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Run out of gas on the road? This problem is not as simple as it seems at first glance

The road often gives us various surprises. They can seem especially hard for inexperienced drivers, for whom even replacing a broken wheel is a real test. The problem is not always solved in a simple way. Empty gas tank is one of the most common reasons for a car to stop on the way. However, even for a seasoned motorist, the question “What should I do if my gasoline suddenly runs out?” in some cases becomes relevant. Let us describe all possible reasons of it and the methods of solving this eternal problem.

How to determine if the fuel is out, when you have a broken fuel level indicator?

First of all, always remember when and what amount of fuel you last refueled. If there is any doubt in this matter, the problem can be diagnosed independently, in the presence of proper instruments. These are the ways of finding out the amount of gasoline:

  1. Pay attention to the sound of the gas pump when the ignition is turned on (it is usually found in the tank, but it can be under the car or under the hood). An unusually loud humming pump indicates that it is spinning air. Further, if there is someone to help you, ask this person to turn on the ignition, and at that moment, hold the hose or the fuel rail. When the ignition is turned on, the fuel pump starts pumping fuel, creating a pressure of about three atmospheres. This is enough to feel the increase in pressure in the hose. It should twitch a little and become tense – this will indicate that there is still fuel left.
  2. In order to simply and accurately determine the lack of fuel in the tank, you need to measure it with a thin rod or wire, shoving it into the neck of the tank, but on most modern cars it will not work, because of the curved and long fuel-filler pipe.
  3. One more simple way is to shake the car from side to side, while someone will be turning the ignition on and off, and then try to start the car. If there is no gas in the tank, the car may turn on for several seconds and stall.


In order to fill gasoline by yourself, you need:

  1. Get a metal canister.

Plastic will not work and the motorists will refuse to help you. The thing is that static strain can cause gasoline to ignite in a plastic container. Finding a metal canister is not simple. You will have to go to the car shop. Try to contact taxi drivers. They are usually ready for any situation. In case, your rented car is out of gasoline, like the one you took at Denver car rental under 25, you can call the rental office and ask their advice in this situation.

  1. Go to the gas station.

Do not buy many liters at a time. 3-5 will be enough. While traveling, it is impossible to fill a large amount of fuel. It is better to drop by the gas station once again.

  1. Pour gasoline into the car.

You cannot do this in the usual way. You run the risk of simply pouring gas on the car. Find a funnel, or make it yourself. For this, the neck of a 1.5-liter bottle is suitable. Wipe the funnel before use so that water droplets do not get inside.

  1. Start the car and you are ready to continue the trip.

If you initially purchased a small amount of gasoline, then rather first go to a gas station.

What to do if after refueling the car still does not start?

Let us say you managed to replenish your gas tank with fuel in one way or another. It turns out that this does not guarantee that you will 100% continue your journey. Cases when it is not possible to start the car after refueling are not rare. The reason often lies in the little things, so you should check the condition of the wiring, as well as the contact group of the starter and ignition coil. It is necessary to check the condition of the spark plugs (they are often refilled) by hard pressing the accelerator pedal. The situation could be aggravated by soot, cracks in the body of the candle and the gap, changed from the nominal one. It is possible that the engine cannot be started due to the presence of frost or moisture. The same result will be in the presence of water in the exhaust pipe. Inexperienced drivers sometimes forget to turn off the high gear, and attempts to start in such cases only result in the car pulling. Rarely, it happens that the driver has disabled the fuel lock.

However, if all of the above is in order, and when the ignition is turned on, the fuel pump runs idle without causing the power unit to start, it is possible that gasoline has run out at the injection site, and then it is unlikely that it will be possible to solve the problem yourself.

Remember that if you managed to drain the gas tank completely, it leads to the following unpleasant consequences:

  • air plugs will appear in the fuel line, which will interfere with the proper flow of gasoline into the combustion chamber;
  • due to the ingress of air and dirt into the gas pump during dry running, especially on injection engines, it may fail.

Nevertheless, remember that it is highly discouraged to turn on the ignition repeatedly if, after emptying the gas tank and filling it, the car did not start after several unsuccessful attempts. In such cases, you cannot do without a tow truck service (or towing). All in all, we hope that in case your car stopped on the road, everything could be changed just after tank filling.

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