Have you ever asked yourself how many miles can you drive on empty? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and we are going to elaborate on everything you need to know.
- Driving On Empty?
- Low Fuel Light?
- How MPG Is Measured?
- Average Gas Tank
- Is It Dangerous?
- How Many Miles?
Knowing when to top off the gas should be one of your top priorities. You just don’t want to leave up stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one around you to help you out. This is why you need to always track your fuel gauge and know how much fuel you have in your car.
This way you will be safe and you will not have to deal with situations where you are left without gas in your car. Just imagine driving in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly are left without gas. Your car shuts down and you rely on help from other drivers. So, you definitely want to avoid this situation. This is why we are going to help you out.
First, we will learn more about what driving on empty means for the ones who are not into cars and want to learn more about it. Then we will cover the low fuel light and we will discuss average gas tank sizes. Then we will dive into the dangers of driving with the low fuel light on and if you can trust the range meter on your car. After that, we will cover how many miles can you drive on empty. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Is Driving On Empty, And How Many Miles Can You Drive?
Now before we start learning about how many miles can you drive on empty, let’s take a look first at what is driving on empty in general. If you want you can jump directly to the point of ‘how many miles can you drive on empty’ chapter. If not, keep up with us for a bit.
So, what is driving on empty? Many people think that driving on empty means that they are driving with a completely empty tank. But that actually is not the case.
Let’s compare the driving on empty phrase with the battery of your smartphone. So, when your smartphone reaches critical levels when it hits below 19% and you get a warning. You are basically riding on empty.
The battery level on the phone is at a critical level. It can last for 6 to 8 hours if you don’t touch the phone. Or if you decide to game, you will lose that percentage in about half an hour to an hour. Then you are left out with nothing and your phone shuts down.
So, is this the case with the gas tank on your car? When you’re running on empty, you are running on the reserve. The amount of gas that you have on reserve is pretty much enough to take you to the gas station. So, it is crucial for you to make sure that you fill-up the tank as soon as you can and don’t run your car too much on empty. But how many miles can you drive on empty? More on that we will cover in a bit.
What Is The Low Fuel Light?
Now let’s cover another interesting topic before we start learning how many miles can you drive on empty. This is another beginner topic. So, if you want you can jump to the next one.
Nevertheless, we need to explain what is the low fuel light and also the low fuel gauge. And learn how they work and how you can read them properly to know if you are running on empty or not. So, let’s get into it.
So, if you didn’t know, in your cluster, you have a small needle gauge that indicates how much gas you have in your car.
This small gauge has a needle as we mentioned. And this needle travels from zero to full, depending much on the level of gasoline there is in the car.
When the gas tank is full, you get no warnings at all. But as soon as the level of gas starts to go low, you will notice how the needle comes down slowly, and then when the levels get extremely low, you will be greeted by a gas light in your car.
This is a yellow light usually that is located inside of this gas level gauge. When the alarm is triggered, you will get notified.
So, we can say that the gas light is a simple visual representation that you have a problem with. Which is the low gas level. When you notice this light, you know that you are running on empty and you need to learn how many miles can you drive on empty before the level of gas gets too low and you end up with a stalled engine. More on that, we are going to explain later on in the article and now let’s discuss another interesting topic.
What Is The Range Meter?
Now let’s cover another important topic when it comes to learning how many miles can you run on empty. And that is the range meter. So, what is the range meter on a car?
Well, as you probably know, modern cars implement modern technologies. And the range meter is one of them.
Every modern car has a computer that informs the driver about everything he needs to know. For example, if the car is overheating, if you have a flat tire, if you have a burnt bulb if you have low washer fluid. As well as telling you what is the range that you have. So, how does this work?
Well, in the gas tank there is a probe that is measuring the level of gasoline in the gas tank. Then the computer observes the average fuel consumption and then based on the calculations, it will deliver you a number.
Now let’s say that you have a half tank of gas. It will give you a range of 120 miles. You will see this as a message on the bottom of your cluster where you have all the essential data. So, this is a good estimate when it comes to determining the range that you have left on your car.
Even though, I would rather stick to the standard gauge on the cluster. The gauge will tell you most precisely how much gas you have left in your tank.
Unfortunately, not all cars have these range meters. Mainly because some of the cars on the road are really old and were designed before these features came out. So, if you have an older vehicle, don’t get disappointed because you still have the gauge.
What Is A Gallon?
Now before we dive into the topic of how many miles can you drive on empty. Let’s take a look at the measurements used to measure the volume of gasoline. More precisely, the imperial unit is known as a gallon.
If you didn’t know, the weight of solid objects is measured in pounds. While fluid’s weight is measured in gallons.
