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Old 08-23-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
petehouk
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How far after low fuel light?

How far do people drive after their low fuel light trips? I have been driving to Toronto lately and I'm trying to figure out if I can do it without buying gas in Canada ($4.00 a gallon!).

It's 450 miles round trip. Last time the low fuel light turned on at 410. I chickened out and stiopped for few litres of petrol before I got to the border.

Now for some math. I got 38 MPG on that trip. 38 MPG X 14 gallons in a tank = 532 Miles. So by that calculation I had plenty left and could have finished without getting gas.

But are there really 14 gallons of USABLE fuel in there? Or is some of it at the very bottom of the tank where the sender can't get it? This is what the manual says, but it doesn't give a clear answer:

"The advertised fuel capacity of the fuel tank on your vehicle is equal to
the rated refill capacity of the fuel tank as listed in the Refill capacities
section of this chapter.

The advertised capacity is the amount of the indicated capacity and the
empty reserve combined. Indicated capacity is the difference in the
amount of fuel in a full tank and a tank when the fuel gauge indicates
empty. Empty reserve is the small amount of fuel remaining in the fuel
tank after the fuel gauge indicates empty.

The amount of usable fuel in the empty reserve varies and should
not be relied upon to increase driving range. When refueling your
vehicle after the fuel gauge indicates empty, you might not be
able to refuel the full amount of the advertised capacity of the
fuel tank due to the empty reserve still present in the tank."


How far have you gone with that light on?


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Old 08-23-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
wickedgreyzx3
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why? you are just going to kill your fuel pump. i start thinking about a fill up at 1/2 a tank.

the light has never come on in my car, actually the guage has never been below 1/4 full
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:02 PM   #3
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You just spent more time writing this then me filling up 2 focus with 11gal's each.
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:05 PM   #4
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LOL, after re-reading... why not fill up before you cross the boarder.. Its just that simple.
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:25 PM   #5
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How far after low fuel light? There is usually a few gallons left after the light comes on. I used to follow this premise faithfully in my last car. Only filled up when the light came on. Usually had 2 gallons left, hell, I can make it 50 more miles. One day 50 miles was not allowed to me. My car sputtered and died after 15 miles. Luckily near my fathers house. What the hell could have happened? Ended up burning my fuel pump out. Found out the hard way. $250 dollars for the fuel pump turned out to be the most expensive fill up I've ever purchased. According to the fellow at NAPA, fuel cools the fuel pump.

Sometimes it's better to spend a few dollars up front than to find out the hard way.
Petehouk, according to your calculations I would be surpised if you had 3 gallons left in your tank after the light came on. Best bet would be to fill up before crossing over and avoid having the fuel light come on.
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:06 PM   #6
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Even tho you shouldn't be driving too much longer after your fuel light comes on........if you want an honest answer i've consistently driven around 30 miles after my light comes on.
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:09 PM   #7
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I've driven 55 miles at constant speed after the light came on, but I think the '03 tank is only 13 gallons. That was also running pretty lean.
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:31 PM   #8
JayH
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Funny you should ask this. My low fuel light came on last night. I have a gas station nearby, so I waited to fill the car up this morning. I figure I only had about 2 - 3 gallons left in the tank when that light came on. It took 11.001 gallons to fill the tank this morning. Book says it holds 14 gallons.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:42 PM   #9
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this has been discussed before. i know for my if the light comes on i still have around 4 gallons left in the tank. but i usually fill up after i get down to a half a tank. if i was to take my mpg and use it to calculate how far i could go after the fuel light, i could go 100 miles in the city and another 120-130 miles on the freeway.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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Yeah I usually fill up after my light comes on. My light comes on after 10 gallons have been used and I usually put 11 or 12 gallons in.
So I would guess I have a few gallons left when I fill up.
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