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full of fuel, gauge says empty and will not start - all on the side of

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I have a 2004 Carrera Cabriolet with 40K miles on it. Was riding yesterday afternoon from MIami to Vero Beach with my 5 year old daughter, 9 yr old English Staffy on our way to pick up a new puppy. I stopped by the rest area as we needed gas, filled it up (95% sure as I did this as went into the rest area - Florida has the feature on pumps that has auto stop when the tank is full). I started up the car after coming out of the rest room with daughter (another story all together) and the gas gauge did not move from it's original position from when I put gas into it. I thought that perhaps the autostop kicked in too quick and put more gas in it. It stopped less than 1/2 gallon later and could see fuel up to the nozzle.

The gauge still did not move. I went in to ask the cashier what the last two charges were on at the pump (the receipt printer at the pump was broken). Told me it was $44 and 1.25 which makes sense. (BTW - I just called Amex this morning to confirm however the charges however have not posted yet)

I continued driving and noticed that the gas gauge as well as the miles per empty on the digital read out in the dash was moving towards empty. I decided to stop at the next rest area and see if it needed more gas. Similar to before it only took a gallon before the pump autostop kicked in. Feeling better that it was a gauge issue I continued on.

The gauge went to empty and miles per empty went to zero. I drove another 10 miles and the car acted like it was running out of gas. 45 seconds later I was on the side of I95 North. I tried to start it and everything sounded like it wanted to start (fuel pump, starter, etc) however it would not turn over.

I called my mechanic and he told me that there was nothing I could do and that he would send a tow truck but it was going to take 2-3 hours. I figured that my chances were good that someone would pick up a grown man, a 5 year old girl and a pit bull (though I was thinking of the hitchhiking scene with Ben Stiller in "something about mary" ). It took me 5 minutes. A nice older couple drove us 20 minutes to the nearest Avis location where we rented a 2012 Ford Explorer. We ended up picking up the puppy and drove back in time for a late dinner with a very happy daughter/puppy (as well as a richer tow truck driver and mechanic)

I was not able to pull any codes from my Durametric so I am flying blind here.

Any idea of what the problem is?

Also if you were me, what questions would you be asking my mechanic if you were me.

BTW - The puppy is cute as hell

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may be more than one issue. First, there may be an issue with the car accepting fuel...check the fuse, vent valve, charcoal canister. I'm not sure if it so with the cab, but on the TT, the gas tank has a hump in it with the fuel sensor in the upper hump...therefore if the tank is not filled, the readings can be off....not sure if this is the configuration on your car...

for the car not starting (assuming there is fuel)....this could be fuel pump or ruptured fuel line (in the tank).

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This sounds like the problem I had with my 2001 C4.

If so, it is the valve at the gas tank that is not opening. It is controlled by this part: 996-201-143-01 Fuel Vent. It was $118.96 at Albuquerque Porsche. This vent controls the flap down at the bottom of the filler pipe.

It is quite easy to install.

Remove the right front wheel and look up to the filler pipe on your left.

Undo two bolts under the rubber gasket around the fill spout. Pull out the old unit and install the new unit making sure to include the dangling sensor about the size of a number 2 pencil and a couple of inches long in the same spot as before.

Just to check it before you do, push about 30" of gas proof hose down into the tank. You should feel that valve and it will open if you push against.

I drove back to Oregon from Houston with this issue. Temporarily, you can stick a screwdriver in the small opening behind the door flap hinge and it may release that valve.

Irritating but cheap to fix.

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Check E6

"On a Boxster fuse E6 is for a flap in the fuel filler and the cell phone connector under the radio. If that fuse blows then you can't get fuel in. I suspect that when working on your radio the cell phone connector was shorted and blew the fuse. It is 7.5 amps. Guess the turbo is the same."


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If it is a C4, due to the configuration of the gas tank, to reset the fuel gauge, make sure it is 100% full, unplug the battery for 5 minutes, re connect and your gauge should read full. To properly calibrate it, you would need to go to the dealer or someone with a PIWIS to set the gauge at the correct level using a specified amount of fuel in the tank.

Regarding the non start, I will leave that to the experts here...

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So I ended up picking up my car this past week. I was incorrect that there was gas in the engine (I originally thought that I did fill it up, however Amex confirmed that it was only $2 worth so it appears that car would not let me add any more gas) The final tab was $1800 (towing was $325). I am pretty pissed that it was so much money and I get the feeling that they were just putting new parts in until it started working, however I did not have much choice as I was stranded and was at the mercy of my mechanic (kind of like when your dentist tells you that you need to get some work done, you don't have too many other options).

Not sure if in the future I should use him. I have enclosed the invoice for anyone that wants to check it out. Any thoughts if this seems excessive, as at this point in time I do feel a bit dirty about this entire endeavor.


2004 Carrera fuel issue bill - June 2013.pdf

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Looks like he was guessing. The fuel vent valve is $118 at Porsche and is 1/2 hour job by somebody like me (not a mechanic). It is easy and obvious and it has been covered in previous posts.

Sorry you were short-sheeted.

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sorry to read about this. I had a similar problem at a gas station far from home. took forever to dribble gas into the tank, one filler pipe full at a time. I station-hopped, which is not as fun as bar-hopping. the problem was at the fuel filler valve that sits on top of the gas tank. Seems a mouse had gotten in there, built a nest, and somehow managed to chew through the valve wires. Labor cost to find the problem was about $750. Looking at your invoice makes me wonder what the actual problem really was. I'm in a 2003 C4S, or C$S as some prefer, so my gas filler configuration may be different from yours. Glad your issue was solved, whatever it might have been. :)

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  • 5 months later...

Pull out the old unit and install the new unit making sure to include the dangling sensor about the size of a number 2 pencil and a couple of inches long in the same spot as before.

Apparently I didn't pay attention when I put the new valve in and didn't connect this sensor properly as now I am having issues filling my tank. Where is the end of the sensor supposed to be mounted or placed?

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