This is necessary because fluids come in different shapes and sizes. They form and deform in liquid and gas. Some of them are lighter, while some of them are heavier. So, measuring them in gallons is quite essential if we want to determine the volume of this specific fluid.
Also, another thing to note is that not all gallons are the same. Measurements in the US and in the UK for example are taken very differently.
Now we will compare the imperial UK gallon with the US gallon and see how much there is a difference between them. And for this purpose, we will use another measurement that is known as the liter. The liter is also a measurement for volume used across the whole world except mainly the UK and the US.
Nevertheless, the liter is a pretty precise way to measure volume and will do the trick when it comes to this comparison.
The imperial gallon that is used in the UK, Canada, and Australia weighs 4.5 liters. While on the other hand, the US gallon weighs about 3.7 liters. So, you can see that there is quite a difference. More precisely about a 0.8 liters difference. The UK imperial gallon is 0.8 liters heavier than the gallon used to measure gas in the US. But how many miles can you drive on empty? More on that in a bit.
How MPG Is Measured?
Now let’s cover another interesting topic before we dive into the topic of how many miles can you drive on empty and that is how MPG is measured. So, if you want to learn more about this, follow along.
If you didn’t know, MPG refers to miles per gallon (which you can learn more of in our guide on how many miles per gallon). In other words, how many miles you can travel with a single gallon of fuel?
These measurements are done by the car computer which observes the level of gasoline inside the gas tank and then observes the speed that the car is going. Then it gives you the right estimate when it comes to the fuel consumption that you have and the MPGs that your car delivers.
Also, another interesting worth noting is that in some cars you get the fuel consumption that you have when you drive the car.
So, if you press your foot hard on the throttle, the fuel consumption will really increase and you could get something like 9 miles per gallon or even lower than this. But as soon as the vehicle accelerates, this measurement will come closer to the recommended fuel economy.
You can also measure fuel economy manually. And this can be done by topping off the fuel tank to the filler neck and then driving 100 miles. Then top off the fuel tank again. And here you will see how much gas your car spent in the past 100 miles when you check the numbers on the gas station.
But for this purpose, you need to learn the capacity of your fuel tank. And we are going to cover precisely that in the following chapter before we dive into how many miles can you drive on empty. So, follow along.
How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty: Average Car Gas Tank Size
Now let’s cover another topic that is important when it comes to learning the answer to the question of how many miles can you drive on empty. And that is the average gas tank size.
If you didn’t know, gas tanks come in all shapes and sizes. The size of the fuel tank really depends on the vehicle. But the average gas tank takes between 13 to 16 gallons of fuel.
But don’t take these numbers for granted. Mainly because not all cars are the same and some of them require more fuel than others.
So, for example, if you have a car that is a true gas guzzler like a Dodge Challenger, you can expect that this car will have a much larger gas tank than your standard hatchback. Small hatches usually have between 12 to 15 gallons of fuel tanks.
So, if you drive a hatchback, you will have a lot less fuel when running on empty in comparison to a bigger car. But here comes the catch. The smaller cars also spend very little gas in comparison to bigger vehicles.
This is why the average gas tank when it comes to how miles you can drive on empty shouldn’t interest you that much because the fuel tank was designed with that specific vehicle in mind and the amount of gas that this vehicle is spending.
So, keep this in mind and make sure that you learn the spec of your car and learn how big your fuel tank is. This way you will always know how much gas you have left in your gas tank when you top off the gas tank at the gas station. But how many miles can you drive on empty? Well, more on that we are going to cover in a bit after we discuss another really important topic.
How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty: Dangerous To Drive On Empty?
Another really important thing that bothers a ton of people who want to learn how many miles can you drive on empty is the potential dangers of doing so. Are there any dangers to you and your car if you drive on empty for long periods of time? Let’s find out.
Driving on empty is not something that I would recommend to anyone. Why so? Well, there are some concerns about doing so.
Driving with a low amount of gas will definitely put a strain on your fuel delivery system. More precisely on the fuel pump.
The fuel pump will constantly be working under stress if you run the car always low on fuel. And what can happen is that it could fail. And fuel pumps are components that you don’t want to replace since they are really expensive.
Replacing one could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the worst case. And this is something that you want to avoid and make sure that you don’t break your car.
The second thing is that you can be left stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And if you are left stranded, you will basically end up waiting for help for hours in some cases. Since help isn’t always readily available. The tow company could be left without trucks and you will have to wait until the tow truck picks you up.
So, you get the point. Running on empty is not something that I would recommend. But how many miles can you drive on empty? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty: Can You Trust The Fuel Gauge?
Another thing that we would like to cover when it comes to how many miles can you drive on empty is if you can trust the fuel gauge in the car or not.
