Ways driving on low fuel is damaging your car

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You think you are saving money by driving on low fuel. But on the contrary, you are damaging your car and incurring expenses. Find out how this happens!

Fuel economy – this is a major concern of car owners. With fuel being sold at N145 per liter, several liters run into thousands of naira. If you drive often, you may find yourself spending a lot of money on fuel.  With this high cost comes the need to devise ways to save some money in that regard. This has given rise to a trend that is becoming more popular by the day – driving on low fuel.

Research shows that drivers neglect their car’s low-fuel warning light. They keep moving until the fuel is exhausted and their car breaks down. A staggering number of 827,000 drivers do not pay attention to the warning light. Amongst these drivers, 25% of them believe that they can go another forty mile with the fuel in their tank even after the low-fuel warning light comes on.

Times are hard. You need all the money you can get. But do you know that driving on low fuel could make you spend more money in the long run? A number of problems could arise as a result of this, requiring some fixing.

1. Damaged fuel pump

The fuel pump’s primary duty is to pump fuel. This is effective when there is adequate fuel in your tank. As your fuel diminishes, there is nothing left for it to pump. It begins to suck in air, and this leads to a wearing out.

Fuel-pump

Inadequate fuel wears out the fuel pump

Fuel lubricates the pump, and keeps it running smoothly. In its absence, the pump begins to experience frictions that make it break out. Over time, your car will begin to malfunction, and you will have to spend money to either amend or replace the pump to be able to drive.

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2. Irregular driving behavior

When you drive with the knowledge that you have low fuel, you will want to manage the fuel as much as possible so it can take you to your destination. In light of this, you begin to do things that are not normal.

For example, there is the widely held misconception that, in traffic, putting off your car engine helps you to save some fuel. But this is not particularly true. To save fuel on an idle engine, the engine has to be idle for at least one minute. Anything less than this does not work.

Moving traffic does not remain static for up to a minute. So, you keep putting your engine on and off. Unknown to you, you are burning more fuel because a car gulps a lot of fuel when the engine is starting up. If only you had adequate fuel, you would not have to commit this blunder.

3. Endangering your life

It is amazing how some people endanger their life all in the name of managing fuel.

You get a warning signal that you are low on fuel. Instead of going to have your tank refilled, you choose to manage it home.

It is very late at night. As you drive through the lonely road, your car begins to jerk. Shortly after, it stops. You take a look at the fuel speedometer, and you know exactly what the problem is. You are in a dangerous location. The road is isolated. You could get robbed and even killed in the process. You begin to wish you had gone to top up your fuel earlier.

night-driving

Imagine you're driving at night and suddenly car stops

You do not have to wait to be in such a difficult situation before realizing the benefits of refilling your tank when you are running short of fuel. Anything can happen. Your life is more precious than all the money in the world.

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4. Damaging multiple car parts

Some cars do well on low fuel than others. Older cars are known to have the capacity to manage low fuel than modern ones. If you are driving a modern car, going on low fuel is like shooting yourself on the foot. There is only so much your car can take. You risk knocking out your car in the process.

Sensitive parts of your car are in danger. In the end, you will find yourself spending so much money on repairs when you could have easily used a little amount to buy fuel.

5. Vandalizing your engine

Clean fuel is not the only component in your fuel tank. Dirt from badly refined fuel takes position at the bottom of the tank. The dirt is harmless as long as you have enough fuel in your tank. However, there is trouble when your tank lacks the needed quantity for your car to function effectively. The shaft settling at the bottom will be forced to come to the top and take the place of the fuel. It goes into your car engine, and since it is contaminated, it will damage the engine. It is only a matter of time before the need to take your engine for repairs arises. The money you were trying to save will be used to fix it.

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for more car maintenance and safe driving tips!

Chris Odogwu is a freelance Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Advertising major) from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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