Regardless of how well you plan, unexpected circumstances occur when you least expect them and catch you off guard. Running out of gas, especially on unfamiliar roads, can be one of them. Sometimes you may not find a gas station nearby.Other times you may end up miscalculating the distance or simply forget to refuel your tank. As a driver or car owner, it is important for you to be prepared and know what to do if you get caught in such a situation.
Here are some tips that can help you if you ever run out of gas while driving.
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Signs that indicate your car is running out of gas
If your car is running out of gas, it will likely show these signs. :
- Low power: If your car is running out of gas, it will slowly lose its power. You will notice that the car will not catch speed and run very slowly when you hit the accelerator.
- Gas indicator: Most cars have a gas indicator on the screen right behind the steering wheel. If the gas goes below a certain limit, the light will start blinking.
- Sputtering engine: When your car runs out of gas, the air gets trapped in the engine. This causes it to sputter.
- Unable to start: If you parked your car and cannot turn it on, the chances are that your car is low on gas.
- Surging: Low gas can cause a jerk while driving. This happens because the car does not have enough gas to run smoothly.
- Backfire: The uneven gas supply can create a loud backfire noise in the tailpipe. If you hear your car backfire, you should immediately check if it has enough gas.
What to do if you run out of gas?
While it is always recommended to keep your gas full, especially if you are covering a long distance, there can be days when you forget or things donot go your way. If you are ever stuck on the road because your car ran out of gas, you can try the following things:
- Turn on the emergency flashers: If your car is low on gas and you need to pull up, make sure to turn on the emergency flashers. This will help drivers passing by spot your car easily. Keep your car locked and put it in the park mode to ensure safety.
- Look for the nearest gas station: You can use the maps on your phone or car to find the nearest gas station or “fuel delivery near me”. If you find one within walking distance, you can go and look for gas.
- Call a friend or family member: If you are close by and a friend or family member can help you, you can call someone you know to help you with agas delivery service.
- Call 911: If you are stuck in a remote area with no cellphone coverage, you can still dial 911 from your phone. The emergency service will help you and guide you on the next steps.
- Use roadside assistance from your insurance: Roadside assistance insurance can be another option that can help you if you get stranded on the road. Here you can opt for mobile gas delivery if you cannot go anywhere.
CAASCOAuto Roadside Assistance helps you by delivering sufficient gas to your car. If you have a CAA membership, you can avail theirCAA gas deliverythat helps you get to the nearest gas station. If there is no gas station in the area, the insurance plan will arrange a towing facility in accordance with towing service provisions.
5 Fuel-efficient driving techniques you must look into
Here are some fuel-efficient driving habits that can help you in the long run:
- Maintain a steady speed: Speeding up or slowing down your vehicle uses more fuel. Most cars offer the best fuelefficiency between 50 and 80 km per hour. Try to maintain the idle speed for your car and avoid speeding up or driving too slowly.
- Increase the speed slowly: Instead of accelerating the car in one go, try to step on the gas pedal lightly. When you start your car, take 5 seconds to reach up to the speed of 20 km per hour.
- Avoid sudden breaks: Instead of stepping on the brake, take your foot off the accelerator pedal. This may not be viable in heavy traffic, but you can do this when the traffic is low, and you have a clear view of the road and can anticipate when you have to stop.
- Keep it light: Your car uses more fuel when it carries weight. A lot of people tend to store heavy things like gym equipment, bulky books, etc., permanently in their car to avoid having to carry it back and forth every time they need it. Try to remove anything you do not need to improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
- Turn it off when you stop: Turn off your car whenever you stop. Running the engine while your car sits idle uses up a lot of fuel.
How far should you travel on an empty tank?
If your car is low on gas, the empty tank indicator starts blinking to remind you to fill gas as soon as you can. When this indicator turns on, your car’s fuel tank is not completely empty. It has some gas in it that can allow you to drive to the nearest gas station and fuel up your car. All cars work differently, but most cars may have up to 2 gallons of gas when the indicator turns on. So, this gives you enough time to find the nearest gas station. Some cars also tell you the distance they can cover on the remaining gas to give you an idea. But this is only an estimate and not a guaranteed distance that the car can cover.
It is best to start looking for a gas station as soon as the indicator starts blinking to avoid getting stuck on the road.
Running out of gas can be an unpleasant experience. While you can always call your insurer for roadside assistance or walk up to a gas station, it is best to avoid such a situation. So, ensure you have enough gas when you start your ride and fill it up immediately if the low fuel indicator turns on.
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