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3rd Time's the Charm
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I've driven back and forth to work TWICE after my low fuel light came on before, a total of 52 miles. That was really pushing it, but I planned ahead and had a jug in the car. I wanted to see if it'd run out.

Our tanks are supposedly just under 12.5 gallons, but it took 12.6 to fill up, and it never sputtered or acted badly.

Long story short, run it low, keep track of how many miles PAST 0 you go, and use your brain to calculate about how much more gas was really in there in case you run into an emergency situation. I.E. stopping just as the counter reaches 0, my car averages 11.5 gallons, leaving me an entire gallon left to go, 20-35 miles depending on traffic and driving style, not that I'd use that buffer regularly.

I've heard of some Fords that will run out with a few miles left on that countdown before, but definitely not our cars!
 

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Old Phart
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44,595 Posts
Only way to save $ by running the tank out is psychological - drive easier or less when there isn't much fuel left.

Rapid change in estimated miles left has been pretty well covered, more slosh when it's low and a slight difference in measured amount makes a big difference in miles estimate.

How much change in level for a gallon difference in a 12+ gallon tank? And each gallon is about 30 miles difference depending on current MPG estimate. Makes even more difference as it's driven, startup miles to empty is based on the prev. mpg average and that drops to current mpg estimate for the short drive from cold (much lower). So even without slosh changing gal. avail., mpg can change from an average 30 to a current 20 after the cold start/almost no miles. So even with 2 gal remaining it would change from 60 to go to 40 to go just for the current MPG difference. Add in slosh and subtract a gallon from the estimated remaining fuel - you're down to 20 to go from 60 that it read before driving.
 

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I try to stay above 1/4 tank. Not sure how true, but low fuel makes it hard on the fuel pump. My work car however, I do the same but sometimes others drive it and leave it nearly on E and the miles left turn into flat lines. 2013 Elantra. Biggest pile of junk too.
 

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Tricia says it best, although my 2012 doesn't give me a red indication...
Cubedtothex,

Thanks for the mention, and have a great weekend! [hihi]

Thank you for the link, I will save it. The car did not come with a manual to consult when we purchased it a couple weeks ago.
You’re very welcome, leitmotif!

If you need me, just give me a shout! [thumb]

Tricia
 

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It doesn't save you (much) money by waiting until you've run the tank dry. Either way you end up buying the fuel.
It's not money i'm trying to save, it's time.

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It's not money i'm trying to save, it's time.

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Only way that works is if one station is always busy and another is always quiet. Eventually you have to stop and fuel somewhere.

How much time do you save waiting for AAA to bring you 5 gallons because you miscalculated?

I drive truck for a living so I'm all about fuel stop considerations and how it'll affect my route and getting to my destinations on time, because we have laws dictating how long we can drive and how long we can be on the clock above and beyond driving (fuelling, pretrip inspections, etc).

I can tell you with certainty that overall you don't save time when waiting until your tank is empty on the verge of sputtering out.
 

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Only way that works is if one station is always busy and another is always quiet. Eventually you have to stop and fuel somewhere.

How much time do you save waiting for AAA to bring you 5 gallons because you miscalculated?

I drive truck for a living so I'm all about fuel stop considerations and how it'll affect my route and getting to my destinations on time, because we have laws dictating how long we can drive and how long we can be on the clock above and beyond driving (fuelling, pretrip inspections, etc).

I can tell you with certainty that overall you don't save time when waiting until your tank is empty on the verge of sputtering out.
It's more me wanting to be home rather than waiting in line at a station. Where I fuel up is always busy. I leave the house at 545 and normally make it home around 600. Not wasting 15 minutes is worth me putting it off for another time. I have noticed thursday night is significantly less busy so i fuel up then. Some weeks i make it, others i have to fuel up before.

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It's more me wanting to be home rather than waiting in line at a station. Where I fuel up is always busy. I leave the house at 545 and normally make it home around 600. Not wasting 15 minutes is worth me putting it off for another time. I have noticed thursday night is significantly less busy so i fuel up then. Some weeks i make it, others i have to fuel up before.

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Well my point is you gotta spend that time fuelling sometime anyway, and the less you have in the tank, the longer (ie more time) it takes to fill it up.

I mean I totally get not filling every time the needle drops but this whole business of running past the warning lights is silly to me.
 

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It's fun... Last time I was in the middle of nowhere picking up deer meat from the processor. That's when i found out it resets a few times.

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I wouldn't trust the "Miles Left" estimate, I learned that lesson recently. The day after we brought our daughter home we had to take her to her pediatrician to get a weight check.

I usually fill up at 1/4 tank, started doing that when I owned a Chevy(because they're notorious for burning out fuel pumps) and I just kept up with it. This time, I didn't because I wanted to get wife and baby home.

We left the house with 20 miles to go and I only wanted to hit up a gas station about 4 miles away -- it died on a slight hill about a .5 mile from the station. Really. Great. Day.
 
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