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How to Restart a Car That Has Run Out of Gas

by Louise Balle

If you're the type to let your car perennially run on or near empty, you will likely run completely out of gas at some point. In many cases, the long walk to the gas station is the hardest part of this embarrassing situation, but sometimes you could also have a difficult time restarting the car even after you put more gas in the tank.

Replenish the tank with a minimum of two gallons of gas to get you to the next gas station. Place the gas cap back on before you attempt to restart the car.

Pump the gas pedal a few times to help get the new gas moving through the system.

Turn the key to the "on" position to prime the fuel injectors if your vehicle has a fuel injection system (skip this step if it does not). Wait a few minutes.

Turn the key all the way to restart the car. You may have to hold the key in place for a few seconds before the car turns over.

Wait a few minutes and then repeat the process if the car does not restart after the first attempt. If after five attempts the car does not restart, allow the car to sit for at least an hour before trying again.

Tow the car to a trusted repair shop if after an hour it still does not restart. You may have other issues due to the car running out of gas, such as dirt or debris clogging your gas lines or the fuel filter.

Tip

  • If you crank the engine too much to no avail you could drain the battery. Try recharging the battery with a portable charger before you attempt to restart the car again. Have your fuel injection system checked. When you let your car run out of gas too often, it can create serious problems with your injector. Sign up for a motor club like Allstate or AAA. The service representative will send an emergency provider out with a few gallons of gas to get you back on the road and on to the next gas station. Some plans are as little as $10 per month. Carry an approved gas container in your trunk. You can purchase one from a gas station. These can cost up to $20 just for the container, in addition to the gas that you need to fill it with.

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

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