was reading full when it was actually empty. Alternatively there could be a fuel leak.
If you suspect that the fuel gauge is playing up, or that you've
got a leak of any description, get it checked out by a garage as
soon as possible. And don't procrastinate when it comes to filling
What to do if it happens to you
If you suspect a fuel leak then you should be able to smell
the petrol or diesel. Don't even think of trying to start the
car under these circumstances - call the breakdown service
Don't keep attempting to start the engine in the hope of
squeezing the last drops of fuel out as this can suck air and dirt
into the fuel system and make things even worse.
If you've got a can of fuel with you or can get one from a
nearby petrol station then switch off the ignition, empty it into
the tank and drive to the nearest garage to fill up properly.
If you're stuck on the hard shoulder or a long way from the
nearest petrol station then your best bet is to call your breakdown
The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank Maria McCarthy for permission to publish an excerpt from her book, "The Girls' Car Handbook - Everything You Need to Know about Life on the Road”, published by Simon and Schuster. Maria is a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers.