Due to higher gas prices, many drivers are taking more risks with their cars as far as running the gas down to empty before refilling. But many don’t realize the strain that running out of gas could cause for a car and driver.
You’re driving along, and your gas meter is beneath the ‘E’ line. “Well, the light didn’t come on yet,” you say to yourself. “I probably have another ten miles to go.”
Riding on ‘E’ is a game that too many of us play with our cars, and if we lose we can be creating even more problems for ourselves and our cars in the future. For one, if you run out of gas too much, it can create a mechanical strain on your car. Some car experts will tell you that running out of gas can cause problems for your fuel injection system. Every time you run out of gas, a gum is created that can eventually cause interference with the fuel delivery.
Anxiety While Driving
The second problem is that it can be a mental strain to you, and possibly be a safety risk while you are driving. The anxiety of driving with the fear of running out of gas in the back of your mind every day can be a strain on your body and mind. Wouldn’t it just be easier to ‘fill ‘er up’ and think about it once or twice a week? Also, when you are constantly checking your gas meter while driving, that’s less time you have your eyes and mind on the road.
Let’s not forget the cost of a road service or a long walk to the nearest gas station if your car shuts down on you. It is not only inconvenient but also dangerous if you get stuck on a highway or busy intersection. When you have to plop down $12 for a three-gallon gas container on top of the $8 to fill it up, you’ll wish you would have just put $20 in your tank in the first place.
So to the ‘nickel and dimers,’ the risk takers, and the financially strapped, maybe after reading this, the next time you make that stop at the gas station you’ll save up enough to make the full tank investment. Take it from me, a former ‘nickel and dimer’, it will save you a lot of trouble, money, and legwork.
Avoid Burning Out
So in case you still find yourself in that situation, and you run out of gas, there are some steps that you can take to avoid burning your fuel out completely.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to figure out your location. Thankfully, your smartphone or your vehicle’s GPS can immediately give you a clear idea of where you are, and where you can find the nearest gas station.
You have to decide quickly if you need to find a safe place to pull over or if your remaining power can reach the measles gas station, or at least get closer to it.
If you decide to continue driving, remember to slow down up to an optimal speed of 35 to 45 mph – this is considered to be the most fuel-efficient.
Don’t forget to turn off your air conditioner as it relieves the engine of additional load. This can help save up your remaining fuel. And no matter how hot the weather is, don’t open your windows yet, keep them rolled up to reduce wind resistance.
Also, remove any accessories like a phone charger and turn off your stereo – this may only save a small amount of fuel, but you’ll need everything you can save up at this point.
Continue and try to coast using the lay of the land. You don’t need to shut your engine completely – restarting may use up more fuel. Just shift to neutral if you can, like if you’re moving downhill. This will give your engine a little break until you reach the closest gas station.