Archive for September 15th, 2016|Daily archive page

Running too low, or out of gas can be costly

For those motorists who put off the fuel stop until the last possibly moment, the costs could be higher.

Waiting until your gas tank is almost empty before a fill up can be pricey, could be dangerous and downright inconvenient. “While the cases are rare, there is real potential of a costly mechanical problem,” says Consumer Reports Auto Test Center shop supervisor and certified mechanic John Ibbotson.

The gasoline acts like a coolant for the electric fuel-pump motor, so when you run very low, this allows the pump to suck in air, which creates heat and can cause the fuel pump to wear prematurely and potentially fail. The repair could end up costing a couple hundred dollars to fix—much more than an average tank of gas.

Also, if there is dirt in the fuel tank, it could lead to blocking the fuel filter; again, another expensive repair.

Another effect of driving on a low tank is the risk of getting stranded or even in an accident when the car suddenly stops running–you could be in the middle of a busy highway or on a deserted road.

Luckily, these scary scenarios are preventable. Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid running out of gas.

– Keep your gas tank no less than 1/4 full.

– Fill up before heading out on a long trip or to work as you could get stuck in traffic and have a longer ride than intended.

– Don’t rely on your car to tell you how many miles are left, as those range numbers can be deceiving and run down quickly, depending on how you drive.

– We all want to save money at the pump, but instead of driving miles away to the gas station, use online tools or even smart phone apps to find the cheapest gas near your house.