Potential Nightmare? Things You Need to Do if You Run Out of Gas
Ok, so gas prices are getting to the point that you are waiting until you are down to fumes before you fill-up? Is that wise? While I have not yet run out of gas, I am watching the gauge that tells me exactly how many miles I have left in the tank, like a hawk. The lowest I recently got down to was (for me) a very scary 25 miles left. For me, that was about 3/4 to a full gallon remaining.
This might be crazy naive of me, but I just found out that if you run out of gas, you can't just put more gas in the tank, and then be on your merry way. Nope, there is a process that you have to go through or you could do some serious damage to your engine. Yikes.
So what do you need to do when you run out of gas?
First, you need to pull off to the side of the road, as well as you can, and then put your hazard lights on. You are now a target, your safety is super important because cars are just going to speed by you. If you have roadside assistance, call them and they will bring you gasoline. If not, a family member, and if not that, the alternative is that you start walking.
How much gas will you need to put in the car if you run out of gas?
I talked to my mechanic, he said that you need to put anywhere from 3 to 5 gallons of gas in it, minimum. It would be best if you could fill it up all the way, but then the process of re-starting your car is going to be an issue because you now have to get everything primed (his words).
What do you do next after you run out of gas?
He suggested putting the gas in the tank and then giving it a few minutes. Depending on the type of car you have, you will need "re-prime the engine" and make sure that the fuel pump hasn't been damaged in the process. The mechanic's advice? Running out of gas is more expensive than not putting gas in the car in the first place.
Something tells me if you do this once you will never do it again - run out of gas of course.
After discussing it more with a few friends who work on cars, I asked them what they would do if they ran out of gas. They said, they always make sure to get gas when their gauge is 1/4 of a tank, even if it is just a couple of dollars, they have seen what happens to cars when this happens. They suggest that you never find out what happens.
So while you are thinking about all the things you will do when gas gets back to say $3 a gallon, here are a few day trips in Connecticut