By on April 17, 2011

Rising prices at the pump make people do dumb things. Some buy a new car to save at all costs. Not only will they never recoup the cost of the new car, the tsunami in Japan turned fuel efficient Japanese cars into everything else than a bargain. Others do something particularly stupid: They drive their car until it runs out of gas.

The Automobile Club of Southern California reports that increasing gas prices make  motorists run out of fuel and become stranded. About 15,600 Auto Club members requested roadside service last month because they run out of gas. That’s up 12.9 percent from the same month in the previous year, the auto club told The Desert Sun.

The trend is attributed to people trying to stretch their existing fuel to the limit after prices crossed the psychologically important $4 mark and keep heading higher.

Wringing the last drop out of the tank does not save any money. In the contrary: Sediment at the bottom of a tank can clog the fuel pump pickup, the fuel filter or and the injectors.

“Letting your car regularly run on an almost-empty tank can cause even more wallet damage with expensive repairs,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center. “Secondly, letting the vehicle’s level of fuel run down to empty may cause the electric fuel pump inside the tank to overheat.”  On top of it, that gas pump might just be on the list of parts your dealer is short of.

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54 Comments on “Running On Empty, Running Dumb...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    Run your BMW Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) California car out of gas and get ready for a $6,000 fuel pump replacement bill. The entire fuel tank needs to be replaced and the entire rear suspension needs to be dropped first.

    • 0 avatar
      Strippo

      No mainstream vehicle should be built like an exotic. Ever. That’s just insane.

      At the very least the car should cut off the fuel before the tank runs dry to save the owner $6000 worth of grief.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        +1

        Agreed – that’s completely ridiculous and even more reason not to buy needlessly complex German cars. Is your “image” really worth a $6,000 repair that is undoubtedly not covered by warranty? Oh, and by the way, I’m sure they thought far enough ahead to put a telltale stored fault code in the system when this occurs to make sure your car tattles on you so that even if you do put some fuel in it to see if it will restart, your dealer will know to put the screws to you…

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        I think the I-Drive or the I-IdiotLight or whatever the hell BMW calls it will tell you to stop before totally empty.
        But it is borderline nuts.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Now, now. This is not a German thing, this is a SULEV thing. The only way to achieve that rating is to have an essentially sealed fuel system. So the pump is part of the tank, and so are the lines. Some Subarus and some Fords are just as spendy. Don’t buy a SULEV vehicle without knowing exactly what that entails.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Really?  IIRC, my 1992 Taurus SHO had the fuel pump inside the gas tank.  I know that, because, at some point, I had to replace it . . . and the tank.  Little bits of paint or whatever that lined the inside of the tank started coming loose after 8 years.
        Maybe my Ford was an exotic and I just didn’t know it.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        DC Bruce,
        Fuel pumps are generally inside the tank.  What they are talking about here with the BMW, is that fuel pumps are part of the gas tank, as well as some of the lines.  Instead of replacing just the fuel pump, you get to replace a lot more.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      And some on here wonder why I love my meager, insufficient, out-dated, non-handling, stale platform W-body Impala! Ha ha ha! WINNING!

    • 0 avatar
      jaybird124

      KrHodes is right. 

      In addition, BMW’s fuel pumps essentially sit in a bucket of gas within the gas tank. Even if you ‘run out of gas’ the bucket stays full of fuel to keep the pump cool. Its a pretty interesting design.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    The last time gas prices spiked, I recall reading that the State of California provided a gallon of gas to motorists stranded on the freeways because they ran out of fuel. At that time there were drivers who were known to be abusing the state’s program, just to get a free gas. Apparently, their time spent waiting for the rescue vehicle is worth less than the cost of a gallon of gas…

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I have to agree ’cause I’ve seen a lot more of this, even as recently as yesterday.  I haven’t seen anyone doing this with a compact, usually it’s a larger car or pickup truck.

