Running out of gas becoming a dangerous trend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Running out of gas becoming a dangerous trend

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

It's getting down right painful to fill up your gas tank these days.  The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded has now climbed to $3.92.  Iowa's average is $3.88/gallon.  And the pain at the pump is now leading to a dangerous trend.

It's a trip that you probably dread:  heading to the gas station to fill up your tank.  Because of the high price to pump, a lot of people are now putting it off, and are waiting until the tank is creeping close to "E".

"It's a lot of money to invest in your gas tank.  And you hate to tie-up $100 and some gallons of gas in your tank.  So they run it low," said service station owner Jim Lind.

But stretching the number of miles you drive before gassing up can be down right dangerous.  If you run out of gas, you could get stranded in a remote location, putting your personal safety at risk.  And the damage done to your car can cost far more than a tank-full of gas

"You can ruin an electric fuel pump and most vehicles have electric fuel pumps.  And when you run out or run real low, you can burn up a pump because it's not lubricated properly...thousands of dollars to repair that," Lind said.

AAA recommends that you fill up any time you drop to a quarter-tank of gas, and do what you can to conserve fuel so you run low less often.

"One thing is drive moderately.  Don't make quick stops or starts at stops signs.  Get off slowly from stop signs.  As you approach a red light, let up on the gas and just coast," said AAA spokesperson Gene LaDoucer.

Doing those things can help you avoid the hazards that can come with running on empty.

Regular vehicle maintenance, like oil changes and keeping your tires fully inflated, can also help you get the most bang for your buck to avoid frequent gas fill-ups.

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