How Far Can You Drive When Your Fuel Warning Light Comes On?


Okay, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’re driving along and our fuel warning light comes on. We know we should have filled up the tank before we started on our journey, but we really couldn’t be bothered and we thought we’d be able to make it on the gas we had left, no problem. Well now we’ve got a problem because the gas could run out any second now so you’d better get your butt to a gas station, pronto, so you don’t break down in the middle of the road. But how much time do you really have to get there?

For those of us who are less than great when it comes to keeping our fuel tank full, it would be really useful to know exactly how many miles we’ve got before our poor car gives up and leaves us stranded on the side of the road. This is why an insurance company have performed a short study on about how long it takes for your fuel to run out from the moment your fuel warning light flickers up on your dashboard.

Before we get into the specifics of the numbers, we should make it clear that these numbers are just estimates. There are lots of factors that could account for how far your car can go when it’s running low on gas. For example, the type of car you drive, the size of your fuel tank and your general driving style can all make a difference to how much mileage you’re going to get out of that gas.

British insurance company, LV, performed a survey of the most popular cars of 2015 and how far they can go when the fuel warning light comes on. Most people estimate that their car can go for another 50 miles when that light comes on, but they could be hitting pretty far from the mark. For example, a Vauxhall Astra can only make around 26 miles before their fuel gives up and a Vauxhall Corsa isn’t much better, making it just 29 miles.

The other eight cars on the list fared better than the Vauxhalls, with the Ford Fiesta making 37 miles and the Volkswagen Polo managing to last 39 miles. The Ford Focus wasn’t far in front of the Polo, with 40 miles. Next came the Audi A3 and the VW Golf, both of which managed to last for 42 miles without giving up. The top three in this study began with the Nissan Qashqai, which just edged into the top with 43 miles. Second on the list was the Mini Cooper, which managed to make 45 miles. This left the Mercedes C-Class as our winner, making 46 miles before coming to a stop. That’s a huge 20 miles more than the Vauxhall Astra could manage!

Now we know the numbers, we should warn you that letting your car run out of gas really isn’t a good idea. For starters, if you run out of gas it could result in your car being towed. It can also cause tons of problems with your car, including damage to your fuel filter and pump, damage to your catalytic convertor, and it could cause your fuel pump to run dry. Fixing these problems could cost you a pretty penny, and we’re trying to save money here, not waste it!

What do you think about this new information about your fuel warning light? Do you think you’ll be more likely to drive without refuelling now you know this information? Or would you rather not risk it? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!

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