Is It OK To Drive On Empty?

Every single one of us has done it. It was a long day at work, traffic was bad, and you just wanted to get home to see your kids before bedtime. The thought of pulling over for gas seemed unbearable, so you just decided to take care of it the next day. The next morning, that little indicator tells you you have just enough gas left to make it to the station, but is it OK to drive on empty like that? The pros at Oxford Automotive in Oxford, PA, know every driver does this from time to time, but want to explain how it really isn’t very good for you or your car.

You Could Be Left Stranded

This one speaks for itself. Drive on empty long enough and your car will eventually run out of gas and stop. At that point, you really only have two choices: grab a gas can and slip on your walking shoes or wait for a tow truck. Neither sounds all that fun to us, so instead, make sure to gas up before it gets to that point.

Your Car Needs Fuel To Work Properly

Your car’s engine needs three things to make it go: air, fuel, and electricity. The spark plugs fire to ignite the fuel, but what happens when there is no fuel there to ignite? At first, not much. You might get some engine shaking or a misfire or two. But if you drive on empty long-term, you will begin to notice some serious engine problems and extensive damage. 

Your Fuel Filter Will Work Overtime

Sediment and debris tend to settle at the bottom of your gas tank, and your fuel filter works to keep it from traveling with the gas into your engine. When you drive on empty, that sediment tends to get stirred up, forcing your fuel filter to work overtime. If this happens long term, your fuel filter will eventually fail and need to be replaced before that debris seriously damages your engine’s moving parts.

It’s Not Good For The Fuel Pump Either

Since the fuel pump is normally submerged in gasoline, when you drive on empty it is just hanging out in the air. This can cause it to overheat and, down the road, fail. Keeping gas in your car is a great way to avoid this, and all these problems.

If you drive on empty often and you are worried about your fuel line or engine, bring your car into Oxford Automotive in Oxford, PA today. We will inspect your entire system and recommend any needed repairs. So should you drive on empty? Every once in a while it is OK, but don’t make a habit of it. If you do it often, make an appointment with Oxford Automotive today.

Photo by yossel63 from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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