During lockdown, millions of Brits have been avoiding otherwise routine trips to fuel stations. But with lockdown measures easing, it’s important they don’t drive on ‘fumes’…
Driving On A Near-Empty Tank
Car manufacturers nearly always advise keeping your fuel tank at least a quarter-full. This isn’t simply a marketing gimmick in aid of petrol and diesel companies. Obviously no one wants to find themselves without fuel whilst in the middle of nowhere or on a stretch of motorway. But keeping your tank at least somewhat full is a mechanical necessity; at least if you want your car to work properly and to avoid damaging it.
First of all, your catalytic converter, which is a fundamental part of your car’s exhaust system, will struggle as your tank begins to empty. Debris can also end up getting stuck in the fuel tank itself. Why? Tiny particles settle at the bottom of the tank and will find themselves travelling into your pump and fuel filer as the car tries to extract every last drop of fuel. In some cars, the fuel pump is also found in the tank itself. The fuel acts as a coolant and lubricant which means, when low, the pump can overheat; that means it’ll wear out at a much faster rate.
It’s worth remembering that most cars will present a fuel light when you’re running low on fuel. Most will appear in conventional vehicles when there are two to three gallons of fuel left; leaving you with sufficient time to visit the closest fuel station. Every motorist should get into the habit of filling there car up at regular intervals. If you’re taking regular and similar journeys as a matter of routine, it won’t take long to work out precisely when you’ll be at around a quarter of a tank of fuel.
Making It To The Fuel Station
If, for whatever reason, you have found yourself running on fumes there are a number of steps you should take to maximise your chances of reaching a fuel station.
1) Where’s Closest?
First of all, find somewhere to safely stop and work out where the closest petrol station is. This will at least mean you can head towards a guaranteed source of fuel rather than driving around aimlessly.
2) Alter Your Driving Style
You should then adapt your driving style to get the most out of what’s left in the tank. Check your speed and if possible reduce it. Don’t exceed speed limits and stay in the inside lane on motorways. It’s human nature to rush when we’re panicking or stressed, but racing to a petrol station will just burn through the little fuel you have left faster.
3) Cut The Gizmos
Make sure your air conditioning is switched off and that you’ve removed any accessories that might be draining power i.e. radios, phone chargers…Also make sure that your windows are rolled as this will reduce wind resistance.
Fuel Stations Face Closure As Petrol Sales Drop By 75% – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/fuel-stations-face-closure-as-petrol-sales-drop-by-75/
Independent Petrol Stations Face Extinction Due To Coronavirus – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/independent-petrol-stations-face-extinction-due-to-coronavirus/