Have you ever played the game “How Far Can You Go with Your Gas Light On?” As fuel prices are consistently creeping UP and summer travel is on the schedule, it is important to approach things with a level-head and a sense of urgency when needed.
Today’s vehicles do most of the thinking for us – they beep when we get too close to another car (or grocery cart in the parking lot), can park themselves in a parking space, correct us when we veer off course, and we can use the steering wheel to call a friend or loved one. However, the dash lights illuminate in order to get our attention and alert us when there is a problem. Brake pads have worn out, coolant is low, oil level is low and oh yeah, it’s time to get gas again. What happens when you let that gas light ride just a littttle bit longer?
- You can damage the fuel pump. This pump operates based on lubrication. You run it low on fuel, the pump can take in air and it can run hot, meaning premature replacement will be needed. And fuel pumps are not cheap.
- Sediment settles on the bottom of the fuel tank and when you run your vehicle low on fuel, you don’t want debris to get stirred up into the gas, circulate through your fuel system and cause problems with fuel injectors, fuel lines or the fuel pump pick up.
Here are a few good rules of thumb when it comes to fuel and your vehicle.
- Fill up when your vehicle gets to ¼ of a tank. I know many folks that fill up at half a tank
- When traveling, know where you are going and what your fueling options are along the way. No one wants to get stuck on the side of the road on a hot SC road in the heat of summer.
- Be as consistent as possible with the fueling stations you use to fill up your vehicle. Whether you are running regular unleaded, mid-grade or premium fuel, consistency is key. And just like oil, not all fuel is the same. Just because a gas price is cheap does not mean that it’s good.
Be safe on the roads this summer and fill up your gas tank before your trip gets underway. A little pre-planning goes a long way !!!