It’s usually not time to panic when the low fuel light comes on while driving. In fact, many newer cars have a “distance to empty” gauge, so you roughly know how many miles you have left until you run out.
The distance you can travel after the low fuel light comes on varies by vehicle, but most times the amount of fuel you have left is around 2 gallons. How far you can go on that amount of fuel varies by vehicle and where you’re driving. Drive in the country and your fuel mileage is greater, drive in the city and it goes down. The most important thing to remember is if you keep driving you eventually will run out. And rarely, do you run out as you drive into the gas station.
Another thing to remember is that if you drive on low fuel consistently, you could damage your vehicle. Any debris in your gas tank will be sucked up into the fuel system and could damage your fuel pump or catalytic converter. Also, once you run out, it’s hard to get your vehicle started again.
According to yourmechanic.com, these are the distances you can drive after your vehicle low fuel light comes on for some of the most popular vehicles.
- Ford F-150 25 to 80 miles
- Chevy Silverado 25 miles
- Dodge Ram 1500 62-87 miles
- Toyota Corolla 60-84 miles
- Toyota Camry 65-91 miles
- Nissan Altima 81-114 miles
- Honda Accord 70-92 miles
- Chevy Equinox 50 miles
- Ford Escape 25-80 miles
- Jeep Grand Cherokee 66-90 miles
- Chevy Impala 44-62 miles
- Chevy Malibu 50-72 miles
Of course these are estimates. I rode to Iowa with a friend 2 years ago and when the low fuel light came on, we were out of gas and I was walking to the gas station. And it’s especially important to be aware of your fuel as it gets colder.