Have you ever wondered how many miles you can go on E? Yes, E as in empty.
Newer cars have a gas gauge that gives you an estimate on how many miles are left until the vehicle runs out of gas. However, it is just an estimate. If you’ve ever driven with the E symbol lit up while your miles to empty gauge starts to tick miles down, you may have noticed that sometimes the estimate will fluctuate 5-10 miles during your drive depending on your driving conditions. Again, it’s only an estimate.
The myth of riding it out on E has been around for quite some time. A popular cable show from the 90s devoted an entire storyline to driving a vehicle until the very end of the gas tank after the gas light lit up. The problem with running a vehicle until it runs out of gas is that you can harm the several parts that are crucial to your vehicle’s operation like the catalytic converter and fuel pump as explained by YourMechanic.com.
With gas prices such as they are today, it’s understandable to want to get every last bit out of your tank before having to refill. However, it’s widely recommended by auto groups and mechanics to never let your gas tank go below 1/4 full. Even if you can keep your gas tank filled 3/4 of the way to 1/2 of the way, the majority of the time you’re being kind to your vehicle’s vital parts.
But we are realists and know that isn’t always possible to keep the car filled all the time; even to 25%. So, if you ever find yourself close to running out of gas or are running on fumes, try to pull over into the nearest parking lot or emergency lane. Obviously, a gas station would be most ideal. If you have a cell phone on you, call someone to help bring you gas. If you don’t have anyone available to help the following are emergency phone numbers you should have stashed in your car for situations such as this:
– highway patrol
– road ranger service
– Local Police Department or Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line
– Your Insurance Company’s emergency service number (if you are a member of the program)
– Car Dealership or Warranty’s emergency service (if you’re a member of the program)
– Cell phone’s emergency service (if you’re a member of the program)
In 2015, the YourMechanic.com website devoted an entire article to the subject, which included a chart on some of today’s most popular vehicles’ E ranges – you can view that here: https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-far-can-you-drive-your-vehicle-on-empty-by-brady-klopfer. If your vehicle is on there, it’s fun to think about. But we don’t encourage you to test out those potential 50-extra miles left in the tank.