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Why Should You Keep Your Gas Tank Full?

When you were learning to drive, you probably had a dad or an uncle say, “And always keep your gas tank full.” You probably thought, Sure. But this advice isn’t just an old man’s tale.

Keeping your gas tank more than half full can save you costly repairs and the danger of running out of gas. Here’s why.

Why it’s important to keep your gas tank full


Condensation can form in the empty part of your gas tank, and in the winter, that condensation can freeze, ice your fuel lines and 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.

Fuel pump failure

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.

Dirt in 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, possibly leading to expensive repairs.

Accidents, traffic jams and getting stranded

Do you get stressed just reading about those three scenarios? Imagine experiencing one of them simply because you thought you could make it, or you wanted to wait until prices came down. Plain and simple, it’s not worth it. Enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re going to get home just fine, even if you get stuck in traffic, because you’ve got plenty of gas.

Save yourself from repairs, stress and dangerous situations by keeping your gas tank more than a quarter full at all times, and at least half full in the winter. There are some great apps out there to help you find low gas prices near you to help you save a little on the way to fill up.

For more on ways to keep your vehicle running in good shape during the winter, read our post Winter Car Care Tips. HYPERLINK ONCE THIS JAN POST IS UP

What’s your own rule about filling up your fuel tank?  

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