How to Start a Car That Ran Out of Gas

To start a car that ran out of gas, add some fuel to the tank and try restarting it. When your car unexpectedly runs out of gas, it can be a stressful situation.

Fortunately, handling this issue is not as difficult as it may seem. By following a few simple steps, you can safely start your car and get back on the road in no time. In this guide, we will discuss the best practices for restarting a car that has run out of gas and offer some tips to prevent this situation in the future.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to handle the scenario of a car running out of gas with ease and confidence.

Locating A Safe Area

If your car ran out of gas, finding a safe area to restart it is crucial. First, make sure to push your vehicle away from traffic to a secure spot. Then, follow the instructions in your car manual for restarting the engine safely.

Finding A Safe Spot

When your car has run out of gas, the first step is to locate a safe area to pull over. Safety should always be your top priority, as stopping in the wrong place can put you and other drivers at risk. Look for a nearby parking lot, shoulder, or wide area off the road where you can safely park your vehicle.

In urban areas, finding a safe spot may be a bit challenging due to heavy traffic and limited parking options. However, try your best to find a location that does not obstruct the flow of traffic and provides enough space for your car to be stationary.

If you are on a highway or busy road, consider driving slowly until you find an exit or rest stop where you can safely pull over. Keep an eye out for signs indicating the nearest rest areas or gas stations. Remember, the sooner you find a safe spot, the better.

Moving The Car To A Safe Location

Once you have located a safe spot, it’s time to move your car to that specific location. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that your vehicle is not functioning.
  2. Gradually reduce your speed and merge into the appropriate lane if necessary.
  3. Use your turn signals to indicate your intention to move towards the safe location.
  4. Check your mirrors and blind spots to ensure it is safe to make the lane change.
  5. Move your car smoothly to the desired spot, being cautious of other vehicles and pedestrians.

Always remember to remain vigilant while driving. Keep an eye on the road ahead and be aware of your surroundings. If you encounter any obstacles or tight spaces while moving your car, handle them with caution.

How to Start a Car That Ran Out of Gas


Checking For Fuel

When a car runs out of gas, one of the first things to do is checking for fuel. Ensuring there is enough fuel in the tank is crucial for the vehicle to start properly.

Gauging The Fuel Tank

1. Access the fuel tank by locating the fuel door.

2. Open the fuel door and unscrew the gas cap carefully.

3. Use a flashlight or look inside to visually inspect the fuel level.

Verifying The Fuel Gauge

1. Get inside the car and turn the ignition to the ‘On’ position.

  1. Observe the fuel gauge to see if it indicates fuel in the tank.
  2. If the gauge reads empty, it confirms the car ran out of gas.

2. If the gauge shows some fuel, there might be other issues causing the starting problem.

Refilling The Tank

Refilling the Tank: Once you have obtained fuel for your car that ran out of gas, it’s time to refill the tank to get back on the road.

Obtaining Fuel

  • Visit the nearest gas station to get fuel for your car.
  • Choose the appropriate fuel type recommended for your vehicle.
  • Make sure to select the right nozzle size for your car’s tank.
  1. Open the fuel door of your car to access the tank.
  2. Insert the fuel nozzle into the tank opening securely.
  3. Begin filling the tank slowly to prevent spills or splashing.
  4. Fill the tank to the recommended level according to your car’s manual.
  5. Once the tank is filled, remove the nozzle carefully.
  6. Close the fuel door tightly to ensure it is secure.
How to Start a Car That Ran Out of Gas


Restarting The Engine

Restarting the engine of a car that has run out of gas is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to follow a few steps to ensure a smooth restart. In this section, we will outline the necessary steps to take when restarting the engine after your car has run out of gas. By following these steps, you can quickly get back on the road and continue your journey.

Preparing The Car

Before attempting to restart the engine, it’s essential to make sure your car is properly prepared. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Check the fuel gauge: Assess the fuel gauge to confirm that the car has actually run out of gas. Sometimes, a faulty fuel gauge can mislead you into thinking the tank is empty when it’s not. If the needle is at or near ‘E’ (empty), then it’s likely you’ve run out of gas.
  2. Safely park the car: Pull your vehicle over to a safe location, away from traffic, and apply the parking brake. Maintain caution and be aware of your surroundings while preparing to restart the engine.
  3. Open the fuel filler door: Locate the fuel filler door, typically located on the side of the car, and open it to access the fuel cap. This will give you access to the fuel tank for the next step.
  4. Add fuel: As the car has run out of gas, it’s time to refuel. If you have a spare fuel container, use that to pour fuel into the tank. Alternatively, you can call for roadside assistance or walk to the nearest gas station to purchase fuel.

