Experts warn topping off gas tank costs more in the long run

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 01:43:56-04

Nearly 42 million Americans will travel this summer, most by car. 

Before any of us leave, there’s one common mistake that many make that could leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Having gas in your tank is always a great thing, but add too much to your car, and it’ll do more harm than good.  

A nearly 20-year veteran of the automotive industry, Chris Butt of DLS Tire Center in Kansas City, Mo. knows all too well the harm topping off your tank can do.

“If you top it off too much with your emission tubes and everything you have on there, that fuel connection goes into a fuel canister,” Butt said. 

That excess fuel, Butt says, could cause several codes to light up on your dashboard. Your car may not run smoothly, and you could have to replace the charcoal canister on older vehicles, something that could cost thousands of dollars.  

Butt says there is a simple list drivers should check off before hitting the road for summer travel. 

“For starters oil change, topping off all fluids, checking the air pressure in the tires. I know with gas prices going up, air filters are one of the big keys,” Butt said. 

Air filters are relatively inexpensive and can help a great deal with gas mileage. Many automotive shops are busy around the holidays, so Butt says to be sure to act fast. 

“I had this lady call me last night at 4:30, ‘could I get my oil changed? I’m going out of town at 7 in the morning.’ People, don’t wait a day before,” Butt said.