Find out: can you put gas in your car while it’s running?

pump gas running

Or should you always turn your engine off?

If you want to quickly get gas, it sometimes feels like a hassle to turn the engine off and wait for your car to fill up. Especially when it is cold outside. But did you know that it might actually be dangerous to leave your car on while getting fuel? 


Sometimes people say that you shouldn’t leave your engine on while getting gas because it might damage your car. Luckily, that is not entirely true. But it might cause other issues. Jonathan Ganther, COO and Founder of Brakes To Go, explained to Family Handyman: “While it’s not necessarily bad for your car, it could turn that pesky check engine light on … Our cars are designed to detect even the slightest gasoline vapor leaks from the fuel tank, fuel lines, and engine. So why would this leak be detected when filling up? When you stick the nozzle in to fill up, you open the gas tank that is normally sealed, and this allows gasoline vapors to escape. The computer in the vehicle detects a vapor leak and triggers the check engine light.”


The biggest risk of filling up your car while leaving the engine running, is that there is always a small chance of fire. Even though the risk is small, you still don’t want to take it. When gas vapors come into contact with static electricity, the chances of those vapors igniting will increase. Lauren Fix, an ASE certified technician and sector analyst at The Car Coach, told Family Handyman: “It’s is safest to shut off your vehicle to avoid a fire, static electricity or a check engine light … The fire risk is that the fumes burn, not the liquid. This could lead to an explosion.”

So, next time you get gas, turn off the car and leave your vape, cigarettes ánd phone inside of it.

Read more: Do you drive a stick shift? You could be damaging your car!

Source: Family Handyman | Image: Unsplash, Sara Farshchi