You have probably heard that keeping your gas tank at least half full is a “good idea.” But who likes going to the gas station more often? It is one of those preparedness items we know about but few of us actually practice.
I hope to help you change that by explaining in more detail why it is more than just a “good idea.”
1. It saves you money
Water condensation can form in the empty part of your tank and freeze which can cause blockage problems. By maintaining a half full tank the amount of space is reduced for condensation to form. Also your fuel pump needs gasoline to act as a coolant. When your gas levels get too low, it can cause premature wear and tear or even cause the pump to overheat and fail completely and when the tank is full, there is more pressure so the pump doesn’t have to work as hard.
These kinds of repairs can be costly and completely avoidable by simply keeping your fuel levels at least half full at all times.
2. Less damage to your engine
Depending on how much you drive, introducing fresh gas to your tank can help reduce the crud and buildup in your engine if the gas you had in your tank from before was from a lower quality gas station, or if the gas has been sitting around a while. By filling up regularly at a station that receives a good amount of traffic you are less likely to run into an issue of old gas from the pump. If you are in a situation where questionable gas is your only option, then having a half a tank will allow you the flexibility to continue driving to a better station. But if you are on empty, and you are sure the gas isn’t great, then as a rule of thumb just fill up enough to get you to a better station. As soon as you can, fill up with the higher quality gas.
3. Get out of Dodge
All it takes is a bad storm. I’m not even talking about a SHTF scenario although the same will hold true. A few years back the weather report said we were going to be getting a serious snow storm and people who lived in older structures were warned that they should be ready to evacuate for concern that the roofs of these buildings would collapse. This warning was not unheard of, maybe once a year but as predicted, people were freaking out. It was a nice day that day and as I went home from work that evening and the clouds were getting dark, every gas station was packed with cars and lined up out onto the street. I could read the handmade signs as I passed them telling drivers that they would be limited in the number of gallons they could buy.
If I had needed to evacuate my family, I would have saved precious time and could have put more distance between us and the storm where the gas stations would not be hit as hard from a panicky population.
The storm hit, and it turned out to be just as bad as they predicted. Practically every gas station was out of gas and with the storm; it was another week before the trucks could get in to resupply the stations. If there had been an emergency I would have had half a tank to get to the hospital or evacuate.
4. Traffic jams and getting stranded
You may find yourself stuck on the road due to an accident, or the road s blocked due to natural disaster or you are in the unfortunate situation of getting caught up with every one else evacuating. Recognizing your situation for what it is can play a vital role in your ability to survive. If it seems as though that staying with your vehicle is the better move then turn your engine off and keep it off as much as possible, only turning it on to move forward or if the weather is very cold to keep yourself from freezing to death. Having at least half a tank of gas could literally keep you alive or allow you to escape a dangerous situation
It may not seem like much but keeping an eye on your gas gauge and making a point to keep your tank more than half full at all times helps train your brain to maintain a preparedness mindset. It can serve as a frequent reminder, not just for your gasoline but to keep the concept of preparedness at the top of your mind. It can help influence the other choices you make in your everyday life to be more prepper oriented.
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