How To Start Your Car After Running Out Of Gas

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Running out of gas can damage some components that make up your car’s engine, which could cause your car not to function properly even after topping up gas; hence, you may be forced to learn how to start your car after running out of gas in case you ever find yourself in such situation.

Well, If you haven’t actually experienced this scenario but wish to know how it could be, that’s not a problem, you’re reading the right article.

But, for some drivers that have been in this situation, the experience is not a funny one – It’s a frustrating experience, to be honest.

How To Start Your Car After Running Out Of Gas

Maybe you’re too fast. If a car did run out of gas, after refilling gas to the car, it is advisable to wait for sometime before starting the car again.

The wait is to allow fuel to get into the necessary places it is needed; some cars would start functioning again without you waiting.

To better understand the actions to take when your car won’t start after running out of gas, it’d be ideal to discuss the possible things that could go wrong when a car runs out of gas. That way, you will have clues on where to troubleshoot to get your car working again.

What Can Damage When A Car Runs Out Of Gas?

  • Air could get into the fuel lines and restrict the free flow of fuel when the car gets refilled
  • The fuel injectors can damage due to the lack of gas/fuel
  • Running out of gas can affect the fuel system badly
  • Your car’s fuel pump is the most targeted component that could be badly affected due to zero gas in the tank

If you paid attention to the points made above, you’d clearly understand that running out of gas is liable to cause damage to your car’s fuel system. Now, when the fuel system is bad, it becomes difficult for fuel to get into the engine to start the car.

So, if your car won’t start after running out of gas, check the fuel system components, which include the injectors, fuel filter, hoses, and fuel pump.

Steps To Start Your Car After Gas Finished

How To Start Your Car After Running Out Of Gas

1. Ensure You Refilled Enough Gas

First things first, refill enough gas, about 2 gallons would be advisable, depending on your car’s gas tank capacity. Well, you can fill up the tank if you wish.

2. Prime The Fuel Pump

Priming the fuel pump will help remove air from the fuel lines to allow free flow. Most times when a car refuses to start after running out of fuel, priming can help fix things up. How do you prime the fuel pump?

  • Insert your car’s key and turn it to the “On” position
  • Wait for some seconds and then turn it back to the “Off” position
  • Repeat those steps about 2 – 3 times and that’s it! You’ve primped the fuel pump
  • Start the car normally and see if it’d kick up

3. Inspect The Car

If priming didn’t work, it could be that one or more components have been damaged due to lack of fuel. In this case, you need to inspect the car, especially the fuel system, which comprises the fuel filter, fuel pump, injectors, and carburetor.

You can carry out the inspection if you’re conversant with the DIY steps. Else, it is best to get a professional mechanic to fix the issue. More so, if the inspection shows a damaged component, replace it before tiring to drive the car again.

4. Wait For Sometime

As crazy as it may sound, a little wait could be all your car needs to start back. When you refill the gas tank after running out of gas, you should wait for at least 3 minutes to allow fuel to get into all the places it needs to get in.

Further Readings:


Contained in this article are tips on “how to start your car after running out of gas.” There are basically three things to do; the first is to refill the gas tank to a reasonable level, the second is to wait for a while, and the third is to prime the fuel lines/pump.

However, when these simple steps don’t work, try inspecting the car to find out what’s wrong. Engage a mechanic if the situation seems too technical.

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