I have a 2006 Nissan Frontier. There was no recall on the gas level sending unit, but Nissan recently extended the warranty. My has been reading empty when there are still 8 gallons left (21.1 gallon tank). I had the dealer replace the fuel level sending unit under the warranty, and that did not fix the problem, the empty light still comes on at the same fuel level. Any ideas what’s wrong?
What’s wrong is that you’re assuming that the fuel gage is an accurate depiction of the exact volume of fuel in the tank. It is not. It’ll read empty before you’re actually empty in order to protect the fuel pump and then engine from owners who try to squeeze every last drop out of the tank before refilling. Empty really means “time to stop for gas”.
The tank volume is also not exact. It’s a volumetric calculation, not a measured, calibrated volume. And it’s conservative in nature, again to your benefit.
In summary, the fuel gage is not intended to be a calibrated measuring device, just a reference. And it errs on the side of protecting the vehicle from the owner.
That is nearly 40% of the tank still full, and represents anywhere from 90 to 130 more miles I can drive. The empty light comes on when I reach between 190 and 250 miles depending on the driving, making it pretty useless for actually knowing how far I can drive. So if empty actually “means time to stop for gas” why do I need to stop 90 miles early? That seems a little ridiculous. Incidentally, I have run out of gas, so it didn’t protect me because I was trying to guess how much was left, and I put in right around 21 gallons. The fuel light consistently comes on at 13 gallons used up. I’m sorry, eight gallons early just seems, considering other gas lights come on when there are 1-2 gallons left.
I am sure the Nissan dealer can fix it for you. It is only money, your money. Just like my dealer can fix the fact that my low fuel light comes on when it is full and shuts off when I am down to 1.7 gal. Interestingly the meter reads correctly. I really can't get all worried bout it.
Personally I would be a lot more worried about getting less than 15 mpg in a compact pickup.
Actually, it isn’t unusual for a gas level warning light to illuminate when the car still has 90 miles worth of total fuel left…or more
I would not recommend running out of gas too often or you’ll end up replacing the fuel pump. The pump uses the gas for cooling itself. I’d recmmend filling the tank when the light comes on.