Close this search box.


Home ➜ Community ➜ Blog

Gas Myth: Leaving the Engine Running While Pumping Gas

While fueling, have you ever considered starting your engine back up to see exactly what the fuel gauge shows? Has it been incredibly cold when you’re out of gas and you want the heater on as you wait for a full tank? Before you even think about leaving the engine running while pumping gas, continue reading. It’s not a myth that this action could result in a fire or worse, an explosion.

Read the Signs

When you arrive at a gas station, make sure to read the signs that are provided for your safety. A few warnings include turning off the engine while refueling, no smoking allowed, and how to ground yourself from static electricity. These aren’t just for show and should be carefully obeyed.

More than a Warning

It’s just a warning, right? Not quite as this could be a life or death situation. In order for an engine to operate, it must constantly ignite an explosive mixture of air and gasoline through its spark plugs. Think of what could potentially happen if the fuel spills out of your vehicle’s gas tank. All it takes is one spark from static electricity to light the gasoline.

How Static Electricity is Generated

Where would that spark come from exactly? Most likely from the tips of your own fingers. Each time you enter and exit your vehicle, a bit of static electricity is built up on your person. This is especially true during the winter months when you wear more layers. The material of your clothing rubs against the fabrics from your car seat and a charge is generated. The spark would occur when you touch the metal on the gas pump or around the tank.

Ground Yourself Before Fueling

Luckily, there is a way to discharge the static on your body – by grounding yourself first. This process is as simple as touching metal anywhere else before reaching for the gas pump. If you are wearing gloves, you’ll have to remove them for this to be effective. Once the charge is gone, avoid getting back in your car or you’ll have to start all over for removing the pump.

Leave Electronic Devices Behind

Filling up on gasoline isn’t the most interesting task, but don’t bring your cell phone or other electronic devices to keep you occupied. These might also produce a discharge that will lead to the ignition of combustible gas vapors. That new text message can wait a minute for your own safety.

Trust in express mart & HSO

Now that you understand how to safely fuel up, visit your local express mart the next time you run low on gas. All of our signage is clear in case you forget any of the steps above. If you’re a farm or business property, we have you covered, too! HSO delivers wholesale petroleum products quickly and efficiently. Call us at 1-800-467-5044 or visit for more information.




6910 Front Street. Barnhart, Missouri 63012

Phone number


Mailing Address

PO Box 9 Barnhart, Missouri 63012