Once your car is properly prepared, it’s time to restart the engine. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off all accessories: Before attempting to start the engine, ensure that all electronic accessories like the headlights, air conditioning, and radio are turned off. This will prevent any unnecessary drain on the battery.
  2. Insert the key and turn the ignition: Insert the key into the ignition switch and twist it to the ‘On’ position. You should hear the sound of the fuel pump priming the system. After a few seconds, turn the key to the ‘Start’ position to crank the engine.
  3. Hold the key: Once the engine starts to crank, hold the key in the ‘Start’ position until the engine fully ignites. Release the key once the engine is running smoothly.

It’s important to note that it may take a few attempts before the engine fully starts, especially if the fuel system needs to be primed. However, avoid excessive cranking as it can strain the battery and other components of the car.

Restarting the engine of a car that has run out of gas is a simple process, but it’s crucial to follow these proper steps to avoid any potential issues. By adequately preparing your vehicle and following the restart procedure, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.


Before attempting to start a car that has run out of gas, it’s essential to take some safety measures and understand how to avoid running out of gas in the first place. By following these precautions, you can safely address the situation and lessen the likelihood of it happening again in the future.

Taking Safety Measures

When dealing with a car that has run out of gas, safety should be a primary concern. Always make sure to pull the vehicle over to a safe location off the road, if possible. Use hazard lights or set up warning triangles to alert other drivers. Additionally, put on a reflective safety vest if you have one, especially if you are working in low-light conditions or at night.

Avoiding Running Out Of Gas

One of the best precautions is to take steps to avoid running out of gas altogether. Regularly check your fuel gauge and fill up the tank before it gets too low, especially when traveling long distances. It is also important to know the fuel range of your vehicle and plan stops accordingly. Consider signing up for a roadside assistance program for added peace of mind.

How to Start a Car That Ran Out of Gas


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Start A Car That Ran Out Of Gas

What Do I Do If My Car Wont Start After I Run Out Of Gas?

If your car won’t start after running out of gas, follow these steps: 1) Get to a safe location; 2) Refill your tank with at least 2 gallons of gas; 3) Turn the key to the “on” position, wait a few seconds, and repeat a few times; 4) Start the car like normal, it should work.

How Do You Start A Car With Empty Fuel?

To start a car with empty fuel, add some fuel from a gas can into the tank. Then, turn the key in the ignition to start the engine.

How Do You Prime A Fuel Pump After Running Out Of Gas?

To prime a fuel pump after running out of gas, turn the ignition on and off a few times. Wait a few minutes before starting the engine to allow the fuel pump to build pressure.

How To Get A Fuel Injected Car To Start After Running Out Of Gas?

To start a fuel-injected car after running out of gas, follow these steps: 1. Fill the tank with fuel. 2. Turn the ignition key to the “ON” position without starting the engine. 3. Wait for a few seconds to allow the fuel pump to pressurize the system.

4. Turn the ignition key to the “START” position and start the engine. 5. If the car doesn’t start, repeat the process or seek professional help.

How Do I Know If My Car Has Run Out Of Gas?

You’ll notice a loss of power, sputtering engine, or difficulty starting the car.

Can I Damage The Car’s Engine By Running Out Of Gas?

Yes, driving on an empty tank can cause the fuel pump to overheat and fail.

What Steps Should I Take If My Car Runs Out Of Gas?

Pull over safely, turn on hazard lights, and call for assistance or seek nearby gas station.


To conclude, starting a car that has run out of gas may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple if you follow the right steps. Remember to stay calm and collected, and always prioritize safety. By keeping a gas canister handy, understanding your car’s manual, and being aware of common troubleshooting techniques, you can easily get your car back on the road in no time.

Don’t let running out of gas ruin your day – with these helpful tips, you can handle any unexpected mishap with ease. Stay prepared and stay safe!

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