Is the low gas light supposed to come on for a "test" when starting the car?

I noticed my low gas light does not come on and go off as do the other warning lights do in the dash when the key is in the on position and start the engine.

Is it supposed to do ths? Car is 2006 Hyundai Tucson if model specefic.

It probably does not come on because you are not low on gas. I have no idea if my low gas light works because I never let it get below 1/4 level. Somehow this does not sound like something to worry about.

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it come on for either of my current vehicles when i turn them on (09 Focus, 05 Odyssey). I’ll check the Ford when I go home from work today.

I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s been so long (actually never) since I’ve seen the low fuel light come on that the bulb might be dead for all I know. The only time I ever saw it come on in my Honda Civic is when I test drove it at the dealership 19 years ago.

I figure it’s not worth it to pull the dashboard apart to check or replace the bulb. It’s a lot easier to just never let the fuel get that low as long as the fuel gauge keeps working.

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I’ve never seen a low fuel light come on as part of the startup light test. Doesn’t mean there isn’t some car out there that does it, but it’s not common. I can say that my wife’s Hyundai does not do it, so it doesn’t terribly surprise me that yours doesn’t either.

Thanks for the answers. I was wondering since I wanted to wait until the light comes on to go fuel to see how far I can do but I don’t think I’ll take any chances.

Just in case you don’t know, the fuel in the tank also is a cooling agent for the in tank fuel pump. So if your light did not work you would run out of fuel and ( possibly ) damage the pump. You live in a cold climate so keeping your fuel level is important in case of power outage or blocked roads because of winter storms. The northeast part of the US already has more of those than they should.

Yeah that’s why I was worried, but my mom kept telling me “oh no you can wait and wait” (she owned the car before).

Hahaha, we’re not like the US though, that doesn’t happen here after a winter storm.

I assume my cars have low fuel lights but I’ve never seen them. I never have less than half a tank. Yeah sure you might not get snow, but a tropical storm can knock out power for a while putting gas stations out of business. Then you’d be happy to have a full tank.

No, we DO get snow but we know how to deal with it :joy:

Can’t speak to how it works in your car, but w/my Corolla I’m pretty sure that low gas warning light does come on w/the key in on but the engine not started. The reason I don’t know for sure is b/c I’ve never seen that warning light come on right away whether the tank is low or not. It takes a few minutes before it responds to the low fuel situation. I’m not sure why that is. It may be due to the way the fuel gauge works. Many of them work by running a current through the sender, which heats up a thermostatic spring gadget which moves the gauge. The more current allowed past the sender, the more the dash gauge moves. But it doesn’t move right away, just like a thermometer doesn’t change right away after the temperature changes. It’s done that way I presume to eliminate the gauge from wildly jumping around due to fuel movement in the tank as you go around corners, over bumps etc. Likewise you wouldn’t want that warning light to be coming on and turning off all the time.

The Low Fuel lamp in my Sonoma illuminates for a couple of seconds when the key is first turned on before going out.

Well you made me go look. On the Pontiac the light does not come on. Its supposed to be a little round light under the “E” on the gas gauge. On the Acura the light does not come on either but it is a gas pump icon under the “E” on the gauge. Interesting that if it is flashing, that supposedly means there is a problem with the gauge. How it knows that who knows? Both are well over 3/4 full right now and I have a 5 gallon can for the snow blower. I only got 8 hours on the blower so far this year so that should get me through to Spring. Up from 5 hours last year. We could still get a storm yet this year but I doubt it.

It doesn’t snow here, so that’s not a problem for me, but if I was the original poster who wanted to see how far a tank of gas would take him before the low fuel light goes on I’d buy a 2 or 3 gallon gas can and take it along. The concern that you’ll burn out the fuel pump is a bit dramatic in my view.

And go online and Google “Owners Manual” for your car. It’s at 2006 Hyundai Tucson Owners Manual, page 1-50 is where you can read about the warning light. Download the manual and save it and read it. Lots of info there.

The Honda Odyssey fuel light does not come on in the cluster test on startup, I forgot to check the Ford.

Maybe but why take the chance. Also running out of fuel at the wrong time could be disastrous.

Conclusion: No one reading this thread owns a Hyundai.


My fiancee drives a Hyundai, but I’m not invested enough in this issue to bother checking.


All of my dash lights flash briefly when I turn the ignition key on ('87 Toyota pickup).

I have run fuel low enough for the light to come on; that’s supposed to happen with 3 gallons left, usually enough to get to a station. My gas gauge reads low; that the warning light works shows me the sender gauge is good, the reader gauge is bad.