  • avatar
    eldard

    Back in 2008 there was a couple who solicited sex in exchange for a tank of gas.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    The overheating fuel pump thing is real, that tread was a frequent one on saturnfan about the Saturn LS. I once a friend who run is car until it was dry to see how long he had of reserve once the light flashed, that dumb twit had not tought about bringing a jerrican! So he got stranded there and is girlfriend decided at that moment that of wasn’t fit to be  her husband (that was a good call!)

    • 0 avatar

      A couple of weeks ago I was Kramering it in my mom’s Saturn and as I got up the off ramp from the 696  ditch the car started to sputter as gas drained away from the pickup. There was enough gas in the fuel system to fire but not run. My son brought me a couple gallons and it started right up. Interestingly, about a week later I ran out of gas when the gauge was above empty and the low fuel light had not gone on. I don’t know if the gas gauge sender uses a float mechanism or not, but I’m guessing that the float got stuck. Since then the gauge has worked correctly, including the low fuel light, but I’m worried about what Jack said about sediment.
       
      OTOH, isn’t it a great feeling to run out of gas as you pull up to the pump? It’s happened to me a couple of times and the feeling is neat, like you got your money’s worth. Gasoline in your tank is a sunk cost. Someone once explained to me why he constantly drove with less than a full tank, “I’d rather have my money in the bank than in the tank”.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        I’ve done the coast into the gas station as the motor quits from lack of fuel routine, and while it is a good feeling, it’s not nearly enough to compensate for the “Oh crap, I’m outta gas in the middle of nowhere” feeling.  I like to keep the tank at lest half full, cheap insurance for when the next earthquake, hurricane, or zombie apocalypse strikes.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Having suffered from the endemic fuel pump issues on Chryco’s turbocharged L-bodies, I very quickly became familiar with the important caveat to not letting the in-tank pump run uncovered: the bad RF filter was more than enough to worry about without the shortened life from an overheating pump adding to the frequent replacement intervals. I eventually “solved” the problem by ordering the in-tank fuel pump replaced at the start of the summer months each year, instead of hoping the car would make it over Berthoud Pass on weekend trips.

  • avatar
    ChesterChi

    It’s not clear how anyone thinks running the tank down to empty is going to save money.
    However, I’m not sure about the claim that sediment from the bottom of the tank is going to clog something.  I assume the fuel pump pickup is at the lowest part of the tank, where the sediment in the tank is always located.  So why wouldn’t it constantly be sucking in sediment (if there is any) ?
    Conversely, if the pickup is not at the lowest part, it would not suck in the sediment, but you would have always have some part of the fuel tank that is essentially useless.
    Can anyone enlighten me ?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes the intake sock is pretty much scraping the bottom of the tank depending on the particular model and again depending on particular model there will always be some fuel that you can’t get out of the tank.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    It’s amazing that “range anxiety” doesn’t set in when the needle is on E.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    People running the tanks dry was just one of many reasons (cost savings and crash regulations were of course others) Ford got rid of the dual tanks when the ’97 F-150 was launched. Owners used to run the tanks dry before switching over and that was hard on the pumps – fortunately they would usually start making a lot of noise when they were on their way out. Back in the days of the carburetor and engine mounted fuel pump, running one of the fuel tanks dry before switching over was no big deal – I used to do it all the time on my old ’76 F-150 and my Dad had the art of turning the manual valve under the seat while moving/engine sputtering on his ’73 Bronco perfected… 

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Boy does that ever bring back memories! When I was in college I drove a 1977 E150 with dual gas tanks.  Over 40 gallons between them, people behind me at gas pumps would get disgusted and leave when I clicked off one tank, then moved over and starting filling the other. 

      You’re right, we used to routinely run the tanks dry and switch, with no problems.  But I did discover the hard way that the fuel tank switch shared a fuse with the seat belt buzzer.  A buddy and I did a radio swap on the van and broke the radio fuse, no problem, we just took the one from the seat belt buzzer since it was just an annoyance anyway. It took me a long time figure out why I couldn’t get to the gas in the other, full tank.  Of course I discovered this after running the other tank dry and trying to switch….

  • avatar
    iNeon

    As a member of the lowest socio-economic group(Chrysler owners) I’ve got to call B.S. on this one.

