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(SeattlePI)   Apparently Kramer was correct about how far your car can go on empty   (seattlepi.com) divider line 51
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8788 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Feb 2013 at 10:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-04 10:29:00 AM  
What about the Successful and Attractive cars?
 
2013-02-04 10:34:29 AM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-02-04 10:35:49 AM  
When I was strapped for cash I would regularly run under the E line on the fuel gauge. I found out that I could get 22 miles out of the tank after the needle crossed the E threshold. CSB - One time my tank ran empty right after I pulled into a gas station, I coasted to the pump.
 
2013-02-04 10:36:06 AM  
Doesn't do me much good, since I'm sure being in stop and go traffic makes a huge difference.  Once a week, my light comes on and I know I have to either get gas near my work or on the way home from work.  I know from experience I can get at least an extra 15 miles in when the light goes on.
 
2013-02-04 10:42:41 AM  

Tenatra: When I was strapped for cash I would regularly run under the E line on the fuel gauge. I found out that I could get 22 miles out of the tank after the needle crossed the E threshold. CSB - One time my tank ran empty right after I pulled into a gas station, I coasted to the pump.


The one and only time I've actually ran out of gas was quite similar, although I was nearly a mile up hill from the filling station.  Fortunately the lights and traffic were on my side and rode that PoS car like a roller coaster down the hill.
 
2013-02-04 10:52:36 AM  
Had a pickup truck with a wonky fuel gauge once that would stop at a quarter tank then drop straight to e once it was empty./CSB
 
2013-02-04 10:53:34 AM  
google is blocking almost all of the fark links as malware for me this morning.  dammit - how far can the thing go?
 
2013-02-04 10:58:23 AM  
The huge standard deviations on that site's stats make the data pretty useless.
 
2013-02-04 11:00:10 AM  
Or you could look up you fuel tank's capacity, subtract the amount of gas you had to put in it after the fuel light comes on and multiply that times you average fuel efficiency. Add in a factor of safety and you are good to go.

I would expect this to give better results than going by someone else's testimonial. There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.
 
2013-02-04 11:03:25 AM  

fzumrk: There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.


Depending on how many bricks of heroin are in your tank, of course.
 
2013-02-04 11:24:26 AM  
The closest I've come to running out of gas was on a trip back from vegas.

It was a bad vegas trip and I forgot to fill up before leaving. Fuel light came on in the car for about the second time in 10 years.

Stopped at what looked like a gas station, except that there were no nozzles on the pump (just some yokel dude sitting in an old convenience store that looked like it, and all of the products inside of it, were from the 60s).

Got back on the freeway and made it to a legitimate gas station (must have went 20 miles with the light on.) Paid about ~$1.50 more per gallon than what gas was going for in San Diego at the time. Put in my standard gas purchase of $40.

Got back to San Diego, dropped everyone off, then filled my tank back up the very NEXT DAY because I normally fill up when I'm at 1/4th a tank.
 
2013-02-04 11:31:37 AM  
I'm one of those folks who doesn't like to get my car below the one-third mark. For more thing, if you keep your gas tank that full, the fuel pump doesn't have to work that hard or at all (thanks to gravity), saving a couple hundred dollars in repairs down the road. Plus -- you never know when you might need to outrun a cop or a road rager. :)
 
2013-02-04 11:35:55 AM  
Ummm, didn't RTFA but don't most cars have a "reserve" tank?

My 2005 Honda has a "reserve" tank.  It's the same stupid fuel tank but the Gas Light comes on when I only have around 4 gallons left.  Meaning the tank isn't empty yet and you should have enough gas to get to a gas station.

Also I heard you're not supposed to drive around with the light on because at that point the fuel in the tank is low enough that it is no longer covering the pump.  The fuel acts as a coolant for the pump and with the lack of coolant and the pump working extra hard for the remaining fuel isn't a good thing.
 
2013-02-04 12:10:05 PM  

Catsaregreen: I'm one of those folks who doesn't like to get my car below the one-third mark. For more thing, if you keep your gas tank that full, the fuel pump doesn't have to work that hard or at all (thanks to gravity), saving a couple hundred dollars in repairs down the road. Plus -- you never know when you might need to outrun a cop or a road rager. :)


The fuel pump is still working just as much with a nearly empty tank as it does with a full tank. Even an old car with a carb will have about 5psi of fuel pressure. Fuel injected cars are generally 40+ psi of fuel pressure. You aren't going to get that with gravity feed from the tank.

