Running 2008 Honda Civic on empty produces metallic noise

Hi all,
I have a 2008 Honda Civic Ex that I bought as a Honda certified used car about 6 months ago. It has 23000 miles.

2 days ago, the gas gauge got to where there were no bars left - telling me it has basically zero gas. (I don’t usually do this, but was looking for a cheaper gas station…)

The car continued to drive as I was looking for gas and began to make this metallic grinding noise from the front of the car. I was able to pull into a station after driving like this for about 1/4-1/2 mile and filled up.

Then, the noise stopped after driving the car for about 15 seconds.
I haven’t had a problem since. Is there any permanent damage?
From all the of the other posts I have read - it seems that the noise should not have occured. It should have shut off if there was no gas. Looking for answers…

At the same time - as I filled up the gas tank, and I knew I was very close to empty - the tank only took 11 gallons of gas. According to the owner’s manual the car should take 13.2 gallons. What is wrong or what am I missing here?


If the noise came from the front of the car then it was simply coincidence and has nothing to do with you being low on fuel… You probably had an issue with a brake pad…sometimes brake pads make noise and then it will go away…This is usually attributed to possibly dirt or maybe something within the pad material matrix etc… It is rather common for brakes to suddenly squeal or squeak and then in a moment the sound goes away and never returns.

As for your issue…you probably happened to hear your brakes “settling” shall we say…and it was just a coincidence that you happened to need fuel… Now if the car does this AGAIN at the same fuel level…maybe I will have to take back what I said…but as far as I am concerned… it has NADA to do with fuel.


Maybe the sound wasn’t really from the front. Did you get out and listen from outside?
Maybe it was one of the straps holding up the gas tank rattling because the tank was light.
The tank is located approximately under the back seat.

With regards to the amount of fuel you put in, there is normally a reserve built in, so when the gauge reads zero you can still do some miles. I’d call it a “safety” feature. Never top it off either, as that will eventually cause problems with the evap system. Just let it go 'til it clicks (I normally go the extra bit to the next even 25 cents or so).

If you have the desire to run it all the way out fo gas just to see how far it will go, be sure and have a full gascan with you (note that I’m not promoting this as a good idea).