    I’ve never replaced a fuel pump, and 1/2 tank’s a fill-up for my car.

    • 0 avatar
      Twin Cam Turdo

      No worries.
      As already mentioned, the fuel sock is on the bottom of the tank, and the fuel being pumped flows through the fuel pump motor (so it is always getting cooling).

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Lucky you with $4/gal gas. Here in Ontario it’s $5.67/gal and $5.10/gal for a ‘donkey p*ss’ (aka one with ‘corn juice’).

  • avatar
    obbop

    Hopefully the pilot/air crew of the Boeing 747, 757, 1234 or whatever the latest numerical nomenclature is in use, doesn’t follow the same “running on empty” scenario.
    That would really sucketh.
    But I don’t fly, anyway. No funds nor would I do so even if rich.
     
    I fear the TSA would haul me away for refusing to be abused as so many USA sheep allow nowadays.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Yes, they do.  If memory serves, commercial airplanes are fueled with the amount of fuel needed to make the day’s run, plus a little extra.  It’s not economical to take off with the tanks full and carry all that extra weight if you only need half a load of fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      dastanley

      The FAA requires fuel be PLANNED to have an extra 45 minutes worth at normal cruise power from origin to destination including first and/or second alternate, whichever is furthest, if applicable, including a complete approach with missed approach/go around for IFR flights.  This applies to part 91, 135, and 121 operators.  And yes, tankering fuel is expensive as it cuts into payload and increases total fuel burn for the flight, but is still done (as I had many a “nice” conversation with the chief pilot on this topic).  There’s not a flight crew out there that doesn’t want as much fuel on board as possible (You can never have too much fuel) within weight and balance limits for type aircraft, but the airline is in business to make a profit, so the airline only wants the minimum fuel on board to be compliant.  If the Captain has to declare “min fuel” due to unforeseen headwinds or unexpected holds along the way, then it’s HIS ass on the line, not airline management (“Captain, you should have called dispatch and had the planned fuel bumped up”).  When the low fuel warning annunciators illuminate, those are known as “resume lights”.  So you see, no flight crew out there wants to be short on fuel.

      • 0 avatar

        Some airlines use sophisticated software to calculate fuel loads based on weight and variable fuel costs.  That determines how much fuel they carry and where they fuel up. Jet fuel is not the same price at all airlines and when you’re buying it in the quantities that airliners burn, you can end up saving lots of money.
         
        Just like drivers balance the savings versus the cost of traveling to get those savings (it makes no sense burning $1 worth of gas to save 50 cents), the airlines balance lower fuel costs with the cost of carrying around all that fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        Mathias

        “Just like drivers balance the savings versus the cost of traveling to get those savings (it makes no sense burning $1 worth of gas to save 50 cents)…”
        You’re kidding, right?
        Plenty of people drive 20 miles to save 2 cents/gallon, just on general princple.  Most folks can’t properly calculate miles per gallon — and don’t care anyway — they’re not going to find the break-even point for miles traveled vs. cents/gallon saved.
        The interesting thing is that BECAUSE people are unreasonable and drive far to get the lowest possible price, there is tremendous price pressure on gas stations.  Which does help to keep prices low.  So the nonsensical behavior actually does have benefits, in a backwards sort of way.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        @dastanley: (You can never have too much fuel)

        You forgot the 2nd part of that adage which is: unless you’re on fire.

        @ronnie: sometimes even that fails, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

  • avatar
    segfault

    I usually fill up once a week.  Since my regular commute is short, I often have 3/4 of a tank remaining at this point, but it fits into my routine to fill up weekly and I always have plenty of fuel if I need to take a long trip.

    • 0 avatar
      dastanley

      Same here.  I keep our two vehicles pretty much topped off, with the lowest I’ll allow down to 1/2 a tank.  In 30 years of driving, I’ve never run out of fuel – ever.  Now, I’ve had fuel pumps fail and leave me stranded on the side of the road…

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        And that’s why I tend not to worry about where I fill up the Buick’s tank: the LT1 is definitely the most economical V8 I’ve owned thus far, but at 20 mpg on a good highway-only segment, I’m not going to hop to Pueblo just because someone saw fuel there for 50c less per gallon.

