Driving on low fuel is always terrifying, especially if there isn’t a gas station in sight. And while driving that close to E is never a good thing, it’s a good practice to know how many miles are left in the tank when you do. A recent study from YourMechanic.com listed the mileage for various cars today when the gas level is low. Here are three facts to consider about running on empty.
It is dangerous to drive with a very low fuel level. Besides the fact that one can possible become stranded on the side of the road, surrounded by speeding cars, driving on empty can damage your vehicle. Running out of gas can do damage to the cataylic converter, which would then need repair or replacement. Even just driving on low fuel can damage the fuel pump, as debris or contaminants from the gas that settle at the bottom of the tank will be sent through the fuel pump when the tank is empty.
Don’t always trust the “Miles to E” reading. Many modern cars will let you know how many miles you have left before you are empty. It is an approximation based on the car’s efficiency and the level of gas left in the tank. However, the efficiency or miles per gallon of the car is based off your driving habits, which means that depending on the situation, this reading can be misleading. For example, if you drive mainly on the highway, your efficiency reading will not apply when you are idling stuck in traffic, consuming more gas than usual. The likelihood of reaching empty faster is high.
The driving capability of each car on empty will vary. All cars have different efficiencies based off of engine optimization and vehicle design. Don’t apply the standard of one vehicle to another. It is a good habit to know the range of your car since driving with low fuel is sometimes unavoidable. Here is a list of what you can expect.