I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I had this weird voice inside my head to consistently top off my gas every chance I got. I’m not sure if it was the irrational fear of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere (which is usually the start of some horror movies) or just the thought of making sure the car is filled up all the time.
But it wasn’t long before I got scolded by a number of friends and family members who told me topping off my gas tank is a bad idea. Sure, you should not leave your car at a quarter of a tank, but you shouldn’t fill it to the brim. As a matter of fact, consistently overfilling your car can lead to very expensive repairs in the future. Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t top off the gas tank in your car.
Why You Shouldn’t Top Off the Gas Tank in Your Car
- Topping off your gas tank can cause gasoline to spill and spilled gasoline is nasty. It smells bad and once it gets on your hands or clothes the smell can be very overpowering. Aside from this, gasoline vapors are highly flammable, is hazardous, and can pollute the water table and affect wildlife.
- You are literally wasting money when you top off your gas tank. As soon as you hear the click on the gas pump, whatever amount of gasoline is in the gas pump line is already paid for but won’t be added to your tank. Any excess gasoline gets sucked up the gas pump’s vapor line and back to the storage tank. If it’s any consolation, you might be giving the next guy in line a few cents worth of gas.
- Anything that heats up expands. This is one of the first few lessons you learn about matter. When you fill your gas tank to the brim, you are not giving gasoline enough room to expand. Which leads to pressure build up.
- When there’s pressure built up in your car’s gas tank, the part that usually takes the brunt of the force is the carbon filter vapor collection system. What usually happens is that instead of just filtering vapor, liquid gas gets into the system and damages it. As a result, your car’s performance will diminish and you can possibly damage your engine if left unchecked. Repairing your carbon filter vapor collection system can run anywhere from $200 to $1500 depending on the extent of the damage.
While it can be a bit tempting to top off your gas tank every now and then, it’s better to just fill it up to around 3/4 full to around half on a normal basis. There’s certainly nothing wrong with not filling up your car to its maximum. If you are going on a long drive, just fill it up normally and leave some room for the vapors and any expansion from the gasoline.
Convenient Gas Tank Cleaning at T3 Atlanta
While we are on the topic of fuel tanks and gasoline, you might want to have your gas tank cleaned. This is great for owners of cars who are a bit older and are experiencing recurring problems with their engine’s fuel pump or line. You can have your tank cleaned at home via the DIY method or you can get an expert to do it for you. The expert mechanics at T3 Atlanta can help get your car back in tip-top shape in no time. Give us a call today!