HONOLULU (KHON2) — Don’t drive on empty is the message from AAA, which says calls from people who ran out of gas are on the rise on the mainland.

Experts said keeping your tank at least a quarter full can save your wallet and peace of mind.

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AAA Hawaii said there has not been a spike of gas-related calls locally, but had some advice for folks who are thinking of stretching their last gallon to the final drop.

“Our advice is don’t do that. You should really keep your gas tank at least a quarter full. That way it will prevent you from potentially causing any damage to your fuel pump.”

Doug Shupe, AAA Hawaii corporate communications manager

Fuel pump repairs can cost more than $500, one driver said it is just not worth it to put $10 or $20 in the tank.

“Well, it’s almost like a sense of denial, right? I’m going to end up filling up later at some time or another, so take the hit now or take the hit later, so I’ll take it now,” said Kapahulu resident Alii Napoleon.

There are ways to save; Texaco has a rewards system with Safeway and Hele Gas has a kama’aina rewards card to give you 15 cents off per gallon.

Some pocketbooks just are not cut out for a fill-up as a regular gallon of gas averages $5.40 per gallon or above in every Hawaii county.

“Sometimes I fill it all the way up and sometimes it’s partial,” said Ala Moana resident Renee Fong. KHON2 asked Fong if gas prices play into her decision.

“Oh yeah, I feel like if I’m putting in $10, it only feels like $5 I’m putting in. So, I think it’s kind of ridiculous.”

Renee Fong, Ala Moana resident

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said the Freeway Services Patrol gave 162 emergency gallons to folks who ran out of gas in May 2022 — up 42% when compared to May 2021. A total of 54 gallons have already been given out in June 2022.

AAA Hawaii said keeping your tank above a quarter will keep your options open — in addition to keeping repair bills at bay.

“If you have enough in your tank, it will allow you to go two to three miles more looking for cheaper gas stations,” Shupe said.

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Hele stations also have a 10-cent per gallon discount if you pay with cash on the weekends, so filling up on a Saturday or Sunday might be your best option.