At a gas station, you might have seen a warning sign indicating that you should turn off your engine before pumping gas. People usually ignore the signs as they experience no notable difference by breaking the rule. Is it safe to do so? What happens if you pump gas with the car on?
Is it dangerous to pump gas with the car on?
It’s possible, though unlikely that a fire may start if you pumped gas while the engine was running. It would be reasonable to assume that we may safely disregard such events, given how uncommon they are. Such a choice on your part could have disastrous consequences.
Imagine that you are at a gas station, and you know it is surrounded by fumes, and by accident, some gas got spilled on the ground. What would happen later will be purely out of your control. All the cars parked nearby and other properties will suffer damage, and the effects will be devastating.
What happens is that when you pump gas into your car with its engine on, the chances that the gas vapors come in contact with heat or electricity are more. Once this happens, it results in an ignition.
There is an automatic stop feature in all gas pumps, but there can develop a defect in the mechanism. Due to this defect, there are chances that the tank may overflow, causing the gas to spill to the ground, which leads to a fire if the car engine is on.
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What steps should you consider while fueling up?
Follow the steps given below while fueling up your car.
- Turn off the car engine
- Avoid re-entering your car, as it can pick up more static electricity, resulting in the ignition. If you want to reenter the car in an emergency, ensure that you touch a metal part outside your vehicle to discharge the static electricity buildup.
- Never smoke, as a single flick of cigarette ash can lead to extensive fires.
- Avoid phone usage as, through its usage, electrical discharges get emitted, which can start a fire.
- Do not let youngsters and pets hang around outside your car while fueling to avoid letting them breathe toxic fumes.
- Wash off the gasoline found on your skin, if any, as soon as possible with lukewarm water and soap.
According to an NFPA or National Fire Protection Association report, from 2014 to 2018, around 4,150 fires occurred in gas and service stations each year. Of these, approximately 56% were vehicle fires caused by electrical and mechanical failures. On the other hand, smoking materials caused 24% of these fires.
Also read: Car Smells Like Gas? 6 Common Reasons
What happens if you put too much gas in your tank?
Many motorists try to fit as much gas as possible into their tanks since they know filling up is a time-consuming process. But if you’re thinking of doing the same, you should probably think again because it could do more harm than good to your car.
If you overfill your gas tank, the gas vapor will collect on the fuel filler neck and increase the harmful emissions your car releases. Liquid gas can potentially damage the charcoal canister by blocking the vapor intake.
Through overfilling, the vapor recovery system in the gas pump will begin sucking in the gas you are putting in, thus wasting your money on gas.
Next time you stop for gas, follow the rule and shut off the engine. Even if it’s not very common, a little carelessness on your part might cause a lot of trouble.
What if yours is the one-in-a-million case that results in great damage? Turning the key to the OFF position doesn’t take considerable effort. Several other dangers are associated with leaving your car running at a gas station. Keep yourself and others safe by turning off the engine while pumping gas.
Getting the right auto insurance can safeguard your vehicle even if some damage happens. Way.com provides competitive quotes from various top insurance companies available in the market.
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