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View Full Version : How many miles do you really have when your gas gauge light comes on?


Analog
02-04-2010, 08:53 PM
Mine says range=25 miles, but I think its much more. I never have run it dry though...

2009 CR-V :awe:

quakefiend420
02-04-2010, 08:54 PM
about 40-50 miles in my Z

20 on my VTR

the harleys don't have a fuel gauge, much less a light

MagnusTheBrewer
02-04-2010, 08:55 PM
Every car is different. Put a one gallon gas can in your car and run it dry. Nothing beats empirical testing. :)

DesiPower
02-04-2010, 08:55 PM
~35 Camry Hybrid

lxskllr
02-04-2010, 08:55 PM
Mine's supposed to be 3 gallons, but I've never run it dry. When the idiot light comes on, I get gas within 30 miles. That gives me a little room for error. Jeep Cherokee

Analog
02-04-2010, 08:56 PM
Every car is different. Put a one gallon gas can in your car and run it dry. Nothing beats empirical testing. :)

Heh, not worth damaging the fuel pump..:eek:

F1N3ST
02-04-2010, 08:57 PM
I've only run below 1/8th of a tank twice in my car, and both times I've gotten gas ASAP. Stopped in the ghetto once D:, was all white with my moderately nice car, like 5 scary black people getting gas, and some gangster lookin arab guy teller.

Wasn't a fun experience.

destrekor
02-04-2010, 08:59 PM
is our favorite fella still banned? was it a permaban? haven't seen him in awhile

lxskllr
02-04-2010, 09:00 PM
Heh, not worth damaging the fuel pump..:eek:

It won't hurt the fuel pump doing it once.

bctbct
02-04-2010, 09:00 PM
When the gps and dash disagree its an uncomfortble feeling on the highway.

I can personally attest that my brother drove 5 miles beyond the computer calculated 0.

JEDI
02-04-2010, 09:31 PM
Mine says range=25 miles, but I think its much more. I never have run it dry though...

2009 CR-V :awe:

1.5 gal= 50miles

mazda3 automatic

btw- i wish they had a car forum... oh wait...

FoBoT
02-04-2010, 09:32 PM
i don't really know, unless i let it run out, how would i know for sure

JulesMaximus
02-04-2010, 09:45 PM
When my fuel light starts blinking I probably have about a gallon of gas or so left in the tank. When it goes solid I really have only 20 miles or so before I'm stranded on the side of the road.

Turin39789
02-04-2010, 09:47 PM
I've only run below 1/8th of a tank twice in my car, and both times I've gotten gas ASAP. Stopped in the ghetto once D:, was all white with my moderately nice car, like 5 scary black people getting gas, and some gangster lookin arab guy teller.

Wasn't a fun experience.

Why was it not fun? What did they do, take your money and sell you gas in return?

MagnusTheBrewer
02-04-2010, 09:50 PM
How much do you want to bet that the list of folks who have never run out of gas matches up perfectly with the list of folks who have never changed a tire.

El Guaraguao
02-04-2010, 09:58 PM
We need a woman driver to answer this question.

Gothgar
02-04-2010, 09:59 PM
but the car needs it, IT NEEDS IT BAD, GIVE IT GAS!!!

brblx
02-04-2010, 10:03 PM
How much do you want to bet that the list of folks who have never run out of gas matches up perfectly with the list of folks who have never changed a tire.

are you implying that because someone is not dumb enough to run a car bone dry, they are then somehow too dumb to be able to manipulate a scissor jack and a lug wrench?

logic fail.

besides the fact that only an idiot runs his car out of gas to find this out, it's typically pretty bad for the fuel pump, which relies on being surrounded by gas to cool itself. although some (but not all) setups will hold a small amount of gas hostage to keep the pump motor cool.

MagnusTheBrewer
02-04-2010, 10:13 PM
are you implying that because someone is not dumb enough to run a car bone dry, they are then somehow too dumb to be able to manipulate a scissor jack and a lug wrench?

logic fail.

besides the fact that only an idiot runs his car out of gas to find this out, it's typically pretty bad for the fuel pump, which relies on being surrounded by gas to cool itself. although some (but not all) setups will hold a small amount of gas hostage to keep the pump motor cool.

No, I'm implying they're young, inexperienced and incapable of dealing with the world except when surrounded by complex machinery.

kevbot
02-04-2010, 10:26 PM
I used to have a '97 Dodge Dakota with the 3.9L V6. I drove to Denver from Kansas City and tried to see how far it would go. It had a 22 gallon tank. Anyway, the low fuel warning came on and i went about 60 miles after, with the ding ding dings and lights on the dash. When I finally stopped for fuel, it took 17.xx gallons. 5 gallon reserve.

