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ok it finally happened...my car ran out of gas

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ok it finally happened...my car ran out of gas

Old 03-16-06, 12:40 PM
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ok it finally happened...my car ran out of gas

never thought it would happen to me...ever.

i mean, you know when the light goes on you really have like 20 miles left to go? and in my case i have an electronic meter that says how many miles i have left...when it hits 0 ive learned i have AT LEAST 20 more miles to go.

not this time!

very strange...i always wondered what the car would do when it really ran out of gas. not so exciting really.

fortunately it was the middle of the day and i was only 1/4 mile from a gas station. i was able to coast to the side and get some gas in one of those portable containers.

anyways, my question is do people or should people carry one of those red gas containers in their car with gas in it for situations like this? or is that totally stupid and unsafe. i think ive watched too many movies when i think that if i had one of those in my trunk and someone rear ended me or bumped into me, my car would explode.
Old 03-16-06, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
anyways, my question is do people or should people carry one of those red gas containers in their car with gas in it for situations like this? or is that totally stupid and unsafe.
Stupid, unsafe, and possibly illegal.

Depends on what you are driving though.
Old 03-16-06, 12:43 PM
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I doubt your car would explode

I just don't want my trunk reeking of gasoline.
Old 03-16-06, 12:44 PM
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well that answers my question. my car is a grand cherokee. doubt that makes a difference.
Old 03-16-06, 12:44 PM
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I don't carry one. Most gas stations will loan you one for a deposit (like $ or your drivers license).
I have never run out of gas, I don't like to let it get under a 1/4 of a tank.
Old 03-16-06, 12:46 PM
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You can't carry containers of gas in your car. They have to be ventilated. You can, however, carry one on the bumper or in the back of a truck if that's what you have... but not in the trunk - or your just asking to be a driving bomb.

That's actually really funny you posted this today. I watched my gage go down to 3 miles this morning before I made it to my preferred gas station. I was trying to get there because the prices rose again and usually they're cheaper. Well not this time, but I still saved 3 cents a gallon on my $2.31. DOH!

Last edited by melbatoast; 03-16-06 at 12:49 PM.
Old 03-16-06, 12:46 PM
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why not just fill up at a gas station before the light goes off?
Old 03-16-06, 12:46 PM
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I've run out of gas, but because my fuel gauge doesn't work and I had forgotten when I last filled it. 1970 Dodge Dart.

Oh, and I have a 2gl fuel canister in the back.. empty.

Last edited by devilshalo; 03-16-06 at 12:48 PM.
Old 03-16-06, 12:46 PM
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You bastard. Thanks for jinxing me. I'm running below the empty line right now but I didn't feel like getting it on the way in to work this morning. I hope I have enough to get to the gas station this afternoon. The light was on for the whole 20 or so miles driving to work this morning but I'm in the mood to push it.
Old 03-16-06, 12:51 PM
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Join AAA, along with snappy services like towing and battery jumping, they will bring you gas if you run out.
Old 03-16-06, 01:09 PM
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I keep a 2.5 gallon gas can (empty) in the trunk, AND I try to fill up when the gauge drops below a quarter tank.

edited to add:

I have run out of gas once in the past decade. Before that I would run out about once a year (my old car back then had a broken fuel gauge, so I went by the odometer).

Last edited by AGuyNamedMike; 03-16-06 at 01:26 PM.
Old 03-16-06, 01:09 PM
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I ran out of gas twice in the past five years.

The first time, I was on the freeway going 60-65 MPH when the engined stalled. I turned on my hazard lights, put the car on Neutral, and got off on the next exit which was only 1/8 mile away (and I could see that there was a gas station right off the exit). I had to stop at the end of the ramp at the traffic light. The gas station was now about 100 yards away, but the engine wouldn't turn over. I waited a couple minutes and tried again. This time, the engine started and I punched enough gas to get going to pull into the gas station. As I pulled into the gas station, the engine died again but I had enough momentum to get next to a pump.

The second time, I was actually driving to the gas station when I ran out of gas. I was still about 1/2 mile out. I remembered the first time I ran out of gas, that if I waited a bit, I could possibly start the car again. After about 5 minutes, I restarted the car, and this time, the car didn't die right away. I got to the gas station just fine but the car was making that almost dying sound.

I used to generally refuel only when the Low Fuel light turned on, but after these two episodes, I now generally refuel before it goes down to 1/4 tank.
Old 03-16-06, 01:13 PM
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I rarely let my gas level go lower than half a tank. She rides much better with a full belly. Then again, my ride is a dying, rattling, p.o.s.
Old 03-16-06, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
very strange...i always wondered what the car would do when it really ran out of gas. not so exciting really.
I always wondered too.
Old 03-16-06, 01:32 PM
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I used to routinely run out of gas on my old HD Sportster motorcycle. It has a pretty small tank and no fuel gauge, but it did have a reserve that I could switch right over to on the fly. Things would get a tad dicey when I would run out going 70 in the left lane of a major highway, but I got good at quickly firing it back up and continuing on my way missing nary a beat.
Old 03-16-06, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
i mean, you know when the light goes on you really have like 20 miles left to go?
I've gotten 50+ miles out of mine...more than once.
Old 03-16-06, 01:48 PM
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Every State is different, but in CA, we pay as part of our registration fee, for a service. If you are on a state highway, walk to the closest call box, and a tow truck will come with a gallon of gas. I'm not sure if your car has to be registered here or not. I have never run out of gas (knocks on wood)

