Avoid a breakdown by knowing how far you can drive on a near-empty fuel tank

Article by Christian A., on March 28, 2017

Admit it, we sometimes still let our cars run even when the gas is nearing the empty line. Occasionally, we even let it run a few miles after the light comes on. So, how far is a car able to go after this alarm goes off? More importantly, is it dangerous to drive further when the low fuel light comes on?

Running on empty gas can be extremely risky. Picture being on the freeway when your car suddenly stops because your gas has run out. Your car might stop on a particularly dangerous spot or you might be miles from the nearest city. Of course, there’s the matter of not being on time for your appointments.

Aside from this, driving on empty can actually do damage to your vehicles. It primarily affects the catalytic converter, which should be fixed once it gets damaged. The habit of driving on low fuel can also damage your fuel pump. This is because any contamination in the gas is sent to the fuel pump when the tank is empty.

How trustworthy is the distance to empty gauge?

New models now have a distance to empty gauge on their dashboards. This provides an approximation of how many miles can be driven before the car runs out of gas. Many drivers think that if the gauge says it has 20 miles left, then they have exactly 20 miles before they run out of gas.

But this should not be practiced because the distance that is indicated is merely an approximation. It is based on the average mileage you’ve driven with your car, which means that it may not be very accurate in relation to your driving conditions.

In fact, when your gauge indicates a full tank, it is usually an accurate figure. On the other hand, when your tank is empty, precision isn’t guaranteed and you’re putting yourself and your car at risk.

How far can you drive on empty?

The most awaited question: exactly how far can you still drive on an empty tank?

Here are the estimates for how many miles you can continue to drive – as well as the point at which the warning light illuminates – when using any of these top 50 best-selling vehicles in the United States in 2015.

Note: For vehicles with “Not available” listed for the point at which the warning light comes on, the light is triggered based on the distance to empty calculator having the listed number of miles remaining.

It is important to know the risks of driving on an empty tank. You, as the driver, should be informed well of how many miles you have left when in this situation. Knowing this is a good way to prepare yourself if ever anything unfortunate occurs. Lastly, if you notice unusual changes on your gauge, have your car inspected as soon as possible.

 

  1. Ford F-150 - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  2. Chevrolet Silverado - Not available - 25 miles
  3. Ram 1500 - 3 gallons - 63-87 miles
  4. Toyota Camry -  2.6 gallons - 65-91 miles
  5. Toyota Corolla - 2 gallons - 60-84 miles
  6. Nissan Altima - 3 gallons - 81-114 miles
  7. Honda Accord - 2.6 gallons - 70-93 miles
  8. Honda CR-V - 2.3 gallons - 62-78 miles
  9. Honda Civic - 1.9 gallons - 59-80 miles
  10. Ford Fusion - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  11. Ford Escape - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  12. Toyota RAV4 - 2.4 gallons - 57-74 miles
  13. Chevrolet Equinox - Not available - 50 miles
  14. Nissan Rogue - 3 gallons - 78-99 miles
  15. Hyundai Elantra - Not available - 30 miles
  16. Ford Explorer - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  17. Chevrolet Cruze - 2 gallons - 56-84 miles
  18. Ford Focus - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  19. GMC Sierra Denali - 4 gallons - 64-92 miles
  20. Hyundai Sonata - Not available - 40 miles
  21. Jeep Cherokee - 3 gallons - 66-93 miles
  22. Nissan Sentra - 2 gallons - 60-80 miles
  23. Jeep Wrangler - 2.8 gallons - 47-58 miles
  24. Chrysler 200 - 3 gallons - 69-108 miles
  25. Chevrolet Malibu - 2 gallons - 50-72 miles
  26. Jeep Grand Cherokee - 3 gallons - 66-90 miles
  27. Toyota Tacoma - 3 gallons - 63-75 miles
  28. Subaru Forester - 2.6 gallons - 62-83 miles
  29. Kia Optima - Not available - 30 miles
  30. Toyota Highlander - 2.9 gallons - 58-72 miles
  31. Kia Soul - Not available - 30 miles
  32. Toyota Sienna - 3 gallons - 54-75 miles
  33. Subaru Outback - 2.6 gallons - 65-85 miles
  34. Nissan Versa - 2.6 gallons - 65-85 miles
  35. Volkswagen Jetta - 1.85 gallons - 57-85 miles
  36. Honda Odyssey - 3 gallons - 57-84 miles
  37. Honda Pilot - 2.5 gallons - 45-62 miles
  38. Ford Mustang - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  39. Ford Edge - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  40. Chevrolet Traverse - 2.5 gallons - 42-60 miles
  41. Toyota Tundra - 4 gallons - 60-72 miles
  42. Jeep Patriot - 2 gallons - 46-60 miles
  43. Toyota Prius - 1.6 gallons - 76-81 miles
  44. Hyundai Santa - Fe Not available - 40 miles
  45. Kia Sorento - Not available - 40 miles
  46. Chevrolet Impala - 2 gallons - 44-62 miles
  47. Ford Transit - 1/16th of a tank - 35-80 miles
  48. Mazda 3 - 2.3 gallons - 69-94 miles
  49. Mazda CX-5 - 2.6 gallons - 67-91 miles
  50. GMC Terrain - Not available - 50 miles

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