Warning: Riding on "E" can harm your car

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The mechanics at Tire's First tell News Leader Nine they are seeing more fuel pump problems than ever.  About 20 fuel pumps are replaced every month.

Domestic or foreign, old or new, it can happen to any car.  Tom Hargrove is a third generation mechanic and said in the past two years fuel pump repairs have tripled.

When we caught up with Hargrove, he had just taken a fuel pump out of a customer's truck.

"In this particular case, if they had not let it run empty so much, it probably would have lasted a lot longer," explained Hargrove.

When your gas tank is less than 1/4 full, the electronic motor on the pump is exposed.  "The gasoline surrounds the electronic motor and acts as a cooling agent. When the gas is low, the pump gets hot and can burn up," said Hargrove.

It costs an average of $500.00 to replace a fuel pump for parts and labor.

Hargrove said there is another problem caused by ethanol in gasoline.  "Ethanol absorbs moisture in the car and causes corrosion and rust.  Also, deterioration of rubber products."

While there is not much a driver can do about the ethanol in gasoline, Hargrove said, "keep your tanks at least a fourth of the way full to help your pump last longer."

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