Running vehicle gas tank to 'E' could cost you

RICHMOND (WWBT) -- It's no shock, some of us are stretching our gas tanks as far as we can. Even stretching it so far, some drivers are running out of gas on the road. But that could mean you will have to pay big bucks to fix your car if it happens too often.

You may remember Cathleen Shiflett. She was in line to get some free gas a few weeks ago.

But before she made it to the pump, her jeep ran out of gas and her family pushed her down the street. "It's not really funny, but it is funny."

She is part of a growing trend in Virginia. In fact, AAA Mid Atlantic says so far this month, the number of people calling to say they are out of gas is up nearly 40 percent compared to this time last year.

NBC12 Automotive Expert Emmerson Miles says, running your tank into the ground isn't a good idea. You won't see the problem immediately, but you likely will in the long run.

"If you repeatedly run your gas tank down very low, you have a tendency to pick up sediments that build up there," Miles said.

Doing that could prevent your car from starting and you could do quite a bit of damage, especially in newer cars. That's because on those newer models, mechanics can't work on the fuel filters.

"Then, you got to replace the fuel module as we call it. That's the fuel pump, the fuel filter the whole deal. And, that's very expensive," Miles said.

So expensive we're talking hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

"It is recommended that you stop and fuel your tank when you get down to a quarter of a tank," Miles said.

That may mean dishing out more dough right now. But, in the long run, it could save you big time.

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