Things To Do if Your Car Run Out of Gas on Highway

Experiencing a sudden fuel depletion while driving on the highway can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation. Nonetheless, it isn’t unusual for drivers to find themselves in such a predicament. Whether due to oversight, miscalculation, or unforeseen circumstances, a car run out of gas on highway can happen to anyone. The key is to remain calm, prioritize safety, and take appropriate actions to mitigate the situation. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do if your car runs out of gas on the highway, offering practical advice and essential steps to ensure your well-being and swift resolution of the issue.

When Your Car Runs Out of Gas, How Does It Behave?

When your vehicle is running low on fuel and you’re approaching the point of running out of gas, it can exhibit certain signs and behaviors. Understanding how your car may act in this situation can help you recognize the warning signs and take appropriate action. Here are some common ways your car may behave when your car ran out of gas on the road –

1.Engine Sputtering or Stalling

As the fuel level drops, the engine may begin to sputter or hesitate. It may lose power intermittently, making it difficult to maintain a steady speed. In some circumstances, the engine might even stall entirely, requiring you to restart it. These signs are apparent signals that your vehicle is not getting satisfactory fuel supply.

2.Loss of Acceleration

A low fuel level can cause a substantial drop in engine performance. When running out of gas, you may notice a sluggish response when you press the accelerator pedal. The vehicle may struggle to accelerate or have difficulty maintaining speed, particularly when going uphill or overtaking other vehicles.

3.Warning Lights

Many modern cars are equipped with warning lights on the dashboard to alert drivers of low fuel levels. Typically represented by a fuel pump icon or the words “low fuel,” this warning light illuminates when the fuel level drops below a certain threshold. If you catch this light on your dashboard, it’s an apparent sign that you have to refuel soon.

4.Fluctuating Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge on your vehicle’s instrument panel provides a visual representation of your fuel level. When running out of gas, you may observe the fuel gauge needle gradually moving toward the empty mark. It may fluctuate or drop suddenly as you continue to drive. However, keep in mind that fuel gauges can sometimes be inaccurate, so it’s essential to rely on other signs as well.

5.Dimming Lights and Electrical Issues

In some cases, a low fuel level can impact the electrical system of your vehicle. You may notice the headlights or interior lights becoming dimmer than usual. Other electrical components, such as the radio or power windows, may also experience temporary malfunctions. These symptoms are a result of the vehicle prioritizing electrical power for essential functions while conserving energy.

6.Difficulty Starting the Vehicle

Running out of gas can make it challenging to start your car, especially if the fuel level is extremely low. As the fuel pump struggles to draw fuel from the tank, it may take multiple attempts to get the engine to start. If you experience difficulty starting your vehicle, it’s crucial to prioritize refueling as soon as possible.

Here Know the Things to Do When Your Car Run Out of Gas on Highway

1.Safely Navigate to the Shoulder

As soon as you realize your car is running out of gas, it is crucial to secure the protection of yourself and other motorists on the highway. Activate your hazard lights to alert fellow motorists about your situation. Start gradually decelerating your vehicle and steer it towards the right-hand side of the road. If possible, aim for a wide shoulder or a designated breakdown lane where you can park your car safely away from moving traffic.

2.Assess the Situation

Once you have successfully pulled over to the shoulder, take a moment to assess your surroundings. Check for any signs indicating nearby gas stations or emergency call boxes. If you keep a smartphone, use it to determine your exact location. This information will be useful when seeking assistance or explaining your situation to roadside services.

3.Call for Help

Use your mobile phone to dial the emergency number for roadside assistance or a towing service. Provide them with your location, a detailed description of your predicament, and any other relevant information they may require. Numerous insurance firms present roadside assistance as a facility for their coverage, so be sure to check if you are eligible for such services.

4.Utilize Roadside Assistance Apps

In addition to calling for help, you can leverage technology to find assistance more efficiently. There are various roadside assistance apps available that can help you locate nearby gas stations, request towing services, or connect with emergency services. These apps usually deliver real-time updates on estimated arrival times, ensuring that help is on its way.

5.Stay Secure While Waiting

While awaiting help, it is essential to prioritize your protection. Remain inside your vehicle with the doors locked and windows rolled up. Avoid getting lifts from outsiders and be careful when approached by unfamiliar individuals. Make sure other drivers are aware of your presence by using reflective warning triangles or flares. Stay vigilant and maintain situational awareness.

6.Consider Walking to the Nearest Gas Station

If you are confident that a gas station is within walking distance and you feel comfortable doing so, you might consider walking to get a canister of fuel. Before embarking on your journey, ensure that you have proper directions, take necessary precautions such as wearing reflective clothing, and be aware of traffic conditions. Never leave your vehicle unattended with valuable belongings inside.

7.Learn from the Experience

Once you have resolved the immediate situation and refueled your car, take some time to reflect on the incident. Consider what led to running out of gas, whether it was a lapse in judgment, insufficient fuel planning, or a malfunctioning fuel gauge. Learning from the experience will help you avoid similar situations in the future and maintain a safer and more prepared approach to driving.

Who Should You Call When Your Car Run Out of Gas on Highway

When you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with an empty fuel tank, it’s natural to wonder, “Who to call ran out of gas?” Running out of gas can happen to anyone, and fortunately, there are several options available to assist you in this situation. Here are the key contacts you can reach out to when you run out of gas:

1.Towing Companies

If you’re unable to access a roadside assistance service or don’t have coverage, calling a local towing company can be a viable solution. Towing companies often offer fuel delivery services alongside their primary towing services. They will send a truck equipped with the necessary fuel to your location. Keep in mind that using a towing service may incur additional costs, so it’s essential to inquire about fees before requesting their assistance.

2.Roadside Assistance Services

One of the first and most convenient options is to contact a roadside assistance service. Many insurance companies offer this service as part of their coverage, so check your policy or membership benefits to see if you have access to it. Roadside assistance services typically provide a range of services, including fuel delivery. They will dispatch a professional who will bring fuel to your location and help you refill your tank, allowing you to get back on the road quickly and safely.

3.Gas Stations

If you’re near a gas station and comfortable walking, you may consider reaching out to the station directly for help. Some gas stations offer fuel delivery services or may have loaner gas cans available for customers to use. Call the gas station’s phone number, describe your problem, and ask if they are able to give you any help. However, keep in mind that not all gas stations offer this service, so it’s important to have a backup plan in case they are unable to help.

4.Friends, Family, or Coworkers

If you’re fortunate enough to have someone you know nearby who can lend a hand, reaching out to friends, family, or coworkers can be a reliable option. Contact someone who is available and willing to assist you. They can bring a gas canister filled with fuel to your location or even offer you a ride to the nearest gas station. It’s always a good idea to maintain a network of trustworthy contacts who can help you in emergencies like this.

5.Emergency Roadside Call Boxes

On some highways and major roads, you may find emergency roadside call boxes at regular intervals. These call boxes allow you to communicate directly with emergency services or highway patrol. In the event of the car ran out of gas, you can use these call boxes to request assistance. They will guide you through the necessary steps and dispatch appropriate help to your location.


Finding yourself stranded on the highway due to an empty fuel tank can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, by remaining calm, taking necessary precautions, and reaching out for assistance, you can efficiently handle the situation. Prioritize your safety, rely on roadside services, and utilize available resources to resolve the issue promptly. Remember, staying prepared and learning from the experience will help you mitigate the risk of running out of gas in the future, ensuring safer travels ahead.

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