Recently, a photo posted on the SG Road Vigilante Facebook group went viral as it showed a Singapore-registered vehicle being refuelled at a Malaysian petrol station while one of its back wheels was raised on a wooden ramp.

Peculiar as it may look, this practice is not uncommon as there have been past sightings of other motorists doing the same following the reopening of the land borders between Malaysia and Singapore from April 1 this year. Even before the pandemic hit and borders were open, there was no shortage of posts on social media calling out these so-called kiasu motorists.

Besides using a ramp, some motorists have also been known to use a car jack to raise the rear of the vehicles or literally “shaking” their car at the pumps. The reason for these actions is to get in as much fuel into the tank as possible, so much so to that overfilling is the goal.

Considering the price of petrol in Malaysia is significantly cheaper than in Singapore – RON 97 (the minimum fuel grade Singaporeans must pump in Malaysia) here is RM3.94 a litre while it’s around SGD3.13 (RM9.86) for RON 95 over there (RON 98 is more expensive) – squeezing every last drop of the affordable stuff into the tank may appear to be a “clever hack.”

It isn’t. The reality is the negative effects of overfilling your vehicle’s fuel tank outweigh the perceived benefits of getting just that tad bit more range. Firstly, overfilling can damage your car as it can overwhelm the Evaporative Emission System (EVAP) that is designed to store and dispose of fuel vapours before they are released into the atmosphere.

Overfilling can cause liquid fuel to enter the charcoal canister (or carbon filter) of the EVAP, which is designed only for vapour, damaging it and potentially other parts of the system, resulting in quite a costly repair bill.

So, the next time you hear the click from the fuel nozzle, it’s probably a good indication that your tank is full and there’s no need to force feed your car. If your car’s fuel tank can only hold 40 litres, you can’t expect to shove in an extra 10 litres by being crafty with your vehicle’s pitch, roll and yaw, right?