        Odd: my comment was directed at the thread above. Oh well!

  • avatar
    zeus01

    To answer the question of why sediment in an almost-empty tank is more likely to get sucked into and glog the filter, even though the pump’s pickup is always at the bottom of the tank, the reason for this is simple:

    Turbulence. When the tank is full, or even half to 1/4 full, the fuel at the lowest point in the tank doesn’t get sloshed around as violently as it does when you’re down to below the point that your low-fuel light comes on. With nothing else in the tank but air to buffer such a small amount of fuel (as it gets bounced around by potholes, bumps, expansion joints and sharp turns) debris at the bottom of the tank gets strirred up more than it otherwise would.

    The negative impacts are as follows:

    1. Surging (particularly at highway speeds) caused by fuel starvation as the pump fails to push as much fuel as is required through a clogged filter.

    2. Shortened fuel pump life due to a) being over-worked as it tries to ram fuel through a clogged filter that is too restricted to allow as much fuel to flow as it used to, b) loss of cooling effect that used to be there when it was still emmersed in fuel before you breezed past that gas station 50 miles back and c) if you actually run out of gas, excessive wear from running while dry before you turn the key off after coasting to a stop at the side of the road.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Thanks for explaining that.  I was wondering myself, and your explanation makes sense.

    • 0 avatar
      baabthesaab

      Also, a good amount of the crud in the tank is floating on the fuel, and only meets the intake when the level is very low. My 1936 Chevy runs fine until it is very low. If I have a carb-clogging problem, I detach the gas line near the carb and pump the line clear back to the tank with a bicycle tire pump, then restart the car (two long grinds!) Usually it will then run to a station.
      When ambient air temperature stays below about 50 degrees F. there is a risk of condensation forming in the void portion of the tank. This settles to the bottom to enter the pickup before fuel does. In these conditions, keep the tank as full as possible.

  • avatar

    As a VW TDI driver, running out of diesel fuel is something you do exactly once, unless you’re mega stupid.  You can’t just refill and go.  No.  You’ve got to bleed the air out of the fuel injection system.  Fortunately, I’ve got friends that are ace pros at this sort of thing and it only cost me an evening of waiting for AAA to come get me and a case of beer for the bleed.

    Still, the temptation is there…one day I will wring 700 miles out of a tank.  I’ve made it to 686…

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Having suffered the run-dry phenomenon only once on a 16 horse Kubota in the 80s, I know the feeling, especially since priming its fuel system followed a mile-plus long walk back to the barn followed by an equally long trek back, hauling tools and a jug of fuel to refill the tank. At least I enjoyed the luxury of a wheeled dolly for the second part of the journey – and yes, my father laughed at me and said getting the tractor restarted was punishment enough for my idiocy. I am surprised that it would happen in a more modern, electronically controlled system – although the cynic in me wouldn’t be surprised if auto-bleed systems aren’t used out of fear the whiff of hydrocarbon-laced air being purged would contribute excessively to atmospheric contamination.
       
      And as for reaching that 700 mile mark, have you tried using the old portable ramp method? A 4x4x20″ block with 6″ of it sawn off to make a ramp at one end can be used to tilt the car and its fuel tank and ensure there are absolutely no air bubbles trapped along the top side as you carefully fill it up. I forget which magazine used that method for its mid 80s Honda Civic HF extreme MPG test but it did succeed in making the LAX-SLC trip on a single tankful of fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      This is an every diesel thing (well almost every, some have electric lift pumps in the tank), not just a TDI thing. My Mercedes 300TD has a manual primer pump under the hood to get the air out if you run it dry or have changed the filter.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        I’ve run out of fuel exactly once in nearly 40 years of driving, driving my wife’s Mercedes 300SD. She thought the low fuel warning light was just a suggestion. We were going to dinner at a BBQ place in one of the less desirable parts of town, and when we got into her car I noticed that the gauge was pegged on empty. I suggested that we take my car instead, but she assured me that the low fuel light hadn’t come on yet, so we had plenty to get there and back. Sure enough, the engine quits in just about the worst possible place. This was pre-cellphone, so we walked the half mile remaining, in the dark, to the restaurant, only to find it closed. Used the payphone in the parking lot to call a friend, who brought a gallon of diesel. Had to pump the lever buried deep in the engine compartment a few dozen times to prime the fuel injection. Found that she had been driving it with the low fuel light on so much that she burned out the bulb.

