Does your owner’s manual tell you how many gallons are left when the low fuel light comes on?
Exactly, if you are a person who chronicle runs it really low it most likely you will be replacing the fuel pump earlier than someone who fills it above 1/4 tank .
My sister, teenager in the 1960s, was a world-class expert at coasting into the gas station … lol …
With modern engines it’s not a good idea to run out of gas, as doing so can damage both the fuel pump and the catalytic converter.
I too am one to often find the Low Fuel light turned on, and immediately try to figure out how far I can go to get gas. It’s worked fine for me for years.
Keith’s answer for computing your vehicle’s mpg and then determining how many gallons are left in tank when the light comes on - is the best way to do it.
You could also let the car run out of gas, fill it from a can of gas you’re carrying, and drive to the nearest station. Not great for the fuel pump, but doing it once shouldn’t hurt it. Two points:
- Note that if you’re only running low on fuel, you are not doing the pump any harm.
- Not everyone will agree with this thinking.
My Lincoln and Chevy have around 2 gallons left when the Low Fuel light comes on; about 50 miles worth of driving.
My GMC Sonoma has about 6 miles left so I try to avoid the LF light situation since things are kind of spread out around here and gas availability may be a lot further than 6 miles away.
Found that out one morning about 7 miles away from the gas station and through sheer luck and a bit of downhill managed to coast to the pumps.
My cars aren’t on the charts and I couldn’t tell you if the light works or not because they have never come on. It looks like they want you to be able to drive 40-50 miles anyway when the light comes on. Normally OK unless you are caught in a snow storm or severe traffic back-up. Not me though.
I told the story before but on one Minnesota to Florida trip (I don’t remember the circumstances but think due to time constraints the kids had to fly down) we rented a van with some friends and drove down. He was in charge of emergency management/preparedness at the time and took first shift. I generally fill up at around a half tank on over-the-road trips, especially in winter when you can get hit with ice and snow storms. At any rate he kept driving and driving from half tank to quarter to 1/8 tank and less. Regardless of what I suggested he didn’t stop until all we had left were fumes. To this day I don’t know why a guy involved in emergency preparedness wanted to do a Seinfeld and all he would say is he wanted to see how far we could go on a tank. Sheesh do that on your own if you want but not with four of us at 2:00 in the morning on the road.
Usually my bladder wouldn’t let me do that!
Perhaps he was demonstrating that there are two halves to a fuel tank and that it is possible to use both.
The chart shows me that a Camry has 2.6 gallons of fuel left when the light comes on. My particular Camry has about 4.2 gallons left which is irritating because in the summer I like to drive about 525 miles before stopping for fuel,dinner and a motel and I have to look at the low fuel light for at least 75 miles and then I have never been able to put 15 gallons in my 17 gallon gas tank. The most I have ever put in was 14.8.
Around town, the supermarket my wife shops at gives gas discounts for buying groceries. We usually get $.80 to $1.00 a gallon off. You can buy 25 gallons at a time (it was 30) so I fill 2 or 3 gas cans to get to the max. For that reason , I never fill up at 1/2 tank.
You are truly making that nickel squeak. Of course my parents were products of the depression. It has finally hit home why my dad would always deliver stuff from the garden to elderly friends. I always thought it was a little strange when we made the stops. He was on a farm during the bad years so they had food if nothing else and remember hearing he would often take food to my mom and grandmother who were in town. Even in the rest home he would give bananas to other residents. It all makes sense now. When I cleaned his house out I got a big collection of straws and salt and pepper packets from restaurants. He always saved them. I’m a little ashamed now of what I waste and what I have not shared. I’m not ashamed enough to start a garden though.
Well, I was born before WWII in a small town that never recovered from the Depression to this day and the depression did not end until we got into WWII and then we had rationing.
I never made a ton of money, we had 4 kids and I was out of work a lot, but I retired with a tidy nest egg. So yeah, I make a nickle squeak.
Good for you. I admire that. Not intended as a negative comment at all.
Frugality is a virtue in our family. I was also born before WW II and one of 8 children. We always had used cars and trucks; my dad bought his very first new car in 1969, a basic Chevy.
Paid my own way through college with scholarships and summer jobs in the wilderness on exploration and on pipeline construction…Very long hours.
My son had it easier, but we did not need to assist him in any way with this college expenses. We only gave him my old 1984 Chevy Impala for transportation.
Yeah I paid my own way too with work and did have to borrow $3000. I did pay $80K for the son though. I always said I would pay under graduate but he would have to pay after that. I think it worked out and he’s still a hard worker. My philosophy has just been trying to provide a solid foundation for adult hood. I don’t know if it was fair or not but I did say I wouldn’t pay for a psychology or sociology major alone but coupled with biology or something would be fine. But hey it was my money and he didn’t have a problem with it. I probably would have caved anyway if he wanted a PhD in psychology like his cousin. His cousin’s dad, who has a lot of money, never paid a dang thing though, so I don’t feel bad.