Mileage moniter dropping miles fast

Hello help needed from any who may know. For some reason my mileage is dropping quickly. I had 84 miles until empty on the moniter and while driving atound the corner it dropped to 80. I drove around the block 2 times and its now at 63 miles to empty. I can see no visible fuel leak under the car.
Heres what happened prior. Driving around 3 days ago and when hard braking like for a light the oil can symbol came on and went away m like for a second…happened every time. Day 2 soft braking was causing the symbol to pop up every time i braked and it was happening more often…so i looked online and read it could be my fuel pump going bad or low oil more likeley. I drained the oil and added 5 quarts and changed the filter…turns out i only had about 2 quarts of oil after draining. I noticed the entire bottom of my enging and surrounding parts were oily as well but nothing dripping to the floor. Lastly i have no error codes popping up on my scanner but i did notice in the live data feed that the air intake tempature was highlighted at 64.4 degrees f and the short term fuel trim was highlighted at 99.22%. Sorry about all the details wasnt sure what was relevant and any help is much appreciated. Curious if anyone knows what the issue may be and if filling up my tank and driving 50 miles to my mechanic is a good idea. Thanks for any help.

Have you checked the engine oil level?


Just use the monitor to tell you when to buy gas. If that low level concerns you, buy gas sooner. I like to let my gas go down until there’s less than 100 miles remaining to the estimate, but it doesn’t put bother me. It’s just an estimate, BTW. Don’t put too much stock into it.

Distance-to-empty readouts will vary wildly as you get near the bottom of the tank because it depends on your instantaneous fuel economy compared to what is left in the tank. It is not an issue.

What is an issue is ignoring the oil pressure light. You risked destroying the engine, and may have done some damage as it is. You have a leak and may also have worn engine internals in this Town&Country of unknown year, engine, and mileage. At the very least, check the oil each time you get gas until you know how much it is using/losing, and don’t let it get more than a quart low.


Instead of making a big deal out of miles to empty are you actually checking to see what your miles per gallon are ? I always refill at 1/2 tank and have no idea how many miles to empty I have. I did notice the other day on one of our vehicles which had only been used in town for short trips it read 265 to empty but after about 10 miles on the turnpike at 65 it changed to 280 to empty .

It also appears you are not checking your oil level as often as you should .


Very quick to plug in the scanner with no mention of pulling the dipstick to check the oil level. Checking the dipstick is basic maintenance.

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Thanks for replying…i did. But to be sure i drained out all the oil and cha ged the filter and added 5 quarts and checked it again. The oil looks good i was just concerned about driving to the mechanic 50 miles away as i wasnt sure it if was pressure buildup in the gas tank or what i could have been

Sorry for leaving checking the oil out. I assumed you guys would have knew that as i said that i drained all the oil out and refilled with the appropriate amount. I checked the oil level upon my initial inspection as wall as after topping off the oil. But any ideas as to whether this sounds like a sensor issue or a leak somewhere given the associated symptoms anyone?

Several of you guys said that the miles till empty was not conserning but dropping 1 mile per 30 seconds and half a block is not a red flag? I do know checking the oil level is importand to do more often now but im conserned about driving 50 miles to the mechanic. And thanks maybe i can check the scanner to see if i can get a fuel level reading…maybe i over looked that stat as i didnt see it.

Does the gas gauge work? Are you going to drive 50 mile to have your distance-to-empty display fixed? That seems like a waste of time.

Don’t you have a gas gauge ? Stop obsessing over the miles to empty, the fact that you let the oil get low is the real problem . Just put fuel in to get the gauge to the half full mark and drive to the shop . Or if you really are worried about that then have it flat bedded to the shop.

Point taken guys and thanks…i will definately check my oil more frequently. I had no idea there was trouble until my oil can symbol kept flashing and investigating further. Hoping i didnt do some damage already. And no im headed to the mechanic to check where my engine leak is coming from i got my oil changed 2 months ago and now theres oil on the bottom of the oil pan and other surrounding areas. Thanks for your insite

Resealing the engine may not reduce the oil consumption, I have seen many of those old 3.3 and 3.8 L engines 2 quarts low on oil, some of those engines burn oil.

Yea im keeping my fingers crossed. Im hoping its a pan gasket or something small like that…

If the oil light stays off and you don’t hear any unusual engine noises you should be good to drive to the mechanic. The oil light probably came on due to low oil level.

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Hey thanks for the insight. I guess ill know by monday…lol

I’m not going to read everything but will just make a couple comments. Why or why would someone rely on the “miles to empty” reading to decide when to get gas?? Fill up at half a tank and worry no more.

The other thing is that miles to empty calculation is just math. All it is doing is looking at how much fuel is left, then looking at what your current mpg reading is, and making a simple calculation. So if you are driving and your current mpg is 25, and you have two gallons left, it will report 50 miles to go yet. If however you are stop and go or stopped and your current mpg reading is 10, it will tell you 20 miles left. It is continuously calculating the two just like if you were doing it on you own calculator.


Thanks for responding…although that wasnt the point…i went from not knowing i had an engine leak…to discovering 2 quarts of oil…after draining and ading 5 quarts of oil and filter change…immediately after the mileage to empty started dropping a mile every 30 seconds and i was barely moving…never had that happen and was wondering if anyo e knew what potentially could have caused that and if that was concerning or just a sensor of some sort

The calculation is based on your "current’ mpg. So if your engine trouble was causing higher fuel consumption and thus lower mpg, that would lower the miles to empty.

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So your saying that its possible that the car was consuming that much fuel? I was trying to drive about 50 miles to my mechanic to get it all checked out. So your saying it may not be a sensor miscalculating but in fact may be actual fuel consumption?