Almost every car owner has driven until the gas tank ran dry at a point in life.
Maybe you didn’t have your wallet with you, not anywhere near a petrol station, or you didn’t have any extra dollars. It can be scary with the dashboard sending the warning signs. But you drive, hoping to get to your destination without getting stuck.
At that moment, the question running through your mind is how far you can go on 0 miles to empty!
Some vehicles can run for 30 miles and up to 70 miles! However, the miles covered depend on vehicle models and factors like weather, driving habits, and traffic.
So if your gas is running out, don’t assume you will manage to cover similar miles.
You want to know how far you can go on 0 miles to empty; here are some crucial insights.
How Does Your Car Act When You Run Out Of Gas?
When your car runs out of gas, the first sign is brief hesitations or vibrations due to engine misfires.
When you experience this, ensure you pull off to the roadside and out of traffic. Shortly after pulling out of traffic, your car will lose power because the engine will have shut down.
How Far Can You Go On 0 Miles to Empty
The distance covered will vary from one vehicle to another. Most popular models of cars will go for 30 to 50 miles after the warning sign of gas light goes on.
For instance, Chevrolet Silverado can go on for 33 miles after 0 miles to empty. Volkswagen Jetta can go for above 43 miles while Toyota Corolla, which is at the top of the list, can go for 47 miles (Source)
It can be amazing and reassuring to understand the distance your car can cover with low fuel.
However, it can affect your car negatively. When you drive on 0 to empty, dirt will accumulate in the fuel, blocking its filter. Also, if the gas is quite low, the fuel pump does not suspend in liquid; therefore, it can overheat.
Driving on extremely low fuel might affect brakes and power steering in adverse cases. While it may fail to occur if you have driven on low gas once or twice, do not make it a habit.
However, most recent cars are equipped with a distance until empty gauge, an instrument to estimate how far you can go on 0 miles to empty. It can be tempting to use this equipment instead of the warning low fuel light, but I advise you to rethink the approach.
The gauge is an estimation that depends on your vehicle’s average mileage and fuel efficiency at that certain time. If there are other factors, like weather and traffic, and you accelerate more often, you can get stranded.
So if you find yourself running low, don’t keep pushing your luck.
Always ensure your tank is not less than a quarter full. Also, pulling over to fill up before your gauge hits empty will save you time on the road and the stress of damaging your car.
Driving On Empty Gas Tank: Is It Really That Bad?
Generally, it is good to avoid driving on low gas.
It is advisable not to let your fuel level drop below a quarter of the tank.
Here are the reasons you should avoid driving on the empty gas tank;
1. It Can Damage Your Car
Some of the essential components of your vehicle, like the fuel pump, are not made to work without gas. It might not damage the components for driving on empty gas the first or second time, but the life span of the parts is reducing, and you are likely to incur a lot of costs in repairs.
2. It Could Leave You Stranded
Nobody wants to get stranded in the middle of their journey or when running their errands. Driving on an empty gas tank will make your car’s engine stop, and you will be stuck wherever it occurs. You are left with the burden of walking on to the next gas station or calling for help.
It may not affect you, but you will cause inconvenience to other road users. So if your car stops, pull to the road’s side to avoid causing traffic.
3. Cause Clogged Oil Filter
Your vehicle’s gas tank might collect debris and dirt over time which is not an issue because it settles in its bottom.
However, when your car runs out of gas, the fuel pump will likely draw the dirt, and it will clog the fuel filter, slowing the flow of gas to the engine.
4. Engine Misfires
When your car runs on empty gas, the fuel pump takes air in, causing the engine to lack consistent gas as it requires hence causing engine misfires.
You will feel like your engine is hesitating, vibrating, or has lost power. It can damage your engine and lead to other issues on the road.
5. Damaged Fuel Pump
The fuel pump is responsible for sending gasoline to the engine, and it uses fuel for cooling and lubrication because it is designed to submerge in the pump.
Most fuel pumps are long-lasting and can last your vehicle a lifetime. However, if you drive with an empty gas tank, the fuel pump may overheat and fail hence the need for replacement which might cost up to $ 1000.
What to Do When You Run Out Of Gas?
For your and other passenger’s safety, follow these instructions when your car runs out of gas.
If possible, turn on the hazard light and pull off the road in a safer place. However, if you doubt your car might not be able to reach the gas station, drive to a safer location before you run out of gas completely.
Call for Help
After pulling over to a safe place, call a friend, family for help. You can also try emergency roadside service providers. At the same time, if they are not an option for you, call a toy company or local police for non-emergency.
Final Thoughts on How Far Can You Go On 0 Miles to Empty
No one wants to get those warning lights and, worse, be stuck in the middle of nowhere because the tank is running low on gas or is empty.
Unfortunately, sometimes it happens to most car owners. You find yourself in such a situation, and there is no gas station nearby, or you don’t have the extra cash.
In this regard, it is essential to understand how far you can go on 0 miles to empty to avoid such a daunting experience. Some vehicles can go to 30 while others up to 47 miles.
It will depend on the model of the car and factors like your driving habits, traffic, and weather conditions. Although it will assist you to avoid getting stuck, it is not a good idea to drive without gas. At the same time, there is no particular method to determine the miles you will cover, no gas unless you try with your car.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.