Running Low on Gas in Your Car Could End Up Costing You Big Down the Line - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/17/06

Running Low on Gas in Your Car Could End Up Costing You Big Down the Line

High gas prices are leaving people with empty pockets and empty gas tanks. Experts tell us high prices could affect the health of your vehicle. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta explains why mechanics say a low or empty gas tank could lead to problems down the road.

Despite fluctuating gas prices, drivers we spoke with tell us they are only pumping just enough gas to get them by. Mechanics say that method could leave you stranded.  

We took to the streets to ask drivers "Have you ever run out of gas?" "Yeah, I have, actually," says Lubbock Driver John Miller. Drivers in the Hub City tell us high gas prices have them running on empty or worse, running out of gas all together. "Just because it's so high, gas is getting pretty bad these days," he says.

But what many drivers don't know is running low or out of gas, could harm your vehicle. "We're seeing a lot more fuel pump replacement because people are running them low on fuel," explains Joel Prock, owner of Prock Automotive. He says his shop is replacing more fuel pumps than ever. "The fuel actually acts as a coolant to keep the fuel pump cooler and running a pump out of fuel actually damages the pump," says Joel. He tells us the fuel pump actually gets the gas from the tank to the engine, and even keeping only a small amount could lead to problems down the road. "When it gets down to the very bottom of the tank, there's not enough fuel to keep the fuel pump cool," he says.

To avoid damaging your fuel pump, mechanics say it's best to keep at least a quarter of your tank full of gas while in use. "That's what I've got a little over a quarter, can't afford more than that," says Santiago Rendel, another Lubbock driver.

"People can't afford gas, they can't afford a fuel pump either," say Joel. A fuel pump can cost you between $200 to $600, depending on your vehicle. "Bottom line, keep fuel in your car," says Joel.

We're told fuel pump damage can be gradual so you could see affects even six months down the road. If your fuel pump goes out you'll know because it will cause your vehicle to go dead.

Texas Gas Prices
Are you paying too much at the pump? Take a look at what others prices are for the entire state of Texas. (Numbers are updated daily.)

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