Top 5 Safety Tips at the Gas Pump
Filling up your vehicle’s gas tank is a regular task every driver must do from time to time (unless you drive an electric vehicle, of course). While they may seem mundane, these trips to the gas station do come with the potential for mishaps. Auto maintenance and repair specialist The Humble Mechanic shares his top five tips for being safe while filling your gas tank.
(This video is for informational purposes only.)
Hey everybody, Charles from HumbleMechanic.com. Today we’re going talk about five ways to stay safe at the gas pump.
Filling our vehicles with fuel is a vital part of driving a car. In fact, about 40 percent of people put fuel in their car once a week. There can actually be a lot of danger that comes along with putting fuel in your car. So today, I’m going to give you guys some tips on how to stay safe.
Number 1: Don’t fill your vehicle with fuel while it’s running. Odds are, if you leave a modern car running while you’re putting fuel in it, the check engine light’s going to come on. There are emission controls in place that actually pressurize your fuel system to check for leaks. If you take your gas cap off, you’ve created a giant leak. So not only do we not want these emissions controls running while we put fuel in our car, we don’t want to create a situation where our check engine light is going to come on simply because we didn’t shut our vehicle off. So, go ahead and shut your car down before you start pumping gas.
Number 2: Never leave the pump unattended while you’re filling the car with fuel. Most fuel pumps have a lock switch where you can lock it to automatically put fuel in your car. What you don’t want to is lock that and go inside the gas station or sit back in your car. The pump should automatically shut off when your vehicle is full of fuel, but there could be an issue with the pump; there could be an issue with your car. You’d hate to lock that, go inside and then turn around to see gallons and gallons and gallons of fuel dumping onto the ground. Not only is that going to be a huge spill of fuel, it’s also going to get on the side of your car and you’re probably going to be the one responsible for paying for it. Not only all of that, but this gives someone a really good opportunity to steal your car.
Number 3: Stay off your cell phone while pumping fuel. If you have your phone and you’re doing this while you’re pumping gas, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on. We’ve all seen those videos where the car comes out of nowhere and smashes into the gas pump and causes a bunch of damage. I’d hate for you to be on your phone, not paying attention, and something crazy like that happens. So leave your phone in your pocket. Leave your phone in your car. And make sure you’re aware of what’s going on around you while you’re filling your car with fuel.
Number 4: Only use approved fuel containers. This is not an approved fuel container. This is. Containers like this are not meant to have fuel in them. The materials that they’re made of are not meant to stand up to the harsh chemical that fuel—whether it’s diesel, gasoline or kerosene—really is. And, when we’re filling containers like this, make sure you’re not filling it too full. This is a small one-gallon container, so filling this up is not a problem, but normally when I fill the big, five-gallon containers, I only put about four gallons in them. That makes it quite a bit easier to put it in the lawnmower. Or, if someone else in the house is going to be filling the lawnmower or filling the weed eater, you want to make sure that they’re able to lift that as well.
Number 5: Don’t run your car too low on fuel. Not only is this potentially bad for the fuel pump—remember your fuel pump is cooled and lubricated by the fuel—but you can end up in the situation where you’re on the side of the road and you also reduce the options you have when getting fuel. You want to make sure if at all possible, you’re going to a well-lit fuel station. We don’t want to go to one of those crazy gas stations that looks like it’s out of a ‘70s horror film, and running low on fuel really does reduce the amount of choices that we’re going to have. Not only that, but running out of gas is terrible. I’ve done that one time and it was terrible. I had to get a ride from somebody and then my mom had to come bring me fuel…so, make sure we’re not running our vehicles too low on fuel so we have plenty of options when it is time to get gas.
And a couple of bonus tips: Don’t smoke while you’re pumping fuel. Remember that fuel vapor is what’s flammable. We don’t want to have an open ignition source two feet from where these vapors are. And as cool as the movies make it out to be, never, ever, ever, have a gas fight while you’re at the fuel station.
For more great videos, visit humblemechanic.com or allstate.com/blog.