Viw Magazine

Motoring

Help! I’m Out of Fuel, What Should I Do?

  • Written by Viw Magazine

Gas prices worldwide are reaching the highest they've ever been. It's getting more tempting to push the limits of our empty lights.

It happens to everyone; we overestimate our fuel tanks and end up on the side of the road. Knowing what to do if you ever run out of gas can save you time and panic in such a case.

If you're wondering what to do when you're out of fuel, you've come to the right place!

The Signs of Running Out of Fuel

Your first tip-off that you're out of fuel will be the empty light. Most modern cars will have a milage counter for when you will totally run out of gas. As technology improves, these counters are getting more accurate.

Physical symptoms that you're about to run out of gas will be jarring. These include your engine sputtering and power surges. Your engine may even backfire.

After the sputtering and surges, you will be met with a total loss of power.

Pull Off Safely

The most important thing to do in any time of crisis is to keep a level head. When you notice the symptoms of being out of fuel, pulling off safely is the first step. Make sure that you're well off the road before you fully stop your car.

Your final coast will be all you've got to get your vehicle to safety. Put on your four-way flashers to let other drivers know you're a hazard and aim for the shoulder as you slow down.

Remember to keep your hazard lights on the whole time that your vehicle is on the side of the road.

If you're not able to get your car a safe distance off the road, exit the vehicle and stand a safe distance from the road.

Determine Where You Are

This may or may not be easy depending on how far you are from home and how much service you have on your phone. If you have service on your phone, open your maps app. This will tell you exactly where you are.

If you don't have service, look for any nearby markers like landmarks and the nearest mile marker. Be sure to know the name of the highway as well as which direction you're travelling.

Phone a Friend

If you're close to home, this can be as easy as phoning your friend to bring you some gas.

If you're further out, use a resource like this website. These will help you find the nearest roadside assistance. Roadside assistance will either send a tow truck to bring your car to a gas station or bring you some gas.

Flag Down Another Car

Desperate times call for desperate measures. This technique should be reserved for if you have absolutely no service. Stranger danger is a concern, so hitching a ride with them will be your absolute last resort.

When flagging down a car, make sure that you're in a visible area, ideally a straight away. You should also be mindful of your clothing. That should be visible as well.

When you flag down a vehicle, you could either ask them to bring you gas or ask to use their phone.

Be Prepared!

Running out of fuel can happen to anyone and it's never something we plan on doing. Being prepared for car problems will make sure you know how to approach the situation safely.

Doing some traveling? Read more on our travel tab!

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