Is it possible to drive as far as you can when the gas light comes on?

Are you tempted to panic when the gas light illuminates on the dashboard? In many cases, it’s no cause for alarm, as there are plenty of miles left in the tank. Although you need to search for the closest station as soon as possible, what limit can you travel once you turn on the gas light?

This article will explain how much you can keep driving while the gas light is on.

Índice de Contenido
  1. What's the Gas Light on the Dashboard?
  2. Is it possible to drive a maximum of 2,000 miles once the gas light comes on?
  3. The dangers of driving with low fuel
    1. 1. Tank Pump Damaged
    2. 2. Excessive Engine Sediment
    3. 3. Filter blockage
    4. 4. Fuel Injection System Corrosion
  4. Here are some tips to conserve gas
    1. 1. Take care
    2. 2. Keep the speed limit at a minimum
    3. 4. Make sure to keep your vehicle clean
    4. 5. Check Tire Pressures
    5. 6. Choose the Right Oil

What's the Gas Light on the Dashboard?

Many lights on your dashboard will warn you when there are problems. Low fuel warning is when the dashboard light looks similar to a gasoline pump. The fuel light can be controlled using electronic sensors that monitor the fuel system and determine how much fuel is remaining.

The majority of systems use a tank floatation device to measure how much fuel remains. It turns the light on once it has reached a specified level at the bottom. The gas warning light will turn on if the fuel level is higher than the threshold.

Is it possible to drive a maximum of 2,000 miles once the gas light comes on?

Once the gas light comes on, the tank isn’t necessarily empty. Every vehicle has a unique driving time. It all depends on the size and location of the low fuel threshold. The average vehicle will drive 30-50 miles longer before its gas tank runs dry. 

Nissan Altima models can go more than 100 miles after the low fuel light turns on. F-150 trucks, however, are limited to 35 miles.

You can find out how many miles your vehicle has left by looking at its fuel tank. Also, determine the threshold that activates it. This will give you an estimate of how many miles your vehicle can still cover. You can find the exact distance in the owner’s manual for many car models also.

RELATED : What Distance Can You Drive on Empty?

The dangers of driving with low fuel

It is obvious that high gasoline prices are frustrating. But, you shouldn't drive with low fuel as this can lead to more expensive repair bills. These are just a few of the reasons you need to fill up your tank before it reaches its bottom.

1. Tank Pump Damaged

You don’t want to deal with replacing a fuel pump because it’s not normally a simple fix. Yet, frequently driving with less than a ¼ of a tank can quickly lead to fuel pump damage, if the fuel level is low and it starts to pump air instead of fuel. So, you don’t want to make it a habit to drive until the fuel level is too low.

The fuel tank must be removed in order to change the fuel pump. It is also necessary to drain fuel. This will make it more expensive. 

2. Excessive Engine Sediment

There is some amount of sediment in gasoline. Even if your gasoline comes from the finest gas stations, it will still contain some sediment.

Low fuel levels can lead to sediment buildup in the engine. Low fuel levels can also lead to other types of debris or deposits. It is the leading cause of engine damage, and it would be costly to repair. 

3. Filter blockage

That sediment that’s making its way into the engine is also getting caught in the fuel filters. While you can change the fuel filter, you don’t want to replace unnecessary parts prematurely.

When the fuel filter gets clogged it can make it difficult to start the engine. Also, acceleration will decrease. This can cause misfiring and rough idle. If you're not careful, the lean fuel mixture can cause damage to your catalytic converter.

4. Fuel Injection System Corrosion

More condensation may occur when fuel levels fall. Corrosion can occur in fuel injection systems due to temperature variations and moisture. 

When this occurs, the engine won’t run properly. This could lead to expensive repairs that can be avoided.

Here are some tips to conserve gas

1. Take care

Fuel is being wasted if you accelerate quickly or brake erratically. You could actually be losing more fuel than 33%. 

It’s best if you drive sensibly, maintaining normal speeds and braking slowly. This will not only improve your fuel mileage but also keep you safer on the roads. 

RELATED: Gas mileage and gas savings tips

2. Keep the speed limit at a minimum

When you exceed 60 mph your car consumes more fuel. For every 5 mph that you exceed, your car could use an additional $0.30 per gallon of fuel. 

There’s another way you save money by driving the speed limit. Avoid getting speeding tickets that can prove to be costly. 

If you are carrying a bunch of cargo around with you that’s not needed, go ahead and unload it. By carrying 100 pounds more cargo, your fuel economy will be 2 percent lower. 

Keep a bin in the vehicle and fill it up after every trip with the gear that’s not needed. This will ensure that you get the most fuel economy possible for the next trip. 

4. Make sure to keep your vehicle clean

The manufacturer’s maintenance schedule isn’t meant to simply earn the dealership more money. It’s designed to ensure that your car runs efficiently and the engine is optimized.

If your car hasn’t been tuned up, you could lose about 4 percent of the gas mileage. It could also fail to pass an emission test. 

5. Check Tire Pressures

Properly inflating your tires can increase gas mileage by up to 3%. Gas mileage is affected by a lack of proper psi.

To find the right amount of tire pressure for your car, read the label inside the driver’s side door jamb. The pressures should be checked every month as well as when temperatures fall. 

6. Choose the Right Oil

You won’t get a big fuel economy boost by using the right oil, but every little bit helps. If your engine calls for 5W-30, don’t swap it with 10W-30 out of convenience. 

You can also shop for engine oil based on brands that offer “Energy Conserving” properties on the API performance symbol. This oil contains additives that lower friction to optimize.

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