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Running out of gas is a driver’s worst nightmare on the road. In this situation, you can get stranded on what to do when your car runs out of gas. 

This can happen when you are driving and you see a fuel-low warning sign. You rush to find a gas station nearby, but your search is fruitless.

What would you do? What impact could it have on your car? How would you get home? You might be having these questions while standing on the side of the road. Don’t worry; where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

In this article, I’ll tell you what to do if your car runs out of gas. Keep reading!

What to Do If Your Car Runs out of Gas While Driving

what to do if your car runs out of gas

Pull the Car to Safety

The most crucial thing to remember when you run out of gasoline is to avoid turning the situation into an accident.

Therefore, as soon as your low fuel indicator appears and your car exhibits one of the low fuel symptoms, put on your hazard lights and move as carefully as possible to the right side of the road.

Even though parking in a pullout spot is ideal, you should not risk having your car completely stall out in the middle of traffic by attempting to move it a little further.

Keep driving while wearing your seatbelt. Simply move the car as far off the road as possible to make room for passing cars. If you cannot safely pull your car off the road, get out and find a secure area to stand well away from the road.

Identify Your Location

If you want to avoid confusion when help arrives, you must be able to pinpoint the exact location of your car. Furthermore, you won’t want to waste time on the way back stumbling around looking for your car if you have to leave it.

Remember your GPS coordinates. If you cannot obtain GPS coordinates from a smart device, carefully record the highway’s name. Plus, get the direction you are traveling, major landmarks, and the nearest mile marker to assist in determining your location.

Look for Help

You should always call for assistance when you run out of fuel on the highway. However, there will be times when you will be stranded without cell phone service. If so, think about calling out for help from another car.

Ensure you are visible and far from moving traffic when asking for a hand. Try to use colorful clothing or other items likely to capture the attention of onlookers, avoid standing on curves and corners, and avoid standing on any other obstructions.

Go to the Nearest Gas Station

If you can see a gas station within safe walking distance of where you are stranded or if your phone app shows that it is not far away, you should go to the station. You shouldn’t risk getting lost or hurt by walking too far in the dark to get there.

You might try to flag down a cab or make a ride-sharing service request if you’re in a location that is reasonably accessible and other cars are driving by. They would then drive you to the closest petrol station.

You should attempt to look for a gas station for two reasons. The most obvious is to fill a container if you have one available. The second is to quickly ask for assistance from someone nearby if your phone has also died or fill up your automobile.

Remember that the container you fill should be strong and free of any holes that could lead to leaks. Don’t try to put gasoline in a flammable plastic bottle if you don’t have an appropriate container.

What Happens When Your Car Runs Out of Fuel

what to do if your car runs out of gas

Several things could go wrong when your car runs out of fuel, leaving you stuck in the middle of the road and requiring roadside help. Things will start to get challenging behind the wheel.

Damage Fuel Tank

The crust at the bottom of the tank will cause damage to your tank if you drive without gas. 

Fuel tanks are formed of metal, which attracts and gathers crust, resulting in corrosiveness that could destroy your vehicle.  This gas crust accumulates in your tank, engine, and other fuel-related components.

Clogs the Fuel Injection

The fuel injection is the most critical component of a car’s pumping system. Fuel is transported through the fuel injection from the fuel tank to the burning tank. Fuel tank issues will arise if you drive with an empty tank.

The crust that lines the fuel injection and filter systems will gradually deteriorate the system when the fuel pump only finds junk to pump into the car’s system.

After filling up your tank, the fuel may occasionally not reach the burning tank if the fuel injection is clogged. You must see a specialist in this situation to get it examined.

Alternatively, you might attempt priming your gasoline pump. But in either case, you should visit your mechanic to ensure that you did not do too much harm.

What amount of gas is required to restart a car once it runs out?

One gallon of gasoline should drive your vehicle to the next fueling location.

How long can you go with an empty tank?

Your fuel filter can overheat and harm your oil pump when your gas tank is too low. You may travel up to 50 miles on an empty gas tank. Fill your car’s gas tank to 1/4 full or more to prevent these hazards.

Can low gas cause the car not to start?

One of the straightforward explanations for your car cranking but not starting is an empty gas tank. If you were already low on fuel before or your fuel gauge is malfunctioning, there’s a chance you’ve reached the dreaded “E” and run out of gas. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with fantastic rates from local individuals who genuinely care. Get a complimentary auto quote now and be back on the road in no time!

What does your car do when it runs out of gas?

Once your car exhausts its fuel supply, it will come to a complete halt as if the key was never turned in the ignition. This situation can be hazardous, mainly if you haven’t managed to pull over to a safe location, as your car will stall right where it stands. Stay vigilant and ensure your vehicle has enough fuel to reach your destination safely.

How do you know if your car won’t start because of gas?

When you turn the key, and the car cranks but the engine refuses to start, a potential culprit may be the lack of fuel reaching the engine. This issue can be attributed to dirty fuel injectors as one possible reason.

Is my car out of gas or dead battery?

When your car fails to crank, often accompanied by a clicking noise, the root cause typically lies in the electrical system, such as a problematic battery or alternator. On the other hand, if the car turns over but still won’t start, the issue likely pertains to the fuel system, such as insufficient gas or a clogged filter.


No matter how scary it can get when you’re stranded on the road, there’s always a solution. With the tips above on what to do if your car runs out of gas, you’ll be able to reach your destination safely.

However, always ensure you refill your tank when it’s about three-quarters full, and maintain your car to keep it running efficiently.

If you’re taking a lengthy road journey, ensure you have adequate fuel before going on a stretch of highway or expressway. There are many apps available today that you may download to help you find gas stations along your journey.

By doing this, you’ll make sure you get to your destination without delay and safely, and you won’t accidentally drive past the final gas station for a few miles.