Before you get your first vehicle, it is important to know a few key things. You need to know how to safely drive a vehicle, the basic safety laws of the road, and how to drive so that you and everyone around you is safe and comfortable. In addition to the driving laws, you need to know how to pump gas. Or else you’ll be stuck – literally.
Without knowing how to pump gas, you won’t be able to refuel your car’s tank. If your car's tank does not have enough gas to take you from point A to point B, then you will run out of gas, and be stranded. Running out of gas is not a fun experience for anyone to have, and the only way this can be avoided is by pumping your own gas and refilling your tank.
We’re going to go over the steps on how to pump gas, and the importance of keeping the gas levels at an adequate level in your tank. Gasoline is used to power your vehicle so that it can have the means to run properly.
What Are Gas Octane Ratings?
You might have noticed that when learning how to pump gas, there are different ratings on the nozzles you can choose for your car.Besides just the regular leaded and unleaded versions of gas, there are typically three numbers to choose between. Usually, there are 87, 89, and 91.
Octane ratings refer to how resistant the fuel is to combustion by pressure. Combustion occurs every time you start or run your car engine. This means that pressure creates heat. The more pressure that is added, the more heat will be added as well. If you put gasoline under a substantial amount of pressure, then the heat caused by the pressure can make the gasoline combust.
If you choose a higher octane rating, this means the fuel is more resistant to combusting under pressure. Usually, a high octane rating while learning how to pump gas is not necessary, since most people don’t drive sports cars. However , if you are learning how to pump gas for a high-performance engine, then the high octane rating might be for you.
The higher-octane fuel will prevent the gas from igniting too soon in the cylinder. This would throw off the four-stroke cycle of hte engine and cause engine issues. If you use higher octane gas in your engine while learning how to pump gas for your regular car, it won’t help your vehicle run any better. This type of gasoline is only beneficial for high-performance cars.
How to Pump Gas
Now that you know a little bit more about the process behind selecting what type of gasoline to use, let’s talk about how to pump gas and the steps you need to take.
Paying for Gas
Drive-Up To The Correct Pump
First, drive your car to any available pump. You will be able to see what pumps are open if there is no other vehicle there, and the nozzle hasn’t been cautioned off. Before you pull your car up to the pump, look at your engine dash. There will be a symbol on the dash indicating what side of your car contains the gas cap. You don’t want to pull up to a pump and then realize it is on the other side, since the fuel pump may not reach far enough.
It is important to be aware of the smell of gas around your vehicle. This can occur due to serious issues, or because you have not tightened the gas cap all the way after replacing the lid. Be sure that this doesn’t happen, as this can cause a splash of gasoline on yourself or your car.
In addition, it is dangerous to pump the gas with the car running, so you'll need to turn the ignition off, and get out of your vehicle. Double-check to make sure you are not at a diesel-only pump if you require regular gasoline before you begin.
When learning how to pump gas, it is imperative that you keep safety in mind. Ensure that you don’t have any fire hazards on you or in your car, like cigarettes, and leave your electronics in the car so they don’t get covered in gasoline by accident.
Paying For Your Gas
You need to select how to pay before you begin pumping your gas. This is to ensure that you pay before pump[ing, and you don’t steal any gas in your vehicle. You have the option of paying with a credit or debit card at the pump outside, or going inside and paying cash to the teller. Figuring out what method of payment you are going to use is a convenient step to figure out before arriving at the station, and can help speed up the process of learning how to pump gas.
To pay at the pump outside, just slide your debit or credit card. Choose if you want to pay credit or debit, and then enter a PIN or zip code to confirm your identity. Although most don’t, some machines may have you type in a dollar amount of how much gas you want. If this question isn’t asked, then you simply pump the gas until you hit whatever number you want to pay, or until it automatically stops – this means your tank is full.
To pay inside, you will have to tell the attendant how much you want on your vehicle. You can tell them in terms of monetary value, like saying you want $20 on pump #3. The cash amount you pay the teller will show on the pump before you start pumping, and then will cut off when you get to that dollar amount. If you are confused about the process, the attendant can help you when learning how to pump gas.
Remove Gas Cap
Next, you need to remove the gas cap from your vehicle. To get to the gas tank, you might have to press a button to pop the door to the gas tank. This button can be anywhere from underneath your steering wheel, to on your steering wheel, to on your console. If you have an older vehicle, you might just have to press on the door for it to pop open. Be sure to have your mechanic perform a check on the gas cap to ensure proper sealing on your next visit.
Remove The Nozzle
On most machines, you have to remove the nozzle from the holding slot before you can select the type of fuel you want for your vehicle. When learning how to pump gas, you should remove the nozzle and insert it into the gas port of your car until it is secure, to ensure that you aren’t holding it for too long and gasoline doesn’t drip on the ground.
If you get confused as to which nozzle to choose when learning how to pump gas, it is helpful to know that the diesel nozzle is usually larger and colored green, and it will be too big to fit into the port of a regular tank. The regular fuel nozzle will be smaller, and typically grayish/black.