If you are not on the freeway, finding a gas station before you run out shouldnt be a problem.
Old 03-16-06, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
why not just fill up at a gas station before the light goes off?
i usually do but i know that when it goes on i have 20+ miles left to go. ive had the car for over 5 years and it was like that 100% til the last time

but of course, where was i driving to? the gas station. i was honestly on my way there. couldnt believe my luck!
Old 03-16-06, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Timber
You bastard. Thanks for jinxing me. I'm running below the empty line right now but I didn't feel like getting it on the way in to work this morning. I hope I have enough to get to the gas station this afternoon. The light was on for the whole 20 or so miles driving to work this morning but I'm in the mood to push it.

good luck!
Old 03-16-06, 01:57 PM
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Not that this has never happened to me or anything, but one note of caution....


Many fuel pumps are cooled by the gas they are submerged in. If you run your tank very low you can damage or at least shorten the life of your fuel pump. This is especially true if the tank is low and when the gas swishes in the tank the pump sucks some air.
Old 03-16-06, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by grrrah
Every State is different, but in CA, we pay as part of our registration fee, for a service. If you are on a state highway, walk to the closest call box, and a tow truck will come with a gallon of gas. I'm not sure if your car has to be registered here or not. I have never run out of gas (knocks on wood)

If you are not on the freeway, finding a gas station before you run out shouldnt be a problem.
fortunately (or unfortunately...not sure) i wasnt on the highway. and the problem wasnt finding a gas station - i knew exactly where it was since i go there all the time and was on my way there when i ran out!

oh well.
Old 03-16-06, 02:05 PM
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I ran out of gas driving a U-Haul with a defective fuel guage (it worked fine, but we ran out with a quarter tank showing). I was moving from College Station to Austin after graduation.

The car just seemed to die, we lost all power and I coasted to a stop (it's hard to manuever a full U-Haul with no power steering). I had gone about 50 of the 100 miles needed and was on a crappy interstate in the middle of nowhere. That's not where you want to be in Texas in the middle of August.

I had to walk half a mile to a phone booth to call U-Haul. Since I'd never run out of gas before, I had no idea what it would be like and the truck was still showing gas. They told me they'd send out a repair truck. The closest repair facility was in south Austin and about 60 miles from my location. I had to wait 1:45 before the guy showed up. I told him repeatedly that I wondered if the gauge was wrong and if we were out of gas, but he assured me it was fine. He tinkered with the truck for well over an hour before calling to have a tow-truck come get us. While he was on the phone with his manager, the manager made him put in a gallon to check to make sure. Of course he had no gas, so he had to drive 5 miles up the road to the nearest station. He came back, put in the a gallon and it started up just fine.

We then drove to the station which was suprisingly full. There was only one open pump and I had to manuever around some idiot parked in the wrong spot and in the process I sideswiped a nice lady fulling up her car in the pump behind the one I was heading for. Very easily one of the worst days of my life.
Old 03-16-06, 02:27 PM
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I've never run out of gas, but I think I've come close.

It is often the case that when your tank is low, you'll be sucking in fuel from the very bottom. The bottom of the tank will often hold settlement, deposits, dirt, grit, etc. Not the kind of stuff you want to have sucked back into your engine. Driving another 10 miles to save $0.07 per gallon (Congratulations! You saved $2!) may cost you a lot more down the line if something like this were to happen.

Try and get in the habit of refueling as soon as you're at the quarter mark.
Old 03-16-06, 02:39 PM
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Driving the car clean down to empty can damage your fuel injectors. It's not worth the risk.

I drive an '04 Taurus SE with the "X miles to Empty" feature you describe. When it gets below "20 miles to Empty," the readout changes to "Low Fuel Level" and stays there till you put gas in the tank. I have only had this happen once, and that was because I wanted to see how far down it would go before it indicated low fuel.

Because I'm a woman who drives long distances over remote country by myself a lot, I always fill when it gets to about 1/2 to 1/4 tank. In the winter it's a good idea to keep at least 1/2 full in case your gas lines freeze.

But have I ever run out of gas? Yup, twice in my life. And both times it sucked.
Old 03-16-06, 03:16 PM
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Yup, happend to me this winter for the first time.

I sometimes will wait until my gauge is almost on "E" but before the gauge light comes on. It was cold one afternoon and I was almost on "E" when my car died. Called service, got my car towed to the dealership, etc.

My mother kept telling me that I'd probably run out of gas, but I didn't believe her since I'd driven close to "E" before. Well before I had the service guy check it out, I put some gas in and starter her up.

Oops.

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