Sunday, April 12, 2015

Keep Calm And Fill Up

Besides the obvious reason of always being prepared, there are additional reasons to keep your car filled up.

My rule of thumb is never to go below half. A half tank will take me 175 miles in the car I drive. 

We never know when an emergency will happen. Be prepared. The more gas in the tank the farther you can go.

Besides, when the emergency happens, those who are not prepared will be clogging the gas stations.

Word to the wise!

Even if you were not a prepper, the best reason to keep your tank full is to prevent rust inside the tank.

Haha! You laugh. You say your gas tank is plastic? I’ll get to you in short order.

Back to steel gas tanks. Gasoline gives off water vapor and that water vapor clings to the walls of the gas tank that are exposed i.e. where no gasoline covers them. Over time, the water vapor causes rust and the rust falls off and sinks to the bottom of the tank.

Running the tank low increases the risk that the sediment will get pulled into the gas lines. That could cause the lines to plug and in turn would shut down the engine for lack of fuel flow.

Modern cars with steel tanks are better protected against rust and the fuel intake is much less likely to get clogged because it has a pre-filter.

Nevertheless, it is not a 100% guarantee.

OK, listen up plastic tankers!

Modern cars also rely on gasoline to lubricate and cool the fuel pump. Modern fuel pumps are electric and are usually a part of the gas tank. Running the tank low causes the fuel pump to run hot, to not receive needed lubrication, to wear out prematurely, and ultimately to fail.

Some survivalists have an old pickup or SUV that is pre-electronic simply to have a vehicle that can survive an electromagnetic pulse attack. Modern cars are more susceptible to EMP degradation than older Detroit iron.

If you have an old vehicle, one of the necessary things to do is to have the gas tank cleaned and then keep it full.

Another confounding matter is ethanol—one of the worst inventions ever! Ethanol costs more to produce than gasoline. Ethanol produces less energy when burned, so MPG drops. Ethanol also degrades fuel tanks, gas lines, and any component it comes in contact with.

Some people buy premium gas thinking is has no ethanol in it.


All 50 states require ethanol to be mixed in with the standard three gasoline octane levels and only Missouri and Montana make it optional for refiners not to put ethanol in premium.

Ethanol is used to increase octane, so premium fuel is (1) more likely to have more ethanol in it and (2) likely to deliver lower MPG because ethanol—when burned—produces less energy, so you need more of it to go the same distance.

So, unless your bug out vehicle is a Lamborghini Hurac├ín, you’re probably better off with the lower octane gasoline because it is likely to have less ethanol in it.

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