Running out of gas can lead to costly repairs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – One look at the price of gas right now, and it’s enough to make you skip the gas station on your way home from work and hope for cheaper gas tomorrow.

But consumer experts say not to wait too long. In fact, AAA Bluegrass says it’s better in the long run to pay the price at the pump than to run out of gas and face even more expensive repairs.

“The problem with that is that it can actually cause problems with your car’s fuel system,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins of AAA Bluegrass. “And it can actually damage your fuel pump to the point of failure.”

According to Kelley’s Blue Bookreplacing a fuel pump can cost between $390 and $900.

Beyond maintenance issues, running out of gas can leave you stranded on the side of the road, waiting for help in a dangerous situation.

In parts of Ohio, WCPO Reports AAA is seeing an increase in calls from stranded drivers who have run out of gas – a 20% increase over the past month.

Weaver Hawkins says that’s not the case in central Kentucky, and she hopes it will stay that way until prices stabilize. She says customers should leave at least ¼ tank in their vehicle at all times to avoid running out. She also advises against relying solely on fuel sensors, as they can sometimes be inaccurate in different driving scenarios.

“AAA actually did automotive research on this,” she said. “And sometimes it turns out that the fuel gauge telling you you have miles to go can be a little off.” She says their research sometimes shows fuel sensors can be off by as much as six percent.

According to Weaver Hawkins, in February and March combined, AAA Bluegrass roadside assistance teams responded to 56 customers who ran out of gas.

About Dwight E. McCray

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