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fuel light on.. how many miles are usually left?

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Old 06-22-16, 04:37 PM   #1
2jzdc
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Default fuel light on.. how many miles are usually left?

So I was driving today with the fuel light on, drove for 5 miles and the car started dying. I was under the impression there would be atleast 2 gallons left. Anyone know how many miles we have left when the light turns on?
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Old 06-22-16, 05:41 PM   #2
Scarletti
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I'm sure it varies, I'd guess it's just a mechanical float style sender.

I always found it was ~ gallon. Circa 22-27 miles left to go.
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Old 06-22-16, 08:22 PM   #3
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It is about a gallon or less. Take that light indicator as a note to find a station soon. It is that way on our Camry and on our SC430, so I'm guessing that is a Toyota standard.
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Old 06-23-16, 12:29 AM   #4
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Hm that's odd on the GS and IS300 they usually have like two or theee gallons left
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Old 06-23-16, 08:47 AM   #5
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Just curious, why did you ask this question?
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Old 06-23-16, 02:51 PM   #6
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This happened to me this past Monday. My light came on and at 70 mph I drove between 25 and 30 miles before I got to the station. I was on the Freeway obviously. I'm not willingly to intentionally find the max! I thought the reserve volume was in the manual but maybe not. I would just fuel up when the light comes on but as happened to me, sometimes you're just not near a station. I rarely let the tank go below 1/4 if I can help it.
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Old 06-23-16, 03:00 PM   #7
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It used to be a gallon of gas. It means get to nearest gas station...you pushed it enough on this tank!
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Old 06-24-16, 12:19 PM   #8
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I've pushed it to about 20 miles after the Distance To Empty Indicator on the AC Unit switched from "0 miles" to "Low Fuel." Not on purpose, just was highway cruising and no stations in sight. Had Liberty Mutual Insurance roadside dialed up, just in case. Very nervous times. Can't specifically say about how many miles I got once the dash fuel light turns on, though. In the past, all my cars have gotten be about 30 miles once the dash light is illuminated. My father states that it's an industry standard, at least 30 miles once the light illuminates.
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Old 06-24-16, 03:19 PM   #9
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I've had other makes of cars that the light came on at 3 gallons left, so I was a little shocked the first time I discovered that it was only about a gallon of gas.
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Old 06-24-16, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold57 View Post
I've had other makes of cars that the light came on at 3 gallons left, so I was a little shocked the first time I discovered that it was only about a gallon of gas.
Yeah. Maybe I should clarify my above statement a little more. According to my father, he said that once the fuel light turns on in any US production vehicle, that there is enough reserve to reach 30 miles and beyond. From his explanation, which has yet to fail me thus far in life, that manufacturer sets that level dependent on the average miles per gallon for each vehicle. So let's say for example, my car under stock conditions gets 15 miles to the gallon, that means when the light comes on I have approx 2 gallons reserve to make me reach that 30 mile range. It's not proven, but my father swears by this "rule of thumb." In my 33 years on this planet the man has never ran out of gas. Just saying.

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Old 06-24-16, 07:02 PM   #11
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Shawn, that's a very good rule of thumb to go by. IIRC, both our Mazdas and our Honda in previous years got 20 mpg or better and the trip point was still 3 gallons (60 to 90 miles). However, going by your Dad's rule of thumb, one would never run out of gas in Hondas or Mazdas either.
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Old 06-25-16, 12:49 AM   #12
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At one time, I ran 35 miles on my Corolla after the light was on, before fueling. Never known what actually number could be.
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Old 06-25-16, 12:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bgw70 View Post
Just curious, why did you ask this question?
Because I wanted to know what other people's results were, since mine died 6 miles after the light came on.
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Old 06-25-16, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2jzdc View Post
Because I wanted to know what other people's results were, since mine died 6 miles after the light came on.
Yeah that 6 miles thing is very strange. Can you please describe what you mean by "dying." Has the car been in an accident, or fuel tank modified, fuel pump been replaced. Anything of that sort?
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Old 06-25-16, 03:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnOk View Post
Yeah that 6 miles thing is very strange. Can you please describe what you mean by "dying." Has the car been in an accident, or fuel tank modified, fuel pump been replaced. Anything of that sort?
Or maybe climbing Mount Washington. Agree with ShawnOk, something odd is going on with the fuel pickup or the low fuel sensor. If you are not the original owner, maybe something happened before you got the car.
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