Select The Correct Grade
As we discussed, most gas pumps have three different grades of gasoline: regular (87), mid-grade (89), and premium (91-93). These grades might have different names depending on the station you are currently at, but the octane ratings are typically the same everywhere. If you are unsure, look at the owner's manual of your car to see what type is used.
For most vehicles, regular or mid-grade gasoline is the base level to select. Diesel is for more specialty cars and trucks that require something extra to keep the engine working well. When dealing with how to pump gas, it is important that you do not put the wrong type of gasoline into your vehicle.
Select The Correct Button
Each grade of gas will have a button beneath it that corresponds to the fuel type. When you know what type of fuel to fill your car with, you have to press a button to select it.
A side note to choosing the correct type of gas for your car is ensuring that your fuel mixture in your vehicle is the right consistency. If your fuel mixture is too rich, due to possibly a damaged coolant or mass airflow sensor, this can cause gasoline to get into your engine oil, which is detrimental to your vehicle.
After choosing what type of fuel to use and pressing the button, you may need to press the “start” button. The “start” button will turn on the gas and get the pump ready, which means it will be ready for wherever you press the trigger. Be sure to follow the steps in this order to avoid confusing when learning how to pump gas.
Now that we know the steps to getting your car ready for fuel and priming your gags tank, we can now begin with learning how to pump gas.
Pull The Trigger
On the nozzle you have chosen, there is a bigger handle and a smaller trigger. The bigger handle is used to keep the nozzle in the holder securely, while the trigger is for you to squeeze to allow the gas to flow. When learning how to pump gas, it is important to know that all modern pumps now have self-stopping mechanisms that automatically turn the fuel off when the tank is full. This also happens when you reach a prepaid limit if you paid in cash before filling your tank. The job of the gas tank that you are filling is to control the amount of gas released when you start your car or slow down.
Maybe Cut Off The Gas Before Filling…
Since every gas station is different, there is some debate as to whether the cut-off mechanisms on all pumps are accurate. To avoid wasting any gas, you might want to stop your tank just before it reaches full. You don't want to fill up the tank too much, as this can cause a problem for your engine. Harming your engine during the process of figuring out how to pump gas can be detrimental to both a new driver’s confidence and the lifespan of the engine.
Remove and replace the nozzle
After you are done pumping after mastering how to pump gas, place the trigger back into the starting position. Remove the nozzle from the tank, and let any last parts of gas fall into the tank. Try to avoid getting the gas on the ground, your shoes, or your clothes as you take the nozzle out to replace it to the holster. If you spill any gas on the side of your car or on yourself, you should try and clean it off.
Recap the Gas Tank
Now, replace the gas tank cap on the gas tank. Be sure to twist it closed until it clicks – this ensures it is safely on the tank. If the gas cap is loose, you may even get a check engine light warning while driving. This can sometimes make you think there are other problems with your vehicle, so your best bet is to always turn the gas tank lid until it clicks. Be sure to inspect your gas cap for cracks every time you fill up.
Effects Of Letting Your Fuel Get Too Low
If you are just learning how to pump gas and you are intimidated by spending a lot of time at the gas station, you might frequently only fill up your car’s fuel tank a few dollars, and then go on your way. However, letting your tank get too low, and keeping it that way, can hurt some gas tanks.
First, the fuel tank of your car holds either gasoline or diesel and brings the gas to the engine via the lines. If you have an older vehicle, usually manufactured in the 1990s, then the fuel tanks might be made of metal – which can rust over time. This causes an issue if the fuel pump got any sediment within the fuel tank and sent it tohe engine, instead of the gas – this can occur from your gas being too low of a level. This is important to know if you are studying how to pump gas in an older vehicle.
Second, another concern with letting your fuel drop below a quarter of a tank is that it can cause issues with the fuel pump. In more modern cars, the fuel pump is housed within the engine. This allows the fuel pump to keep the engine cool. If the fuel level falls below the level of the fuel pump, then the pump can take on air – this generates more heat. Overheating causes the fuel pump to wear down faster, or can even cause it to completely deteriorate.
The average cost to repair a fuel pump ranges between $750-$1900. This is an expensive repair that you will need to pay for in order to keep your car working in proper condition.
What If My Car That I’m Using To Learn How To Pump Gas Is Very Old?
If you just received your first vehicle, but it isn’t working too well, then multiple repairs might be in your near future. Although hand-me-down cars from friends and relatives are nice gestures, being in charge of a damaged car that requires high levels of maintenance can be stressful. Especially if this is your vehicle and you’re trying to learn the basics, like how to pump gas.
If you own a junk car, your best bet might be to bring your car to a business that can give you money for your car. This way, you can still be able to save money for a newer and more reliable vehicle. Bring your car to CashCarsBuyer to obtain a fair quote, excellent customer service, and earn quick cash to put towards a new, safe, and stylish car!