Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Out of gas

One wonders sometimes - exactly where the bottom of your tank is. Well, now I know.

On Memorial Day, coming home from the airport, I ran out of gas. How I ran out of gas is an interesting exercise in how my mind works.

See, when I parked Big Blue, who had been pressed into daily service, at the airport for my trip, I knew I had a half tank of gas. (half full, half empty is up to you). So upon return, when I turned the bus on, I noted the gas gauge had stopped working since it didn't register anything at all.

Now, you might ask, looking back, why not assume I had no gas? Because, after a long flight and owning the confidence that I had parked with a 1/2 "full" tank, my conclusion - based on the fact that things stop working in my 1968 bus more often than gas gets siphoned out of gas tanks - was that something was out of sorts with Big Blue.

This logic was adjusted when, shortly after paying a bridge toll at the Carquinez Bridge, Big Blue conked out and I rolled him onto the shoulder. The bus wanted to start but, it dawned on me, it sounded like it wasn't getting gas... Mmmm. A quick check revealed an empty fuel filter - no gas where there should be gas.

So I hiked about 1/4 mile to a gas station, bought a 2-gallon can, filled it. Upon return I found that Big Blue had already been tagged as an abandoned vehicle - they work fast! I put the gas in the tank and with a few pumps of the gas pedal, Big Blue came to life.

 The gas tank - even with 2 gallons in - didn't register any gas. So I drove to the gas station I had just bought the can from and filled up. Sure enough, the gas gauge registered a full tank!

So, there are 2 options.

1. I have a leak - which has been eliminated since then as the gas tank has held the gas this week.
2. Big Blue was siphoned in the SFO parking lot. Actually, this isn't too far fetched. It would be easy to do and I assume this is what happened.

There is a 3rd option. But that involves me getting old and forgetting details like how much gas I had in the tank when parking, but let's assume that wasn't it until I do it a second time...



So I guess you will learn to trust your gas gauge from now on. :) I've never really had to worry about people siphoning gas where I'm at, so that's a little unusual for me to hear about.

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