How a lack of fuel harms your car
Lack of fuel can sometimes bring a lot of problems to you personally, and even more so to your car. Therefore, it is worth knowing what to do, and most importantly, what NOT to do when you find yourself with an empty tank?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what happens under the hood when you run out of fuel.
What happens to a car when it runs out of fuel?
When the tank is completely empty, the engine will suck in air along with the last remaining fuel. This air can prevent the engine from starting again as it throws the air / fuel mixture needed for combustion far beyond the limits.
For this reason, you should never leave your car completely dry, even if you know there is a gas station nearby or if you have a spare canister in your trunk. This puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the engine and can mean that it will be difficult to resume work even after refueling due to air build-up in the fuel tank and combustion chamber.
In addition, when driving “on dry”, the fuel pump does not receive sufficient cooling, because when the tank is full or almost full, the fuel pump is cooled by the gasoline or diesel fuel itself. Otherwise, there is no source of heat removal, the fuel pump starts to heat up, and if you drive with an almost empty tank for a long time (read – without stopping on the way), it may melt or even lead to a car fire.
How to start a car after running out of fuel
Once you’ve safely refueled your car and need to start the engine again, there are a few things you can do to get the engine running without putting undue stress on the ignition, starter, and battery. It may take several tries to start the engine because no fuel has circulated through the system, so it is recommended not to start the ignition over and over as this will only drain the battery.
Here are a few things to try to start your engine:
Press the accelerator pedal to activate the fuel injectors faster. This will force fuel to circulate through the engine to help the vehicle start.
Turn the ignition to the “on” position without starting the engine. Doing this several times will allow the electric fuel injectors to start circulating fuel without consuming high energy supplied to the battery.
Make sure the car has enough time to cool down. Running out of fuel can cause the fuel pump to overheat and fail, and it may take some time for its temperature to return to normal operating temperature, even after refueling.
You might think that there is little chance of running out of fuel. But these things do happen, especially if you are stuck in traffic for a long time. Your best bet is to be prepared, so if you are going on a long trip or bad weather make sure you are fully fueled.
We also recommend that you always fill the fuel tank at least a quarter full. This way, the engine will only drink clean fuel and not the dirt at the bottom of your tank. You should also use Maxxrecovery Fuel System Cleaner regularly to keep your fuel system clean and to improve the condition of your vehicle’s engine.