How Much Farther Can You Go on Empty?
How Many Miles Can You Go on Empty?
A blinking gas light is an indication that you’re running low on gas. Many drivers pull their vehicles into the closest gas station to refill the tank as soon as they notice the warning light. But in case you ignore the warning or are unable to find a gas station nearby, don’t panic because you can still cover a few miles while running on empty.
Many may not know, but you can travel between 40 to 80 km with an empty tank car. These numbers vary largely depending on speed, vehicle type, fuel economy, engine efficiency, gas mileage, road conditions, and overall health. Talking about different vehicle models, the Chevrolet Silverado can run over 50 km on an empty fuel tank. At the same time, you can travel about 75-80 km with a low-fuel warning light on Jeep Wrangler.
Why Shouldn’t You Ignore a Gas Light?
Though you can still run on an empty fuel tank, it’s recommended to be mindful before exhausting the engine. When you drive your vehicle on an empty fuel tank, the engine and fuel components become susceptible to being damaged for different reasons, such as:
1. Dirt and Dust Settlement
When your engine runs on an empty fuel tank, it gets contaminated with dirt and dust particles present in the gasoline/fuel. While pushing the gas, the fuel pump also pushes these sediments through your vehicle’s engine, blocking the fuel filter.
2. Engine Overheating
When your car runs on low fuel, it can overheat, causing damage to several components. These conditions may not arise when you drive your vehicle empty once or twice, but if you keep on ignoring the gas light, it can seriously damage it and invite some unwanted visits to a mechanic or technician.
3. Fuel Pump Damage
If you’re driving a car with an electric fuel pump, you’re more likely to encounter this problem. A fuel pump draws gas from the tank to pass it through the motor to start and accelerate the vehicle. But when you’re running on empty gas tank, the electric fuel pump pushes air instead of gas to the motor. This air-fuel mix-up can severely damage the fuel pump and the engine, inviting high repair costs.
Tips to Remember While Running on Empty
Here are a few things you should do immediately as soon as the low-fuel warning light starts to blink to avoid damaging your car’s engine and fuel system:
- Search for a nearby gas station
- Lower your speed and avoid accelerating to save the gas
- Turn off the air conditioner
- Always keep your gas above a quarter tank full
- If possible, use only quality gas as it may have fewer contaminants and dirt particles