How Many Miles Do You Really Have When the Gas Light Comes On?

Any driver who has ever experienced the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and seeing their gas light come on knows the panic of wondering how far you can really go before you end up on the side of the road needing assistance from a tow truck. The answer largely depends on the make and model of your car, but there are other factors at play that determine how far you can go before you run out of fuel. Here is a guide to using your gas light to gauge when you need to fill up.

Start with Your Owner’s Manual

In most cases, your owner’s manual will say specifically how many miles you can drive when your gas light comes on. For most models, the number is between 30 and 90 miles. The difference between models depends in part on when the light is triggered. Some vehicles have gas lights that come on with there is as much as four gallons in the tank, while others come on when there is less than two gallons or around one-sixteenth of a tank. The vehicle’s gas mileage also comes into the picture, since four gallons of gas can go a wide range of distances in different vehicles.

Consider the Driving Conditions

Driving conditions can have an enormous impact on fuel efficiency, so four gallons may not get you as far you may expect. For example, driving on windy days, in hilly conditions, or in stop-and-go traffic can all negatively impact your gas mileage. Driving on hot days with your air conditioning on can have the same effect. Factor in these conditions when deciding how far you can go on your tank.

Don’t Purposely Run Your Tank Down

If you can’t resist seeing how far you can push your vehicle with low fuel, keep in mind that you can do damage to your fuel system this way and that running out of gas can ruin your catalytic convertor.

Running out of gas isn’t always avoidable. When it happens to you, Barnett’s Towing is here to help around the clock, even if you’re stuck in a remote area. When you need a tow in Arizona, call (800) 722-2302.