Why You Shouldn’t Drive on a Near-Empty Gas Tank

More motorists are holding off stops to the fuel station while they stretch the remaining gas in the tank. The hope is that the price at the pump will eventually go down if they just wait a few more days. However, we must warn that driving on a near-empty gas tank is not only bad for the car but also a safety hazard.

Driving on an Empty Tank Damages Car Components

Gasoline performs a secondary duty by acting as a coolant for the electric fuel pump. When the fuel runs low, the pump begins to suck in more air, causing it to overheat and wear prematurely.

Another problem is that sediment from the bottom of the tank can enter the fuel pump, fuel injector, and fuel filter when gasoline is low.

The Dangers

Too many motorists overestimate the number of miles the car can continue to travel when the warning light switches on due to low fuel.

You risk running out of gasoline altogether when the engine is forced to scrape every last drop of fuel. Running out of gas can immobilize the car, causing the power steering and power brakes to cease functioning. You may not be able to pull over, resulting in a call for emergency services from the middle of a busy and dangerous highway.

Our Recommendation

Always check the fuel gauge as part of a road trip inspection. To avoid a dangerously low gas tank, never let the gauge fall below the one-quarter mark. The fuel gauge itself isn't always accurate, but you're safe as long as the gauge stays at or above one-quarter.

Have Your Car Checked

Bring your car to Chuck's Auto Repair for a maintenance check. This is especially important if you routinely let the fuel gauge run close to E. The dangers of driving on a near-empty tank are easily avoidable by filling up often.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Full Auto Inspection and Maintenance

Serving motorists of the greater Seattle area

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