Few things are more frustrating than being stranded without fuel. Immediately, you begin to feel that you could have easily avoided it, but the reality is that you will be hopelessly wasting your time.
If you’re a driver and you’ve never run out of gas, congratulations because you’ve been spared a mixture of ridicule and frustration that’s hard to compare.
But running out of fuel is not only damaging to pride, but it can also lead to mechanical and safety problems.
The best thing to do is to avoid running out of fuel, and with today’s cars, you have to work hard to do just that.
Running out of fuel can lead to damage to the fuel pump.
Not only do we have the traditional fuel volume indicator on the dashboard, as well as the reserve warning light, but it is also widespread to have related data on the on-board computer such as instantaneous consumption, average consumption, and, above all, the remaining range permanently adapted to our driving style or the demands of the road.
Even so, if all this does not convince you enough to pay attention and be proactive when refueling, we tell you what can happen if you run out of gas.
What happens to the car if you run out of gas
The first thing that will happen is that the engine will shut off after jerking and choking, with all that that implies.
Since we will most likely be in gear, this will cause all systems to shut down, including the power steering and brake servo.
This will make turning and braking much more complicated, so if we are driving relatively fast, we could find ourselves in a dangerous situation, as the car will become clumsy, slow, and inefficient in its reactions.
From a strictly mechanical point of view, running out of gasoline can cause the fuel pump to be damaged since it is placed inside the tank, and the fuel acts as a coolant.
If the power does not cover it, it will overheat and could fail. Do you want to know more about this and why running out of fuel is not advisable? Check out this helpful article on the subject.
In addition to compromising the integrity of the fuel pump, the rest of the system that delivers fuel to the engine can become dirty or even clogged, making it impossible to restart the car, as no gasoline or diesel will reach the cylinders.
This happens because fuel tanks accumulate impurities over time, as liquid fuels contain solid residues that are gradually stored in the tank.
If we rush so much as to let the last drop pass, these impurities will also do so and foul the system.
Finally, if the car is old, running out of gas can lead to corrosion in the pipes and filter.
How to avoid a fine if you run out of fuel
If, despite the precautions taken, we have not been able to avoid running out of gas, it is critical to comply with specific requirements to avoid being fined:
- Stop the car on the margins of the road in a way that does not hinder traffic. Otherwise, you could be fined 200 dollars.
- If you are going to get out of the car, put on your reflective vest before getting out of the vehicle to be visible to other road users. Failure to do so will result in a fine of another 200 dollars, plus the loss of three points on your driver’s license.
- If you do not have a V-16 light signal, you must signal your vehicle with the triangles. Failure to do so or doing so incorrectly will result in a fine of an additional 100 dollars.
- Please take out the fuel canister in the trunk and empty it into the tank. But that is not likely that you have one.
- In that case, the only option is to call the insurance company to solve the problem or take a walk to the nearest service station.
What happens if a diesel car runs out of gas?
While with a car with a gasoline engine, it is enough to fill up the tank and start again (several attempts may be necessary, but be patient so as not to drain the battery), in the case of a diesel engine, things get more complicated.
In this case, especially when talking about direct injection turbodiesel engines, it is necessary to go to a workshop to refill the fuel system and make the diesel reach the injectors.
Once in the workshop, it will not be superfluous to check elements such as the battery, the fuel pump, or the starter motor to prevent further breakdowns resulting from this unpleasant situation.
Finally, changing the fuel filter is advisable to eliminate impurities from the tank.