The deal is that the fuel is what cools the pump. Most of the modern cars vary the power sent to the pump so it isn't working as hard when the engine doesn't need much fuel. All the other cars have the pump running hard the whole time and simply circulating the fuel the engine doesn't need. So, with a full tank there is lots of fuel being circulated and the pump is also submerged in fuel so it stays cool. When the tank is low the same little bit of fuel is circulated and the pump might be hanging in air so it runs hotter. Also the fuel sloshing around when low can cause the pickup on the pump to be uncovered and sucking air is very hard on the pump.

So, still keep the tank more full and the pump will appreciate it.
 
2013-02-04 12:26:56 PM  
the website is fairly useless. over 100 submissions for my car, with people saying everywhere from 10 miles to 90. thanks.
 
2013-02-04 12:36:11 PM  
Article title asks how far you can go on empty; article body is about how far you can go after the low-fuel warning comes on. They are not the same thing. On my car the warning comes on at 1/8 of a tank remaining. I've never taken it all the way down.

My first car would run out of gas *before* the needle made it to 'E'. The mechanic screwed something up with the sensor when I had the fuel pump replaced.
 
2013-02-04 12:39:24 PM  
Anyone that has had the adventure of running out of gas at the wrong time and place never forget to refill before the red light comes on.

Happen to me once on my motorcycle because the tank had been left on "reserve" and the bike didn't have a fuel gauge.

Got stuck with an idiot that did it, with a very large car that we ended up pushing to the gas station (wasn't that far, a few block's worth, but he didn't have a tank and the station didn't want to load one (and either didn't have any to sell or the idiot was too cheap to buy one.)

I've done the calculations for my car, and I know that I can easily do between 20 to 50 more KM when I hit the empty mark.  I've only hit it once on purpose so to do the math, but I never pushed to risk being stuck.
 
2013-02-04 12:41:18 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Article title asks how far you can go on empty; article body is about how far you can go after the low-fuel warning comes on. They are not the same thing. On my car the warning comes on at 1/8 of a tank remaining. I've never taken it all the way down.

My first car would run out of gas *before* the needle made it to 'E'. The mechanic screwed something up with the sensor when I had the fuel pump replaced.


One of my older vehicles was like that.  I couldn't trust the gauge at all... I would reset the trip counter when I'd refill and go with the mileage and would refill once I got close to what was the estimated range of the tank being low.
 
2013-02-04 12:44:43 PM  
My car has two low fuel indicators. One if for low tank and the other is for when I can get 70km at it's current calculated fuel economy. It's pretty damn accurate as long as you reset it after no standard driving.
 
2013-02-04 12:46:58 PM  
I forgot to add besides overheating the fuel pump older cars tend to have a nice collection of sediment at the bottom of the tank just waiting to get sucked into the line. Running it empty usually results in buying a new fuel filter as well.
 
2013-02-04 12:58:49 PM  
I have a 'range' feature on my car.. the other day it got down to 30 miles, but I couldn't test it as after 30, it changes to ---

So, I gues that's their fudge factor
 
2013-02-04 01:07:17 PM  
It's ridiculous that we can't get better fuel gauges in cars. Mine has the "miles until empty" calculation feature but it's totally unreliable. I can drive 20 miles to work and the miles left will actually increase. WTF kind of feature is that?
 
2013-02-04 01:25:49 PM  

fzumrk: Or you could look up you fuel tank's capacity, subtract the amount of gas you had to put in it after the fuel light comes on and multiply that times you average fuel efficiency. Add in a factor of safety and you are good to go.

I would expect this to give better results than going by someone else's testimonial. There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.


My dad had a Chevy S-10 that would run dry when the needle was just past the 1/8th of a tank mark.  Someone must have had the dashboard off at one point.
 
2013-02-04 01:35:23 PM  
The empty light on my car has never come on (if there even is one).  There is a low fuel light that comes on and I get at least 100 miles on it.  The most gas I've ever filled up with is 12.2 gallons.
 
