Leaving keys in the ignition while pumping fuel will NOT blow up your car!

  1. Ok, I was reading the other "gas" thread, and people indicated that they took their keys out of the ignition while they pumped their fuel so their car wouldn't catch on fire and explode.

    I am here to dispel that myth. The chances of that happening are so slim, you'd be better off worrying about leaving your keys in if you do something silly like go in to pay...someone will steal your car. You'd be better off worrying about someone snatching your purse from the seat while you're outside of the car, also.

    Fuel has a certain flash point, which is different for all types - there has to be a specific condition of vapors, oxygen, and an ignition source. Given that many gas stations have some sort of vapor control system in place, the only place you could really have any trouble is if there was a huge fuel spill. Even then, NOT likely.

    This sounds really funny, but my first Army school was to be a petroleum supply specialist, and we definitely learned about all sorts of funny things like this for 12 weeks. Don't worry about your car, it won't blow up. Gas stations are more worried that if you don't go through with the motions of turning off your car and removing the key, people that are not very smart may also leave their car in drive while fueling, or will leave without removing the fuel nozzle from their tank. They AREN'T worried about your car exploding.

    We've refueled Army vehicles while their engines were running, it's totally fine.
    Actually, my main source of expertise is fueling helicopters, and the rotor blades create a much greater amount of static electricity than our civilian cars do, and can be dangerous - however, we still have what are called 'hot refuel' operations, which involve refueling the aircraft while it is still running, rotor blades rotating and all. It is still very safe to do, and the chances of anything happening are in the 0.04% range.

    So rest easy, if you feel like listening to the radio while you fuel your car, do so.
    I know this sort of thing is a habit that you develop while you first learn to drive, so me telling you it's safe to do so, won't make you change the way you remove your car keys before fueling your vehicle. Just trying to help all of you rest your minds on this matter! So don't worry!!!:tup:
  2. Thank you for clarifying this, Candace. I often leave the motor running in the winter to keep my car warmed up but I always feel kinda guilty about it.
  3. Do you mean leaving the keys in the ignition with the engine off or on?
  4. It wont blow up if the keys are in the ignition with the car OFF, but please do NOT leave your car running! Your car CAN blow up if it is running! Sure, the chances are very slim..but it CAN happen!
  5. An article I just found, this can explain the danger better than I ever could...

    Engine Running
    It is dangerous to leave a car running when fueling. A running car presents a number of "ignition sources" for fuel vapor. The exhaust components of a modern car can literally glow red hot during normal operation. The typical ignition system creates voltages above 40,000 volts.​
    But turning off your engine while refueling isn't just to prevent your car from starting a fire. There is also a safety issue in the event of fire, regardless of the source. In case a fire does occur at the fuel station a running car is danger. Imagine that fire burns through one of the rubber fuel hoses under your running car. Most fuel pumps deliver gasoline at about 15 to 40 pounds per square inch (PSI). Your fuel pump is now spraying a tremendous amount of gasoline at an open flame.​

    EDIT: Here is the website.. http://www.siue.edu/TRANSPORT/ts_fuel.html
  6. I dunno, I'm still rolling with my training, which is the best in the world, and it's never steered me wrong before.

    The point is, people that are too stupid to be driving should probably turn their car all the way off when they fuel. That's why most of these rules are passed down, anyway. Popular opinion is that most people turn into morons when they get behind the wheel of a car.

    The only reason I wrote this thread was in response to the people in the other gas thread that said to take your keys all the way out of the ignition because it could explode your car. Totally ridiculous and unnecessary, unless you're so ingrained with the habit that you have to. Just dispelling a rumor/myth.
  7. Val...this website is kind of ridiculous:

    Reentering a Vehicle
    Do not get back in while you are gassing up. This can create a static buildup that will cause a spark when you touch the gas pump. Most of the incidents of fire have been the result of the driver starting the pump, getting back into their car, and when the driver gets back out of the car to remove the nozzle, static is generated when they slide across the seat and a spark may occur when they reach for the nozzle.

    WHAT??? LOL!!!! Who are these people and what have they done with sensibility!?

  8. Thats actually more common than leaving the car running and the car exploding.

    Here is a video of that exact thing happening.

    Ever been shocked when you touch a door knob? Its the same thing.

    There was another website I saw, it was a major news website that said the same thing. I need to find it, I will be back.
  9. This has actually been on the news, it does happen. Whether the chances are slim or not, would you want to be that one person that it does happen to? You also had an analogy in the other thread about pumping gas and explosions, and brain aneuryism's exploding...that happened to my mother in law. So slim chance or not, things happen.
  10. Sigh. I'm not going to beat a dead horse anymore.
    I was just pointing out that there's no need to worry about it, using my expertise in the field as valid backup.
    You found an instance on the news where this happened - I can find 5 million other instances where it didn't. And, it can happen in weirder ways than getting in and out of your car. But if you start thinking about all those things, you stop living.

    ETA: This isn't a confrontational thread, just differing information than what people commonly believe. I just don't like to see people running away with one side of the story.

    From my perspective, I have way too many other ways I can die - so I pick and choose my battles on what to worry about. I realize that not everybody has the same approach to life as I do, nor do they need to be concerned about the same things I am.

    Sorry if anybody thought I was coming off as confrontational!
  11. ^^Candace, I didnt/dont mean for this to become a debate. Im just pointing out that these things DO happen, and IMHO better safe than sorry.

    Something so simple as turning your car off, or NOT getting back in the car when you are pumping gas, can save your life. Kind of like looking both ways before you cross the street, its something very simple, it takes 2 seconds...but can save your life.

    There's actually a lot more than just one instance. In the CBS report they stated 2 people it has happened to(one lost her life) and the other link I posted with the other woman it happened to. So thats 3 people right there.
    I wonder if I can find some statistics on it, I would really like to know about how many people this has actually happened to...
  12. I know Val! Besides I could never fight with you, LOL!!!! We'd just end up going shopping for Coach or something else right? :smile:

    Like I said, people have to take their own safety checks and measures - nobody can do all of them all the time, that's definitely something I've observed from our safety officer's annual inspections of different units. But she explained that's more like, a general 'are you looking out for your soldiers, are you following the big regulations, and are you generally being safe?' instead of nitpicking every little thing - which some people do, I think it's called having neuroses ;) hehe...
  13. Not that I was saying you have neuroses by turning off your car! I turn my engine off and leave the radio on.
    I meant it more like, there are people that worry about every little thing and end up sitting on their couch all day doing nothing!
  14. Now, if someone thinks you are saying that, then they probably do have neuroses lmao!

    Well, now everyone has information from both sides...turn off your car, dont turn off your car...get back in the car, dont get back in the car.
    In the end, or actually..in the beginning...its all up to you lmao!;)