When your fuel light pops on, it is common to ask yourself, how far can I drive till the car stalls? It’s important to know more about the fuel light mechanics in order to make a wise decision when this issue comes about, because frankly who wants to have to walk to the petrol station to buy a jerrycan of fuel.
A majority of people try stretching their petrol out as long as possible. Others, as soon as the needle gets below the quarter way mark get low top up, just so they don’t have to face this dilemma. The best practice is to be like the second people and not let it fall below a quarter of a tank.
Your fuel light will come on when the petrol level drops. This is detected by your fuel level sensor or a little gadget that detects the distance to empty. When this happens there is anywhere from 6% to 4 – 8 litres of fuel left in the tank, but there are no two cars the same, so as always, better safe than sorry.
There are three main things to keep in mind when that fuel light pops on:
You can’t always trust your fuel gauge
The fuel gauge is only able to estimate how much fuel you have in the tank and isn’t always accurate. Depending on the type of car you drive and mechanical problems, your fuel light may appear to come on earlier than other vehicles of a similar model, or it may come on right before the petrol runs out.
It is more expensive if you run out of petrol
Once the fuel light has come on, it’s important to take to action and fill up the tank as soon as possible otherwise if you run out, you are looking at the expense to hire a tow truck or being stranded, or the old jerrycan walk of shame. The motto for this is – don’t push your luck.
Driving with the fuel light on can cause further damage to your vehicle
Fuel pump could overhead
When the petrol is too low, it is in danger of getting too hot to cool the fuel pump as it operates to transfer fuel to the engine.
If your car is diesel powered the engine might not restart
When a car runs out of diesel air enters into the duel system. Air bubbles can block the fuel from being delivered into the fuel system, which then makes the engine fail to start. If this happens you will have to undergo some pricey repairs including pushing air of the fuel system and air from the fuel system needs to be pushed out and the fuel system needs to be primed. Add the cost of this to towing and it is an expensive ordeal.
So as always, prevention is key. If you see that little light come on, get to the petrol station as soon as you can and save yourself unnecessary drama.