WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The high cost of gas is leading many drivers into a dangerous practice.

They’re letting their gas tank push to near-empty before deciding to fill up. It seems we’ve all been there or at least almost: letting your car gas tank get so low that the “add fuel” light comes on. Experts say that can put your safety and your vehicle in danger.

“I’m on ‘get fuel now’ so i kind of push it to the envelope,” said Marci Nash of Wilkes-Barre.

It’s a pain at the pump ploy more and more drivers seem to be using these days; let the tank get practically empty before you fill ‘er up.

“I do and I’m sure I’m not the only one,” said Haley Kazmierski of Plains Township.

The obvious danger is running out of gas and getting stranded.

Running out of gas isn’t the only problem you can run into by trying to get by on fumes. There’s some serious damage that can occur if you let your tank get dry or near dry.

“You let your tank go down that low, now you’re going to pick up all the sediment, all the debris, whatever’s in the bottom of the tank,” said Rick Klass, mechanic and owner of Klass Motors.

And when your tank is low, experts say your car’s fuel pump sucks in air which creates heat. The effect can cause premature wear and tear on your car’s fuel pump and other parts of the fuel delivery system which delivers gas to your engine.

“Something like this, it hits you hard in the wallet, you know,” Klass added.

How hard? Let’s start with a fuel pump that’s now gone faulty.

“I’ve seen fuel pumps run $600, $700 plus labor you know because that tank has to come out of the car, you know. It’s not like changing a belt,” Klass explained.

Add to that other potential damage to the fuel filter and fuel injectors.

“You’re talking thousands of dollars,” stated Klass.

Something to keep in mind for the budget-minded who are running on empty.

“If the car goes, you’re replacing a vehicle at this point if you’re that low on gas,” said Kazmierski.

Hiller asks, “Would you be able to afford a $2,000 repair job right now if you had to?”

“Definitely not. So, looking at all that math, i can see you’re pointing out some interesting facts,” Marci Nash replied.

The rule of thumb is to keep your gas tank at a quarter tank or above. Klass recomends a half tank for two reasons.

One, it keeps plenty of fuel in the fuel delivery system. And two, you won’t feel the financial pain all at once of paying to fill ‘er up from a half tank compared to running on empty.