FUEL economy is incredibly important and now modern cars tell you how much range you have left, but what if you get stuck miles away from a petrol station when your tanks ticks over to empty?
By LUKE JOHN SMITH
PUBLISHED: 08:01, Sat, Dec 23, 2017
Every driver has felt the dread when the fuel needle hits empty and the warning light glows on the dashboard.
Ideally, you should never let your car hit empty before getting it refuelled, but sometimes it is unavoidable.
Cars don’t immediately shut down as soon as you hit zero as there is usually some fuel left in in the tank as a reserve, for this very eventuality.
But, how much further can your car travel when it hits empty?
Of course, there is no way to give a definitive answer on how many miles you can continue on for
This is because of the amount of variables that affect the fuel economy.
Your driving style, average speed, road surface, temperature, make and model of your car, engine size among others drastically impact how thirsty or frugal the car is.
However, WKYC 3 consumer investigator Danielle Serino put a 2017 Toyota to the test to see how far it could go when the car hit empty and managed 43 miles after the warning light came on.
The reporter also had some advice for drivers wanting to try and find out how far their car could go after it hits empty.
She said: “If you want to find out how far your car can run on empty, check your owners manual to for the exact volume of your fuel tank.
“Then the next time the needle show empty, fill it up.
“Subtract the number of gallons it took to fill up your tank from the volume in the manual and you’ll known how much further you can go when the needle hits empty.”
Similarly, research conducted in 2016 by Your Mechanic revealed data about a number of USA 2015 cars and how they performed when the needle hit zero.
While this may not be transferable to your car, it does reveal a certain pattern and can be a good gauge.
For example, economy sedans, hatchbacks and smaller cars achieve around 30 miles while larger SUVs can reach 90-plus after the warning light comes on.
Confused.com also released some data about some of the top selling cars in the UK in 2016 purportedly revealing how far they can travel when they run empty.
1. Ford Fiesta – 38 miles
2. Vauxhall Corsa – 32 miles
3. Ford Focus – 41 miles
4. Volkswagen Golf – 42 miles
5. Nissan Qashqai – 43 miles
6. Volkswagen Polo – 41 miles
7. Vauxhall Astra – 33 miles
8. Audi A3 – 40 miles
9. Mini – 45 miles
10. BMW 3 Series – 44 miles
Just because there is reserve fuel in your car, however, it doesn’t mean you should use it or rely on it.
When fuel levels get low the car can start picking up debris from the bottom of the fuel tank.
This can damage the fuel filter and pump and also have a negative effect on the catalytic converter.
If your fuel pump runs dry as a result of you running out of fuel, it can land you a bill of up to £200 to repair.