car gas guage on empty

How Far Can You Go on 0 Miles to Empty?

Last updated on June 25th, 2023 at 07:08 pm

So, you’re driving on a highway, it’s a nice day, and you’re enjoying the ride. Suddenly, you see any driver’s worst nightmare: the gas tank’s light turning on. That means you’re about to run out of gas, or does it?

Even if you’re running on an empty gas tank, your car can still push forward for a while. The question is, how far can you go on 0 miles to empty?

In this article, we’ll answer this question and more so you can make the most out of the remaining fuel.  

White gas tank illustration on white

Can You Go Far on 0 Miles to Empty?

While there isn’t one way to calculate how far you can go, we can give an estimated range. 

As there’s still a bit of fuel between the tank and the injectors, expect to go 25-60 miles on 0 miles to empty.

What Factors Determine How Far You Can Go on 0 Miles to Empty?

You might think the amount of fuel between the tank and the injector is the only factor, but that’s not entirely true, as several internal and external elements factor into the answer.

Understanding how these variables factor into your car’s mileage helps you make the right call when you run out of gas.

Design of the Car

A car’s design can factor into its mileage. A heavy car uses more fuel, as it has greater inertia and rolling resistance. So, the engine exerts more energy to move it, resulting in more burnt fuel.

The design of the tires can also affect the car’s fuel consumption. A car with big tires consumes more fuel to move the extra weight and overcome the increased rolling resistance.

That said, even big tires can have a fuel-efficient design. Shallow tire treads lead to less rolling resistance, which helps the engine use less fuel to move the car and vice-versa.    

Driving Style

As your car is about to run out of gas, your first instinct might be to drive as aggressively as possible to reach your destination before it stops working. That can be counterproductive, though.

Suddenly hitting the brakes and gas pedal too hard forces the car to switch gears too quickly, which reduces fuel economy.

You also don’t want to drive too fast, as more speed means more air and rolling resistance, which increases fuel consumption.

Even if you’re running out of gas, step on the accelerator gently and drive at a steady pace.

Scared man driving car very fast,  focused on the driver's face

The Weather

The weather you drive in can affect your car’s fuel consumption. This is most obvious in cold weather, as it’s harder for the engine to manage fuel efficiently. 

The dense cold air creates more air resistance, which increases fuel consumption. If you use a heater in your car, now would be a good time to shut it off. While it takes a small amount of fuel, you don’t want to risk using it when you’re already running low.

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Moreover, cold temperatures lower the pressure inside the tires, which creates more air resistance. On the other hand, summer is an ideal season for fuel economy, as the hot weather makes it easier for the engine to reach a fuel-efficient temperature.

It can also increase the pressure inside your tires, which reduces rolling resistance.

What Are the Most Fuel-Efficient Cars on the Market?

Now that you understand how having a fuel-efficient car is crucial when your tank is almost empty, you should consider how fuel-thirsty a car is when making a purchase.

  1. Honda Civic

The interesting thing about the Honda Civic is that it comes in several models, each with different specs. If you’re looking for fuel economy, though, we recommend the mid-range EX.

While it has a 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Honda Civic is one of the least fuel-thirsty models on the market.

With an EPA rating of 36 mpg combined, 42 mpg highway, and 33 mpg city, you’ll get the most out of an empty tank.

2. Kia Rio

With a 120-hp, 1.6-liter engine, and standard CVT, Kia Rio will give you a fuel-efficient performance. It has an EPA rating of 36 mpg combined, 41 mpg highway, and 33 mpg city

    Add that to the car’s compact design and affordable price, and you get a bargain.

    1. Toyota Corolla

    The 2023 model of the Toyota Corolla comes with several upgrades. While the different variants of this model offer a great experience, you get the most economical fuel consumption rate from the hatchback SE and sedan LE.

    With an EPA rating of 35 mpg combined, 41 mpg highway, and 32 mpg city, both variants give you what you pay for.

    1. Mitsubishi Mirage

    The Mitsubishi Mirage isn’t as powerful as the other cars on this list. It has a 78-horsepower, 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine. However, it has the most economical fuel consumption rate.

    The best part is that you get two variants with efficient fuel economy. The hatchback variant has an EPA rating of 39 mpg combined, 43 mpg highway, and 36 mpg city.

    Next to the hatchback stands the Mirage G4 sedan, with an EPA rating of 37 mpg combined, 41 mpg highway, and 35 mpg city.  

    Wrapping Up

    Now you know how far you can go on 0 miles to empty. On average, expect to go 25-50 miles.

    That doesn’t apply to all cases, though. Several elements factor into how far you can go on an empty tank, like the type of car, the weather, and your driving style.

    Luckily, there are various fuel-efficient cars on the market. Each has different pros and cons, so choose a model that caters to your needs.

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