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Almo

Range left when low fuel light comes on

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Hi Guys, got a new owner question here: Just wondering how many miles you can go on the open road after the low fuel light comes on before you start sucking air into the system?

Recently I got a bit caught out and I drove for 20 miles at 60mph with the fuel light on (and sweaty palms) before I got to a servo.

Thanks in advance for any responses. Ps. Loving the van so far :)

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The TC tells you exactly how many more miles you got until you can't drive anymore i believe , the info to change things so you can see how many miles till completely empty is on the steering wheel, at least in my TC.

 

It showed how many miles even with the low fuel light on.

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The low fuel message is suppose to advise you that you have approximately 50 miles to empty.  

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20 hours ago, herb said:

The TC tells you exactly how many more miles you got until you can't drive anymore i believe , the info to change things so you can see how many miles till completely empty is on the steering wheel, at least in my TC.

 

It showed how many miles even with the low fuel light on.

I must have a different model to you. Only thing on the steering wheel of my 2007 model is the horn Lol.

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20 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

The low fuel message is suppose to advise you that you have approximately 50 miles to empty.  

 

Thanks chap, that's quite a generous amount.

Interestingly I only put 45.3 liters in it when i got to the servo so I assumed it is a 50 liter tank but the manual tells me it's 60.

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Almo, I am a stupid American.  We forget that the rest of the world is metric.  50 US miles = 80.4672 kilometers.  Yes.  You will be safe to carry on until you can find the next fuel vendor.

21 hours ago, herb said:

The TC tells you exactly how many more miles you got until you can't drive anymore i believe , the info to change things so you can see how many miles till completely empty is on the steering wheel, at least in my TC.

 

It showed how many miles even with the low fuel light on.

 

1 hour ago, Almo said:

I must have a different model to you. Only thing on the steering wheel of my 2007 model is the horn Lol.

 

Odd, I don't have a screen on my steering wheel either.  My information display is on the dash, with the gauge cluster, and the warning lights.  

IMG_20181205_104026410.jpg.61d486386d7f35e324dc3c36b0745ef2.jpg

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When I had my 2012 TC the fuel light would come on at 50 miles to empty. One night just for fun I ran the van down to 0 miles to empty. Once I hit zero miles to empty I continued to drive another 20 miles to the next gas station. So that was 70 miles driven after the light came on. I always said I was going to run it one night till it completely ran out of gas just to see how far she really would go. But I hit a deer and totaled the ole Gal.   :(   Guess I will never know for sure as Mom want let me do the test with her 2012. Lol

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15 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

Almo, I am a stupid American.  We forget that the rest of the world is metric.  50 US miles = 80.4672 kilometers.  Yes.  You will be safe to carry on until you can find the next fuel vendor.

 

 

Odd, I don't have a screen on my steering wheel either.  My information display is on the dash, with the gauge cluster, and the warning lights.  

IMG_20181205_104026410.jpg.61d486386d7f35e324dc3c36b0745ef2.jpg

 

 

Who said there was a "Screen" on the steering wheel ?  My post said " The info to change things is on the steering wheel"  .

 

 

 

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The amount of fuel remaining today is actually rather generous. Old Ford's from the 60-70's would promptly stop driving the moment the needle hit E on the fuel gauge.

 

Manufacturers will only tell you that when the low fuel light comes on, it's time to refuel. They don't want consumers to drive further for liability purposes, and also running out of fuel can permanently damage a fuel injection fuel pump.

 

My advise, time your refuel at the exact time the display reads 0 miles, refuel, and observe the gallons (liters) that it took, and compare it to the capacity listed in the owner manual. In the US, I have done this and found that the TC would take 13.8 gallons at 0 miles, and the manual spec is 15.8 gallons. Basic math shows there is about 2 gallons left the the tank on "reserve". Compare that to your average fuel economy, and you can guess how many more miles you can drive.

 

Of course, once I have driven past that mark, there is an uneasy feeling, knowing you could run out and damage your fuel pump. And the start of a really bad, and expensive day.

 

I stopped doing this years ago. A lot of stress can be created waiting until the last minute to refuel. This especially happens when you're late and in a hurry to go somewhere and realize that now you also have to stop for fuel, which makes you more late and more stress. Some people like to massage their ego to see how far they can go, and then brag about it if they make it. Fools.

 

Now, when my fuel gauge reads 1/4 tank, I refuel. And on my terms, when I'm not in a hurry, like on the way home from work or the store. The amount of stress relieved is a solid feeling. I always have at least 1/4 of a tank, usually more, so if there is an emergency, you can jump in and go, and not have to worry about fuel.

