Does 'E' Really Mean Empty on Your Car's Gas Gauge?

Jolie77

New Member
Premium Member
I was watching 20/20 on ABC last friday and they were talking about travel myths.

They were doing an experiment with a van. The van's gas warning light came up and interestingly, the van was still running an hour later on the road (65 miles to be exact) before the van's gas tank was actually empty.

So, what do you think of this myth? I'm curious to see each and every one of your input.

ABC News: Does 'E' Really Mean Empty?
 

javapride

New Member
Well IMO im glad theres a warning light and from my distance to the gas station is very important. my gas runs 20 to 60 miles before the last drop kills our engine, and this helps so we can get gas fill it up and etc. for ME id rather get my gas BEFORE the light comes on... considering i been thru enuff gas outage and cost of gas and cost of fiances really killed alot of poeple's budget. so concept wise best use ur gas wisely don't go anywhere u don't need to go, choose ONE day to do ur stuff and the 2 times for food shopping and TELL ur families to not hog on the food this will make money last longer and streches better to the dollar. thats why i ONLY go to town when i have more than ONE thing to do. better to save gas than to waste it :)
 

restless_heart

New Member
Interesting....but I always fill up my gas half full and never go under half...*shrug* that is me...you just never know if you will get stuck in the middle of nowhere on a highway for hours...and what if you run of gas, something could happen to you...who knows...Don't ever trust your guage...:giggle:
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
Interesting....but I always fill up my gas half full and never go under half...*shrug* that is me...you just never know if you will get stuck in the middle of nowhere on a highway for hours...and what if you run of gas, something could happen to you...who knows...Don't ever trust your guage...:giggle:

Have you actually ran out of gas before? It never happened to me but never know. I always fill up gas when the low gas warning light comes on. I know how far it can go before running out of gas. If the light comes on, I immediatly look for gas station right away.
 

traciedowell

New Member
I..ahem..actually HAVE run my truck until I had no gas. It was a miracle because my truck stalled out AS I PULLED UP TO THE GAS PUMP! It was unbelieveable. I will thanking my lucky stars that day. Anyway, my gas light was on for quite some time. Approx 50 miles from when the light came on to when my truck stalled out.
 

Secretblend

Well-Known Member
Gas guage is notorious for being different in cars and trucks. Some will go 50 miles as mentioned. Others will only go 10 miles. If you really want to know how far it will go in your own car, just gotta run it out of gas and then find out. However, I wouldn't recommend it could cause damages to your engine, however it is unlikely to happen with newers cars cause now they have better fuel filters. If you do run it out of gas, might be a good idea to replace gas filter.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Hubby's Jeep shows exactly how many miles he has left to drive. My Jeep just has the "E" type of gauge.

I usually fill my gas when it gets below 1/2 but above 1/4. I don't want to take any chances of running out of gas. I don't want to get stranded somewhere.

You never know when gas might become unavailable in an emergency. If all the power goes out, the gas stations can't pump. If a sudden evacuation happens, you can't stop for gas. I like to be prepared.
 

restless_heart

New Member
:werd: Restlessheart thank u for pointing that out too :)

Thank you. it actually happened almost a year ago on Valentine's Day on one of the interstate here, somehow we had a really bad ice storm, and no one ever salt or plow the highway. a truck driver skidded and went side way and there was no way out because there were walls (don't know what you call it) between the left and right lanes...Thousand of motorists were stranded for more than 18 hours in the freezing mark. Many had ran out of gas, that the oil truck had to give each motorists gas. Can you image 18 hours being stranded in the ice storm with no help at all. After this they had to spend the night here at the hotel (we are under this very interstate) where I work to get food, sleep, etc...never seen anything like it...like I said, you just never know what will happen, it is best to be prepare for the worse...in any weather condition no matter what...
 

restless_heart

New Member
Have you actually ran out of gas before? It never happened to me but never know. I always fill up gas when the low gas warning light comes on. I know how far it can go before running out of gas. If the light comes on, I immediatly look for gas station right away.

Well no, but actually almost with my husband's car. he never filled it up, and when the light came on, I panic...Why wait??? Till your payday? And it is best to fill as much as possible while the gas prices are down...
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
Well no, but actually almost with my husband's car. he never filled it up, and when the light came on, I panic...Why wait??? Till your payday? And it is best to fill as much as possible while the gas prices are down...

It's always good to have back up money in case the car needs gas rather than spending all of the money on something else. :) Enco-box are great for gas mileage so you won't have to spend too much on gas.
 

VamPyroX

bloody phreak from hell
I've always known that the warning light appears when you're down to 1 or 2 gallons of gas remaining. Since most cars average to 30 miles per gallon, then their car will stop when they keep driving at least 30 miles after the warning light appeared.

That's why it's called a "warning light". It's there to warn you that you're going to run out of gas soon. No, "soon" doesn't mean you will run out after driving 100 more feet. No, the warning light doesn't mean you're out of gas now.

