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Though tempting, picking up the habit of using every last bit of your car's fuel is never a good idea. Understanding the inner workings of your car is crucial to coming to terms with how poorly you are treating your vehicle by refusing to feed it fuel.
These are the reasons why you shouldn't run your car low on gas that will change your mind about passing by the gas station next time you're past a quarter tank. Next time, try not to push your fuel tank's limits and listen to your car's gas light.
Your fuel gauge isn't always accurate.
Though we might like to play gas roulette every now and then, relying on your car's fuel gauge reading is one of the best ways to end up stranded. As the first reason on our list of why you shouldn't run your car low on gas, putting an incredible amount of trust on your car's technology is not the smartest thing to do when you think about it.
It is very possible that your gauge is not accurate, and simply because it says you have 30 miles left until empty does not mean that you should drive across the state for many reasons. Remember, you should always be a bit pessimistic when it comes to filling up your tank.
And to make things even easier, you should simply not wait until your light comes on, telling you you only have a few miles left. Instead, fill it once you've reached past the point of having a quarter tank left.
You never know if you'll get stuck in traffic.
This reason is a bit of common sense, but being a bit too optimistic can end in an unfortunate situation. This especially goes for those who drive during commuting hours. which might take you 20 to 30 minutes to get home, but during rush hour or a bad traffic jam, your travel time could take up to two hours.
As our next reason why you shouldn't run your car low on gas is the fact that you almost always have the possibility of running into bad traffic, especially if you live in a populated location.
No one enjoys traffic, but adding the factor of a glaring gas light the entirety of your ride will not only create anxiety, but could end in a much longer night worse than sitting in traffic.
You don't want to resort to the red gas tank.
A small point, but one worth mentioning. Instead of taking your car to the gas station when it is clear that you need gas, resorting to the red gas tank is never a situation you want to be in.
It will wear out the fuel pump.
Your car's fuel pump sends gas from the tank to the engine, which is very important to keep your car running. The motor is cooled off by fuel, but when you let your car run on low fuel, this puts stress on the motor for one reason. Instead of the fuel doing the cooling, air will take over the process.
However, this does not work as well and this provides the possibility that the motor may overheat. And what happens when it overheats? The parts surrounding the motor, the strainer, fuel filter, and electric motor have a high possibility of melting.
This will lead to permanent damage and ultimately leave you stranded on the side of the road. A much worse possibility, but one that should be acknowledged when you choose to run your car low on gas. You never want to risk your motor's ability.
It could wear out the fuel pump.
Yes, the fuel pump's job is clearly to pump fuel. But when you choose to run your car on low fuel, this will result in the pump not receiving the correct protection, which it typically gets from gasoline's lubrication. And in turn, this will lead to over-stressing the pump, and could even lead to overheating the pump.
You're subjecting your car to rust.
If you run your car low on gas, it is possible that rust will form in your tank. Though not as big an issue as the motor overheating, it is very possible for the rust to clog the fuel lines or the filter by bunching up.
Being stranded roadside is not only bad for your car, but for your safety.
Like anything to do with vehicle safety, your first priority should always be with your own best interest in mind. Maintaining your car's health has a lot to do with maintaining your own health. And treating your car safety carelessly is not the path you want to take.
Simply allowing your car to push its limits is one of the best ways to end up being stranded roadside. If there is anything you can do to avoid this, take it.
And keeping your gas tank past a quarter tank at all times is an easy and quick way to be safer while you're on the road. Especially if you are not a part of any roadside services, you don't want to drag other people in your life into your own problems that could have been easily avoided.
During cold weather it's even more important to have a full tank.
For many of the already discussed reasons, choosing to run your car low on gas in the winter is even more of a risk. Winter weather is the source of many traffic jams, especially unexpected ones, and like we've been over, not having enough gas is not a situation you want to put yourself in during winter traffic, especially if you end up in an accident or being stranded, you need to have enough gas to keep warm in your vehicle.
But the most prominent reason? Winter weather is very dirty, and getting it trapped in the fuel tank because of the lack of gas can get into the fuel filter. Plus, condensation can form in the gas tank if it is close to empty and can freeze, creating a blockage in the fuel lines, which will lead to issues with starting your car.
Altogether, it will shorten your car's lifespan.
An obvious point, but something to keep in mind. All of these factors, though they might seem like they would never happen to you and your car, will shorten your car's lifespan. If you could see the damage that this deals ouy on your car, you would likely not continue to run your car on low gas. So with this knowledge in mind, make a proactive decision to fix this habit, and improve your car's safety as well as your own.
You can use apps to find the cheapest gas near you to easily avoid this problem.
To leave you with a bit of a solution, our final reason for why you shouldn't run your car low on gas is that there is a very easy fix. Like we've mentioned before, keeping your tank above a quarter tank is a great way to avoid racing to the gas station after driving for 20 miles after the gas light went on.
So if you often find yourself driving around in search of the gas station with the lowest prices, apps like GasBuddy do the work for you. It provides the best price comparisons in your area and will allow you to constantly keep up with your tank, maintaining your car and your car's safety.