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FFTeam 01-25-2013 03:53 PM

Driving on empty: Ford Focus averages 38 miles

Whether slogging through commuter traffic or cruising on a picturesque highway, nobody enjoys stopping for gas. Hence it's easy to play a Kramer-quality game of chicken with the gas gauge ó and seeing how deep you can get the needle into the E before the car sputters out. Automakers discourage that procrastination with a low-fuel light, which warns you when there's a few gallons left to spare; but those couple dozen extra miles aren't lost on motorists who want to hold off for a few precious freeway exits.

What's left people guessing, however, is exactly how far you can go when the gas light comes on, and since there's no established standard for reserve fuel capacity, it varies with each automaker and model. But thanks to the website Tank on Empty, which has a searchable, user-submitted database, you can have a better idea of your on-empty range.

According to the site, there are some surprising low-fuel winners: the mammoth Ford Excursion may guzzle gas like a cargo ship, but it also boasts one of the longest ranges, averaging 85.12 miles. That beats the eco-conscious Prius, which can run for 55.12 miles, or a Porsche 911 Carrera, which could quickly leave you stranded on the shoulder with its average of 23.82 miles.

But don't get emboldened by the data to run your car on fumes, because continuously doing so can wear out the fuel pump. Most modern vehicles use an electric fuel pump, which is inside the fuel tank and relies on the gasoline to keep it cool; hence you'll want to keep the tank at least a quarter full to prevent premature wear.

Plus, there are some imitations to the tool. The data doesnít distinguish between different model years, so an aging Toyota Corolla with a bad oxygen sensor could skew the results against a new one that just rolled off the dealership. And since the data points donít reflect how much further the cars couldíve gone, theyíre more an insight into driver refueling habits than a reflection of a carís on-empty range.

Such crowdsourced data may become obsolete as manufacturers use trip computers that indicate the miles left ó itís already not only in luxury BMWs and Audis, but also in entry-level compacts like the Subaru Impreza. Whether thereís still some padding in the trip computerís range or not, that only means drivers can push cars further into empty.

Text Source: Yahoo! Auto

whynotthinkwhynot 01-25-2013 04:21 PM

I have taken my Focus 100 miles after the light comes on. I'd like to dispute these tests

mjd4277 01-25-2013 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot (Post 4556810)
I have taken my Focus 100 miles after the light comes on. I'd like to dispute these tests

Don't be surprised if your fuel pump decides to go south on you then![thumb]

sailor 01-26-2013 05:42 PM

Note that it's "crowdsourced data", with the comment that it reflects how far people pushed it more than how far it COULD go in many cases.....

Interesting that most went about 40 miles B4 they "chickened out"


Matt89 01-26-2013 08:41 PM

Well my 08 2dr focus turns on the low fuel light on at 49 miles, probably has another 10 miles once it reaches 0.

toxic_waste 01-27-2013 04:09 AM

i've done just under 60 miles with the light on, was the most nerve wraking thing, constantly thinking i'd run out of fuel before reaching the gas station

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