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Can You Pump Gas with the Car On? (Read This First!)

A gas pump is a place where we all should take maximum precautions. You may have seen some people keeping their car on while pumping gas, but is that safe?

What can happen when you keep the vehicle on while pumping gas? Can the car blow up? This article will dive deep into the topic.

Can you pump gas with the car on?

You should not pump gas with the car on, although you can do it if you really need to. The chances of danger are meager from pumping gas with the car on. But if that happens, the result will be devastating; gas vapor and static energy can start a massive fire.

Pumping gas with the car on can be dangerous for the entire gas pump, including vehicles, passengers, and everything surrounding. Yes, the possibility may be tiny, but it is not something impossible.

If you search on the internet, you will find hundreds of gas pump disaster videos for pumping the gas incorrectly. Once you understand the massiveness of the disaster, you will never want to witness something like that in your lifetime.

But what causes such a harmful situation if a fire starts? As you can guess, a gas pump is full of different types of fuel tanks, and fire can become uncontrollable in no time.

However, in rare conditions, you can choose to keep on the car while pumping gas. Such as, if you are facing trouble starting the car, you worry you will have difficulties starting the car once you turn it off.

How will it start a fire if you refill gas while keeping the car on? Static energy is the culprit in most cases. When you keep the vehicle on while taking gas, the gas vapor can contact spark or heat, starting the fire.

When you drive the car, the car gets a static charge while running. The car contacts ground with the tire, which does not help discharge the static energy. Some car owners use a metal chain that contacts the land to remove the static energy.

There are some other activities you should avoid while refilling the car. Do not use a lighter, do not smoke and keep your pets and children at a safe distance. Teach your teenagers about the precautions of a gas pump.

Is it really bad to pump gas with the car running?

Yes, it’s not good to keep the car on while refilling the gas. When the vehicle is on, and you start to fill the tank, the gas vapor and static energy can cause a fire in rare cases.

You can keep your vehicle on hundreds of times without any disaster, but if you do it often, the chance of starting a fire gets fatter.

There are some other activities you should avoid in a gas pump. Using lighter and match is highly dangerous in gas stations. Getting distracted by surroundings can also cause danger.

The gas pipe nozzle instantly turns off when the tank is full. But you never know if the system is working right on not. You should avoid going far or using your mobile phone while refilling gas. Gas pump instruction posters tell you not to use a mobile phone while filling in.

Why is it bad to pump gas with the car on? – What happens if you pump gas with the car on?

Leaving your car on while pumping gas is a bad habit. We point out why it’s wrong and what happens if you do that in the following points.

Can start fire:

As we mentioned previously, when you keep your car on and start refilling your car, the static energy and gas vapor can cause a fire. If you are lucky, gas station workers will handle the situation before it becomes out of control.

What will you do in such a condition? If you check the gas station accident cases, most people pull the nozzle without turning anything off. That’s the worst thing to do when a fire has started. It is like pouring more fuel on the fire.

In this situation, you should quickly go to the gas refill machine and press the emergency off button. By doing that, you are eliminating the fuel source of the fire.

Your job is not done yet. Quickly let the workers know about the issue and use a fire extinguisher to stop the fire. The workers will let the officer know about the accident and activate safe mode to minimize the possibility of a big fire.

You are normalizing breaking the rule:

Your car engine should be off while taking gas, and everyone should abide by this rule. Let us explain why.

We know the chances of a fire are meager. Suppose the probability is 0.10%. When you make it a habit and do it every day, the possibility will increase massively.

And when people watch you doing that, they may also think nothing happens if I keep my engine on while gas refilling. When many people start doing that and normalize breaking the rule, the possibility of an accident becomes enormous.

You are wasting energy:

You should already know that petroleum resources are limited on our earth, and we should try to save every drop.

Keeping your engine on in traffic jams and gas stations may not sound like a big waste. Still, it becomes significant when many people start to do that.

What to do if you leave your car on while pumping gas?

Generally, you should not leave your car on while pumping gas. What if you need to leave your car on while pumping? Here are some ways to minimize the risk of starting a fire.

Discharge your car:

Whether your car is on or off, you should always discharge the car by touching it. When you touch the car, you absorb the static energy that can cause a spark and start a fire.

You and your clothes can also be charged by the friction between your synthetic clothes, hair and car seat. Touching a metal part of your car can absorb the charge.

Be extra careful:

You need to be extra careful when you need to refill gas while keeping the engine on. Keep the children and pets at a safe distance. Do not get distracted while getting the gas. Pay attention to the screen to track the gas amount.

Complete the filling:

If you notice you forgot to turn off the engine while filling the gas, don’t panic. Complete the filling process and keep the nozzle handle in place safely.

What are the chances of your car blowing up while pumping gas?

Blowing up a car is very rare but catching fire is not that rare. By following two steps, you can minimize the chances of catching fire.

Turn off your car, and touch different parts of the vehicle with your hand to remove the static electricity. Also, touch some metal parts of your vehicle before touching the nozzle.

From 2014 to 2018, 4,150 fires on average per year occurred in gas stations in the USA. So as you can see, the number is not that low to be unconcerned.

How to pump gas?

Most of us know how to refute a gas in a gas station, although there are more minor details you need to pay attention to in a gas pump. Here are the detailed steps of pumping gas safely.

Know where the tank is:

New drivers often forget where is the gas tank in the car. It creates a problem when you stop to take gas and can’t determine which side you should park to pump gas. There is an easy fix for this.

Look at the car screen, there is a gas refill sign, and with the sign, there is an arrow that indicates the position of a car engine. If the arrow says left, the gas tank is on the left side of the car.

Complete the payment:

You can use your card to pay for the gas or visit inside to pay for the gas. Using your card is the easiest way to pay for the gas.

Remove a static charge:

Remove static charge by touching the car with your hand.

Connect gas nozzle into the car:

Lock the nozzle in place and pull the trigger to start refilling.

Keep the nozzle in place when finished:

When you finish filling the gas, don’t forget to remove the nozzle. Keep it in place before starting driving.

Final Thoughts

It’s not safe to keep your car on while filling gas. A tiny spark can start a fire that can take many lives and cause massive distractions. So, its always wise to maintain the precautions in a gas station. If you see someone keeping their car on while filling gas, give them a friendly reminder.