When driving on a highway, most gas stations are less than 30 miles apart. If you missed a gas station and the warning light appeared, don't worry... you're likely to make it to the next gas station.

Warning light or not, it's still wise to make sure you have gas and not always wise to push the limit. When you run out of gas too often, it's not good for the engine.

Some cars don't have warning lights. Also, different cars have different gauges so we can't assume that when the pointer is touching 'E', you're now empty. Maybe empty is when the pointer touches 'E', is in the middle of 'E', or goes beyond 'E'. It could be anything.

Like I said, it's wise to get gas when you've got 1/8th to 1/4th remaining. You might see that you're low on gas and decide to get it tomorrow. The next morning, you get up and take off to see your friend who lives at the other side of town... car dies. "Gee, I forgot. I didn't notice that I needed gas! I should have gotten gas last night! Grr!"
 

Awauphi

Active Member
I never let my car run out of gas.. when it get to 1/4 I always fill up every week.. Never know due to emergency or whatever... :)
 

nozobo

Active Member
I usually drive to the "E" tank unless I know I'll be busy for the next couple days and won't have time to fill up then I fill up right there. But I usually fill up when the warning light goes on, never had any problems.
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
I've always known that the warning light appears when you're down to 1 or 2 gallons of gas remaining. Since most cars average to 30 miles per gallon, then their car will stop when they keep driving at least 30 miles after the warning light appeared.

That's why it's called a "warning light". It's there to warn you that you're going to run out of gas soon. No, "soon" doesn't mean you will run out after driving 100 more feet. No, the warning light doesn't mean you're out of gas now.

When driving on a highway, most gas stations are less than 30 miles apart. If you missed a gas station and the warning light appeared, don't worry... you're likely to make it to the next gas station.

Warning light or not, it's still wise to make sure you have gas and not always wise to push the limit. When you run out of gas too often, it's not good for the engine.

Some cars don't have warning lights. Also, different cars have different gauges so we can't assume that when the pointer is touching 'E', you're now empty. Maybe empty is when the pointer touches 'E', is in the middle of 'E', or goes beyond 'E'. It could be anything.

Like I said, it's wise to get gas when you've got 1/8th to 1/4th remaining. You might see that you're low on gas and decide to get it tomorrow. The next morning, you get up and take off to see your friend who lives at the other side of town... car dies. "Gee, I forgot. I didn't notice that I needed gas! I should have gotten gas last night! Grr!"

Don't forget Seattle hills will trick your gas gauge. If you go down or up the hill, the gauge will not show the accurate results, it would go down or up due that the floater inside the fuel tank is moving up and down when the fuel is sloshing around left and right.
 

jazzy

New Member
My car would light up, then I have 30 more miles to go before fill it up. Our new truck would tell u how many miles to go before gas run out.
 

jillio

New Member
I..ahem..actually HAVE run my truck until I had no gas. It was a miracle because my truck stalled out AS I PULLED UP TO THE GAS PUMP! It was unbelieveable. I will thanking my lucky stars that day. Anyway, my gas light was on for quite some time. Approx 50 miles from when the light came on to when my truck stalled out.

LOL....I've had the same experience. Actually, the only way to know for sure how many miles you have left is to start measuring once the car hits "E" and stop measuring when you run out of gas!
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
I've always known that the warning light appears when you're down to 1 or 2 gallons of gas remaining. Since most cars average to 30 miles per gallon, then their car will stop when they keep driving at least 30 miles after the warning light appeared...

When driving on a highway, most gas stations are less than 30 miles apart. If you missed a gas station and the warning light appeared, don't worry... you're likely to make it to the next gas station.
Heh, my car only gets 18-20 mpg, so one or two gallons will get me only 18 - 40 miles at best. If I leave my house on "E" and get on the interstate to drive downtown, that's about 22 miles without a gas station, especially at night. That's too close for comfort.


...Like I said, it's wise to get gas when you've got 1/8th to 1/4th remaining. You might see that you're low on gas and decide to get it tomorrow. The next morning, you get up and take off to see your friend who lives at the other side of town... car dies. "Gee, I forgot. I didn't notice that I needed gas! I should have gotten gas last night! Grr!"
I've never run out of gas but I agree it's not a good idea to postpone getting gas when the tank is low. Suppose you get a call during the night for an emergency, and you want to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. You don't want to have to waste time stopping to get gas.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
Don't forget Seattle hills will trick your gas gauge. If you go down or up the hill, the gauge will not show the accurate results, it would go down or up due that the floater inside the fuel tank is moving up and down when the fuel is sloshing around left and right.
We saw that happen on a hilly road in Connecticut. The car in front of us driving uphill "died." We stopped to see if the driver needed help. He told us that he thought he had enough gas until he started driving up the steep hill.
 
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