True or False: You should always keep your fuel tank above 1/4 full?

Everyone knows driving on “E” can be risky but some experts claim that you should never let the fuel level drop below 1/4 of a tank. Getting stranded without gas can be dangerous and fueling up is the smart thing to do, but are there extra benefits to keeping your tank filled above ¼ full? 

Concerns with Driving on “E”:

When there is less fuel in your tank the extra space is filled with air. Air can contain water vapor which can mix with the gas in the fuel tank causing it to work less efficiently. This is why it is suggested that you never let your tank get too low, especially during extremely hot or cold weather. 

Having plenty of fuel in the tank can also be a lifesaver in the winter if you experience a slide-off and become stranded along rural highways or interstates. As long as that engine can run you will have heat.

In older vehicles, manufactured before the 1990s, fuel tanks were made primarily of metal and water vapor and weather could cause them to rust over time. Fortunately, newer fuel tanks are made of high-density plastic which doesn’t allow the formation of rust.

empty gas dash light

Protect Your Fuel System:

Keeping your fuel tank at least at the 1/4 full mark can help protect both your fuel pump and fuel filter. The fuel from the tank is pumped from the fuel pump inside the tank to the engine. In the line between the fuel tank and the engine, a fuel filter is typically present to help protect the fuel system. In some cases, the fuel filter is inside the fuel tank. 

Fuel Pump:

The fuel pump in a vehicle pumps fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Every time you press the gas pedal, you control how much fuel and air goes into the engine. 

Fortunately, fuel pumps usually last over 100,000 miles and most people never have to worry about replacing them. To keep your fuel pump healthy and performing at its peak, you should change the fuel filter according to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Additionally, keeping your tank filled up helps to keep your fuel pump cool, which will also keep it healthy.

Fuel Filter:

Any dust or dirt in the fuel will naturally settle  on the bottom of the tank and will eventually get sucked into the filter (regardless of volume). Changing out the fuel filter for a new quality fuel filter at manufacturer-recommended intervals will help keep your engine running clean during the daily commute.

vehicle dashboard

Keeping your fuel tank at least at the 1/4 full mark can help protect both your fuel pump and fuel filter. If you run into issues with either the pump or filter Jiffy Lube of Indiana technicians are trained to clean your fuel system of performance-robbing deposits. We can replace your fuel filter if it needs replacement, due to clogging or age.

Our mission is to provide Indiana drivers with expert preventive maintenance services to prolong the life of your vehicle. Stop by any of our 60 locations in the Indianapolis area and around the state of Indiana. Our qualified technicians would love to help you.

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