What Happens When My Diesel Truck Runs Out of Fuel?

When you’ve been driving your diesel truck for a while, you get to know it like the back of your hand. You know what each sound and screech means, and just generally when your diesel vehicle feels “off”. This knowledge about your diesel engine certainly came with a lot of trial and error.


A common way drivers will test the abilities of their diesel engine is with the fuel tank. When you drive with someone else and point out that their car is on “E”, they might tell you that it’s fine, and they know exactly how long they can stay on “E” without stopping for gas. But if their calculations are a little off and they run out of gas while on the road, it can be more than just inconvenience and stress- it can cause some serious damage to the car. 

Gasoline Cars vs Diesel Vehicles

Continuing to drive on an empty fuel tank could be even more dangerous for diesel vehicles than conventional gasoline engines, as it might be more difficult to find diesel fuel at a gas station or a reliable and quality diesel mechanic if you’re stranded somewhere unfamiliar. So for diesel drivers specifically, it’s important to keep your fuel tank full, especially if you’re traveling down unpredictable or unfamiliar routes. 

What Happens if I Run Out of Diesel Fuel on The Road?

When your diesel vehicle runs out of fuel, it will start pulling air, as there is no more fuel to pull in. The air pulled in by your diesel engine’s strong fuel injectors could result in a catastrophic effect. As your diesel fuel system continues to pull in more and more air, it can become more detrimental to your car, causing damage to your fuel injectors and filters. This makes it difficult to start your diesel engine even when you have a full tank of fuel again. 

Don’t Let Your Diesel Truck Run Out of Fuel!

To avoid serious lasting damage to your truck, be sure to fill up on diesel fuel before embarking on long drives, and try to let yourself get below a quarter tank of fuel. If you do find your diesel engine or fuel system is in need of repair in Jackson, MI, come see the team at MDP Diesel & Auto, and we’ll get you taken care of! Whether you drive a Ford Powerstroke, a Cummins, or a Duramax diesel engine, we’ve got you covered!

Photo by HPCPHOTO from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro