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Re: “Running on Empty” Car Talk article

Regarding running on empty (ref. Car Talk article posted on 10/7/18), I think the easier solution to knowing how much wiggle room you have in your gas tank is to run the car until the gauge is on the “E” and then fill the tank. If it’s a 10-gallon tank and 8 gallons is put in it, you have 2-gallon cushion. At 30 mpg that’s an extra 60 miles you can go… if you have to.

But if you are caught in a heavy traffic area where a wreck is making progress a stop and go problem for miles then who knows what kind of fuel usage you might be getting. So many vehicles now have a miles to empty reading why run your tank that low.

I agree with you… in an emergency, you can avoid mass freak outage by knowing the engine won’t sputter and die when the needle hits E.

All the best, Brad

That is what I always do with a new-to-me car.

Good idea Brad. I’ve been driving for decades and never thought of doing that. Thanks for posting.

I didn’t see the article but can imagine its the same ole issue. Why would anyone let the tank get anywhere near empty is beyond me. I always fill up at around 1/2 tank. You never know what will happen and I think it is just part of emergency preparedness. Read the story about the people in Florida that didn’t evacuate and after one day, had no food, no water, no gas and looking for help. Come on folks, take some responsibility.

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Bing, I do the same thing . At 1/2 tank I fill up because I live in Tornado Alley and we also have power pole destroying ice storms. If I need to travel some where to find a motel with power I don’t need that hassle of looking for a station with power.

I fill my fuel tank every other Saturday, I don’t keep the tank full. If I had to I could drive to work for a week on the last 3 gallons in the tank but I don’t see that ever happening.

Last week Hurricane Rosa came though, we got some light rain one morning but the streets were dry by the time I drove to work. It has been 10 years since we got any snow.

I fill up around 1/8th to 1/4 to empty. I guess the keeping half a tank of gas or more in there isn’t a bad idea for preparedness purposes. But I live on the edge, man! I don’t really feel like wasting my time at the gas pump twice as often to avoid something that may never happen. I guess I’ll never get to be a doomsday prepper at the rate I’m going.

But, are those 2 gallons usable ? What if the pick-up tube is 1.5 gallons from the bottom of your tank and you only have 15 miles of cushion.