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I've been told that letting a car run completely out of gas can cause the gas pump to fail prematurely since it is cooled primarily by contact with the fuel.

is it dangerous/damaging to the fuel pump or any other component to run completely out of gas?
 

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It was in the past, not only for cooling the pump, but lubricating the actual moving parts of the pump as well.

Will all fuel pumps automatically fail if run dry? No. Will some? Possibly.

In the end, unless it's an emergency, why risk it?
 

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A couple of us have intentionally done it many times without a problem. When tuning with different fuels, that's the quickest way to switch.

There is quite the cushion built in. You get the 20ish MTE warning, then when the gauge reports zero (read from OBD), then you still have 10-15 miles before it runs out.
 

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Putting aside any physical damage risk, there was a video of a guy on youtube who ran out his Gen 1 battery first, then gas, and then the Volt dug into the battery buffer to give him 2 more miles (in propulsion power reduced mode) before the car completely stopped. I believe he then put a gallon into the tank and the car immediately started up, giving the impression that there was a tiny bit of fuel still in the tank. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE8NiDUbRs4
 

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The following applies to the Gen 1 Volt, and I suspect it also applies to the Gen 2.

Whenever you actually run out of gas, after you put new gas into the tank, the engine will start and run a short self-test. If all is ok, everything returns to normal and you continue on in the driving mode you choose. I once used the Torque Pro app to monitor my gas volume when parked on a level surface, and refilled when it read 0%, 0.0 gallons remaining. There was no engine self-test performed in this case, confirming what colchiro points out above. When the OBD readout reports zero gas, more fuel is actually remaining in the lines than if you had driven until the ICE stopped for lack of gas, so a few miles of driving still remains at this point.

Even if you run out of gas, a wee bit of fuel remains in the lines. When I ran out of gas in my 2012 Volt to end my first FMM and filled the tank, the engine ran a self-test, and my next FMM occurred ~363 days later. Our friend Ari also chooses to run out before adding the minimum amount that will end the FMM (~1.5 gallons), and his FMMs usually occur ~313 days later. That ~50 day difference in times to next FMM is because the "old" gas remaining in the lines after the tank is empty is enough to affect the overall "average age" of the ~1.5+ gallons now in his tank, lowering the next FMM date below the one year mark.
 

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Volt owners who are obsessed with not using any gas should really consider buying a Bolt then you don't have to worry about it.
 

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I've been told that letting a car run completely out of gas can cause the gas pump to fail prematurely since it is cooled primarily by contact with the fuel.

is it dangerous/damaging to the fuel pump or any other component to run completely out of gas?
If the Volt is allowed to run completely out of gas it will operate in reduced propulsion mode to maximize EV range until some gas is added to the fuel tank. If you don't regularly use gas the Volt Owner's Manual recommends keeping the Volt's fuel tank 1/3rd full ~ 3 gallons. That amount of fuel will last approximately one year as the Volt will automatically enter Engine Maintenance Mode and will start the gas engine for approximately 10 minutes, once every 6 weeks, to circulate fluids, lubricate and protect the internal engine parts. At the end of 12 months the age of the fuel in the Volt's fuel tank will cause the Volt to automatically enter Fuel Maintenance Mode and begin to burn all of the remaining fuel in the tank. You can interrupt, delay further running of Fuel Maintenance Mode by adding a sufficient quantity of fresh fuel to the Volt's fuel tank.
 

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Volt owners who are obsessed with not using any gas should really consider buying a Bolt then you don't have to worry about it.
If the Gen 1's 40+ miles/charge meets someone’s driving needs 99% of the time, the 238+ mile range of the Bolt is overkill. One need not be obsessed with not using any gas to recognize that one method of maximizing your electric driving experience is to drive a Volt efficiently, and another is to drive a BEV.

If the choice is between carrying around 200 rarely-used ev miles in a battery, or a gas engine that can provide 300+ miles when needed for occasional/ annual long vacation trips at ICE-refueling-stop speeds at the cost of an oil change every two years, the range extender is the more prudent choice for some. Others may have different preferences arising from different driving habits.
 

