How many miles can you drive on empty?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Thursday, March 16th, 2017 at 10:24 pm
How far can you drive after the gas light turns on?

If you have ever been getting low on gas you probably have experience worry about whether or not your “Get Gas!” light will go on. Or, if you have been driving and the light has activated on your dashboard maybe you have had a minor panic wondering if you are going to get stranded at the side of the road without enough fuel to get to the next station. In reality, there is more wiggle room than you might expect even once that light goes on. How far can you drive after the gas light turns on? See how many miles “empty” really means below.

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How far can you drive after the gas light turns on?

gas gauge on emptyAfter the gas light turns on and you are technically at empty, how far can you drive? The answer varies wildly depending on the type of your car (like whether it is a car, truck, crossover or SUV), how old it is, what condition it is in, and even road conditions. Generally speaking, you will be able to drive between 30 and 50 (0r more) miles even after the light comes on. Which means that even if the gas light comes on, it may not be time to panic yet. You do still have time.

While a smaller, model like the Nissan Altima may be able to go between 81 and 114 miles even after the warning light goes on, larger models like the Ford F-150 truck will usually run into trouble around the 35 to 80 mile range (though specifically fuel-efficient trucks might do better). In the research we have found 25 miles was the least distance you could go, while some models offer more than 100 miles even after the warning. Because that’s exactly what it is: a warning, not an immediate threat.

Is it bad to drive with the gas light turned on?

While you don’t have to panic about getting to a gas station once your light goes on, it is always good to keep a good supply of gas in your car. Not only is it embarrassing to get stranded, but driving on empty or near-empty can do damage to your engine and should be avoided.

We hope this answered your question about how many miles you can drive once that light goes on. Be sure to check out our extensive used car inventory if you are looking for affordable auto financing in Austin TX.