How Driving on Empty Damages Your Car

Published on: September 1, 2020

If your mom or dad taught you to keep your gas tank full, they did so for some very good reasons. You may laugh off their cautions now in your adulthood, but, unfortunately, we here at Primary Care Auto Repair are going to burst your bubble just a little bit. It is bad to drive on empty, and if you do it all the time, it can be really bad. Driving with the gas light glaring in your eyes is not only damaging your automobile but also putting you in danger. Here’s what we mean.

Running Out of Gas

Running out of gas can actually place you in a scary situation. Depending on where you run out of gas, you may be stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the dark (if you’re driving at night), or in the middle of traffic. Even with your hazard lights on, someone could still plow into your vehicle, not to mention you’ll have to deal with all of the drivers you have angered. Running out of gas is dangerous. It puts you at risk of an accident and at risk of personal harm. Keep your tank at least one-quarter full at a minimum.

Engine Damage

Driving on fumes also puts your car, truck, or UV’s engine at risk. Two things happen when you let the gasoline in the tank get too low. The first thing is you draw sediment into the engine. Even if you buy the most expensive gas in town filled with additives to clean your engine, it has sediment. All gasoline has sediment. Because of its weight, the sediment settles to the bottom of your vehicle’s gas tank. When the fuel pump doesn’t have any gas to draw through to the engine, it draws the sediment instead.

This causes the second issue. Although flammable, the fact that gasoline is a liquid works well for your fuel pump. Most fuel pumps these days are electrical and their motors need cooling just as your vehicle’s engine needs cooling. If the fuel pump has very little gas to draw out of the tank, the motor will overheat because it’s the liquid (gas) that cools it. This wears down the fuel pump’s motor prematurely and the excess heat transfers into the engine compartment and overheats your vehicle’s engine.

This is how driving on fumes damages your vehicle’s engine. If you think you may have caused some engine damage to your vehicle, call Primary Care Auto Repair. You can reach our Warwick, RI, shop by phone today.

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