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Running on empty can shorten the life of your car

gas pump

Experts say running on empty can shorten the life of your car. (April 26, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 This Morning at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AUGUSTA, GA --- More drivers are trying to stretch their dollars and fuel on the road, but waiting till your gas gauge hits empty could cost you in the long run.

It can be painful swiping your card at the pump, watching as the numbers shoot up and your wallet empties out

"Well, I usually wait until it runs out," said Tameka Bussey as she filled up her tank.

Justin Watkins added,"With the rise in prices it's kind of hard not to keep it off of empty."

Waiting for the marker to hit empty can also drop the number of years you drive your car. Aaron Clements with C and C Auto says he's had to rescue drivers stranded on the road from an empty tank. "Running out of fuel can cause a huge safety issue, at the very least a major inconvenience."

Even if you think your tank has enough for your drive, you should consider pumping some extra gas. "I would consider putting in enough fuel in there to at least half to three quarters of a tank, when it gets down a quarter," Clements advised,

When you let the fuel go all the way down in the tank it starts to collect dust and debris from the bottom, which is pushed to the front of the engine where it can clog your fuel injector and slows down your cars fuel efficiency.

"When it restricts the fuel filter that makes the pump have to push much harder to get up to the engine. That will cause premature fuel pump failure also," Clements added.

Your fuel pump can also easily over heat and eventually fail if there isn't enough fuel surrounding it . "What happens is that the fuel pump is located inside the fuel tank, and they depend on that fuel around the fuel pump to keep the pump cool," Clements explained.

"Some people don't have a choice but to wait," said Bussey. Waiting may cost you more in the long run

"I mean I'm still worried because sooner or later I'm gonna have to get a new car. As of right now I have no choice," Watkins said.


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