Why You Should NOT Drive Your Car On Fumes
The car dashboard shows the flue gas with red. The oil warning light is running out.Close up image of illuminated car dashboard

Why You Should NOT Drive Your Car On Fumes

You never, ever fill up your tank before it’s almost empty. And when the fuel light comes on in your car or truck you don’t bat an eye. You know you can go exactly 40 miles before running out of gas. Just think — over a lifetime of waiting until the last possible minute to fill up your car, you’re probably saving hundreds of hours compared to the chumps who always keep the tank half full.

But is driving with the tank on empty really a good idea? What does it do to your car?

Today we’ll take a look at possible long term damage that can result from running your fuel tank down to fume repeatedly…

Fuel Pump Damage

For the fuel to reach the engine where it is used, it will use the fuel pump to get fuel from your tank. With enough fuel, this process can run smoothly but with low fuel, it can damage the fuel pump. This is because the fuel isn’t just used by the engine to get power, it also acts as a lubricant for the fuel pump.

When your car is low on fuel, there is a huge chance that it sucks air instead of fuel. When this happens, damages can happen to your car. This is true not only for streamline vehicles but also for luxury vehicles as well. Without proper lubrication, the fuel pump is likely to wear out sooner than expected. It will also lead to inefficient fuel pumping that can cause damage to other parts of your vehicle.

Risk Engine Damage

Apart from the inefficient fuel pumping, engine damage can also happen to your vehicle when you always run on low fuel. This is because of all the fuel slurry that the pump pushes to the engine. Whenever you refuel your vehicle, it is possible that there are sediments that also get into your vehicle. These will usually settle at the bottom of the tank and won’t really affect your car unless they get sucked and used by the engine.

When the fuel is low, it is likely that you’ll suck a mixture of fuel and the sediments at the bottom of your fuel tank. The sediments don’t only affect your engine but also your exhaust. It is always best to refuel so you’ll feed your engine with good quality fuel than a slurry of sediments.

Some Cars Can’t Handle Running On Low Fuel

When you run on low fuel, you run on the fuel reserve, which is usually stressful for the vehicle. Some cars aren’t durable enough to withstand that stress. Some cars are more sensitive than others and could cause damage immediately not only to the engine but other parts of the vehicle.

If your car is unfortunately sensitive, you might find yourself stuck on the road. Even if you refuel, you may not be able to run your car as smoothly as you did before. Don’t risk damaging the car and try to fuel up whenever the warning light turns on. That stress isn’t going to do any good for your vehicle.

Dangerous Risk For The Car And The Owner

When you make it a habit to drive low on fuel, it is likely that you’ll put yourself and your car in danger. For example, on your way home to work, your low fuel warning light blinks but you just want to get home and you think you can still reach home with your low fuel. That may be true but you can easily forget about needing to refuel your vehicle.

By the time you use it again, you might not notice the low fuel light anymore and end up getting stalled on the road. What is worse is when you get stalled on the road in the middle of the night. There are some people who take advantage of people’s mishaps such as this.

On the other hand, you might notice the low fuel warning light when you use your car again but it can be too late. Thinking that you don’t have enough fuel, you try to save as much by doing hearsays on saving fuel. Some of them are just hearsays and aren’t really true, which can eventually cause more damage to your vehicle.

You End Up Spending More On Fuel

It is also possible that you panic when you see that you’re low on fuel and it has taken you quite some time already before you refuel. Fearing that you’ll end up stalling your car on the road, you end up finding the nearest gas station and refueling there even if they don’t offer the best prices. Although paying more for fuel doesn’t really hurt your car, it can surely hurt your pocket.


Every car has a built-in warning light that informs the driver that they are running out fuel. This is very obvious on the dashboard. However, many people ignore this because they think that they still have more than enough to reach their destination.

Even if that’s true, you should still decide to fill up as soon as possible or else some long term issue  can be expected  for your vehicle.

Need fuel delivery service on the go in Jacksonville?  Look no further than Peerless Towing Service.  Call today at 904-270-9969…

Gary The Peerless Towing Guy

Gary Winokur is the editor-in-chief of this site and owner / operator of Peerless Towing Service Jacksonville, Florida.

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