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4 Ways Running On Empty Can Harm Your Vehicle

In addition to stopping you from getting where you need to go, driving on empty can damage your vehicle. Here are four specific ways not having enough fuel in your tank can cause problems.

car running on empty

  1. It can clog your fuel filter
    Your fuel tank can collect debris and sediment over time. Usually, this isn’t a big deal as the material simply settles to the bottom of the tank. However, if your gas level gets too low, there’s an increased likelihood your fuel pump will suck up the sediment and send it through your fuel system. This debris can then clog your fuel filter and slow the flow of gas to your engine.
  2. It can damage your fuel pump
    Your fuel pump, which sends gas to the engine, is located at the bottom of the fuel tank. This part is designed so that the gas cools and lubricates the pump’s machinery. If the gas runs low, your fuel pump can overheat. This may not do any damage the first time, but if you continuously run your vehicle on too little gasoline, your fuel pump may eventually fail to perform. This component can be costly to replace.
  3. It can cause your engine to misfire
    If you run low on gas, your fuel pump may start to suck in air. Consequently, your engine won’t get the fuel it requires and will begin sputter and misfire. This is a sign that your vehicle will soon stop working and that you should look for a safe place to pull over. Over time, misfires can damage your engine.
  4. It can damage the exhaust system
    If you do run out of gas, your engine will sputter and stall as it gets starved of fuel. In this case, your catalytic converter, which is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system, can get damaged and you may need to repair or replace it.

 

How far can you drive after the fuel gauge warning light goes on?

How far you can travel on ‘E’ depends on your vehicle. Typically, the warning light illuminates when there are between seven and 11 litres of fuel in the tank. How far that’ll get you depends on road conditions, whether you’re driving an on incline and if you’re driving in town or on the highway.

 

Complete vehicle service in British Columbia

From your fuel tank to your exhaust system and everything in between, the technicians at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres provide regular maintenance and dependable repairs for your vehicle. We help vehicle owners in the Fraser Valley, the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and Alberta. Contact us today to find a location near you.

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