Have you ever wondered to yourself if there was any truth to the statement that you can’t leave your car running when you pump gas? For this article, we will take a look at whether it is fact or fiction and the possible dangers that may very well exist.
Who among us hasn’t thought, on a particularly hot or cold day, of enjoying the comfort of our vehicle while fueling it up with gas? However, as it turns out, this is not the safest idea in the world.
Are you able to pump gas while your vehicle’s engine is running—Yes. Should you—not really. While the chance of a fire is minimal, there is still the possibility of the gas vapors igniting if they were to come into contact with static electricity.
ASE certified technician Lauren Fix says:
“It is safest to shut off your vehicle to avoid a fire, static electricity, or even a check engine light.”
Before fueling, it is best to shut your vehicle off and unplug all devices you may have charging. You can always plug the items back in when you are finished.
Can It Cause Damage?
Most probably unlikely. There is more of a risk of fire than there is of damaging your vehicle. However, even if it doesn’t pose a danger of damage, that does not mean it can’t cause other issues.
COO and founder of Brakes To Go, Jonathan Canther, offers:
“While it’s not necessarily bad for your vehicle, it could turn that pesky check engine light on. Our cars are designed to detect even the smallest amounts of leaks of gas vapor from the fuel tank, fuel line, and the engine.”
In addition to making sure that your vehicle is shut off when fueling, it is crucial that you not smoke or vape while pumping gas and that you stay off your mobile phone—due to the possible creation of static electricity.