Have you ever driven around after your low fuel light popped on? If you’re like most drivers, the honest answer is “of course.” United Auto Care warns that if you’re making a habit of that practice, you might be doing more damage to your car than you’d expect. Here’s why you need to rethink driving around with your fuel light on.
1. It’s More of a Suggestion
When your fuel gauge warning light comes on, you’re not guaranteed that you have a certain amount of fuel left contrary to popular belief. It’s more of a suggestion that you might want to stop and get some gas as soon as you can. Lots of variables affect how quickly your car will burn through that little bit of gas that’s left, and pushing it can do some harm.
2. You’re Risking Your Catalytic Converter
For starters, you might damage your car’s catalytic converter if you wait too long to get gas. This is the part that takes harmful exhaust gases from the engine and converts them to much less hazardous gases. The catalytic converter usually doesn’t have to be replaced, unless something damages it, and it’s an expensive part to swap, so don’t damage it unnecessarily.
3. Your Fuel Pump Can Also Become Damaged
A more urgent concern if you’re in the habit of driving around with your fuel light on is that you can damage your fuel pump. As gas levels drop, there’s more sediment that collects and is flushed through the fuel pump. The fuel filter catches some of it, but not all of it. Also, having plenty of fuel helps to keep your car’s fuel pump cooler. Finally, the fuel pump taking in air is bad for the fuel system.
4. No One Wants to Be Left Stranded
Ultimately, if you’ve got this habit, you’re eventually going to roll the dice and lose. Driving around with a low fuel light on can mean that you’re left stranded unexpectedly and that’s not good. Murphy’s Law pretty much guarantees that will happen at the most inconvenient time possible, so there’s a lot to be said for filling up before the light even goes on.
If you’re noticing that your car isn’t running right anymore or is burning through fuel much more quickly than it used to, there could be more going on. Give us a call at United Auto Care in Flowery Branch, GA. We can diagnose the issue and get you back on the road again fast.