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by Tim Beissmann

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Western Australia has warned motorists against running cars down to the bottom of the fuel tank, explaining that it can do damage to your car.

RAC WA says allowing your fuel tank to run low can cause sediment in the bottom of the tank to clog the fuel filter.

Running on empty can also cause the fuel pump to become exposed and overheat, as it is designed to sit submerged in the fuel.

Finally, the RAC WA warns you could lose control of your car if the tank runs completely dry and the brakes and power steering stop functioning.

RAC head of member advocacy, Matt Brown, said high fuel prices were pushing more and more motorists to hold off refueling their cars until well after the little red light came on.

“Our figures show that when petrol prices start going up significantly, people do start stretching it to the limit in terms of trying to get as much as possible out of their tank before having to refuel,” Mr Brown said.

“It’s a significant issue for low-income and fixed-income earners who don’t have the capacity to fill up at will.”

The RAC recommends filling your tank before it drops below one-quarter full.

It also suggests that you can save around $500 each year by filling up at the right time in the cycle.

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Wednesday has been the cheapest day to refuel your car in Perth in recent weeks, while Thursday has been the most expensive.

In Adelaide, Thursday and Friday have been cheaper recently, with Saturday and Sunday the days to avoid.

Friday is the safest day to refuel in Melbourne at the moment, with prices tending to peak from Saturday to Monday.

Sydney and Brisbane have been similar, with prices lowest on Thursday and Friday and hottest around the weekend.

Do you have any tips on finding cheap fuel in your area? Let us know in the comments section below.