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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6, 2014 Kia Cadenza
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently ran my fuel level low on my '16 Sorento. I was on the home and low price Costco gas is .8 miles from my front door. When I filled up the "Range" display said 1 Mile remaining. I pushed it one other time.

I have a friend that used to own a repair shop and he said if it is an electric fuel pump and located in the tank it could overheat and destroy the pump causing expensive repair, not to mention getting stranded.

Does anyone here have the knowledge of the Kia system to asses this possible risk? Any fuel pump failures?
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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897 Posts
In the majority of cases where fuel level is a contributing factor for an in-tank pump failure, talking to the customer uncovers that the tank is run low on fuel a great deal of the time.
Don't make a habit of the kind of event you describe above, and you shouldn't have this kind of problem.
 

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2019 Sorento LX AWD 2.4L w/ Convenience Package, 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SE-AWC
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537 Posts
Also, there is a gallon or two in the tank when the Miles to Empty says zero.
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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897 Posts
Not sure if it is the same for 2019, but prior in this generation it was 18.75 gal capacity, and if the range on mine goes to -0- I can get about 17.65 gallons into it at the pump, leaving a 1.1 gallon 'reserve'.
 

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Sorento 2017 EX v6
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148 Posts
Not sure if it is the same for 2019, but prior in this generation it was 18.75 gal capacity, and if the range on mine goes to -0- I can get about 17.65 gallons into it at the pump, leaving a 1.1 gallon 'reserve'.
It must be a bit more than that though, yesterday I filled up 71.9L / 18.9 gal, the range was already showing ---, but maybe only for 1-2k.
 

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2016 Sorento SXL
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Maybe they're selling "imperial liters" up there in Calgary :eek:

What does your manual say with regard to capacity on your 2017? Same 71L as for 2016?
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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315 Posts
I don't know of any modern cars that don't put the pump in the tank and yes, it relies upon the gasoline to cool the pump. Our household rule of thumb is never less than 1/4 tank (which is really more like 3/8 of tank with the built in fudge factor).
 

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2019 Sorento SX L (FWD)
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I've had two in-tank fuel pumps fail. Never ran the gas low.

The '95 Toyota Landcruiser would get slower and slower on the highway, adding some gas would cool it enough to get going for a while longer. That was key to diagnosing the problem. The fuel is pumped to the engine and what is not used makes its way back to the tank on a return pipe. This brings engine heat back to the tank.

The '86 Pontiac was out of service due to fuel pump failure for almost two weeks. The third one the shop installed worked OK, the first two replacements were out-of-the-box bad and that was not known until everything was back together.
 

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2016 Kia Sorento SX V6, 2014 Kia Cadenza
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196 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
How much left?

Also, there is a gallon or two in the tank when the Miles to Empty says zero.
I had 1 mile of range left but I had 1.41 gallons remaining in the tank according to my calculations. And no, I'm not going to make a habit of running it to Zero Range. However, IMO, it is a good practice to know your vehicle and it's limitations and capabilities.
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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164 Posts
The electric fuel pumps located in the gas tank are cooled by the fuel in the tank.
Yes it is true that the pump can overheat and seize if uncovered enough.
Even though you may have a gallon or two left, it may not be touching the pump.
Modern blow molded plastic gas tanks are very contorted to fit into and around tight spaces.
I'm a child of the oil embargo years (70's) and rarely let my tank get below half.....need to
be on top of the Zombie Apocalypse you know!
 

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2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD
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462 Posts
For the pump to overheat due to low fuel, you would have to run it way down (like past zero on your "miles remaining" gauge) and then keep it there for months by putting in a quart of fuel when you go to fill up every time. Nobody does that, which is partly why this design came about. An unexposed fuel pump that, for 99% of the time you drive it, is being cooled by sitting in a pool of fuel will typically last longer than an exposed pump that requires a separate cooling component.. and it's cheaper to manufacture, so it helps keep the overall price low. Kia isn't the only one who does this.

I regularly run my tank down to near empty.. I've done this on many cars I've owned and never had to replace a fuel pump.
 

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2018 Sportage EX
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I know I have a different car, but when mine says it’s dead empty, there still seems to be about 10L left in the tank (fill from “dead empty” is about 53L but listed tank size in the manual is 62L). Is it common to have such a large “reserve” amount left in the tank or is my gauge miscalibrated?
 

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2019 Sorento LX AWD 2.4L w/ Convenience Package, 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SE-AWC
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537 Posts
It is normal because people are dumb. So the manufacturers give people an “empty” indicator when they still can do something about it instead of at a true empty when dummies would end up stranded.
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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I'm a child of the oil embargo years (70's) and rarely let my tank get below half.....need to
be on top of the Zombie Apocalypse you know!
I remember leaving my car parked overnight at the gas station, getting up early to go be with it, to get my allotted 8 gallons of gas on my allotted day. I too have become paranoid about anything less than 1/2 a tank because of it.
 
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