Can Your Car Blow Up While Pumping Gas?

Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Most of the time, pumping gas while a car’s engine is running does not cause major inconveniences. However, it is a precaution that vehicle drivers should consider in order not to be careless. Carelessness could generate a fuel spill all over the area. Also, they may increase the chances of ignition when the engine is running.

Key Takeaways

  • Catching fire or exploding while pumping gas is very rare but it can happen
  • Nowadays, every car is equipped with safety features to prevent electrical sparks that might cause a fire in the oil tank and blow the car
  • If there is any problem with the fuel system of the car then it can increase the chance of blowing up the car while pumping gas
  • While pumping gas you should turn off the engine to prevent any accident

How To Refuel Safely

Shutting Down The Engine
Turning off the vehicle’s engine also allows you to turn off the 12-volt auxiliary power supply that could generate a possible fire.
Do Not Start The Engine PrematurelyIt is necessary not to start the vehicle while refueling as this may decrease the safety of the refueling process.
Avoid Smoking
Smoking near the gas tank while fueling is very dangerous and can cause a fire.
Do Not Use Cell Phones
Using a cell phone can distract the driver while fueling the vehicle, which is not recommended.
Overfilling The TankOverfilling the gas tank could cause fuel to spill on the ground. 

Should You Turn The Car Off When Pumping Gas?

Filling a vehicle with gasoline is a relatively simple task on all occasions. However, this does not mean that the driver should be too reckless with this type of procedure. In this case, safety is very important to avoid all kinds of minor or serious accidents. So, it is necessary to turn off the vehicle when pumping gasoline.

So, it is necessary to turn off the engine after parking the vehicle when pumping gasoline. Along with that, any other 12-volt auxiliary power supply will also need to be paid for. The most common options found here are cigarette lighters or phone chargers.

All of these implements could generate a very serious fuel fire. However, these situations are not very common. In any case, it is necessary to prevent as much as possible this type of serious accident. Of course, turning off the vehicle when pumping gasoline is not the only important step. In this sense, there are also other important aspects to consider. 

1. Avoid Returning To The Vehicle

Although it may seem strange, it is necessary to wait outside the vehicle until the gas tank is full or the fuel load is finished. In many cases, a small amount of static electricity may build up in this type of situation. Of course, this is not a very common situation, although it could happen with some carelessness.

This small amount of static electricity could be more than enough to cause a spark. So, when the owner of the vehicle touches the metal the spark could be produced and generate a more important accident. For that to happen, there would also have to be a mixture of that spark with gasoline vapors. 

The combination of all these elements is dangerous in many situations. Even in very humid climates, the environment is much more suitable for a spark to occur. So, to avoid this situation, the person must finish the fueling procedure. After inserting the fuel cap, the driver can then return to the vehicle and continue with his day.

2. Do Not Overfill The Fuel Tank

A distraction could cause the driver not to pay attention to the amount of fuel that has been put into the fuel tank. So, at all times it is necessary to pay attention to the amount of fuel you have put into the vehicle. Of course, for this, the driver must remain alert from the beginning to the end of fueling.

When the fuel tank is full the automatic shut-off occurs in most fuel tanks. So, this is an excellent way to avoid spilling gasoline all over the ground. Beyond that, it is not advisable to rely solely on the automatic operation of the fuel tanks. Sensor malfunctions could prevent automatic operation.

Even spilling fuel or overfilling the fuel tank can cost much more at the time of paying for gasoline. Anyway, this procedure is usually very simple once the driver knows exactly the operation and capacity of his vehicle’s fuel tank. Therefore, it is important to pay attention during the first fueling.

3. Do Not Use A Cell Phone

In particular, a cell phone is not one of those objects that can generate an electric spark. At least this is not the case when the cell phone is working properly. However, gas stations tend to be crowded places. This means that the factors that can distract the driver are already too many in themselves.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to use a cell phone while the driver is fueling the vehicle. In particular, using a cell phone is just an additional distraction that can cause some major errors. This may seem like a non-factor until the driver forgets that they are fueling their vehicle.

So, the result can be an overly full tank of gas or some other unforeseen situation in which the driver is unaware. As we have mentioned, fueling a vehicle is a simple and at the same time very important task. That is why compromising the safety of this procedure is not very beneficial for the driver, or for the rest of the people who are there. 

4. Keeping Children Away

Of course, the driver should stay out of the vehicle, as he/she is in charge of filling the fuel tank with gasoline. However, children should remain inside the vehicle at all times to avoid further problems. If children need to get out of the vehicle to go to the bathroom or the store, adult supervision is necessary.

Either way, this is about keeping children away from the nearest outside part of the vehicle. When fueling gasoline, toxic fumes or vapors about gasoline are also produced. So, this can be completely harmless for adults but can be a problem for children. To avoid health problems, children should be kept inside the vehicle.

Even keeping children inside the vehicle also allows the driver to be fully aware of the gasoline load. However, the driver mustn’t leave the children alone at any time when driving away from the gas pump. This is especially necessary when children are too young and require adult supervision.

5. Avoid Smoking

While this is an obvious point, many people do not consider this aspect when filling up a vehicle. All gas stations have signs that warn and prohibit people from smoking. However, those people addicted to cigarettes could skip these prohibitions and light up a cigarette anyway.

Here, the obvious aspect is that the ash from the cigarette or the cigarette itself could produce a big fire in the whole gas station. If the driver is the one who smokes it is also the same person who should be in charge of refueling.

So, the cigarette and its ashes will be very close to the gas tank and fuel. Simply put, this is a major potential hazard that is easily avoidable. In the same vein, it is also necessary to avoid lighting any kind of matches or lighters.

Those who are too addicted to cigarettes should only wait five minutes for the vehicle to finish fueling. This short time is more than enough to avoid a major fire and accident, which is also easily avoidable. 

6. Avoiding Gasoline On The Skin

Filling a fuel tank with gasoline can be a very simple daily task. Beyond that, it is necessary to consider that the contact of gasoline with the skin is not beneficial at all. Moreover, it is much worse when gasoline comes in contact with the eyes as it is a much more vulnerable part of the body.

So, if your skin or eyes come into contact with gasoline, you should take care of it immediately. Using soap and warm water is the best way to wash the area of skin that has been affected by gasoline. Also, experts say the eyes should be washed for about 15 minutes with tap water.

People who wear contact lenses should remove them from their eyes to implement a water wash that is efficient and removes gasoline. At all times, it is necessary to avoid rubbing the eyes as this can make the situation worse.

Rubbing the eyes allows the gasoline to penetrate further into the various areas of the eye. As the person washes the skin or eyes more quickly, the negative effects can be more successfully avoided. Again, this is not a very common situation, although it is necessary to have the appropriate solution.

7. Transporting Gasoline

To transport gasoline, it is necessary to have an appropriate container. It is not enough to use just any type of container; you must use one specially designed for this purpose. It is necessary to place the container on the ground to fill it with gasoline. Then, the person must safely use the lid to prevent the gasoline from spilling.

It is even necessary to consider the safety of the portable container if gasoline is transported in a vehicle. Here, the most important thing is to avoid spilling gasoline inside the vehicle at all times. It is also necessary to avoid leaving gasoline in the trunk of a vehicle or in direct sunlight. All this is important to avoid possible fires.

8. Possible Fires

Some fires may occur anyway despite the driver’s precautions. In this case, the driver must inform the service station employees as quickly as possible. Using water in these situations may not be as effective since it is a fire involving gasoline.