Sunday, July 6, 2008

Do You Really Have to Turn Off Your Car When Filling Up with Gas?

As I was sitting in the car with my 2 kids while my husband got out to get gas, I thought to myself, does he really need to turn off the car? I thought of this because I quickly began suffocating due to the 97 degree heat outside.

So, again, I ask the question, Do you really need to turn your car off when filling up for gas?

I went searching on the web and found that yes you do need to turn your car off. Here are two explanations as to why you should do so:
  • "The biggest reason is the alternator. When running, a car's alternator is always generating electricity. While doing this, it is producing a small spark inside where the brushes contact the stator. This tiny spark is al it takes to start a gas fire. For this very reason, even diesel vehicles need to be turned of when near gasoline pumps. I worked for Union Oil briefly and was shown training films about this that would curl your toes. "(Courtesy of

  • "It could start a fire if the fumes from the gas being pumped get close enough to a source of ignition, though that is not really a concern today with the new vapor recovery nozzles that almost every gas station uses these days. Some of the other risky things that leaving your vehicle running while you are pumping your fuel are if the shifter is not completely in park it could move and your vehicle could move on it's own running you over or hitting the car behind or in front of you,if a child or a pet is in the vehicle they could hit the shifter by accident and the same problems as described above could happen. Another thing to be concerned about is static electricity between your body and the fuel pump that is why the tell you to touch a metal object like your cars body to discharge any static electricity before you pick up the fuel nozzle because if a spark from static electricity finds any fuel on or in the nozzle a fire will start on you faster than you can react,and THAT WILL DEFINITELY RUIN YOUR DAY QUICKLY. "(Courtesy of
During the hot summer months, I highly recommend filling your car up with gas in the early morning or evening if your will have passengers in the car.

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