2013-02-04 01:35:55 PM  

imfallen_angel: Happen to me once on my motorcycle because the tank had been left on "reserve" and the bike didn't have a fuel gauge.


Same here and that was the last time I ever let anybody borrow my bike.
 
2013-02-04 01:36:51 PM  

TheGogmagog: fzumrk: Or you could look up you fuel tank's capacity, subtract the amount of gas you had to put in it after the fuel light comes on and multiply that times you average fuel efficiency. Add in a factor of safety and you are good to go.

I would expect this to give better results than going by someone else's testimonial. There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.

My dad had a Chevy S-10 that would run dry when the needle was just past the 1/8th of a tank mark.  Someone must have had the dashboard off at one point.


Sounds to me more like the fuel pump reading was inaccurate. I had a car that had a fairly inaccurate fuel gauge until we stuck in a new fuel pump with a new fuel indicator float in it. I'd gotten sick of the car stalling when I made turns when it was below about a quarter tank of fuel. The fuel pump had been allegedly replaced and hadn't stalled on corners before then, but the mechanic who replaced it told me to "just keep the fuel above 1/4 tank" instead of replacing the faulty part. I never went to that mechanic again, even though he'd once employed my uncle and was friends with my family. My grandmother vowed to never use him again either after I mentioned what he'd done. I ended up putting the fuel pump in myself and the fuel gauge worked fine and it didn't stall on corners any more either.
 
2013-02-04 01:57:51 PM  

Shan: Tenatra: When I was strapped for cash I would regularly run under the E line on the fuel gauge. I found out that I could get 22 miles out of the tank after the needle crossed the E threshold. CSB - One time my tank ran empty right after I pulled into a gas station, I coasted to the pump.

The one and only time I've actually ran out of gas was quite similar, although I was nearly a mile up hill from the filling station.  Fortunately the lights and traffic were on my side and rode that PoS car like a roller coaster down the hill.


The one and only time I ran out of gas was on a state road vehicle that well and truly ran out of gas the moment the needle hit e.
 
2013-02-04 02:20:09 PM  
I've run my car's DTE (distance till empty) indicator down to zero, then went another mile and a half or so till I found a gas station. The dashboard light had already been on for about 20 miles by then. I have no interest in pushing it past that point ever again.
 
2013-02-04 02:36:44 PM  

SuperChuck: It's ridiculous that we can't get better fuel gauges in cars. Mine has the "miles until empty" calculation feature but it's totally unreliable. I can drive 20 miles to work and the miles left will actually increase. WTF kind of feature is that?


Because when you are at idle the mileage sucks and when you drive it improves?
 
2013-02-04 02:50:07 PM  
Running out of gas should be an automatic license suspension.
 
2013-02-04 03:04:43 PM  
It depends on driving conditions. Obviously you're going to get better mpg if you're driving mostly downhill at freeway speeds, and worse if it's uphill and bumper to bumper. It complicates matters that the fuel gauge is never accurate if you're on an incline, and that driving an almost empty tank won't work if the car is driving at such an angle that the gas doesn't reach the fuel pump.

But under normal driving conditions, it's good that the fuel light comes on for a number of miles before the car runs out of gas. Maybe 7 years ago I was on vacation driving through the middle of nowhere, distracted by how incredibly boring it was, and forgot I hadn't filled up in a while. I must've taken a half hour detour into some rural area trying to find a gas station. Then I got back on the freeway and found out there would've been a gas station just a few minutes down the road. Oh well.
 
2013-02-04 03:27:16 PM  

fzumrk: Or you could look up you fuel tank's capacity, subtract the amount of gas you had to put in it after the fuel light comes on and multiply that times you average fuel efficiency. Add in a factor of safety and you are good to go.

I would expect this to give better results than going by someone else's testimonial. There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.


exactly.  I've been tracking my gas for a year and I average 24 mpg, I know my tank is 14 gallons and when my dummy light turns on and I fill up I put in around 11.75 gallons which means my dummy light gives me 2.25 gallons, so I have a "safe" 50 miles once that dummy light turns on.