    • 0 avatar
      MarcKyle64

      I used to top off at the gas station three miles from home and ‘borrow’ some of my father’s lawnmower gas he kept in the garage.  The house was on the side of a hill and I’d park where the filler was uphill, shake my ’68 el Camino to get the bubbles out, and pour in most of two gallons until the filler was brimming over.  It would be gratifying to drive the 55 mph speed limit (this was 1983) with the tailgate down and see that the gauge needle hadn’t moved off “F” after the 100 mile Sunday commute back to college.  Usually that tank would last through all week and the Friday drive home if I did the hyper top off.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      My wife’s done it twice in her Jetta TDI. She swears she’s only done it once, but it’s happened twice. I’ve now gotten into the habit of checking her tank every 3 weeks or so to see if she requires diesel. If she does I go fill it up for her. I get out of the house and I prevent potentially expensive injection pump replacement.
       
      My 17mm Metalnerd injector wrench came in handy when I had AAA tow her car home the last time she ran out. Crack #2 (and 3) injector, wrap a shop towel around it and crank until fuel shows up on the shop towel. Re-tighten the nut on the injector and crank and it will fire up eventually. Of course make sure you dump some diesel additive in the tank when you re-fuel it. And when it’s time to replace the fuel filter, I always fill it with Power service to try to minimize pump wear.
       
      I always fill our cars completely full because it’s the best way to track economy. Older TDIs allow you to “vent” the tank. It’ll click off at about 12 or 13 gallons, but by venting it you can dump in about 1.5 to 2 additional gallons. I refuel soon after the light comes on because I know I have about 30-50 miles of range once that happens. And I’ve managed just over 700 miles years ago in my car. I used to commute about 110 miles per day (mostly highway) and I believe I got about 730 miles on a fully vented tank one time. Now that I have a much shorter commute and I do mostly city driving it’s much different.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    Living in a cold climate I never used to let the tank get below three quarters empty to cut down on icing/condensation issues. Now that the alcohol comes in the gas I don’t worry about it.
     
    Still the only time I’ve run out of gas was on my motorcycle. Had to put down my feet and scooter about a block to the station. When it was really hot out I would always fill up because the cold tank felt so good on my legs.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Like we used to say on the playground:  Yo Momma’s so dumb she sold her car for gas money.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I learned my lesson several years back…

    When I am in the states (Detroit) my work commute is 55 miles in one direction.
    I would drive my 1979 Mercury Cougar down to under an 1/8 tank before I would fill it.

    Well remember the massive multi-day power outage we had in the US?   I was at work and had well under an 1/8 tank and no gas stations were open.   I headed out for my 55 mile drive home at 45 mph on the freeway.   The car sputtered on each sweeping curve!   I just made it into our sub-division and it quit.    I was lucky a parking spot was available and I only had to walk two blocks.
    The next few days could have been full joy. No work, no internet, and warm weather. DARN, I could not pull the jet ski 2 miles to the river or go anywhere!

         

  • avatar
    V-Strom rider

    Back in my university (college) days I once ran dry and coasted about 3 miles out of the hills surrounding my town into a petrol (gas) station – very satisfying, and no drama in a 1970’s car.

    I manage my life a bit differently now.  In fact, my fiancee recently commented that we never seem to stop for fuel when we go out anywhere. I told her I hoped I would never be so thoughtless as to arrive at her door without enough fuel to get us where we are going and bring her home again.  She said that sort of thinking is one of the reasons she wants to marry me.  Mind you, I think she had been burned by a boyfriend who constantly arrived with a near-empty tank, then borrowed money from her to fill up.  That was a pretty low bar to have to clear!

