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Is It Okay to Add One More Pump of Gas for an Extra Full Tank?

A gas station pump is outdoors.
Jeff McCollough/Shutterstock.com

Your wallet can quickly start to shrink as you pump more and more gas into your car. But you still want the most bang for your buck, right, so once the pump shuts off, you might be tempted to squeeze one more time. But is that good for your car?

Adding extra gas to an already full tank is called topping off, and it is bad for your car.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to topping off the gas in your car. The first is that your car likely has an onboard refueling vapor recovery system. It’s a charcoal canister that collects the harmful vapors that occur when you refuel. It helps to reduce emissions during refueling.

Car Emergency Safety Kit Bag

Stay safe on the road and at the gas station.

But when you top off, you can damage the charcoal, essentially soaking it in gas. Over time, the system can wear down leading to a pricy repair despite the fact that the system should last for the car’s entire lifetime.

The other issue is less about your car and more about safety for you and your fellow gas station patrons. If you top off your car, you run the risk of overfilling your tank and having gas spill over onto your car and the ground. Not only is this now dangerous for you, but gas spills are also dangerous for everyone at the station due to its highly flammable nature.

So, sure, it makes total sense that you’d want to prolong the time between fuel-ups, or if you’ve found a place with great prices, take as much advantage as possible, but once your gas pump shuts off, don’t top it off. You could damage your car, and no one needs a costly repair on top of dealing with gas prices.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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