I know what it feels like to run out of gas

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I sure wish that was a metaphor. As in, "I've run out of steam" or "I've hit the wall." But nope. I literally freaking ran out of gas yesterday for the first time in my life. On the side of Interstate 26. 

I was on my way to a client meeting that I was supposed to facilitate. The meeting was an hour and 45 minutes away from where I live. I was only 25 minutes away from the meeting location when it happened. My gas gauge said I had 15 miles to go. I had about 10 miles to the exit, and I was on cruise control. I thought I could make it (which, by the way, is SO not like me - I am a self-proclaimed non-risk taker). Then, unexpectedly, my gauge went from "15 miles to empty" to "---- miles to empty" and I decided to pull over on the next exit. And then there wasn't a next exit...

I was with a colleague of mine, who was to facilitate the meeting with me. She was on a client call in the car when I felt my car shutting down. Y'all, that was the worst feeling. I felt completely helpless! I pulled over, and my shut off my car. I called Triple A (thank God for them and for my mommy who still buys me a membership every year!). We also called one of our clients who was also on the way to the meeting, and she happened to be only a few miles from us. She came and got my colleague while I stayed in the car on the side of the road for the hour it took Triple A to show up. 

Wanna talk about some shot nerves? Between the freezing temps (and no heat, since I couldn't run my car), semi trucks flying past me at 70 miles an hour, my iPhone slowly but surely dying, and the growing urge to go to the bathroom, I couldn't have been happier to see a slightly dirty tow truck driver pull up behind me and pour the smallest container of gas I've ever seen into my tank. He assured me it would get me to the next exit where there was a gas station a few miles off the interstate. It did, although my car was starting to convulse when I finally pulled beside the pump. And we won't talk about the tow truck driver calling me sweetie and ultimately giving me his number. Just an added bonus, I guess. 

I ended up getting to the meeting an hour after it began, and my colleague made it there in time to run it from the beginning, so all in all, it was fine. But friends, take it from me: don't take chances. For the love of God, even if you're running late (as we were), just stop and get gas before you get on the road. And when your Volvo says it has 15 miles to an empty tank, it probably doesn't. Lesson learned!



  1. I've run out of gas...twice (embarassing, i know). Once, I was in high school, so I'll chalk it up to that, and the other, I was on my way to class in college and was running late, and didn't stop when I should have. But...in my defense, I drive a Yukon, and one minute it'll say 50 miles to empty, and the next minute it'll say "Fuel Low." so...I always get gas before I need it now!

  2. I won't let my car get below half a tank. It gets pretty good gas mileage anyway.

  3. Oh gosh - sorry you went through that!! This makes me super happy to not drive anymore!! Love the UF alumni sticker on your car :)

  4. Ahhh I am so scared of that happening!!! I can't imagine, glad you had a friend in the car with you though...can you imagine?! Xx.

  5. That has never happened to me and I am always worried about it happening. Especially on the highway!

    I am glad you are OK though!

    Xo Lourdes

  6. Oh yikes, that is scary! I've ran out of gas once, but thankfully I was in a parking lot right next to a gas station.

  7. Oh man, that's pretty scary!! I've been stranded before (transmission suddenly stopped, alternator suddenly stopped)...but never been out of gas. My Mom was a bit crazy, she believed in never letting the car get below half a tank and I think that rubbed off on me! Good thing you didn't have to walk to get gas, I've known people who have had to do that before, and in the winter it really sucks!


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