Older & Wiser – Why 1/4 Tank of Gas Means It’s Empty!

empty-gas-gauge Most people who know me, know my older brother passed away when I was 10. While Tony was with us, he taught us many valuable lessons – but one lesson my family learned during his life was to mind the gas tank in your car.

The morning Tony woke with a horrible headache, my mother got ready to take him to the hospital but was unable to because the fuel gauge was registering empty.

We lived in the country and the nearest gas station was in the opposite direction of the hospital and there wasn’t that much time to waste.

Mom was faced with thinking through what action would get them to the hospital quicker.

  • Should she call the closest friend who happened to be at home on a workday?
  • Should she call 911?
  • Should she jump in the car and hope it makes it? (Remember, this was well into the PRE cell phone era)
  • Should she take the car to the gas station in the opposite direction then go to the hospital?

Keep in mind, Tony had fallen unconscious at this time.

NO parent should have to stop to evaluate a situation based on the amount of gas in the car! Ever!

Keeping that single event in mind, I have realized you NEVER know when an emergency is going to happen – so be prepared. Never let your gas tank get below a quarter of a tank.

I already see this lesson has stuck with my kids. When Trey’s gas gauge gets close to the quarter mark, he makes a point to get gas before he parks the Blazer or the night.

Unfortunately, my husband is learning this lesson the hard way. He called this morning having ran out of gas on the interstate near a work zone. As I got ready to take gas to him, he called back telling me a nice guy in a wrecker pulled up within seconds and offered to assist. He’d only sat for about 10 minutes from the point of running out of gas to the point of starting up and moving again.

The gauge wasn’t registering empty, and the low fuel light had not come on so he thought he was safe. Which further validates my point – anything under 1/4 of a tank should be considered empty. Always!

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