# Q about fluid and acceleration

So I was driving the other day, and my low fuel light came on, and I thought about how the gas in my tank reacts when I accelerate. I know that the fuel flows to the back of my tank when I accelerate, but after 5 minutes of constant speed on level ground, does the level of the fuel “level out,” or is there still more at the beck of the tank as it is when I accelerated? My gas gauge did not answer this for me, it just said empty…

When you stop accelerating, gravity will level the flow in tank. As a quick demo, put your beverage of choice in a transparent cup/bottle and watch what it does.

Gas tanks also have baffles designed to prevent any major flow of gas back and forth.

When you are travelling at a constant speed, no matter how fast you are going, there is no acceleration on on the gasoline. As soon as you stop accelerating the gas begins to settle out, and with the baffles it should be level in a matter of seconds.

Fuel and temperature gauges in most cars have a delay of 2-3 minutes. So you won’t see the fuel gauge going up or down during acceleration.

You can make a simple accelerometer to visualize the motion of your automobile.

Obtain about two feet of 1/2" dia. clear flexible tubing and one connector (& clamps).
Fill the tube 1/2 full of colored water for easy visibility, fashion in a circle and mount on a piece of cardboard or thin plywood.
Set this in your car parallel to direction of travel.
Next set it parrallel to dash and observe the action as you turn corners.
This can be calibrated by mathematical formulae to actually read out the accelleration!

Better yet, have a friend drive while you try this.

Yes, I should have thought of that. :smack:

>You can make a simple accelerometer to visualize the motion of your automobile.
>This can be calibrated by mathematical formulae to actually read out the accelleration!

Your formulae would have to take account of how the car body itself changes angle with the acceleration, of course. Or you’d have to devise a mount that stayed horizontal when the car didn’t, such as a volunteer who sights the horizon through it.

Hey! This isn’t a rigorous rocket science project. Just a simple rough and ready visualization. The readout calibration marks for comparison only.
KISS