Have You Ever Run Out Of Gas?

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Photo: Harold Cunningham / Stringer (Getty Images)

Running out of fuel seems like a silly predicament in this age of electronic everything, but it still can happen. Stories of running dry were being shared around the office Slack channel, and they made me wonder: Do people still run out of gas?

While I’ve never run out of fuel in a car, I’ve come very close on a number of occasions. The most butt-clenching one for me happened years ago, during my days in tech support. I made it most of the way to work in my 2012 Smart Fortwo before realizing that I’d left my money at home. The digital fuel gauge in the little Smart read a solid 0.0 gallons as I pulled into work.

I had to drive the 35 miles home hoping I didn’t run the car’s 1.3-gallon reserve dry. I drove every mile like it would be the car’s last.


When I finally arrived at a gas pump to fill the tank, the pump delivered 9.95 gallons into the 10 gallon tank. That poor little car was practically running on fumes.

Owning a diesel car can cause some anxiety sometimes, too.

Erin Marquis and I both own Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDIs, and we have alarmingly similar stories of not being able to find a station that serves diesel. And when we finally do, we sometimes find that the station has only those big nozzles meant for trucks. We both carry funnels for when that happens.


On the electric side of things, Bradley Brownell has his own story of running out of juice on a Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

It can happen to anyone. Have you run out of fuel? If so, how did you get your vehicle back onto the road?