We’ve all been there, driving past the outskirts of a city like Birmingham with a fuel gauge displaying the ominous “E” and no gas pump in sight. Sure, you’ll make it to a gas station 99 out of 100 times, but there’s still that 1% chance you’ll run out of fuel before finding a sign for unleaded. In those rare instances when your fuel tank goes dry, what are your options and how should you proceed?
Be Safe, Friends!
Running out of gas can be scary and stressful, especially if you’ve got kids in the backseat or you’re late for a job interview. But it’s important to remain calm! Should you ever run out of fuel, follow these tips from Jim Burke Nissan:
- If you can, find a safe place to park, ideally in a public lot or visible side street.
- Put on your hazard lights and (if you’re prepared after reading this post) consider using emergency traffic cones if you’re stuck on the shoulder of a busy road.
- Contact a friend or family member to alert them of your situation and location.
- Never store full gas containers in your trunk! Just one spill can release dangerous fumes into the cabin or produce a fire or even an explosion.
- Only walk to a gas station if it’s located nearby and you’re in no danger of being struck by moving vehicles.
- If you run out of gas in a remote location, it’s best to stay put and have gas delivered to you.
- Call for roadside assistance, either through a reputable organization like AAA or from your insurance’s emergency program. Some areas may also have local gas delivery service that are not affiliated with AAA (see below).
- Dial 911 if it’s dark, you’re lost or unable to walk, or there are children in the vehicle.
Is an AAA Membership Worth the Cost?
When you run out of gas in Birmingham, it can be easy to see why people purchase an AAA membership. But is it really worth it to pay an annual fee for emergency roadside assistance?
If you need fuel delivery even once per year, then yes, it may be. With an upgraded AAA Alabama membership, you’ll pay up to $105 per year to receive free benefits like gas delivery, towing, vehicle lockout service, flat-tire service, up to $1,500 in trip interruption reimbursements, and more.
Are There Alternatives to AAA for Fuel or Gas Delivery?
Yes, numerous fuel delivery services are available depending on your location. In Birmingham, for instance, gas delivery memberships from companies like Yoshi and FuelFox have popped up in recent years, offering members on-site fill-ups at home, work, or wherever they’re stranded (within the service area, obviously). Some companies may also provide on-site car washes, vehicle maintenance, oil changes, tire changes, and additional services.
What Happens When Your EV Runs Out of Charge?
If you own a Nissan LEAF or another all-electric car, you may be concerned about being stranded without a re-charging station nearby. It’s a valid concern shared by millions; in fact, approximately 16 million roadside-assistance calls to AAA per year are from EV drivers who run out of charge.
The best solution is to get a tow to the nearest charging station or back to your home base. Public EV charging stations can be pricey, so one preferable alternative is to have your dead electric car towed to your dealer or a Nissan LEAF dealership that undoubtedly has charging stations. (You gotta do what you gotta do, right?)
About Jim Burke Nissan in Birmingham, AL
Serving all of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and the surrounding area, our Nissan dealership near Hoover offers competitive pricing on new Nissan vehicles, used cars, OEM car parts, and a variety of automotive services. Considered one of the best-reviewed car dealers in Birmingham, we’re proud to keep Alabama drivers on the road. Contact our team at (205) 588-6287 or swing by our dealership at 1300 3rd Ave N to discuss your Nissan leasing and auto financing options.