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Problem: Toyota Prado is presenting as out of fuel

Problem: Toyota Prado is presenting as out of fuel

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Toyota Prado’s have a unique tank system which involves a dual tank set-up. However, the vehicle can only draw fuel supply from the front or main tank. They have a small fuel pump between the rear and the main tank. The interesting thing is the fuel gauge on the dash gives you an average of both tanks.

Problem: Toyota Prado is presenting as out of fuel

So what we have been seeing is a situation where a number of vehicles have actually had a failure of that balancing pump. They will drive down the highway, they show half a tank on the fuel gauge, but they drive until they run out of fuel because the main tank is dry and the sub-tank is full. It can be sometimes hard to diagnose because it looks like its out of fuel, but the fuel gauge says half-tank.

Diagnosis and Solution

It is quite a common problem, and the only solution is to replace the entire pump assembly. The main indicators for diagnosing this problem are:

  • It conked out while driving
  • It won’t start anymore

To test this diagnosis, just hook up an external fuel supply. It may take 10 seconds of cranking, but if the vehicle starts up right away, you know that it’s a fuel supply problem.

Certainly not a tough one, but one that is becoming increasingly common, and worth making a mental note.


2 comments
  • Tony Cooper

    Hi mate, i own a 90 series 3.4 petrol Prado , my main tank is doing something similar, when the gauge reaches a quarter of a tank it actually runs out of fuel and i always keep my sub tank full, could i have the problem your talking about or could it be my main tank sender unit, to say it’s annoying is an understatement, regards Tony

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