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Is It Bad to Wait Until the Fuel Light Comes on Before Filling Up (Or Is It a Myth)?

Like many drivers, you may have heard the old myth that it's frowned upon to let your fuel level get too low before filling up. Some believe that running on a low tank can damage your fuel pump or even clog your fuel injectors. But is this really true, or is it just a myth?

The truth is that running your fuel level too low can cause problems for your car in the short and long term. Here's what you need to know:

Potential Short-Term Problems:

Stalling: When your fuel level gets too low, your engine may not be able to get enough fuel to keep running, and it may stall out.

Reduced Performance: As the fuel level drops, your car may start to experience reduced performance, especially during acceleration.

Fuel Pump Damage: Running your car on a low fuel level can cause your fuel pump to work harder, which can lead to premature wear and even damage.

Potential Long-term Problems:

Fuel Injector Clogging: Over time, debris can accumulate in your fuel tank. If you regularly run on a low fuel level, you may be more likely to pick up debris and clog your fuel injectors.

Catalytic Converter Failure: When you run on a low fuel level, your car may have to burn fuel that is not properly mixed with air. This can cause damage to your catalytic converter, which is responsible for reducing harmful emissions.

Costly Repairs: If you regularly run on a low fuel level, you may be putting your car at risk for costly repairs down the road. A damaged fuel pump or clogged fuel injectors can be expensive to fix.

So, what's the bottom line? While it's unlikely that driving on a low fuel level once or twice will cause significant damage to your car, it's important to ensure that you don't make it become a habit. The best way to avoid potential problems with your car is to fill up your tank before the fuel level gets too low, ideally before the fuel light comes on. Trust us when we say that it may even save you money on repairs in the long run.

For all your auto service and repair needs, please call or visit the auto repair experts at Stang Auto Tech.


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