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How Far Can You Actually Drive Your Vehicle After Your Gas Light Comes On?

Geneva Motor Show 2016
Harold Cunningham, Getty Images

We’ve all had that moment where we were certain we would run out of gas, but how close are we really cutting it when our fuel light comes on?

We’re all well aware that stopping to refuel at any of the numerous gas stations we pass up once we’re low on gas is probably the best idea, but for some reason we always push it until the gas light comes on.

Today, I got a call from DJ Greenlight to go pick him up and what he initially thought was car trouble, was actually just his truck running out of gas on Ambasador Caffery. To make matters worse, he pulled over to the side of the road opposite a gas station before realizing he simply ran out of fuel.

So, how far can you really go once that gas light begins to shine?

Well, our friend Greenlight didn’t know but this chart (courtesy of YourMechanic) breaks down the exact distance that some of the most commonly purchased vehicles can go once the low fuel indicator lights up.


If you don’t see your exact vehicle in the list, you can probably look at a few of the similar vehicles and come up with a pretty good estimate.

It should also be noted that operating your vehicle with little to no fuel can be damaging to your engine, so taking the risk for fun probably isn’t the best idea. For the cars that have “distance until empty”—remember, that’s only an estimate, so be careful.

Have you ever tested your gas light and lost? Have you ever been in a situation where you were certain you would run out of fuel but then survived to make it to the pump?

Sound off and let us know in the comments below.

[via YourMechanic]


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