According to statistics, more than 50% of drivers constantly test the limits of their vehicles by driving on reserve. Bad things. Running out of fuel is bad news for your engine, whether you drive a petrol or diesel car.
Running out of fuel at the roadside is a bad idea for many reasons. For a start it can put you in unnecessary danger, stranded beside speeding vehicles. And depending on the kind of car you drive and its age, it could cause mechanical complications when you do get fuel.
Running out of fuel, the best thing to do:
1) Find a safe place to pull over – make sure your hazard lights are on.
2) Call for help – whether that’s a friend or relative that can help with getting more petrol to you, or roadside assistance if you have a diesel car.
3) Avoid pulling over on the hard shoulder of a motorway, it can be incredibly dangerous. Stopping on the hard shoulder should only be done in an emergency situation where you have no other choice.
4) Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.
How do you know your car is running dry?
- The fuel gauge is designed to be the first sign that your car is running out of gas.
- When the fuel tank gets beyond a quarter empty an orange warning light comes on.
- On some cars, the range function then automatically lights up on the instrument panel.
Here’s a quick look at what happens to your car when you run out of fuel.
- Loss of Power – This will be one of the earliest signs of an empty gas tank and will be most noticeable when going uphill. If you press the gas pedal and the vehicle does not accelerate, then fuel starvation is a likely cause.
- Engine Sputtering – This will make it seem almost like the engine is burping or hiccupping; this is caused by there being too much air—and not enough fuel—entering the cylinder.
- Surging – This will be felt in the form of a jerking sensation from behind the wheel, almost as if your car momentarily stops and then thrusts forward; this is the result of inconsistent fuel supply.
- Backfire – While uncommon in newer vehicles, a loud pop in older vehicles, like a firework going off, coming from the tailpipe, may also be a sign that you are out of gas.
Things to Do if Your Car Runs Out of Gas on the Highway
1. Pull Your Vehicle to Safety
- The most important thing to remember about running out of gas is that you do not want to turn an inconvenience into an accident.
- When a low fuel indicator is on, and vehicle is demonstrating one of the low-fuel symptoms, immediately turn on hazard lights.
2. Ascertain Your Location
- It is essential to know the exact location of the vehicle so that no confusion is caused when help comes on the way.
- In addition, if you need to leave the vehicle, you will not want to be wandering around looking for it on the way back.
- If possible, take note of your GPS coordinates.
3. Call for Assistance
- Make a call to the best roadside assistance and let them know that you are stranded without gas.
- If you are getting a fuel delivery service, make sure they know what type of fuel your vehicle requires. I
4. Flag Down Help
- When flagging down help, it is vital to make sure that you are in a visible location, well out of the way of traffic.
- Avoid standing on curves and corners, and try to use bright clothing or any other articles that are likely to catch the attention of passersby.
If you are unable to place a call or flag down help and do have to walk to find gas, remember the following pieces of advice:
- Walk back from the direction you came. If you run out of gas in an unfamiliar area, do not go walking into the great unknown. Walk back in the direction from which you came, as you will be more familiar with the terrain.
- Take snacks and water. Do not attempt to walk for gas if you do not have food and water to last you for an extended hike.
- Keep yourself visible. Make sure that passing traffic can see you as you walk to safety.
- It is best to stay in your vehicle and wait for somebody to stop and help.\
Is running out of fuel bad for a car?
The roadside is a very dangerous place to spend time. But apart from that, there are a couple of reasons why it’s less than ideal to run out of fuel.
Older cars can have debris that’s accumulated over the years at the bottom of the fuel tank. There are filters designed to prevent this from making it into the engine. It’s better those don’t get clogged as eventually, this may impede the flow of fuel.
The fuel also cools the fuel pump. But don’t worry, running out of fuel once shouldn’t damage the pump. Running out multiple times might. Of more concern is that you may struggle to re-start your car.
What to do if in need of assistance?
If you find towing complicated and dangerous that would risk your safety and of your family, better call the professional towing company near you. Cape Coral Towing and Recovery Services Inc., Southwest Florida’s towing expert company has the resources, experience, and equipped with highly trained Cape Coral emergency towing experts in Florida.
Why Choose Cape Coral Towing and Recovery Services
- Fast and Reliable Towing Services
- More than 25 years of experience
- Emergency Towing Services
- Family-owned and operated towing company
In addition to our emergency towing services, we also offer 24-hour emergency roadside assistance services. You can receive help in a hurry when you need a change of tires, gas, require or jump-start, or any other roadside services. Our drivers always respond with a sense of urgency whenever they are attending to your emergency service needs.
We are just a phone call away to come to your aid and assist you. You can call us at (239) 458-3333 or you also submit a service request here. Visit our website for more details.