Can You Pump Gas With The Car On? Here’s What You Need to Know

Filling gasoline is a short process. Hence, many drivers leave their vehicles working during that. Does it cause any problems? Can you pump gas with the car on?

Yes, you can, but you shouldn't. Otherwise, you may face problems, such as combustion, gas poisoning, or losing money.

We will discuss the reasons for not allowing your vehicle to work while pumping fuel. You can also learn some precautions. Let's follow our post!

Can You Pump Gas with the Car On? 

It is not advisable to fill up the tank in your car while still operating. If you're still not sure, let us explain the risks involved.

1. Risk of fire

Gasoline is a combustible liquid that will catch fire very quickly.

Because most vehicles still work on gasoline, you may end up in fire if you don't even know what you are doing.

These essential elements can cause fire to occur:

  • Static electricity

Static electricity may accumulate when you drive or leave a car. The gasoline will get ignited by a single spark.

Because, in the process of pumping fuel for cars, the amount of gasoline and oil from the pump nozzle takes up the place of gasoline vapor in the tank, so gasoline vapor is easy to escape, especially in dry and hot days.

If the car engine is still running, it will continue to generate heat (due to the combustion of the fuel and air mixture), combined with an electric spark, which can easily lead to fire and explosion.

Therefore, as recommended by some car manufacturers, before pumping fuel, drivers should turn off the engine to avoid the risk of fire and explosion.

There is, nevertheless, a simple method to avoid this incident from happening. When getting out of the automobile, touch something metallic, such as the door.

Some individuals recommend avoiding smartphones since they can produce considerable quantities of static electricity.

The spark itself is very small, but because gasoline vapors fly and disperse in the surrounding environment, the risk of fire is very high.

Therefore, to be safe, you should stand away from the gas station to answer the phone or better yet, "turn off the power" safely.

This opinion is a myth. You won't find big cases of vehicles igniting due to the usage of wireless devices. However, you still should avoid using them.


Be careful with the static electricity while pumping gasoline

  • Broken spark plugs

Within the motor, spark plugs play a crucial role. They are in charge of lighting the gasoline that allows a vehicle to work.

The spark plug often has adequate insulation. Even a single one may generate a large number of volts.

As a result, if the insulation around the spark plugs malfunctions, electricity might ignite your car.

This case is rare, though, because vehicles with damaged spark plugs have difficulty running in the first place.

Nonetheless, to be careful, it's best to charge the spark plugs as soon as you find any issues.

You can learn more about the spark plugs from this video. It shows you what these parts are, where they are in your car, and their functions.

What Does This Thing Do: Spark Plugs

  • Catalytic converter

A catalytic converter cleans the engine's emissions. Due to what it performs, this device may get extremely hot very fast. The latest versions can endure temperatures of 900°C.

The heat generated by the catalytic converter might undoubtedly be a cause of ignition for your car fire.

However, the risk is usually minimal because these converters cool off quickly, especially the high-quality ones.

  • Other sources of sparks and heat

Smokers are the most common heat source that might burn gasoline at the fuel station. Most stations have warnings for smoking while pumping gas.

Even though most smokers follow this guideline, others are careless and throw their cigarette buds right at the station. Even the tiniest spark may burn.

Smoking in a windy place, on the other hand, might enable some hot cigarette ashes to wander. You may expect the vehicle to catch fire if any hot flying particles approach the gasoline tank.


Cigarettes are dangerous

2. Gas poisoning

If you are filling gasoline into your vehicle while it is running, many hazardous gasses can leak into the air.

Cars often have a vapor recovery mechanism to prevent these dangerous gasses from entering the environment.

Hazardous vapors are common for contaminating and clogging up the air. They also cause global warming and destroy the ozone layer.

Even if you park your vehicle neatly in the driveway, it's necessary to quit any remaining toxic gasses and unpleasant smells.

3. Losing money

Losing money may not be a life-or-death issue. However, there is nothing better than being safe while still cutting costs.

We have mentioned the vapor recovery mechanism. You might really harm this gear by pumping full your tank and leaving the engine working.

The mechanic can handle this problem. However, it would come at a high price. It will set you back for about $1,500.

Notes when performing a fuel pump for your car

In addition to turning off the vehicle, there are several precautions you should take while fuel pumping your automobile to avoid accidents.

1. Turn off electronic devices

In addition to the vehicle engine, many forms of static electricity might cause you some problems. 

It's advisable to park your car and turn off the motor because so many potentially flammable elements are nearby. Also, switch off all gadgets, including your phone, laptop, and charger.


Do not use electronic devices while fueling your vehicle

2. No smoking at gas stations

In a petrol station, another danger to avoid is using a lighter to smoke a cigarette. This little fire might interact with the gaseous vapor in the air, leading to an explosion.

3. Sitting in the car or getting off?

It would be best that people inside an automobile leave until the job is complete or not get in and out of it continuously while pumping.

Explaining for getting in or out of the car, the API said that the human body can be charged if the driver gets into the car and then goes out and holds the fuel pump nozzle, leading to catching gasoline and causing an explosion.

If you need to get out, touch some metal part of the car and then get out.

4. Fill the tank based on its capacity

Overfilling of the tank can happen if you are not attentive during the fuel pump. As a result, fuel may spill out. Accidents will occur if there is a possible ignition source nearby. Hence, only refill your tank to its maximum capacity.

In addition, you also need to be careful not to overfill the fuel tank. Because, gasoline without a vent will create pressure, making it unsafe to drive. At the same time, when refueling, pay attention not to let employees put the pump tool close to the wall of the tank, causing friction, creating static electricity, causing fire and explosion.

Overfilling the fuel tank will cause excess gasoline to spill out, stick to the surface of the vehicle, affecting the paint, in the long run, there will be a yellow stain right under the mouth of the fuel tank, devaluing the car. Therefore, you should estimate the fuel loaded into the fuel tank, avoiding pouring too much not only damages the paint but also "costs money".

5. Do not touch the gasoline.

Gasoline is combustible and might hurt your skin if you touch it. So, if you have some on your hands, make sure to clean them with warm water immediately.

If it touches your eyes, do not massage the injured area. Alternatively, clean it with water for about 10 to 20 minutes until the stinging disappears.

6. Use proper containers

If you're taking a long vacation and need to carry some gasoline, make sure you bring approved, high-quality containers. Don't buy something that may leak because it's cheap.

7. Watch your kids

Kids may repeatedly get in and out of the automobile or run around, potentially causing accidents.

Make sure to watch them and remain alert to avoid any unexpected cases.

8. Check the fuel and oil tank cap before leaving the gas station

Finally, always make sure the fuel tank cap is securely closed before the vehicle moves.


Can you pump gas with the car on? Well, you can allow your car on while pumping. However, it's not a good idea. Instead, before pumping fuel, the driver should turn off the engine to avoid the risk of fire, turn off all the electric devices, and follow the warnings at the fuel station.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. For any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

Leave a Comment