Ever hear this argument?
“Letting your gas run low in the tank is good for your car.”
A lot of people believe this, however, empty space is not always a good thing. This is especially true when it comes to your gas tank!
Let’s dive right into the nine reasons why you should keep your gas tank full.
Imagine you have a water tank at your home that you use to hold well water for your home. Would it be better to keep the tank full, or low?
>> The no-brainer answer: Full.
Because you don’t want to take the risk of sediment building up in your tank and contaminating your water, you wouldn’t want the tank to be empty.
Well, the same principle applies to your gas tank in your vehicle! When you let your tank get all the way to empty, you risk your fuel pump sucking in the sediment that has built up in your tank. As you can imagine, sediment in your fuel pump is no bueno.
Not only will this clog up your fuel pump, but it may also harm your engine.
Condensation & Corrosion
You leave a water bottle half full in the sun. What happens next?
>> Answer: It gets condensation in the top of the bottle that then drips down into the bottle.
The same thing happens in your fuel tank.
If there’s a lot of moisture outside and your gas tank is only ¼ full, then condensation will begin to build up. As you know, oil and water do not mix! Because of this, water sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank, where it is then pumped into the engine — ultimately causing engine corrosion.
During the winter, condensation can cause even more significant issues.
Say you leave your tank half-empty, and there’s some extra moisture in the air. Water droplets drip into the gasoline and towards the fuel pump. In cold temperatures, the water can freeze over your fuel pump lines and cause major issues! For instance, with frozen fuel lines, the odds you’ll get your car started are very slim.
In keeping your gas tank full, however, there won’t be room for condensation build-up.
Fuel is not only used to power your vehicle, but it is also used as a cooling agent to cool down your engine and prevent it from overheating.
If you have just a little gas in your tank…
- your fuel pump is only sucking in some gas.
- your fuel pump is also sucking in air — as there isn’t enough gas.
Added air into your engine not only can cause overheating in your engine, but it can also cause other major mechanical issues.
An easy situation to avoid this — you guessed it — by merely keeping your gas tank full!
For most of our lives, we have thought that keeping our gas tank low will improve our efficiency. It makes sense…
>> The less weight to pull, the more efficient your car is.
However, as discussed in reason #3, keeping your gas tank low also allows air to pass through along with the gas. And this decreases the efficiency of your car!
Therefore, even though having a full gas tank might be a heavier haul, it ends up being a more efficient option for your vehicle. Just make sure to clean your fuel tank when the time comes!
Here are a few quick tips on how to make the most of the gas you put in your car, and how to increase the power output of your vehicle’s engine:
– Know Your Mileage (Accurately)
– Go Easy on That Right Pedal
– Tire Pressure is Key
– Proper Vehicle Maintenance
Save that Money
Sure, just barely filling up your tank may save you money in the short run. But let’s think through the long run together.
>> By not maintaining a full tank, you’re opening up A LOT of possibility for mechanical issues, (i.e., engine failure, engine overheating, corrosion, frozen fuel lines).
Now, what’s a bigger hit on your wallet?
Go on, bite the bullet and fill up that tank.
Dirt in the Fuel Tank
Yes, you read that correctly. Dirt and debris can find their way into your fuel tank over time.
Sounds bad, right?
When you leave your gas tank partly full — especially for an extended time — it allows for dirt, rust, sediment and other pollutants to build up in your tank and mix with the gasoline.
These debris can flow into your fuel lines, straight up to your engine! Yikes. That is some costly damage right there.
Car expert or not, you know that build-up in your engine is not good. Whether you drive your car often or let it sit for some time, make sure the tank is full to eliminate space for dirt to build up.
Already dealing with fuel tank pollutants? Don’t panic. We’ve got a solution for you.
>> Our Berryman B-12 Chemtool Total Fuel System Clean Up is a powerful detergent that maximizes one-tank clean-up of intake valves, fuel injectors, carburetors, and the combustion chamber.
The B-12 Chemtool (Part #2616) dissolves gum, varnish, and carbon deposits in the entire fuel system to help restore lost power and peak performance. It also improves starting, drivability, gas mileage, and your injector life!
Keeping your fuel system clean is the key to maintaining a smooth-running vehicle.
Do you live in the midwest, or the northeast, where winters are harsh? If you are planning on taking a road trip at any point this winter, we have a few words of advice:
>> DON’T start your trip without a FULL tank.
If you happen to get stuck somewhere in the snow, God forbid, you will have a full and complete tank to keep you warm while you try to wrangle up some help. When you’re surrounded by freezing weather, having your car warm at least will make a world of difference.
Along with that, the holidays are notorious for traffic. Everyone is trying to get to their destination — all at the same time. So, hitting traffic on your holiday trips is inevitable. Be prepared and have your gas tank full, just in case traffic is at a standstill; you do not want to run out of gas in the middle of the freeway!
A simple stop at the gas station to full up your vehicle before trips can save a lot of time and hassle, and it might just bring peace of mind to your passengers, too!
It’s 8:30 am. You’re late for work. You get in your car, and… you guessed it, your gas light is on. You don’t even have enough gas to get to work!
This is potentially the worst feeling. Take it from us, having to stop at the gas station before work can just ruin a day. Especially when you’re already late.
Save time and stop this tardiness! It is easier to stop and get gas the night before — when you have ample time. Much better than a “low gas” light surprise waiting for you when you do not have any extra minutes to spare.
Unnecessary Wear & Tear
Stop putting unnecessary stress on your vehicle’s fuel pump and engine. Keep your gas tank full to eliminate wear; it’s probably the easiest preventative maintenance you can do to keep your car in shape!
For more good habits and vehicle maintenance tips, check out The Ultimate Vehicle Maintenance Schedule on our blog.
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