I remember when I was young I used to debate my high school buddy about whether it made a difference to keep the gas tank full, or let it get low… The answer to that question turns out to be an important piece of information to know to keeping your car in tune.
You’re taking the time to look at quality cars with CarFax’s and everything, so you should also take the time to protect your investment by learning about some simple things you can do to keep it running smoothly as possible. One of those things is this point with the level of gas you maintain.
The space in a cars fuel tank, above wherever the gas level is at, is filled with air. Air contains a lot of water vapor. Already starting to get it? The water vapor in the air tends to condense on the sides of the fuel tank and elsewhere, especially on cooler mornings. This water vapor can then rust the insides of a metal fuel tank. It can also mix with the fuel and can reduce the efficiency of your car – this is true in metal OR plastic tanks.
So if you keep your fuel tank mostly filled, there is less room for air and less water vapor hanging around.
Rust in your gas tank
Also, there is the issue of rust. The rust formed by the water vapor in the air tends to sink to the bottom of the fuel tank! As long as this sediment is at the bottom of the tank, it does not pose much of a problem. But when the fuel levels get too low, the fuel fed to your engine could be like the last bit of coffee in the bottom of the pot: full of little grungy stuff that isnt good for your car.
Some fuel tanks have filters to prevent this junk from getting through to the engine, but the filters can get choked up if you consistently drive on an empty tank.
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