Being stranded along a deserted highway in the middle of winter is one reason to keep your gas tank at least half full, but did you know your engine is also counting on you to fill up during the cold months?
Keeping your gas tank more than half full limits the danger of running out of gas, and it can save you from costly repairs.
Here are four reasons why you should keep your gas tank full:
1. Prevent condensation
Condensation can form in the empty part of your gas tank. In the winter, that condensation can:
- ice your fuel lines
- cause no-start conditions
You might think the ethanol in your gas is enough to act as an antifreeze and prevent freezing in your fuel tank. In Canada, federal law requires gas to contain an ethanol content of at least five per cent, with regular grade sometimes containing as much as 10 per cent ethanol.
Since you can’t control the ethanol content or how your vehicle’s engine will respond to it, the best way to minimize condensation and avoid problems caused by freezing fuel lines is to keep your tank more than half full in the winter. You’re going to need that gas eventually anyway.
2. Keep your fuel pump cool
The motor of your electric fuel pump needs your gasoline to act as a coolant. When your gas tank is getting low, the pump sucks in air, generating heat.
Over time, that heat can cause your fuel pump premature wear and even failure. Fuel pump repairs aren’t cheap, but in this case, they’re preventable.
3. Help keep dirt out of your fuel tank
Sometimes dirt can get trapped in your fuel tank.
When you’re running low on gas, that dirt can block your fuel filter, and potentially lead to expensive repairs.
4. Help avoid an emergency
Having a full tank of gas prevents you from being stranded or getting stuck in an accident or traffic jam without a means to keep your vehicle running. You can also avoid having to call a tow truck or roadside assistance. Save yourself from costly repairs and dangerous situations by keeping your gas tank more than a quarter full at all times, and at least half full in the winter.
For those driving long distances, there are some great apps to help you find service stations near you, along with gas prices, so you save a little on the way to fill up.