I have driven my Saturn Ion with a 13 gallon tank past the warnings, and put in about 11.5 gallons.

YMMV obviously, but modern cars seem to have quite the generous error range WRT remaining fuel capacity.

duragezic
02-04-2010, 10:28 PM
The owners manual says it comes on when 2.2 gallons remain. Depending the time of year, I get 23 to 30mpg, so 45-65 miles.

I don't run it low very often. It's only been a few times where I thought I had less than 15 miles remaining. Just never in a situation where I can't easily get gas.

A lot of people in high school always ran around on empty. Then go to the gas station to put in like $3 (granted this was 6-8 years ago). Not like I had much money in HS but dang!

JulesMaximus
02-04-2010, 10:36 PM
are you implying that because someone is not dumb enough to run a car bone dry, they are then somehow too dumb to be able to manipulate a scissor jack and a lug wrench?

logic fail.

besides the fact that only an idiot runs his car out of gas to find this out, it's typically pretty bad for the fuel pump, which relies on being surrounded by gas to cool itself. although some (but not all) setups will hold a small amount of gas hostage to keep the pump motor cool.

I haven't run any car I own out of gas in probably the last 20 years but I have run out of gas once or twice when I was in my teens and just starting to drive.

I did run out of gas on my motorcycle a couple months ago though. When your tank only holds 4.5 gallons of gasoline you really should pay close attention to those fuel warning lights. :P

I have close to 10,000 miles on this bike and I've owned it since it was new. I usually never let it get down to the point that the light is blinking, but honestly, I really thought I could make it a few more miles...I was wrong.

Howard
02-04-2010, 10:37 PM
No, I'm implying they're young, inexperienced and incapable of dealing with the world except when surrounded by complex machinery.
I've never run out of gas and I've changed tires before...

ChAoTiCpInOy
02-04-2010, 10:45 PM
I would think the reserve is at least 2 gallons.

bobdole369
02-04-2010, 11:02 PM
pt cruiser, roughly 50-55 miles from the first ding.

Red Squirrel
02-04-2010, 11:15 PM
I don't have a low fuel light on my car, unless the needle going in the orange counts as the "light". :D

I never tried to see, but I did cut it close once, I was afraid I would not even make it to the station. The needle was PASSED the indicator. If I would of went longer it would of went to full again. :P

lxskllr
02-04-2010, 11:17 PM
I don't have a low fuel light on my car, unless the needle going in the orange counts as the "light". :D

I never tried to see, but I did cut it close once, I was afraid I would not even make it to the station. The needle was PASSED the indicator. If I would of went longer it would of went to full again. :P

I had a car once that would go at least 1/4 tank below the empty mark. It was kind of fun with the people that liked to read guages while I drove :^D

schneiderguy
02-04-2010, 11:46 PM
My gas light has never come on (don't know if my car has one to be honest :awe:). But when my needle is at empty there's still around 3 gallons in the tank, out of 17 (98 accord).

HamburgerBoy
02-04-2010, 11:51 PM
I've never seen it come on, and I've driven it a tad past empty. It's a 12.7 gallon tank, and I've definitely pumped 11.5 into it before.

OverVolt
02-04-2010, 11:54 PM
My car has 2 gallons of reserve, so I can go 40-50 miles. Realistically youd want to get gas by 30miles or so.

ManyBeers
02-05-2010, 01:15 AM
what light?

Colt45
02-05-2010, 01:25 AM
I've never run a car out of gas, I rarely ever hit the light... there's been a few times, in the boondocks, middle of the night... running on fumes.
Comin' in on a wing and a prayer.

SZLiao214
02-05-2010, 01:25 AM
Honda-CRV 03

I have gone about 30-35 miles on almost entirely highway,

mjrpes3
02-05-2010, 01:29 AM
I've driven it a tad past empty.

:eek:

Zenmervolt
02-05-2010, 01:32 AM
the harleys don't have a fuel gauge, much less a light

The newer EFI Harleys have a fuel light (but no gauge) because the EFI doesn't respond well to running dry like a carburetor will.

Lithium381
02-05-2010, 03:18 AM
when the light comes on? 80 or so..... when the needle hits the floor, maybe 20

Meghan54
02-05-2010, 05:00 AM
Don't ever remember dropping below a 1/4 tank on my Blazer. Then again, I like my fuel pump, so rarely let my tank drop below 1/2 full.

sdifox
02-05-2010, 07:07 AM
How much do you want to bet that the list of folks who have never run out of gas matches up perfectly with the list of folks who have never changed a tire.

Lies. I have never run out of gas and I have changed tires.

bruceb
02-05-2010, 07:10 AM
About 40 in a 1999 Grand Prix with the 3800 NA motor and automatic.

