Can You Drive With A Broken Gas Gauge? (Any Damage Done?)

Among all of the different instruments on the dashboard, the one instrument that we tend to look at all the time aside from the speedometer is the gas or fuel gauge.

That’s because we want to make sure that we have enough fuel left in the tank before we drive and while we are driving because you may end up getting stuck in the middle of nowhere when you run out of gas.

If your gas gauge is broken or is not working properly, can you still drive your car?

You can still drive your car if your gas gauge is broken because this will not affect the car’s performance or health in any way. But, the biggest risk here is that you might end up not knowing whether or not you have enough fuel left. As such, you might end up getting stuck when you have no more fuel.

With that said, there really is nothing that will stop you from driving with a broken gas gauge because this isn’t legally mandated. You might not even fail a safety check with a broken gas gauge.

However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. As such, even if you can drive with a broken gas gauge, keep in mind that there are still risks involved in doing so. 

Read More: Why Is My Fuel Gauge Going Crazy? (3 Obvious Symptoms)

Can you drive with a broken gas gauge?

When you are driving, it is important that you keep an eye on how much fuel you have left especially if you know for certain that it has been a while since the last time you filled your tank up.

That’s because gas is the lifeblood of your car’s engine in the sense that the engine runs on it. So, if your engine doesn’t have anything to run on, you won’t be able to really use your car.

As such, it is important that you are aware of how much fuel you have left in the tank by making use of the fuel gauge, which basically tells you the level of fuel you have left.

Knowing how far you can go with the fuel you have left can depend on the car you are driving. But, if you are already used to your car, you would know how many miles you have left with the fuel you have remaining in your tank before you need to refuel.

That said, as important as the gas gauge maybe, one of the things you may be wondering is whether or not you can still drive if the gas gauge actually ends up getting broken.

What we mean to say by broken here is that it isn’t working fine such that it isn’t showing the right read or that it is always empty or full.

So, can you still drive with a broken gas gauge?

For the most part, if the reason why the gas gauge is broken is not related to all of the other instruments on the dash, then that means that you can drive with a broken gas gauge.

There is nothing in the law that mandates that your gas gauge should always be working.

Of course, when you have a broken gas gauge, this will not affect the performance or health of your car in any way so long as the damage is simply limited to your gas gauge and not on the other instruments on your dash.

As such, you can still drive your car regularly if you do have a broken gas gauge. There shouldn’t be anything stopping you from doing so.

However, there are still risks involved here especially if you forgot how much fuel you have left.

Because your gas gauge isn’t working, you won’t be able to tell whether or not you have enough fuel left in the tank especially if you are in for a long drive that will last for several hours with no nearby gas station in sight.

As such, what will happen here is that you will be risking the possibility of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere without even knowing beforehand that you were already low on fuel.

So, even if you can drive with a broken gas gauge, you are still risking the possibility of getting stick in the middle of nowhere or in traffic if you do run out of gas without even you know that you were already close to empty.

In short, just because you can drive without a working gas gauge it doesn’t mean that you should be doing so. As much as possible, always make sure that your gas gauge is working properly.

Can you damage your car if you drive with a broken gas gauge?

If you do attempt to drive your car with a broken gas gauge, are there risks involved in relation to your car? Does driving a car with a broken gas gauge mean that you are also risking damage to your car?

In most cases, you won’t be risking damage to your car especially if you make sure that you are driving with enough gas left in the tank.

As long as you have enough fuel, no harm or damage will be done to your car in any way possible as the fuel gauge is not connected to the performance or health of your vehicle.

However, the problem here is if you run out of gas because you weren’t able to properly monitor the fuel level due to the broken gas gauge.

When you completely run out of gas, what can happen is that your engine will draw in the air along with the last drops of fuel left in the gas tank.

So, even if you do fill your engine up with more than enough fuel, you may end up with an engine that won’t start because of how the fuel-air mix needed for combustion has been thrown way off kilter when your engine drew more air.

So, in short, you won’t be directly damaging your car by driving with a broken gas gauge. However, running out of fuel because you didn’t have a way to monitor your gas can damage your car.

What do you do if your gas gauge is broken?

Now that you know that there are risks involved when your gas gauge is broken, what you need to do is to have your gas gauge fixed. But while this may be easy to say, it really isn’t the easiest to do especially if you don’t have enough money to spare for car repairs.

If the reason why your gas gauge is broken is due to the gas gauge sender (which is usually the culprit), you could end up spending somewhere between $250 and $800 depending on the make and model of your car. Not everyone can quickly shell out hundreds of dollars to have a gas gauge fixed.

As such, if you don’t have enough money to spare, you can still drive your car even with a broken gas gauge.

However, always make sure that you refuel as regularly as possible so that you won’t have to worry about suddenly stopping in the middle of nowhere and damaging your engine because you didn’t have a way of monitoring your fuel.

Sources

The drive: What is a fuel gauge

Expertec Automotive: My Gas Fuel Gauge Stopped Working!