When the low fuel light comes on in my car, I pull into the next gas station I see and fill up the tank. My girlfriend does not. Since I can't convince her to get gas immediately, there's a website that might help her figure out just how far she can go before I have to come find her on the side of the road out of gas. 

We got into her car yesterday to go to dinner and as I started it up the low fuel light immediately came on.


15 miles to empty! This is the worst invention in cars for people who challenge the low fuel light. It used to be you had no idea how far you could drive. Now the on board computer tries to make a calculation for you. Let me tell you, it's not always right. Based on how you're driving, those 15 miles can change drastically.

She's run out of gas before too. The call from here went like this:

Her: 'My car was running fine and then just stalled. I started it back up went a little way and it stalled again.'

Me: 'Is the gas light on?'

Her: 'Yes. But it just came on a little while ago.'

Me: 'I'll go grab a gas can and be right there.'


Don't do this. If the gas light comes on it means get gas!

Car manufactures do not recommend rolling the dice against the low fuel light. It typically means you have a couple of gallons left before the reserve kicks in.

You still want to push it? Okay you daredevil. There's a solution for you, but don't blame me when you're stranded on the side of the road with a burned out fuel pump, because I warned you.

The website Tank on Empty collects data from users telling them how far they drove after the light came on and ran out of gas with their car. They average the data together for the same make and model and come up with the number of miles you MAY be able to drive before you run out.

Remember, your use may vary. So many factors can change your gas mileage. Road conditions, your speed, the health of your engine, even the weather can play a part. Once again you've been warned.

Here are some of the more popular makes and models results submitted to Tank on Empty.

  • Honda Accord 46.61 miles on average
  • Honda Civic 43.38 miles on average
  • Toyota Corolla 46.31 miles on average
  • Toyota Camry 43.53 miles on average
  • Ford Focus 39.98 miles on average
  • Ford F-150 39.02 miles on average
  • Mazda Miata 34.47 miles on average
  • Volkswagen Jetta 43.94 miles on average
  • Chevrolet Silverado 33.07 miles on average
If your car isn't listed here, you can search for it on the site.
Once again, I can't warn you enough. As someone who has had to go to the hardware store to buy a gas can, fill it up at a gas station, drive to the car that's out of gas and pour some in the tank, you don't want to run out. I don't want you to run out! When the light comes on get gas at the next available gas station, even if they're full serve and 50 cents more expensive than your regular fill-up station.
How far have you driven in your car after the light came on? Have you ever run out of gas? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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