The most gas I have ever put in was 13 gallons and I was a bit worried about running out on my way to station, only to find out I had a good 20 more miles.
 
2013-02-04 03:38:42 PM  

FullMetalPanda: Ummm, didn't RTFA but don't most cars have a "reserve" tank?

My 2005 Honda has a "reserve" tank.  It's the same stupid fuel tank but the Gas Light comes on when I only have around 4 gallons left.  Meaning the tank isn't empty yet and you should have enough gas to get to a gas station.

Also I heard you're not supposed to drive around with the light on because at that point the fuel in the tank is low enough that it is no longer covering the pump.  The fuel acts as a coolant for the pump and with the lack of coolant and the pump working extra hard for the remaining fuel isn't a good thing.


All new cars have a "reserve" tank, which you can usually figure out the size of through some googling. The fuel light comes on when the main tank is empty and you're running on the reserve.

I know my car has a 12 gallon main tank, and a 2.5 gallon reserve tank. Meaning I can get about 75 miles  or so in once the light comes on (assuming 30 mpg of course, which can vary based on the type of driving). For reasons already articulated in this thread though, that's not a good idea.
 
2013-02-04 03:49:06 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Running out of gas should be an automatic license suspension.



Running out of gas, or in any way breaking-down in the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels or on the Cross Bronx or on the George should be a flaying a la the Bolton family.
 
2013-02-04 04:02:44 PM  

Smoky Dragon Dish: Running out of gas, or in any way breaking-down in the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels or on the Cross Bronx or on the George should be a flaying a la the Bolton family.


The NYC Tunnel folks are actually surprisingly efficient at getting those cars out. Not the bridges though. Just this past weekend I was driving on an LA freeway (on a Saturday afternoon) and a car broken down blocking one lane of traffic caused a MASSIVE traffic jam.

It just boggled my mind one lane being blocked in a 6 or 7 lane highway not during rush hour could cause such chaos.
 
2013-02-04 04:21:18 PM  

Supes: Smoky Dragon Dish: Running out of gas, or in any way breaking-down in the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels or on the Cross Bronx or on the George should be a flaying a la the Bolton family.

The NYC Tunnel folks are actually surprisingly efficient at getting those cars out. Not the bridges though. Just this past weekend I was driving on an LA freeway (on a Saturday afternoon) and a car broken down blocking one lane of traffic caused a MASSIVE traffic jam.

It just boggled my mind one lane being blocked in a 6 or 7 lane highway not during rush hour could cause such chaos.


This is true... BUT, it creates a chain reaction.... not like in LA, apparently.
 
2013-02-04 04:35:30 PM  
The trouble with LA freeways is that traffic is so saturated most times of the day that a slowdown or accident in one lane results in enough merging to jam up the other lanes. If you're stuck in it, and can exit to surface streets, they're not always much better.
 
2013-02-04 04:38:01 PM  
My car (2011 Impreza) can go for a really long time on empty, but that's because the low fuel light turns on when you have like 1/8 of a tank left, which is kind of ridiculous.
 
2013-02-04 04:47:07 PM  
csb
The only time I ran out of gas while driving, I was on my way to work.  I got off the highway, thinking i can limp it to the gas station which was a mile off the exit. ('93 Cavalier, stick shift, partially downhill, etc) No such luck.  Right off the highway it dies.  I had to walk that mile.  A couple years later a gas station went up where my car died.

I refuse to use that gas station.
/csb
 
2013-02-04 04:52:24 PM  

TheOriginalEd: Had a pickup truck with a wonky fuel gauge once that would stop at a quarter tank then drop straight to e once it was empty./CSB


Back in my younger days when I had an onion one my belt, <because that was the style at the time>, my friend had a car with a completely broken fuel gauge.  The only way to keep track was to write down when you got gas and keep track of the mileage.  Once or twice a month we were too drunk to pay attention and would have to walk for miles for gas.


tricycleracer: fzumrk: There may be differences between two individual cars even if they are the same year and model.

Depending on how many bricks of heroin are in your tank, of course.


Dead hookers make a big difference, too.
 
