Do You Have The Ability To Pump Gas While Your Car Is On?

We’ve all been tempted to leave our car engine running while we pump gas so we can keep the cabin climate-controlled, especially when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. Can you still pump gas while the car is on? Do you think this is legal?

We will be discussing the benefits of shutting down your vehicle when you fill up. Other safety practices at the pump are also discussed.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Do you have the ability to fill up your vehicle with gas?
  2. Do you think it is illegal to fill up your car with gas when the engine is running?
  3. Additional Important Gas Station Rules
    1. 1. Watch Pump
    2. 2. No smoking
    3. 3. No children
    4. 4. Cans of approved gas
  4. How to Pump Gas – Quick and Easy Steps

Do you have the ability to fill up your vehicle with gas?

While you can physically pump gas with a car running, you shouldn’t. The engine running creates the ideal conditions for the gas vapors to ignite. This could lead to a rapid spread of fire and sparks. Whether it’s from static electricity or a spark, fuel combusts easily.

Sure, it’s rare for something like this to occur, but why take the chance? The fuel station will ask you to turn off your vehicle. Every pump has a sign. When you don’t shut off your car, you become liable if something were to happen. For that reason alone, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Fuel vapor (EVAPorative Control System), which is a closed system can cause a check engine lamp to appear on the dashboard and a trouble code P0455.

RELATED : Which Gas Stations Provide the Highest Quality Gas? (Top 5 Best)

Do you think it is illegal to fill up your car with gas when the engine is running?

According to US law, you must not leave your vehicle running while you refuel. Most states follow the International Fire Code, which is a directive of the ICC.

“2305.4 Sources of Ignition. The fuel distribution areas must be free from open flames and smoking. When fuel is being supplied, the engines must be turned off. Electrical equipment shall be in accordance with NFPA 70.”

This is why you need to turn off your car when you reach the station. Otherwise, local law enforcement could fine you, even though it’s rare.

Additional Important Gas Station Rules

1. Watch Pump

You must stay at the pump for the entire duration of the fill-up. Sure, it’s easy to set the locking mechanism on the pump to hold the spigot open while fueling. You can enjoy a hands-free experience but it is best to not walk away.

The mechanism will shut down when the tank is full, but it is not foolproof. You could have gas leaking all around the floor if it fails. Don't leave to take a shower, use the restroom or get something else done. You will be able to wait for it to finish, but patience is key. 

2. No smoking

We’ve already established that you don’t want any type of spark to occur while filling up the gas tank. Therefore, it should be a no-brainer that you wouldn’t smoke while you pump gas. 

You will see warnings at every gas station about the dangers of smoking. Something as small as a flick of a cigarette can cause the fuel to ignite spontaneously, so don’t take the chance. 

3. No children

You often take your family members or pets along with you when you go on errands. It’s understandable that these beloved family members would visit the station with you, but they both belong inside the car at all times. 

Do not let your kids hang out around the pumps and don’t bring your pets out until you get to a designated area for them. If your kids or pets were to knock a nozzle out of place while it’s filling, it could cause fuel to spray. It could cause the station operator to press the panic button which will shut off the fuel. 

Wait until your children are out of the car before you let them get in. To take a bathroom break, or to get a drink, you can park elsewhere. 

4. Cans of approved gas

You must fill up your gas cans at the station with an approved container. The container should be suitable for the fuel type you intend to use. 

Color-coded gas cans are available. Red cans hold gasoline; yellow diesel fuel, and blue for kerosene. A green container is one that can hold oil. Because OSHA states that color-coded containers make it easier to spot the right one in a lineup for quick use, you don’t want to fill the wrong type of container. You might be unable to identify what container you have in your shed, so don't fill it with anything else. 

Also, make sure you only use fuel-compatible containers. To put fuel into a plastic container, do not bring plastic containers or bags. It is extremely dangerous. 

How to Pump Gas – Quick and Easy Steps

These steps are simple and can be helpful if you're just starting to learn how to fill a car with fuel.

  1. Place the cap at the correct side of the tank and pull in to the gas pump.
  2. Move up so that the gas cap meets the nozzle.
  3. It is time to turn off your car's engine.
  4. Press the button to unlock the gas doors if you have one.
  5. Turn off the gas cap. It should be hung on the door. 
  6. To get your car started, choose the right nozzle and press the button. 
  7. Place the nozzle in the tank, and then pull the lever. 
  8. As the tank fills, watch the gasmeter increase.
  9. You can release the lever when you're ready for it to stop. If it is not, the tank will automatically stop. 
  10. Put the nozzle back where it was placed.
  11. Close the filler door and screw the gas cap back on. 
  12. Move slowly. 

When you pay at the pump you'll need your card or debit card to be inserted. You can also drop off cash with an attendant to get started.

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