Best to skip ‘topping off’ at gas station, experts say
IRON MOUNTAIN – The familiar click of the nozzle when filling up at the gas station is recognizable to anyone with a few miles of driving under their belt.
Once that nozzle clicks, just about every driver faces the decision of whether or not to squeeze a few extra cents’ worth of gas into their vehicles or remove the nozzle from their vehicles, place it back where it belongs and head off on their way.
Such scenes play out every day across the globe, and it’s likely that the majority of drivers try to squeeze a few extra drops into their tank. While topping off can seem like a financially savvy way to delay your next trip to the filling station, doing so may only cost drivers and the planet they call home. The following are four great reasons to skip topping off the next time you pull into a filling station.
1. Topping off costs you money.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, drivers who top off at the pump are likely paying for gas they’re not getting. That’s because gas station pumps have vapor recovery systems that feed gas vapors back into their tanks in an effort to decrease air pollution. So any gas that drivers try to pump into their tanks after the nozzle has clicked may only be drawn into the vapor line and fed back into the gas station’s tanks and not your vehicle’s fuel tank.
2. Topping off may damage your car.
Topping off won’t just hurt your pocketbook; it can potentially damage your vehicle as well. Fuel tanks need extra room inside them so gas can expand while the car is being operated. Without room to expand, gas may evaporate into the vehicle’s vapor collection system, which can damage the system and produce greater gas emissions, thereby harming the planet.
3. Topping off can affect the air you breathe.
If you had a choice, would you pay extra for more air pollution? Likely not. But the EPA notes that this is precisely what many people are doing when they top off their gas tanks. When vehicles’ fuel tanks are overfilled, gas vapors can escape into the air and produce toxic air pollutants. That adversely affects air quality, which ultimately affects your health as well.
4. Topping off can cost the gas station money.
Many drivers may wonder why gas stations, who would seemingly benefit financially from topping off, post signs that forbid topping off. But the EPA notes that gas stations are likely to lose money due to drivers squeezing an extra few cents’ worth of gas into their vehicles. That’s because topping off can damage the station’s vapor recovery systems, causing them to operate improperly and requiring potentially costly maintenance.