“How long can you drive with your gas light on?” is a frequently asked question during a driving or dashboard lights introductory course, and having a basic knowledge about your fuel usage can provide you with a good sense of security throughout your driving career. Let’s look at an example of a rough guideline. Motorists in general like to go as far as they can on a single tank of gas. Whether you try to stretch your fuel fill-up until payday, or maybe you have forgotten to top up the day before, the ‘low fuel’ light will activate in your car’s dashboard when there isn’t much fuel left in your tank. It’s either a light in the shape of a gas pump or a message displayed on your instrument cluster display. In certain circumstances, all that is illuminated is an amber light and a chime.
The problem with many cars is that they don’t tell you how far you can go before running out of gas. An onboard distance-to-empty calculator or the fuel level sensor could trigger the fuel light to come on simultaneously. It’s possible that you only have 6% of a tank remaining or that you only have four to eight liters of fuel.
That doesn’t tell you how far you can drive, though.
Remember, it isn’t always accurate
Your fuel gauge merely shows you how much fuel you have left. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on it to be correct. Your fuel light could come on earlier than other similar cars due to technical issues or errors in manufacture, or it could turn on immediately before you run out of gasoline or diesel.
How far can you drive with your car fuel light on
Once your gasoline light comes on, you’re either facing the cost of a tow truck or being stranded on the road hunting for a servo with a jerry can to fill (and who these days carries one around with them?). Even after the light comes on, you should be able to drive between 30 and 50 miles (0r more) in most cases. That is to say, even if the gas light turns on, it may not be time to panic just yet. There is still time.
While a smaller vehicle, such as the Nissan Altima, may go between 81 and 114 miles after the warning light activates. You could get additional 60-80 kilometers out of some cars, such as the Mazda 3. You’d be lucky to get half that distance in a Holden Captiva. Bigger models, such as the Ford F-150 truck, will normally have problems between 35 and 80 miles (though specifically fuel-efficient trucks might do better). It was discovered that the minimum distance one could travel was 25 miles, whereas some models give more than 100 miles even after the warning.
If your gasoline light comes on, don’t push your luck; the furthest you should go is to the nearest fuel station!
What could happen if you drive with the fuel light on
When you drive with your car fuel light on, you face a number of problems in addition to running out of gas:
- Your fuel pump may overheat. The continuous operation of your fuel pump to provide fuel to your engine cools your fuel pump. Your fuel pump may heat up if there isn’t enough fuel in the tank.
- It’s possible that your diesel engine won’t start again. The car fuel system becomes flooded with air when you run out of diesel. Your engine will not start because the air bubble prevents fuel from being fed into the cylinders. The fuel system must be primed, and the air must be drained out. It’s a pain to deal with, and it can be rather expensive when combined with towing fees.
The safest strategy is to keep your gas tank at least a quarter full at all times. That way, even if you forgot to fill up, you’ll have enough fuel in reserve to get you to the next station safely. Regular car maintenance is recommended as one of the most effective strategies to increase your car’s fuel efficiency.
Is it bad to drive with your car fuel light turned on
While you don’t need to rush to a gas station once your light turns on, it’s always a good idea to keep a full tank of petrol in your car. Not only is it inconvenient to be stuck, but driving on low or near-empty fuel can cause engine damage and should be avoided.
N/B: Distances are computed using manufacturer-provided average consumption rates and may vary depending on driving circumstances, driving style, and vehicle condition.
Now that you know what to do when the fuel light on our dashboard illuminates, how clear is your visibility at night when you drive? To get more tips on how to maintain your car and have the headlight lenses restored using a headlight restoration kit, check out our blog posts and get accustomed with our car care tips that would ensure your vehicle lasts longer and operates at optimum performance.