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MetroMPG 11-12-2014 09:54 PM

Have you ever run out of gas? And did you know you were going to?
Old Mechanic's post about his recent road trip in his $300 Nissan Sentra got me rememberin'...


I refilled before I hit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. I might have been able to make it but that last thing I wanted to do was crawl through 2 hours of atrocious rush hour traffic with the gauge close to empty. It was reading 1/8th ... it would have made it easily ... but pushing it is not my style.
That last bit got me wondering, is pushing it my style? Yeah, probably. I tend to push E more than most people do.

I've run out of gas twice, both times in my 1989 Honda Accord (RIP):

The first time, I was aware the end was near, based on both my familiarity with the gauge and the trip odometer. I knew I was pushing my luck, and literally coasted into a gas station after the engine quit. (The engine gave me a couple of warnings.) :)

Yeah, yeah, I know running it low isn't supposed to be good for the fuel pump.

The second time I was caught way off guard, and was in the U.S. of A. I was headed north on I-95 somewhere in Virginia and the engine quit literally right after I glanced at the gauge and thought to myself that I would turn off at the next exit. The gauge was way freaking off! Never so far off before or after.

So I coasted to a stop, grabbed the little jerry can I had in the trunk and stuck out my thumb.

Within 2 minutes a nice lady pulled over and took me to the next exit to get some gas. She said "I never stop in situations like this -- but you look like a nice guy ... and I noticed the Candian plate." And she wouldn't take a dime for her trouble. A big win for international relations! :D

Ironically, when we got back, there was a highway service patrol truck (what the heck was that, anyway? State service?) just pulling up behind my car and the guy said, "we patrol all the time and would have given you fuel from the back of our truck! Also, you should have tried to pull further off the highway."

VA: nice place to run ot of fuel!

user removed 11-12-2014 10:13 PM

Try it in an F350 car hauler after one of your "friends" borrows the truck and brings it back, so low on fuel, you can't make it to a gas station a mile away.

After I got some gas, from that point on when I was not driving the truck, I pulled the wire off the sending unit (tank was behind the seat, in the cab!). People would come back and complain about the gas gauge not working. :D

Now if you have to run out of gas, there is no better car than an original 1937
Ford 5 window coupe. Before I fixed the sending unit I ran out once and had fuel in the car in maybe 10 minutes. I could probably have driven the car to a gas station with the scowl on the wifes face. :eek:

Baltothewolf 11-12-2014 10:44 PM

In the mustang, I died while pulling up to the pump. The Insight I should have run out of has, I put 10.524 and it's only supposed to have a 10.6 gallon tank, so who knows. Back when I used to drive a 1987 Toyota Camry, the gauge read 1/4 a tank and I ran out of gas. Turns out it broke after my dad got gas somehow, and read 1/4 of a tank off. Oh well.

vskid3 11-12-2014 10:55 PM

Nope, I don't push it that far. I've had my Prius tell me twice to fuel up, both times as I was pulling into the gas station. I usually fill up with 1 or 2 of the 10 fuel lights left, mainly for the increased accuracy of large tanks.

jcp123 11-12-2014 11:20 PM

I have, only one time. It's towards the beginning of when I was driving the Echo. I had had some trouble and was just getting it back on the road. I knew the guess gauge would read 1/4 tank when it was empty, but figured I could push it just a little... And a little more...

Then, one day, there was silence. Luckily it happened so close to my wife's work that I coasted in. A co-worker of hers hooked me up with a fuel can, I walked about a block to the gas station, yadda yadda. It even started up again right away!

Insight for life 11-13-2014 12:35 AM

I have only run out once, I picked up a Porsche at the auto repair shop and literally made it about 100 yards before it ran out. needless to say I was pissed because I dropped it off with like 1/4 tank. (someone must have taken it on a date night), on the other hand I have noticed that most cars can go for quite a while after it "appears" to be empty.

Originally Posted by Baltothewolf (Post 455061)
In the mustang, I died while pulling up to the pump. The Insight I should have run out of has, I put 10.524 and it's only supposed to have a 10.6 gallon tank, so who knows.

I have put 10.73+- in the insight before and I dont think I even topped off if I remember correctly. I am not quite sure how that worked, I drove about 30 miles after the the last bar went out. I have put in 10.56 one time before too. There are people that shoved over 13 yes 13 gallons into the insight tank, it overflows into the vapor canister and other areas apparently. Search on insight central for diamond larry's 1600 mile tank.

ksa8907 11-13-2014 12:38 AM

Never. Ive been close and I drove 45mph in a 55 for 45 minutes just to be safe. But I do generally push the gas limit. I never fill up before the warning light unless I forsee a long drive or if gas is particularly cheap and increasing soon.

Frank Lee 11-13-2014 12:56 AM

When I get a vehicle that is new to me, I put a full gas can in the trunk and run 'er dry. That way I know how the gauge behaves- they are different for every car, even cars of identical make, model, and year. Of particular interest to me is how the gauge behaves near or at empty. On one of my cars, when the needle hits "E" IT MEANS IT. On most of the others when the needle hits "E" there is still quite a bit of fuel in the tank and I want to know if it's good for another 20 miles or 60, hence the test.

Speaking of gas gauges, I also note how many miles it takes to go from "over full" to "F", and how many more to 3/4, and so on. I can tell early on if a tank is going to be a good one or not (provided I used consistent top-off method each time).

Xist 11-13-2014 12:57 AM

I once ran out in my Prelude.

Or twice...

Three times?

Oh, once in a work van...

Then there was the time in Afghanistan...

I did it once in Afghanistan. A friend had married and moved away, but was back in town, and when I mentioned that I was moving, she offered to help. I had all of my belongings in three huge duffel bags and she had her son. I doubt that she could have moved the bags if she wanted to, but she was busy most of the time with her son. My gas gauge was low, but she made it difficult to think about it. I was supposed to drive several miles to drive my nephew two miles to his swim lessons. It was supposed to be so that I could see him, but I spent more time driving without him than interacting with him, and he never behaved well. I was trying to leave on time to pick him up, but my friend kept talking, so I was already running late when I got to my car, and then I saw that I was on empty. I lived extremely close to a gas station, but I still did not make it. I jumped out, told my friend to steer. She freaked out and I started pushing the car. Some gentleman helped me.

I was in serious trouble with my sister. I often am. Last week she asked me to take him to his orthodontist appointment. Now I live half an hour away. I kept telling myself to give myself extra time for traffic, Armageddon, magnetic pole reversal, and whatever else, but as I was leaving I realized that she probably told me when the appointment was, not when she wanted me to pick him up. I looked at my phone and saw three new messages from her that were marked as "read." One told me to pick him up half an hour earlier. I called the office and the lady kept telling me that I needed to cancel. While I looked up how long it would take me to drive to his house and then to the office, she kept asking how long it would take. Google Maps said that I would be 5-10 minutes late and the lady said they could not wait.

redpoint5 11-13-2014 01:26 AM

I've run out of fuel in every gas operated thing I've owned.

I once calculated that I could go 500 miles on a tank of gas in the Camry. On my commute from Salem to Portland, the gas light came on. Knowing that I should be able to go 500 miles, I decided to drive all the way back ~50 miles to the Fred Meyer in Salem. The engine died as I turned the corner to the gas station, and the odometer turned over exactly to 500 miles as I coasted to the pump.


Originally Posted by Old Mechanic (Post 455059)
Try it in an F350 car hauler after one of your "friends" borrows the truck and brings it back, so low on fuel, you can't make it to a gas station a mile away.

With friends like that, you don't need enemies.

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