We’ve all been there. You’re on the road to work and don’t have time to stop for gas, so you decide to test the limits of your car’s gas tank. All of the sudden, your car starts to decelerate and the reality hits you: you’ve run out of gas.
Don’t panic! Running out of gas happens to best of us (sometimes more than once). Thankfully, there are a lot of options available for you to get fueled up and back on the road.
Not sure what to do when you run out of gas? We’ve got you covered! Whether you need to look for towing companies or push your car to the pump, read on to learn what you should do when you run out of gas.
When Your Gas Light Comes On
Your gas light is the first indicator that your car needs gas as soon as possible. For most vehicles, the gas light means you have as little as 30 miles worth of gas left in your car. While this might seem like a decent amount, towing companies like Bear Creek Towing can attest to the fact that those miles go by quickly.
It’s best to follow these steps when your light comes on.
Check for the Nearest Gas Station
It may be tempting to try and make it to your destination when your light comes on, but why tempt fate? The first thing you should do when your gas light comes on is to look for the nearest gas station.
If you’re on the highway, check the exit signs to see if the next exit has fuel. Not near an exit? Take a moment to pull over and look for the nearest gas station on your phone. If you can make it to the next station, continue on. If not, skip to the next section!
Nix the Air Conditioning
If the next gas station is far away, you’ll want to take fuel-saving measures. The first thing you can do is to turn off the air conditioning or heater. Running the air conditioning in your car can reduce your car’s fuel economy as much as 25 percent.
Unless it’s super hot outside, turn off the air conditioning to help you get to the next gas station.
Roll Up the Windows
With the air conditioning off, you’ll likely want to roll down the windows to get some air. This, too, can reduce your fuel economy. When your car is moving at highway speeds, rolled down windows create a drag and reduces fuel economy.
If you’re on side streets and moving at a slower speed, rolling your windows down will have less of an effect on fuel economy. If you’re pushing the limits of your gas tank, though, roll them up to be safe.
Take the Path of Least Resistance
Any type of resistance your car encounters will result in increased fuel consumption. Try to take downhill routes to the gas station, or at least remain on flat roads rather than going uphill.
In addition, try to limit the number of stops you have to make. Acceleration following a stop uses more fuel. Plus, if your car is on its last drop of gas, a stop will prevent you from coasting to the gas station.
When You Run Out of Gas
If you ignore your gas light, you’ll likely find yourself stranded on the road and calling towing companies. Follow these steps to get running again!
Move Your Car to Safe Space
The most important thing to do when you run out of gas on the road is to move your car to the side of the road. If you can, put on your hazard lights and coast to the side of the road. If you stop in the middle of the lane, put on your hazard lights, place your car in neutral, and push your car over to the shoulder.
Once you’re safely on the shoulder, leave on your hazard lights, turn off the engine, and reach out for help.
Call Roadside Assistance
If you’re a member of AAA, they can contact one of their partner towing companies to bring you gas. You can even join over the phone if you’re not a member. Many insurance companies and auto manufacturers offer roadside assistance as well and can contact nearby companies to help you.
Wait in your car for roadside assistance to come help. Make sure to have a winter survival kit in your car for times when you’re stuck in your car without heat for extended periods of time.
Locate Towing Companies
If you’re not a member of a roadside assistance company, or if you want help getting your car to the next gas station, call a towing company. Towing companies can bring you gas as well, or they can tow your car to a gas station.
Prepare for the Future
Being prepared is the best way to avoid getting stranded on the side of the road without gas.
First, always fill up your tank before it dips below a quarter full. You should also keep an empty gas can in your trunk for use if you do run out of gas and there’s a walkable gas station nearby.
Second, join a roadside assistance company. They can help you by sending out towing companies any time your car is out of gas, needs a jump, or is out of service.
Finally, always know how far you can go once your gas light comes on. If you’re on a road trip, look out for signs that point out long distances without gas stations. And always keep a physical map of the area in which you are traveling in the event you don’t have cell service.
Running on Empty?
Running on empty isn’t only a great Jackson Browne song, it also means you need to find a gas station ASAP! Thankfully, this list of tips will leave you prepared for anything that your car throws your way when you run out of gas. Whether you make it to a gas station or need to reach out to towing companies, running out of gas doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal!
In need of a towing company in the Evergreen, Colorado area? We’ve got you covered whether you’ve run out of gas, have a flat, or need a jump! Contact us today to see how we can help get you running again.