Zstream
02-05-2010, 07:35 AM
I have 1 gallon of gas on my CTS. So 13-20 miles depending on what I am doing.

radioouman
02-05-2010, 07:42 AM
I've gone 60 miles once the light comes on without running out, so I assume it has at least 2-2.5 gallons left.

lurk3r
02-05-2010, 07:54 AM
Its typically 2 gallons, I always burn at least 1 gallon past the light coming on

Horsepower
02-05-2010, 07:55 AM
30 miles with light on xB. Ran the wife's grand cherokee out of gas 30 miles after range said zero.

exar333
02-05-2010, 08:34 AM
No, I'm implying they're young, inexperienced and incapable of dealing with the world except when surrounded by complex machinery.

Or they are smart and have never been foolish enough to run out of gas...

Never ran out of gas here, but I have changed plenty of tires. Ironically, never had a flat on my own vehicle, but have helped many others. The only time I have had to remove my tires is when doing maintenance like replacing brake pads or the like.

TraumaRN
02-05-2010, 08:35 AM
Well it generally comes on with about 2.5 gallons to go...which depending on the temperature/weather I could drive anywhere from 100-130 miles. It's a 17.5 gallon tank most I put in it was 17.35 gallons.

kalrith
02-05-2010, 09:01 AM
Probably 40 in my Mercury Cougar and 20 in my Mazda Tribute. I never let the Monte Carlo get low on gas.

exar333
02-05-2010, 09:01 AM
My Z trip computer usually says around 36-38 Miles remaining when the gas light comes on. I have not really pushed this much, and usually try to keep the gas above 1/4 tank as a rule.

JulesMaximus
02-05-2010, 09:10 AM
about 40-50 miles in my Z

20 on my VTR

the harleys don't have a fuel gauge, much less a light

Most older bikes, carbed bikes, have a petcock. You turn it on to allow fuel to the carbs and when it starts to stumble due to low fuel you can turn it to reserve to get that last gallon or so of fuel into the engine. This is your warning that you should get fuel before long. Riding a motorcycle you should really know the range of the bike and reset the trip meter at every fill up so you'll know when you need to get fuel next.

Vetterin
02-05-2010, 09:54 AM
70 in my Subi and it's really pretty accurate. As a matter of fact I expect to see it come on during my drive home from work tonight.

PricklyPete
02-05-2010, 10:14 AM
It has varied a lot from vehicle to vehicle. I think it is 3 gallons in my Tacoma. I have no idea what it is in my wife's A4...and it was like 6 gallons in my old Mazda Millenia S.

hanoverphist
02-05-2010, 10:24 AM
the harleys don't have a fuel gauge, much less a light

*sputter-sputter-die

/turn reserve petcock, pop clutch

good to go! hehe.

my truck has about 30 miles left when the light comes on. well, probably more, i havent ran it to the point of needing a gas can yet.

my mc depends on how i ride it. i can squeeze about 50ish when it hits reserve. crappy thing is forgetting to take it off reserve and really being out of gas.

SooperDave
02-05-2010, 10:54 AM
Most older bikes, carbed bikes, have a petcock. You turn it on to allow fuel to the carbs and when it starts to stumble due to low fuel you can turn it to reserve to get that last gallon or so of fuel into the engine. This is your warning that you should get fuel before long. Riding a motorcycle you should really know the range of the bike and reset the trip meter at every fill up so you'll know when you need to get fuel next.

And God help you if you forget to flip the valve back after you fill up.

WhoBeDaPlaya
02-05-2010, 01:25 PM
Roughly 50 miles for mine (Lincoln LS). I rarely let it get that low though (on any car I drive). Bad for the fuel pump.

Imported
02-05-2010, 01:36 PM
I've never tried running to empty.. but I usually do another 30 or so miles when it lights up before filling, and then it takes 16ish gallons. Apparently the tank size is 20.

LTC8K6
02-05-2010, 02:07 PM
The Hemi starts a 60 second countdown...

dainthomas
02-05-2010, 05:11 PM
For my 08 Tundra, either 35-40 miles or whenever it decides to spontaneously slam me into a telephone pole (whichever comes first).

JulesMaximus
02-05-2010, 05:43 PM
And God help you if you forget to flip the valve back after you fill up.

I never did that thankfully. I used the trip meter for the most part. Ride 100 miles, refill the tank, reset the trip meter. Ride 100 miles, refill the tank, reset the trip meter.

I still do that on my current bike too except I go 120-130 miles between fillups. Most I got was 200 miles and I ran out of gas. Tank holds about 4.5 gallons of fuel.

