Why do people say that its dangerous to pump gas while your vehicle is running?


I have never turned my vehicle off while pumping gas in my life and have yet to have an issue. Especially coming from a Northern state where it gets pretty cold you see a lot of people doing the same thing. What is the potential risk or is it all just a myth?

In: 0

Because you can start a fire.

How could you start a fire? When you grab the pump and start filling up the tank, gas vapors are emitted. Running cars can produce a lot of heat and electricity which can ignite the fumes and cause a massive fire.

Running your engine while pumping gas increases the risk of fire because your engine produces not only heat, but also static electricity while running. Objectively the risk is quite low, but it’s definitely much safer to turn the engine off.

I think I has to do with general safety these days. You don’t want the average person jumping in and out of a running car. It’s just too easy to forget to engage park, and suddenly you’re car is driving away from the pump… While attached to the hose.

For one, having the engine running while the gas cap is off messes with the pressure in the engine. So even putting aside any safety stuff, it’s not great.

For something far more important, you are deliberately firing sparks in the vicinity of open gasoline. I don’t really understand how you *don’t* see the risk inherent in that.

But just like a lot of stupid and dangerous things, it only goes wrong when some other thing goes wrong, like for example, holding the spray handle down when you take it out of the tank, where it hits a hot running engine, and the vapors catch fire.

It’s bad for the Emissions system. When you open the gas cap while the car is running you can cause the ECM to think there is a leak in the Vacuum System. Don’t be lazy.
Just turn it off.