can you pump gas with car on

Can You Pump Gas With Car On? Answered

Can you refuel while driving? The short answer is no, and here’s why: Pumping gas while the engine is running has the potential to start a fire, though this is uncommon. Let’s respond to the question at hand and go over a few other service station safety precautions that are important to note.

Why It’s Dangerous to Pump Gas With the Engine On?

Now that you are aware, fueling a moving vehicle may be hazardous. But why? What exactly is wrong with this activity? The conditions that can be produced, not the running car, are the problem. It increases the likelihood that gas vapors will come into contact with heat or electricity when you fill up a car with the engine running. The result of that could be ignition.

Gas pumps have an automatic stop feature as a safety precaution, but there is a possibility that the mechanism will break down, resulting in the tank overfilling and spilling gas onto the ground. In that case, a running car increases the likelihood of an ignition.

Although it’s uncommon, it’s best to take the simple precaution of turning the engine off when pumping gas.

Is There a Fire Risk?

Reentering Your Car While Gas is Pumping Also Increases the Chance of Fire

Static electricity is another factor that contributes to fires at gas pumps. Every time you prepare to pump gas, you should discharge any static electricity by touching something before using the pump. If you don’t, the static electricity may discharge and start a flash fire once you remove the nozzle.

So why not get back in your car while it’s still pumping fuel?

When you get back into your car, you accumulate more static electricity, which increases the risk of a flash fire when you go to remove the nozzle.

Videos of gas station fires can be found online with little effort. Those videos demonstrate why exercising caution—even what some might consider excessive caution—is always a wise move when refueling.

What Are Other Safety Precautions to Consider While Fueling Up?

You can take additional safety precautions while refueling in addition to turning off your car. Avoid using your cell phone and never smoke or vape while filling up with gas, advises Fix. “Being on the phone can and has created static electricity,” Fix says. “Do not use your phone while driving.” It’s a good way to focus on refueling as well.

What Else Could Cause a Fire in a Gas Station?

Fuel station fires are actually much more likely to be caused by a number of different factors.

The bottom line is to exercise caution and refrain from smoking at all costs.

Naked Flames Or Cigarettes

The number of smokers and lighter users in gas stations is astounding. By far, cigarettes are the main reason for fires.

The fuel does not need to be immediately nearby for someone to be there. They might only be a few meters away, but the wind could still carry hot ash and ignite it.

Be the kind of person who waits a few minutes to smoke if they need to, not that person.

Hot Car Components

can you pump gas with car on

The majority of auto parts are made of metal. Although it is a strong material, it has the capacity to become absurdly hot.

The catalytic converter is among the biggest offenders. In order to remove the majority of pollutants, all hot exhaust gases pass through this. It becomes very hot during the process.

It is possible for any nearby gas vapors to catch fire at the right concentration if you have been driving quickly for a while.


Similar to spark plugs, static electricity can accumulate anywhere, including inside of you. When wearing specific pieces of clothing, this is especially true in cold, dry weather.

While refueling, refrain from opening or closing your doors, and keep your hands away from anything metallic until the nozzle has clicked off and the gas cap has been replaced. A spark might result if you do that.

For the same reason, using battery-operated devices at gas stations, such as cellphones, is discouraged. A fire might start if sparks from a dead battery set off the fuel in the atmosphere.

Can You Pump Gas With the Car Running?

You should never pump gas while the car’s running.

It is technically feasible, though there is very little chance that anything could go wrong. Even so, no one has ever had trouble shutting off their engine—and if they did, they most definitely shouldn’t be filling up with gas!), and it takes almost no effort whatsoever.

It has no effect on the performance or health of the car’s engine to fill the gas tank while the engine is running. That is not the issue; the issue is the potentially catastrophic fire that could destroy the gas station and everything nearby.

Ironically, you have to start your engine to enter and exit a gas station. Nobody expects you to stop a hundred yards in front of a pump, turn off the engine, and push the car there by hand since there is no law prohibiting it.


So while the answer to the question “can you pump gas with a car on” is no. Always turn off the car and take the keys out of the ignition before you fill up with gas. Always take all reasonable precautions to keep yourself and others safe when you are fueling your vehicle, and leave the service station fires to the Hollywood stunt people.