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Regardless, why would anyone want to run out of gas?
I’m retired, so I drive but short distances around town, far enough to approach battery range only about 6 times per year (i.e, ~99% ev around town). On the other hand, about once a year I head out on a long vacation trip (could be 1000+ miles or more). I try to time the final fill-up on the drive home to a spot about 100+ miles from home. I arrive home with no gas range anxiety and plenty of gas to last until my next unplanned vacation drive.

Sometimes that next trip falls within the 12-month FMM timing from that final on-the-road fill-up, and I don’t experience an FMM that year. Sometimes it doesn’t, so I experience an FMM and choose what to do about it. I prefer to maximize the setting on the FMM "clock" by emptying the tank (i.e., running out of gas) before I end the FMM by adding new gas.

Don’t know why someone would choose to run out of gas before refueling multiple times per year, but for someone who may or may not go 12 months between "long distance travel" and/or the need to refuel, each time an FMM appears, the inclination is to end the FMM by maximizing the time until the next FMM. One way to do this is to run out of gas before adding new gas. My choice of filling the empty tank, rather than adding only a couple of gallons, then refueling when departing on the next vacation trip, is a personal choice.
 

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Just went through my first FMM in my 2017 Volt. I elected to run the tank dry (it had been full) to minimize the amount of fuel I needed to add to get fresh fuel into the engine. Everything worked as advertised (on this forum). The car coughed once then switched to the EV mode. It sure gave me plenty of warning about being low on fuel. Range going from 40 miles to just the word "LOW". Gasoline pump icon switched to yellow. When you pushed the info button on the center screen in the low fuel warning dialog box, it would show you a list of nearby gasoline stations. Refilling with minimum fuel turned off the FMM and everything went back to normal.

I wasn't prepared for the amount of reduced propulsion that occurred when the gasoline engine ran out of fuel. It was almost unsafe. I could have beat the volt in acceleration with my old I-MiEV towing a trailer. Even trying to accelerate up a hill going over a freeway overpass was a chore. Passing anything?---nope. I think the benefit of reducing propulsion to gain extra EV range is overshadowed by the dangerous lack of power available to drive the car. This was occurring even though the pack was fully charged. IMHO it should run like a normal EV that will give you full power until the pack is nearly empty and then go into a low power protection mode.
 

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Running out of gas may have been unintentional back in the day when there was no 24 hour gas stations and attached mini-marts. Today, in most areas of the country, even at 2 AM, there still would be a place to get gas if you needed it. Even here in somewhat rural northwestern Oregon there are several 24 hour mini marts with gas stations only a few miles from our house.

We keep our 2016 Volt Premier with a full tank of gas, many times I fill it up and it takes only 3-4 gallons. Recently my wife and I made a few trips outside the electric range and still with 200 miles on gas for those combined trips we averaged over 51 mpg just on gas. Just hard to understand how somebody could run out of gas with all the warnings prior and at least 300 miles of range just on the gas engine alone.
 

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We keep our 2016 Volt Premier with a full tank of gas, many times I fill it up and it takes only 3-4 gallons. Recently my wife and I made a few trips outside the electric range and still with 200 miles on gas for those combined trips we averaged over 51 mpg just on gas. Just hard to understand how somebody could run out of gas with all the warnings prior and at least 300 miles of range just on the gas engine alone.
It's amazing how many people are just totally oblivious these days.

I always fill mine to full, and then I will run it down until it won't let me precondition, then fill it back up and repeat. But if I know I'll be on the freeway for more miles than my fuel range says, you can bet I'd be filling up.
 

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I would use caution and keep some fuel in the tank all the time -- the "mileage predictor" seems to be way off sometimes. I have also observed less acceleration when switching to hold mode or when using gasoline only.

But maybe I need to adjusted to the car, it's still new to me.

LT, Cajun Red Tintcoat, new 2018 bought in September. . .
 

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Hit the orange/yellow fuel gauge and three chimes/low fuel warning last night (so now I know it works). I could have made it home the 15 miles and put some in in the morning but as I was coming up to new Esso station, stopped in for $10 ($5+ per gallon). No sense filling up and lugging around that gas for a year.
 
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