How Far Can You Go After the Gas Light Comes On?<< Blog home

Ever wonder how far you could go on a waning tank of gasoline before your car will completely give out?  Given the current economic situation as well as the price of gasoline soaring up to new levels of being costly, increased numbers of people in the United States are driving around with dangerously low levels of gas in their car all in an effort to save a few bucks....but is it worth it? What You Don't Know Can Hurt You What many people fail to realize (because face it, we're not all mechanics) is that by repeatedly driving on empty, you can permanently ruin your fuel pump.  A vehicle's fuel pump is responsible for bringing gasoline from the tank to the engine and is lubricated by the fuel that is in the gas tank.  Therefore, once your gas starts to run out, there isn't anything to lubricate and/or cool the pump.  This makes the fuel pump work that much harder to pull whatever gasoline is left from the bottom of the tank. Most mechanics tend to agree that motorists should never wait until the gas tank light comes on.  Rather, it is suggested that it is best to fill up on gasoline once you see that your gas tank is 1/4 of the way full.  This is even more important during the summer months when the weather is much warmer because heat is the number one thing that kills fuel pumps.  Because your fuel tanks are typically located on the underside of your vehicle, the heat that rises from the hot pavement heats up your fuel tank...and I'm sure you get the picture. How Far Can You Drive on 'E'? For those people who have a morbid curiosity about just how far they can push it despite what the mechanics might advise, there is a nifty little site called Tank on Empty where you can look up the kind of car that you drive and find out how far other people have driven beyond the danger zone.  However, I personally wouldn't take the chance- even if gas prices are ridiculously high. For a better understanding of how your engine actually works, check out this video.  Additionally, the following articles may provide greater insight into how your engine works:




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