You’re in a hurry. You hop into the car and start it up. Then you groan. You forgot to get gas last night. But now you need to get to work, and there’s no time for running errands! So the real question is, how far can you drive once that warning light has come on?
What Does The Light Mean?
Firstly, what does that little light mean? You know that you’re running low on fuel, but how low? The answer is that it depends on the make and model of your vehicle. The general rule is that manufacturers set the low fuel light to come on when the fuel reaches around ten percent of the tank’s capacity.
How Far Can You Drive?
The distance that you can actually drive with the low fuel light on depends on even more factors. Your car might have a range display that shows the number of miles you can drive on current fuel levels. That number is not always going to be accurate. Your onboard computer bases this number on your average fuel efficiency, but that efficiency changes depending on conditions. If you rapidly accelerate, idle for an extended time, or run your air conditioner at full speed, your fuel efficiency can decrease more quickly.
Should You Push The Limits?
You know you’re taking the risk of running out of gas, but how bad would that be? Besides the obvious inconvenience of losing time, being stranded on the side of the road is also a huge safety concern. Almost one in five car crashes in the United States involve a stopped or disabled vehicle; out of those crashes, more than twelve percent result in a fatality. If your car ever stops running, steer as far away from traffic as possible. Avoid standing anywhere near oncoming vehicles while you wait for help. Regularly running your car on empty can also cause expensive damage to your fuel pump or catalytic converter, so trying to save a little money on gas now could cost you much more in the long run.
What Should You Do?
Experts recommend that you keep at least a quarter tank of fuel in your car at all times, both to avoid dangerous situations and also to keep your vehicle healthy. If your car is having any trouble, reach out to the pros at ER Auto Care. We will give you premium auto shop services at affordable prices. Make an appointment today!