MotF Bane
02-05-2010, 07:38 PM
I've never run out of gas and I've changed tires before...

This. Running out of gas isn't some badge of honor or experience.

About 40 in a 1999 Grand Prix with the 3800 NA motor and automatic.

I'll come in somewhere close to that, almost the exact same car. (98)

jhu
02-05-2010, 08:26 PM
Anywhere from 1.5 to 2 gallons left meaning 30 to 90 miles.

HannibalX
02-05-2010, 11:00 PM
3 gallons when the light comes on, which is about 65 miles in town and about 90 on the highway.

Possessed Freak
02-06-2010, 07:15 AM
The needle hits E and I have another round trip to work in me so about 40 miles. Then the needle is dipped way below the E and I fill 'er up. I still have at least half a gallon left in it too.

Of course, even if I have half a tank and I make a highway speed left bending turn, by the time the turn ends the needle is pegged past empty.

hanoverphist
02-08-2010, 01:23 PM
I never did that thankfully. I used the trip meter for the most part. Ride 100 miles, refill the tank, reset the trip meter. Ride 100 miles, refill the tank, reset the trip meter.

I still do that on my current bike too except I go 120-130 miles between fillups. Most I got was 200 miles and I ran out of gas. Tank holds about 4.5 gallons of fuel.

i was really spoiled with my 5.4 gal tank. id get about 250 before reserve hit me, unless i was showboating it. then id get about 70 miles out of a tank.

rh71
02-08-2010, 02:59 PM
Depends on the car... the "range" (miles left) on mine averages the last 20mi to come to that number. With that said, on local roads, I've driven it a couple miles past 0mi. range left and it was fine. Don't make a habit of it anymore though. Even though after 15 years I've not had a problem with my other car doing that, people say anything under 1/4 tank and you're playing with the potential of gunk getting in the filter, etc... who knows best?

The Hemi starts a 60 second countdown...

haha

StageLeft
02-08-2010, 03:13 PM
My mpv and maxima have 18.5 gallon tanks I believe and the light generally kicks on around 15 or 15.5 shy of running out so I figure on highway I've got a good 75 miles left. I've never had to put in more than perhaps 16.8 gallons, though. I always run my cars quite low but once the light goes on I start getting a bit nervous.

Pantoot
02-08-2010, 03:23 PM
The first warning comes on at about a 1/4 tank. Around 80 miles. I can clear that one off the hud and the display.

Once I get under 40 miles range the warning persists and it just comes back if I clear it, so I just fill up to clear the annoyance.

Eli
02-08-2010, 04:15 PM
Most modern cars have at least 2 gallons left when the light comes on, so do the math. They used to tell you how many gallons were left when the light comes on in the manual. Do they not do this anymore?

SpeedEng66
02-10-2010, 01:18 PM
It won't hurt the fuel pump doing it once.

sure it does what do you think keeps the fuel pump cool?

ussfletcher
02-10-2010, 01:33 PM
I've only run below 1/8th of a tank twice in my car, and both times I've gotten gas ASAP. Stopped in the ghetto once D:, was all white with my moderately nice car, like 5 scary black people getting gas, and some gangster lookin arab guy teller.

Wasn't a fun experience.
Where were you? Dearborn, Pontiac, Flint, Detroit, Benton Harbor?

I got really close to running out like 4 months back.. I was going to a Dodgers game (and still getting used to my new car) I didn't realize that it takes like 8 gallons to get down to the 3/4 line by that time.
So I was stuck in traffic with like 1/4 of the tank showing.. and it started dropping fast.. I think the tank holds about 18 gallons and when I got it to a gas station it took ~17.8 :D

So, the answer for my car is.. in L.A not many.

ChAoTiCpInOy
02-10-2010, 01:42 PM
If you park in a really steep hill, your light will turn on and the needle will be way below E.

PlasmaBomb
02-10-2010, 04:48 PM
is our favorite fella still banned? was it a permaban? haven't seen him in awhile

Nope it was a one week ban, so he should be back any day...

BlackTigers
02-11-2010, 09:13 AM
~100 miles.

3 Gallons left when light turns on, and about 35MPG.

sdifox
02-11-2010, 11:56 AM
Nope it was a one week ban, so he should be back any day...

He is back... this time he is trying to figure out how to save on electricity cost by going to a gasoline powered generator :biggrin:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2049618

NoCreativity
02-11-2010, 12:01 PM
~ 2.5 gallons left so between 50 and 70 miles.

PhoKingGuy
02-11-2010, 01:09 PM
about 1.5 gallons left so 50-70 miles

Jetta TDI

RagingBITCH
02-11-2010, 02:20 PM
1.5 gallons left - 45 miles give or take