I was recently watching an episode of Seinfeld where Kramer test drives a Saab 900 convertible and tries to see how far he can go once the fuel needle reaches “empty”. While watching, I tried to recall how low I’ve ever let the needle go.
I’m certain I’ve never gone into the red, nor have I activated the low fuel warning light. As a rule of thumb, I never let it drop below a quarter of a tank. Running on empty is bad for the fuel injection system, among other things, but it’s more for peace of mind. I generally fill up when my car drops to under half a tank. This is mainly because I’d rather pay $30-$40 dollars than $60-$70 all at once. Despite my TSX’s required premium fuel, the mpg savings over the Highlander are enough that I’m making fewer trips to the pump.
One time while riding with a friend, we did go into the empty enough for the low fuel warning light to come on. Of course, this was the one time there was no gas station in sight. Quickly reading through the owner’s manual, I found that the warning light comes on with approximately 15 miles of driving range left. After about ten miles we did finally reach a gas station. That’s the lowest I’ve personally come, though it wasn’t in my own car.
So how about you? When do you normally fill up, and what’s the lowest you’ve let your tank go?