 

 

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A lot of us suffer from range anxiety.  The fear of running out of fuel at a point where there is no fuel available.  

 

All that anyone has to do is what you are doing.  Refuel to a full tank, before it is needed.  

 

But in my daily life, I still talk to knuckleheads who have no clue in regards to mileage, tank range, cost per mile, et cetera.  They say things like: "I can get $20 of gas on Monday, and drive until Thursday.  Then add $20 on Friday for the weekend.  It never runs out.  How much do you spend?"  I like when they tell me, "your truck is big, does gas cost more?"  Nope.  I pay exactly the same price per gallon as you do.  Your commute is different than mine, so there's no relevant comparison to how much you spend vs how much I spend.  But I suppose there's heavenly bliss to not filling up your tank to full, and just handing $20 bills to the cashier every few days.

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I now know I have 50miles/80km at least to get myself to a service station. Not that I plan on pushing it. I'm pretty much a '1/4 tank left, time to fill up' guy.

Interesting seeing pictures of your dash, my digital display is is just a little postage stamp one that shows odo, trip and the time. You must have newer models.

Edited by Almo

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On my 2015, I ended up running it out once last spring coming home from the bar, not on purpose. The display read 0 miles for at least 40 miles and I was doing 70-75 MPH (this is rural Texas, haha). It was 1am and towns are fairly far apart around here. I ended up running out just two blocks from home, so I walked to get my gas can which only had about half-gallon left and then I filled up first thing in the morning before going anywhere else. For reference, my fuel light usually turns on at 38 miles, but sometimes as high as 42-43 miles left. I've never seen it come on at 50, though.

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Just remember the in tank pump uses the fuel as a coolant and lubricant so not only is it inconvenient to run out of fuel, it will definitely  shorten the life of the pump!  Changing the pump is no longer a cheap fix on new cars.   

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On 2/5/2019 at 7:43 AM, G B L said:

Just remember the in tank pump uses the fuel as a coolant and lubricant so not only is it inconvenient to run out of fuel, it will definitely  shorten the life of the pump!  Changing the pump is no longer a cheap fix on new cars.   

 

$78 at Rockauto for Motorcraft, not exactly astronomically priced. Of course, if the pump went out with a full tank, that'd be a PITA to drop it. And as I said for myself, it certainly wasn't on purpose - although it's at least good information to know. Don't have to get super stressed out about immediately finding a gas station if the display manages to get down to 1 or even 0 miles. But I usually fill up by 1/8th or sometimes even 1/4 tank.

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The price of the pump is the small part of the issue.  Pulling the tank can open up lots of issues. Depending on when and where the pump gives will definitely add to the enjoyment of the experience.  It is just another thing that has changed as the cars and trucks be come more and more complex.

I have one  of these so it is not so much of an issue for me but watching the gauge is still the best Idea. 

Lift .png

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In the Mustangs and Explorers, some guys were known to pull the seat, peel back the carpet kit, and cut into the floorboard.  Make an easy access opening to the fuel pump, so that you don't have to drop the tank.

Edited by Fifty150

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That'd be even easier for those of us with cargo vans, lol. I don't have the factory vinyl floor in it anymore, so I'd have to make a nicer access door or cover if I were ever to go in through the top. But right now, I still have extended warranty coverage, so I wouldn't have to worry about it anyway. Which reminds me, I still need to bring the van in for the blown front right strut, haha. When I had the door latch recall & perimeter lights disable, they had my van for 4 days and no loaner - a waiting list! So I was having to catch rides all over... Gotta check with a buddy about borrowing his spare Exploder when I schedule the van to go in, just in case.

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4 hours ago, jrm223 said:

 I still need to bring the van in for the blown front right strut, haha.

 

 

Now that you mention it, my strut tower area looks like there's some fluid also.  Only from what I can see under the hood, which is the top of the strut tower where the bolt is.  I wonder if the driver's side looks the same.  

 

Apparently, cutting the floor is a common thing to do.  A lot of people have done the same thing with a lot of different cars on youtube.com.  

 

 

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My display showed 17 miles left.  When I filled up, there was still about 2 gallons in the tank.

IMG_20190531_154800372.jpg

IMG_20190531_154431753.jpg

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My 2010's light comes on and the display says there's 50 miles left.  When I put fuel in it at close to zero miles left, it takes about 13 gallons or a little more than that.  Considering the fuel economy it gets, that's somewhere from 40 to more than 50 more miles before it runs dry.

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