So, why we are asking this question? Well, because some gauges cannot be trusted. Especially if you own an older car. Older cars are notorious for giving bad information to the driver and you cannot rely on them.
Most of them work, but if your car is from the 80s or earlier, then you definitely double-check this gauge and make sure that it gives the right information. Because imagine you have a plan to travel and you are left without gas in the middle of nowhere. The reading on the gauge is good but the car simply stalled and you think that you have a defect in the engine or something like that.
These are the small things that most people forget and suddenly they are in big trouble and cannot make their way back home. So, before you get an old car on the road, always make sure that you have enough gas inside of the tank and do not rely on the gauge 100% of the time. It could fail you when you least expect it. But how many miles can you drive on empty? More on that we are going to elaborate next.
How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty
Now let’s get to business and learn more about how many miles can you drive on empty. What is the real number when it comes to this?
Well, the real number of how many miles can you travel really depends on the car you have and the size of the fuel tank you have.
On most cars, this light flashes when you have about 3 gallons left in your gas tank. And three gallons are not a small amount of gasoline. This is why you can expect a good range even when the car is running on empty.
Most cars have a range between 30 and 60 miles when it comes to running on empty. So, if the light flashes, you will be safe for at least 30 miles. After that, who knows what can happen. You might drive another 30 or 50 in some cases. But it could also mean the car will shut off after a few moments as well. So, don’t take anything by chance, and always make sure that you have fuel in your fuel tank.
Or if you have a car that is somewhat risky when it comes to this, you can take a reserve jug in your gas tank. A few gallons of gas extra might be a good idea if you plan to go on a trip and you don’t know the area and don’t know where you can find a gas station.
Even though, always driving with gasoline in your car is not something that we would recommend since it is a safety hazard. Now let’s conclude this article.
Facts: How Far Can You Drive After the Gas Light Comes On?
- The number of miles you can safely drive after the gas light comes on depends on the make and model of your car, your driving habits, regular gas mileage, and whether you drive a fuel-efficient car.
- Generally, it’s safe to drive about 20 to 30 miles in a smaller vehicle or up to 50 miles in a larger vehicle after the gas light comes on.
- A car’s make and model affect how many miles you can drive after the gas light comes on, as well as its mpg and gas tank size.
- The age, condition, and road conditions of your car also impact how far you can drive after the gas light comes on.
- When the gas light comes on, it means your car is running low on fuel and that the fuel pump needs gasoline to lubricate the engine. If the engine doesn’t get gasoline, it may overheat and eventually seize up.
- Driving with the gas light on stresses your fuel pump more than usual wear and tear, and a damaged fuel pump can cause your car to be useless until it’s replaced.
- Driving with the gas light on can clog up your vehicle’s components, damage your air filter, and harm your fuel pump.
- If the gas light comes on, you should avoid driving at high speeds, turn off unnecessary electronics, and pull over safely and call for help if you can’t find a gas station nearby.
- Following road safety tips and investing in a roadside assistance plan can help you stay safe on the road when the gas light comes on.
- Filling up your gas tank less frequently does not mean you’re saving money, and running an EV battery flat can not only damage it but also prevent it from fully recharging in the future.
Conclusion To How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the question of how many miles can you drive on empty. First, we started with the basics and learned what is the fuel gauge and why it is important for you.
Then we learned more about the US volume measurements and how MPG is measured. After that, we covered the average size of the fuel tank on most cars out there, and lastly, we learned how many miles can you drive on empty.
F.A.Qs To How Many Miles Can You Drive On Empty
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
How Many Gallons Of Gas Does A Car Hold
This really depends on the car. Most cars have gas tanks in the range of 13 to 16 gallons. But some cars have 18-gallon tanks or even bigger. For the exact number, you need to check your model and see it precisely.
How Many Miles Per Gallon Of Gas
The answer to this question depends on the make and model, the size of the engine, the weight of the car, and a lot of other factors. So, the MPG is measured on a specific vehicle, it is not a universal measurement for all cars.
How Many Miles After Gas Light
After a gas light, you can travel for at least 30 miles. After that who knows what could happen? You might be lucky and get another 30 miles or your car could stall soon after you pass over 30 miles.
How Many Gallons To Fill A Car
The answer to this question really depends on the size of the car tank as well as on how much gas the tank already has inside. If you have a small hatchback and the tank is all empty. You can fill it up with 12 to 13 gallons of gas.
How Many Miles Left When Gas Light Comes On
When the light turns on, you can travel at least 30 miles. After that mileage, the car could stall. It really depends on how much fuel is inside, nobody will be able to tell the exact mileage.
How Long Is Gas Good For
Usually gas lasts for about 6 months. After 6 months, the gas becomes old, and the older it gets it starts to oxidate and lose its properties.
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