I was listening to the radio the other morning, and the DJs were discussing a USA Today poll in that morning’s paper. It asked whether people filled their gas tank all the way or not. I was shocked at the percentage of people who didn’t fill their tank all the way full. I forget the exact number now, but it was something like 70% don’t fill up their tank.
And the two DJs? Neither of them did, either. The reasons they gave had me scratching my head.
1) They don’t have enough time to fill the tank. My tank takes 21 gallons. I don’t often let it get too empty, but even if I’m filling it with 17 or 18 gallons, it only takes four or so minutes to actually put the gas in. It takes far more time to pull into the gas station, park, pull out my credit card, get the card approved, put the nozzle in the tank, etc. Maybe I should just be glad that I’m not that busy.
2) They don’t have the money to fill it up. Well, they’re spending the same amount on gas whether they fill it up with five gallons today and five gallons in three days or ten gallons today – with the exception of when the price is fluctuating, but it’s been $3.44 by me for almost four weeks now. If you can truly only spend $X on gas, why not fill it up when you’re down by that much so that your tank remains full instead of getting near empty and then putting in that amount? When you’re lower than a half tank of gas, your fuel pump is exposed and starts to dry out, which causes long term damage and expensive repairs (I learned this one with my first car). That’s part of the reason I always try to keep my tank at least half full and never below a quarter tank if I can help it.
I suppose I can understand the second issue to some degree. I know money is tight. Personally, however, if I can’t afford to put more than $10 of gas in my car, that is scary to me. Really scary. But if I’m going to only put $10 in my car, I’d rather do it when my tank is 3/4 full rather than running on empty.
But maybe I’m the only one. This has been driving me nuts for weeks now, and I want to know: Do you fill your gas tank all the way when you fill up? If not, why not? Maybe I truly am in the minority!