Cars

How Many Miles Can I Drive on Empty?

Most drivers have experienced the sinking feeling that comes when the gas light goes on. Whether you’re on a long road trip or just trying to make it to the next gas station, running out of gas can be a stressful experience. But how far can you actually drive after the gas light comes on?

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t very exact. It depends on a number of factors, including the type of engine your car has, the average fuel economy of your car, and your driving habits.

Factors That Affect How Many Miles You Can Drive on Empty

There are a few different factors that can affect how many miles you can drive after your gas light comes on. Here are some of the most important ones:

The type of engine your car has

Cars with smaller, four-cylinder engines tend to have better fuel economy than cars with larger, eight-cylinder engines. As a result, they can often go further on empty.

The average fuel economy of your car

Fuel economy is a measure of how many miles per gallon (MPG) your car gets. The higher your car’s fuel economy, the further you can go on empty.

Your driving habits

The way you drive can also affect how many miles you can drive on empty. For example, aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, etc.) can reduce your fuel economy and shorten the distance you can travel on empty.

How to Extend Your Car’s Range After the Gas Light Comes On

There are a few things you can do to extend your car’s range after the gas light comes on. Here are some tips:

  • Slow down and avoid aggressive driving. As we mentioned, aggressive driving can reduce your fuel economy and shorten the distance you can travel on empty.
  • Reduce your speed. Driving at lower speeds can help improve your fuel economy and give you a few extra miles.
  • Coast to a stop whenever possible. Braking uses up fuel, so coasting to a stop whenever you can will help you conserve gas.
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights or accessories. Any lights or accessories that are on will use up power and reduce your car’s range.
  • Keep your windows up. Keeping your windows rolled up will improve your aerodynamics and help you go further on empty.

Running Out of Gas: What to Do If You’re Stranded

If you do find yourself stranded without any gas, there are a few things you can do to get help. Here are some tips:

  • Call a tow truck. If you have a roadside assistance plan, call them and they will be able to bring you gas or tow you to the nearest gas station.
  • Call a friend or family member. Someone you know may be able to bring you gas or give you a ride to the nearest gas station.
  • Walk to the nearest gas station. If you’re in an urban area, you may be able to walk to the nearest gas station and get some help there.
  • Flag down a passing car. If you’re in a rural area, you may be able to flag down a passing car and ask for help.

As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how many miles you can drive on empty. However, by understanding the factors that affect your car’s range and taking steps to conserve gas, you can help make sure that you don’t find yourself stranded without any fuel.