What happens if you pump gas with the car on?

I know you’re not supposed to smoke when you pump gas for obvious reasons. But I like to keep the heat on in the car when I pump gas in the winter. Someone told me that’s a terrible idea. So what happens if I pump gas while the engine is on?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Whoever told you that pumping gas with the car on is a terrible idea is 100% correct. If you pump gas with the car on, you greatly increase the chance of
vapors coming into contact with electricity or heat. If this happens, the vapors can ignite, causing a fire or even an explosion.
If you want to keep warm while you’re pumping gas, you have other options:
  • Wear warmer clothes
  • Put on a pair of gloves
  • Throw on another layer
  • Go inside the store (just make sure to take the keys with you and keep an eye on your vehicle)
Hopefully, you never have to deal with a fire or explosion due to a negligent person at the pump. But just in case something out of your hands causes damage to your car, you may want to consider
comprehensive coverage
If you’ve never had comprehensive coverage or you aren’t sure where to compare rates, start with the
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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