How far can your car go after the gas light comes on?

I'm back from vacation as of earlier this week, but the blogging continues with a weekly Sunday schedule. =)

Do you know the answer to the title of this blog post?  Do you want to know?  If so, then keep reading, dear friends.

I was driving back from the airport, coming back from vacation, and I had a little over 1/8th of the tank in the rental car.  Time was a little short and I didn't particularly feel like taking a big detour to hit a different gas station from the one next to the airport.  The gas light came on about 20 miles away from the airport.  Was I going to make it?

Turns out that is a great resource to figure out exactly that without having to run down the tank yourself.  The average distance is listed for all car models so you can figure out the answer yourself … but, in general, you have about 30-40 miles to go from that point.  The Toyota Corolla I was driving averages 46 miles before running out of steam.  One less thing to stress about on the way back to the Bay. 🙂

Note that running down to the gas light is not really a good idea, because the fuel pumps in many cars are designed to run submerged.  So regularly burning thru that reserve actually can cause damage to the fuel pump in your car over time.  Try to refill at around 1/8th to 1/4th of the meter.


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