2013-02-04 05:35:59 PM  
Mine comes on at 2.6 gallons, which would mean 62-79 miles. However, I have a CRI diesel and you never, never, never want to run dry. The high pressure pump (34,000 psi) depends on the fuel for lubrication.
 
2013-02-04 05:43:03 PM  
Only time I've run out of gas on accident was on the way to look at a house in the middle of a 6 lane road in Calgary. Luckily, I was in the turning lane. I rode the starter around the corner and parked it in some random parking lot. Didn't end up screwing traffic over or anything. Gotta love older Toyota trucks.
 
2013-02-04 06:54:57 PM  

Shan: Tenatra: When I was strapped for cash I would regularly run under the E line on the fuel gauge. I found out that I could get 22 miles out of the tank after the needle crossed the E threshold. CSB - One time my tank ran empty right after I pulled into a gas station, I coasted to the pump.

The one and only time I've actually ran out of gas was quite similar, although I was nearly a mile up hill from the filling station.  Fortunately the lights and traffic were on my side and rode that PoS car like a roller coaster down the hill.


I ran out of gas coming down Custer Hill on Ft. Riley in my 1987 Chevy Cavalier.  Coasted almost all the way down that straightway to Junction City.  Pushed it the last bit.  Many, that car was easy to push.
 
2013-02-04 07:00:01 PM  
2003 VW Golf TDI

According to the manual, the fuel light comes on at 1.9gal.  I get roughly 45mpg.  I usually do fill the tank soon after the light comes on though, rather than driving for a while.
 
2013-02-04 07:04:54 PM  

LemSkroob: the website is fairly useless. over 100 submissions for my car, with people saying everywhere from 10 miles to 90. thanks.


And for my car, no distinction between engines (1.8T, 2.0, 2.0T, VR6, TDi) or even model years.  Also some wildly useless data points.  Some numbnuts put 1 mile.  My car (Golf GTi 1.8T) throws a light at about 9 L.  That's roughly 80-90 km.  Of course, is that city or highway?  The site wont tell you that.

So basically the site is a steaming pile of fail.
 
2013-02-04 10:55:41 PM  
Every car I ever owned had about a gallon of reserve past empty.

....and then I found out the hard way that is not the case with my Cadillac STS. Was on a rural road... damn im low, ill get gas at the next station. 30 freaking miles later... no station.. ill be good im just now getting to E and there is gas only 3 miles ahead. That biatch counted down to 0 and then promptly died on the spot. No real warning just.... car is stopping now.

Luckily i broke down in front of a farmer on his tractor, and he gave me a gallon to get me on my way. Nice guy.
 
2013-02-05 01:03:27 AM  

darwinpolice: My car (2011 Impreza) can go for a really long time on empty, but that's because the low fuel light turns on when you have like 1/8 of a tank left, which is kind of ridiculous.


My Merc is similarly stupid.  The manual says it has a 90L tank, yet the light comes on after 55-60 L consumption.  So either the sensor is set ridiculously conservative, or it's possibly faulty, or my manual is lying to me.

/1996 E320 if anyone knows the answer...
 
2013-02-05 02:49:25 AM  
Guess I'm the only oddball here.  I fill up at the halfway point.  Mechanic told me years ago about not running it down to where the light comes on.
 
2013-02-05 03:34:42 AM  

TheOriginalEd: Had a pickup truck with a wonky fuel gauge once that would stop at a quarter tank then drop straight to e once it was empty./CSB


'99 ford ranger owner here... had two of 'em, both of them have a worthless piece of shiat masquerading as a gas gauge. Get through the first quarter of the tank, it drops below full. Get through the first two thirds to three quarters, it drops to about half. Got 40 miles left, it drops to 1/4, then it's either 1/4 or below-E depending on the tilt of the land you're parked on.

My rule is: "Mileage is predictably shiatty. Fill after 270 but before 300 and you're safe."

/Those trucks also have utterly worthless belt "retractors"
//Meh, if that's the worst whine you can come up with you ain't doing too bad
 
2013-02-05 06:42:08 AM  
This article actually explains the "not really empty" indication quite nicely with a simple diagram.
http://www.cracked.com/article_19571_8-gadgets-that-lie-to-you-every -d ay.html
Not rocket science.
 
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