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Why you shouldn’t wait for the orange light before refuelling

Why you shouldn’t wait for the orange light before refuelling

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Topping up a car with fuel is, for many, a slightly laborious process - particularly in the depths of winter. Because you have to stand out in the cold for a little while, topping up with fuel is something that many people put off until the last possible second.

ma adding fuel to his car

Leaving re-fueling until the last minute? We outline why you shouldn’t wait for the orange light before refuelling ...

Topping up a car with fuel is, for many, a slightly laborious process - particularly in the depths of winter. Because you have to stand out in the cold for a little while, topping up with fuel is something that many people put off until the last possible second. 

However, road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has said that this process is not only bad for your car but could prove dangerous too. 

GEM chief executive Neil Worth commented:

If you permit your car to run out of fuel, you risk serious damage to the engine as well as potentially putting yourself and your passengers at risk of a collision because you will not be choosing where the car finally gives up. Check you have enough fuel for a journey. If you need to refuel, plan where you will stop so there is no risk whatsoever that you will run out.

fuel cap

An issue which could arise from leaving your fuel levels to drop too low is to do with the fuel pump motor. Fuel acts like a coolant for it, so running low could cause the pump to suck in air and by doing so allow it to heat up - increasing wear. 

Running low on fuel also risks the chance of filling the fuel filter with dirt and particles which have settled at the base of the fuel tank. This could reduce the engine’s overall performance, too. 

But there are more practical reasons for making sure that you’ve got enough fuel. The first is that you could run out of fuel in a dangerous place, such as the motorway. GEM highlights previous incidents where drivers have been involved in collisions as a result of running out of fuel and breaking down. 


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