How Much Fuel Do You Really Have Left?
Your Gas Light is On, How Far can You Go?
For most drivers, probably one of the most common questions asked is this: How far can I drive my car when the fuel light turns on? A few will probably be adventurous enough to find the answer the hard way, that is, drive and count the miles from the time their gas light turns on until their car comes to a full stop. For many, however, that’s not really a sensible thing to do.
While many of the latest car models have a range indicator that lets you know how many miles you have left, this might not be the most reliable guide since the range is based on your average mileage. Unless you’re always driving under the same conditions (ex. you’re always driving on a highway and never in traffic), it’s unlikely that the range provided is incredibly accurate.
Understanding How Far You Can Go
It’s a good thing there’s now a reference we can look to for the answer to this intriguing question. Thanks to a blog post on YourMechanic from back in July, 2016, we now have more concrete information related to low fuel and no fuel driving. Aside from discussing the consequences of driving on an empty or near-empty gas tank, the article includes a chart entitled: “How far can you drive your vehicle on empty?”
For the 50 best-selling cars in the U.S. in 2015, the chart lists down the amount of fuel left (in gallons) and the distance you can still cover (in miles) when your gas light turns on. Apparently, your near empty tank can take you anywhere from 25 to 114 miles depending on the car you’re driving. The number is smaller for smaller cars like sedans, and higher for bigger ones like SUVs. The kind of car is just one factor, though, even if it’s the primary determining one. Realistically speaking, there are still other factors that need to be considered including the condition of your car, the way you drive, the road condition, the traffic situation, and the weather. Because of such variables, YourMechanic would like to make it clear that the given numbers are just approximations and should therefore not be taken as an absolute reference.
Having some information is much better than having no information at all. So while the chart may be far from being 100% reliable, you’re still better off knowing the approximate distance you can push your car when you’re running on empty, rather than relying on complete guesswork and wishing you won’t get stranded.
If your car isn’t included in the list, you always have the choice to go the adventurous route and test your car’s limit yourself. Just make sure you’ll know what to do or that there’ll be someone to help you out when your gas runs out completely. It wouldn’t be too productive if you find the answer at the risk of endangering yourself or getting into trouble.
How Can I Use this Information?
The bottom line? As much as possible, be diligent enough to keep your car fueled up so you won’t have to experience the inconvenience of running out of fuel at the most inopportune time. But if you can’t help it, at least be aware of what your car’s limit is. Even if it’s just a rough estimate.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Cars
We want to make sure that you’re safe. Running out of gas is going to put you in a bad spot, so we don’t recommend letting your car die like that (keep in mind that it’s also not good for the engine).
If you do find yourself in a predicament where you run out of gas and your vehicle is hit, we can restore your car to full safety. Of course if you’re in Billings and you want your car detailed, we can get you set up for that too.