How Dangerous is it Really to Pump Gas with Your Vehicle Running?
It probably happens to you every once in a while, it happened to me last week when I was in Dallas, TX, I was getting gas at gas station right off I20 and some lady was filling up with her car while it was running. But we all know to NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAR RUNNING WHILE PUMPING GAS.
But how dangerous is it? Is it just some ol' wife's tale to scare folks? Or is there very real legitimate danger involved when you fill up with the car running?
Is it dangerous?
According to this website, pumping your gas with the engine running can lead to a fire. How does this happen?
When you grab the pump and start filling up your tank, gas vapors are emitted. Running cars produce a large amount of heat and electricity. When gas vapors run into heat or electricity, they can ignite and cause a fire.
What if I accidentally pump gas with my car on?
So, moment of complete honesty, I left my truck running a couple of weeks ago while I filled up, totally by mistake. I only realized this when my 7-year-old informed me the truck was running and "that's dangerous!" I want to believe it's the first time that's happened, but I'm just not that certain due to recent events. The good news is everyone is fine and I know we've taught our daughter well.
According to Napa Know How, you'll likely be fine if you ever forget like I did, technically you can leave your car running. It's just potentially more dangerous. "The reason is simple: Directing gas into a fuel tank while a car is running is harmless, provided that there isn't a spark nearby."
However, smoking and pumping gas NEVER mix. An open flame is a very real danger at gas stations due to a hazard that is entirely invisible to the human eye: gasoline vapors.
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