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Is Topping Up Your Gas Tank at the Pump Good or Bad?

Sep 27, 2013 8:52:00 AM

should I top up my gas tankFilling up your gas tank may seem like a pretty simple task, but if you were to watch people at the pump you'd begin to notice some nuances to how every one does it. For example: you may be the type of person who plays the market and only puts $20 in, hoping that prices will go down next time you need gas. Or you may fill your tank right up stopping when the pump clicks off. OR you may be the one who always tops up the tank even after the pump has stopped once.

So which of these methods is the best? Does one save or cost more money than the other? After a little research online, and an "extensive" poll on our facebook page, we've got an answer to the question:

True or False: Topping up your your gas tank at the pump is a good idea.

The answer is FALSE! At least according to our research it is. Here's why:


When you fill your gas tank too high you may lose some of your gas to the gas pumps vapour recovery system. To decrease vapour being released into the atmosphere pumps can be equipped with systems that pump gasoline vapours back into the station's tanks. If you fill too high, this system can actually suck liquid gas (that you're paying for) back into the tanks.


Overfilling your car's gas tank put's you at risk of spilling some gas. When this gas evapourates it releases harmful gasses such as benzene into the atmosphere. 


Gasoline often expands in your tank, especially on hot days. When you fill your tank to the brim, there is no room for gas to expand. It ends up getting into your car's vapour colelction system which can degrade it prematurely and cause high emmisions from your car. 

Will you change your ways?

For many of us, including myself, topping up is a time honoured tradition. OK, maybe more of a habit. For me, the writing is one the wall for this habit. I will be changing my ways. When I hear the tell tale 'click' from the nozzle, rather than trying to cram just a little more gas in my tank, I'll put it back on the pump and be on my way.

Will you change your ways or have you been pumping correctly all along? 

Rob Stevenson

Written by Rob Stevenson


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