How Far Can You Drive On Empty?
You're driving on empty. The low gas warning light comes on. How far can you go? Many of us have experienced this, and felt the relief of sputtering into a gas station just in time to fill up a thirsty gas tank. Wouldn't it be great to know just how far you can go when your car starts warning you it's almost empty?
The staff at yourmechanic.com has figured that out for us. They came up with a chart that details how many miles you can travel when your vehicle is on empty, or the vehicle starts warning you about low gas. There isn't a standard either. Some manufacturers like KIA seem to give you about 30 miles of driving distance when the low gas warnings hit. Nissan on the other hand tends to give you at least 60 miles of driving distance. The Nissan Altima can go the furthest by the way.
So is it dangerous to drive on empty? It can be. First, it can harm the car's catalytic converter which is expensive to replace. Second, driving on empty can send any debris or contamination that's settled at the bottom of your gas tank through your fuel pump. The risk of wrecking anything by driving on empty once in a while isn't great, but do it often and you could have a problem. The other danger is where you run out of gas. The last place you want to get stuck is a place where you or your car could be hit. Additionally, you wouldn't want to run out of gas on I-88 in the middle of a blizzard or a cold snap.
Yourmechanic.com looked at the top 50 selling vehicles of 2015 and charted how far you can drive when your car starts giving you warnings about low gas. You can see the chart here. If you don't drive a 2015, but drive a car that's within a few model years of 2015, the chart probably puts you in the ball park for how far you can drive. Also remember, your driving habits and the kind of driving your doing (highway vs. streets) will impact the numbers on the chart.