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I put a larger tank from an Escort GT into my regular Escort for another 2.5 gallons of capacity. I can stretch out another 100 miles on the highway or about 70 in the city that way. The gauge may be pointing to the E mark but I still have 1 -2 gallons remaining. I’ve never run out once.
    I never understood why the GT got a larger tank than all the other escorts including the wagon,  10.9 gallons was way too small. I got around 13.5 into mine when I filled it after installation.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i’m paranoid

    i try to keep above half tank

    i also carry 2.5 gallons of gasoline in a jerry can in the trunk as well as a gallon of coolant and a gallon of oil… i think i will also carry a gallon of drinking water

    be prepared 

    i sleep better with a full tank… i think there will be a disaster (natural or man made) and i have to get the hell out of dodge

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “I also carry 2.5 gallons of gasoline in a jerry can in the trunk”

      ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR STINKING MIND? I guess you don’t realize you’re driving a 4-wheeled potential bomb? Unless you have some kind of nuclear bomb-proof fule container, they ALL LEAK FUMES! The fumes will fill the trunk and the smallest spark can make a giant barbequed hot dog out of you. Picnic time, anyone? I hope you don’t live near me! Please cease and desist this dangerous and potentially deadly practice! A better choice would be to keep a $20.00 bill stashed in the car for emergency fuel if you’re caught short and a credit card is not an option. C’mon Tony, TTAC commenters are better than that!

  • avatar
    AJ

    Not me–I fill up often as prices go up and I see a station for a few cents less then the average.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I budget $50 a week for gas.  {$1.33 CDN a litre = over $5 USD a US gallon} Driving around looking to save 2 cents a litre doesn’t work. 

    For the Impala I treat the half tank mark as empty. So I will put $25 in and it brings it up to 3/4. We also own a Jimmy. I only drive it when we need it and the most it gets is $25.

    Never ever! Let your vehicle run out…regardless of what you drive. You are asking for trouble. Avoiding a$400 repair bill will buy lots of gas.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    There are probably two reasons for this.  One is that, as gasoline exceeds $4 a gallon, people get really price-sensitive.  So, they scope out places where gas is cheap and try to fill up there.  Secondly, fuel in the tank is like any other “inventory”; it’s just money sitting there.  So, if you have a vehicle with a 20 gallon tank, a full tank is $80 of “inventory” just sitting there.  Here in The Capital of the Free World, if I look real hard, I can still get regular at $3.99.  But if I don’t look hard, I can easily pay $4.25.  I catch myself driving past an expensive pump in the hope of finding a cheaper one down the road . . . or not filling up at the expensive pump and hoping to find a cheaper fill later.
    And I can remember the days when someone else pumped your gas and you would say “gimme a dollar’s worth” — which would keep you going for quite a while (3-4 gallons of fuel).
    Sigh.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I have a boat and running out of gas is NOT an option so your advised to follow the 1/3 rule: 3rd of your tank is used going out, 3rd is used on the return trip with the last 3rd in reserve. Due to weather, winds and tides you can’t predict fuel usage nearly as well as land based activities. Plus you can’t save gas by short shifting, drafting or coasting. Fuel is measured at the rate of gallons per hour, not miles! On the car I tend to wait til the low fuel light comes on, at that point you’ve got 2-3 gallons and even in my truck (with its crappy 13 mpg) I can still go 25-35 miles which is pretty far considering I live in a heavily populated area (South Florida).
     
    My system involves using the vehicles trip odometer plus my GPS to calculate range, if I can’t make my destination I fill up before I even start. For example in the wife’s car I know we can go about 270 miles (city) before empty. If we’ve gone 250 already and have a location to reach 15 miles away we better fill up or we can’t make the round trip. Its not rocket science, yet people seem to bad at judging distance and push the limits. As far as saving money goes I think a few smaller fill ups is less wallet stress. $50 in the tank every two weeks or only $25 a week? Your call. I’ve recently switched to doing two $25 fill ups, topping off on the return portion of a trip. This way I’m always ready to go, you never know when you’ll need to make a longer trip on short notice (airport run, hurricane evac, family emergency, etc).


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