How Long Can You Drive on an Empty Gas Tank?

July 2, 2019

No one likes filling up their tank, and it seems like the price at the pump continues to rise. Because of this many of us try to stretch every drop out of our tanks that we can, but just how far can you make your tank last?

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Different makes and models have different tank sizes and different miles per gallon, so there is no real answer to this question. But there are some general guidelines, and as Davidsonville, MD auto repair specialists we’d like to talk about some of these right here.

The Fuel Light Comes On

Once your fuel light comes on, it’s only a matter of time until you need to make a stop at a pump. There is a commonly held belief that a car can go for roughly 40 – 50 miles once the light comes on, but this is certainly no law. First off this is only an estimate and you could very well have far less distance to travel. Secondly, you have no way of keeping track of how long you’ve traveled since the light came on and could run out of gas at any moment. If your light comes on, play it safe, and stop at a station.

The Dangers of an Empty Tank

When your tank starts getting low your engine will start picking up debris from the bottom of your tank. This debris can damage your fuel filter, your pump, and your catalytic converter. Not only that, but, in most vehicles, the fuel pump is usually mounted in the tank, and the gas helps to keep it cool. Running your vehicle on empty will likely diminish the pump’s capacity overtime. If you fear you’ve already caused some damage to your engine then you should contact a Davidsonville, MD auto repair technician.

Ways to Maximize Your Fuel Efficiency

There’s nothing worse than getting stranded, and while the best way to prevent this is to keep your tank full at all times, sometimes you get stuck in traffic. If you’re running low on fuel and are stuck on a highway, you will need to maximize your miles per gallon. Here’s a couple of tips to help you boost your efficiency:

  • Roll up windows to reduce wind resistance.
  • Drive as close to 40 mph as possible (without violating the speed limit) as this is the most efficient speed limit.
  • Turn off all electronic accessories and unplug anything that’s charging.
  • Maintain a constant speed and drive using a “light foot”.
  • Regular maintenance like wheel alignment, brake drag, and tire pressure adjustments can help considerably.

How a Davidsonville, MD Auto Repair Technician Can Help

If you’re having issues with fuel efficiency then there are a number of things that you can do to help resolve this. Bring your vehicle in today and we can give it a look over and suggest several options to help you stretch out your tank’s life.

If you have any questions regarding your vehicle or your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, don’t hesitate, contact us today. Our team of Davidsonville, MD mechanics here at Choisser Import Auto Services is standing by and would be more than happy to help in any way possible.


What Our Customers Say..

"Robert (Rob) Choisser has been servicing my 1998 Honda CRV for nearly 3 years. I have never had better, more honest service done on any of my cars. Rob is extremely thorough in his work and more than fair in his pricing, I would recommend his work to anyone in my family and to my friends. He is a real credit to his profession, his family and friends."

- Gary, Owings, MD

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