both are replaceable seperately in the GSxxx from 1998 on. They are about $67.00 each Lexus MSRP.

As far as running out of fuel when the gauge still registers fuel in the tank. It is possible that your fuel pump is failing. Typically, when the level of fuel drops to a certain point, the fuel pump is no longer immersed in gasoline. When this occurs, the pump temperature will begin to rise. (Gasoline is the coolant for the electrical fuel pump motor. Sounds safe doesn't it?) As the motor in the pump ages, it can sieze when it gets too hot. If the senders pass the test, then suspect the fuel pump; particularly if you have a lot of miles on the car.

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I'm having same problem - gs400 2000. Please post what the dealer concluded. Thanks. My previous post was ridiculed.

Wow you did get a little busting on the last thread. I particularly liked the one about the pencil :blink: Oh yes, and don't worry about that one member's idea that the car might run differently when the fuel drops to a low level. I've serviced thousands and thousands of cars from every corner of the known universe and I have personally never witnessed or heard of something even remotely similar to that.

You definately seem to have a legitimate problem and deserve a legitimate solution.

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