How often have you driven your car and noticed the fuel light on? This is a signal that you need to refuel your vehicle. Many drivers think they can push their vehicles to the limit when it comes to fuel, only refueling at the last possible moment. We strongly advise against this. We’ll explain why.

When you drive your vehicle while the low-fuel indicator light is illuminated, your car is running on reserves (10-15%) of your fuel tank’s capacity. When you run your car during these situations, the fuel pump is not getting the necessary lubrication it needs to function at its optimum level. Over time, ignoring this may erode and/or overheat the engine. To put it plainly, the cost to fill up your gas pails in comparison to repairing your car’s engine. The dangers of a failing fuel pump may range from poor performance, to not accelerating properly, to not starting at all.

In addition, your car’s fuel pump has a filter, which can get dirty rather quickly if you drive on low fuel. Because any sediment or dirt sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank, the result could be blockage of the filter, thus resulting in a costly repair.

When you’re driving your car with the low-fuel indicator light on, you don’t have the time to comparison shop for the cheapest gas. Also, driving under these circumstances leaves you little choice than to stop at the nearest gas station.

If you want to avoid running out of gas in the future, keep your eyes on your fuel meter to make sure you’re not running too low. Remember, filling up more often may mean you’re spending money at the gas pump more often, but the overall cost each time will be less. An easy way to find cheap gasoline is by using smartphone apps. They can tell you if you’re close to a cheap gas station.

Another way to increase your fuel economy is by turning off your vehicle’s air conditioning system. This is especially important if you’re in dire straits of running out of gas.

Go easy on the gas pedal. Driving aggressively also takes a toll on your vehicle’s fuel economy. The faster you drive your car, the less efficient your car’s fuel economy will be. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fast acceleration and constant braking can decrease your gas mileage from 15% to 30% at highway speeds. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, fuel economy drops from 10% to 40%.

Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your fuel tank above a quarter full in order to avoid the possibility of driving on what is considered to be low fuel. Again, driving on low fuel can lead to you being stranded, it can be damaging to your car’s engine, and can seriously hurt your wallet.