Most of us fall in the two categories above – we either play it on the safe side and fill up as soon as we start seeing a half a tank or we see how far we can get when that empty light comes on. Bust most of us were taught that letting that light come on can cause trouble in the long run – and they are right.
Some say never let the fuel level drop below 1/4 a tank because of the sediment forming in the bottom of gas tanks- the gasoline helps keep the fuel pump in the modern gas tanks cool which doesn’t cause the issues it used to when you get to less than a 1/4 of a tank. BUT the fuel pump is a vital part of your vehicles fuel system and it makes sure the engine gets the fuel it needs to keep running, so here is why you should avoid letting the fuel level get too low:
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If you do drive often with a low fuel tank, you could encounter part failure, including problems with the fuel pump and fuel filter. Here are a few symptoms to look out for that indicate potential problems with your fuel system.
Bad Fuel Pump. The fuel pump is located in the fuel tank on most modern cars, and problems can occur when the fuel pump either becomes clogged from sediment in the fuel tank or stops working due to wear, usually from working too hard or after long intervals of time. If you are lucky, you should never have to replace it , but sometimes it can wear out. Some signs that show your fuel pump needs replaced are: a vehicle that is hard to start, hesitation while driving on the road, decreased fuel mileage, and overheating, If your car has any of these issues be sure to schedule it for a service check at your local dealership.
Fuel Filter. While a fuel pump has its own filter, sometimes it does not catch all of the particles. The fuel filter, located between the engine and the fuel pump, is another stopgap measure to help catch any of these remaining particles that make it through. Sometimes, though, the fuel filter becomes clogged and needs replacing, Signs of a bad fuel filter are the engine shakes when you are sitting idle, it has a hard time starting, the vehicle seems to have a hard time while you are driving down the road, or the vehicle stalls while driving.
In addition to potentially costly repairs to your car, driving on a low tank can be dangerous. If the car suddenly stops running, you could be stranded in a deserted area, or in the middle of a busy highway. And with many cars, the airbags don’t deploy if the car is turned off, putting you and any passengers in an even more dangerous situation.