Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there-
Does anyone know how many miles you can go after the gas light, lights up? It seems like it lights up way before it hits empty, but I've been paranoid that I'll get stuck somewhere. :?
 
K

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I've been wondering about this too. I filled up very soon after the gas light came on, and I believe it was azbout 14 gal of gas. Which means you have at least 1.5 gals left -- so 30-35 miles?
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I guess so- I filled up about 13.5. I just wasn't sure how big the tank is. Good to know. Thanks! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
The 15.9 is the size of the tank. You should be able to fit in half a gallon more in all the tubing... :D Looks like you have 40 - 50 miles top after the light. I guess the gage seems to be correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,223 Posts
Definitely one of the most important things to figure out if you use your car for highway trips in particular. Often the manual will say how much fuel is left when the light comes on, and some cars are more conservative than others. My Subaru's light comes on at 2.5 gallons remaining, which I've always thought was a bit early. Sounds like the RAV might be the same way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
flyingn - Can you explain a bit more about why it might be bad (insinuation=damaging) to the fuel pump to allow the gas to get low enough for the light to come on?
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
flyingn said:
The fuel pump is submerged in the fuel. The fuel itself helps to cool the pump and motor. If the level drops below it it will overheat and shorten its life.
Thanks for the info flyingn :) - I don't ever let it go that low, it's just these days, I have to be picky about where I get gas since everywhere costs and arm and a leg! LOL- Just wondering if I can make it to my next gas station that's all. :) I've heard not to ever let it go that low- wasn't sure why. But now I know. Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
Raffor said:
You should be able to fit in half a gallon more in all the tubing... :D
On modern vehicles that's a bad habit that can be costly, fuel ends up saturating the carbon canister that's part of the evaporative fuel system, it's only supposed to capture vapor. It's a good practice to not add any more fuel (top off) once the pump nozzle hits the first cutoff, continuing to add more fuel is when the problem can occur, not worth it for the little fuel that can be added.

http://www.jpsalestraining.com/topping_off.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,786 Posts
vigil wrote:
Can you explain a bit more about why it might be bad (insinuation=damaging) to the fuel pump to allow the gas to get low enough for the light to come on?
In addition to flyman's reply about damaging the fuel pump - you are much more apt to get water condensation in your fuel system creating havoc with your injectors, lines and filters, if you let your fuel level get down too low.

OC
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
Not much chance of water causing a problem any more at low fuel levels than a full tank, water is going to be at the bottom of the tank anyway, and with a lot of fuels today that have alcohol content, water will be mixed with the fuel and not separated since water and alcohol will mix, the reason why gas dry work, it's just ethanol alcohol.


http://autorepair.about.com/library/faqs/bl677e.htm
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So is there no truth to the rumor when they say that low fuel levels = corrossion inside the gas tank (developing over time)?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
I'm pretty sure the tank is made of plastic, so there's no corrosion to the tank. Condensation can form inside of the tank due to temperature differences, keeping the tank ½ full or more will reduce the build up of condensation.

EDIT: The tank is metal!!
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
...keeping the tank ½ full or more will reduce the build up of condensation.
Not by much.

A small amount of water in your gas (ie from condensation) will not cause any problems as it will go right through the injectors and come out of the exhaust as steam. If you do happen to get enough water in there to cause problems, a bottle of Dry Gas will dry it right up.

Another common claim is that running your tank down to E will cause sludge to run into yoru engine. However, if you regularly run your gas tank down nearly to E, there's no chance for the sludge to build up.

If running a car down to empty would cause a problem for the fuel pump, they'd redesign the tank with a small deep well that would always stay full and the pump would never be allowed to run dry. It would be a simple engineering change with virtually no added cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,786 Posts
gtalum wrote:
Not by much.

A small amount of water in your gas (ie from condensation) will not cause any problems as it will go right through the injectors and come out of the exhaust as steam. If you do happen to get enough water in there to cause problems, a bottle of Dry Gas will dry it right up.

Another common claim is that running your tank down to E will cause sludge to run into yoru engine. However, if you regularly run your gas tank down nearly to E, there's no chance for the sludge to build up.

If running a car down to empty would cause a problem for the fuel pump, they'd redesign the tank with a small deep well that would always stay full and the pump would never be allowed to run dry. It would be a simple engineering change with virtually no added cost.
Wrong!! I'm the local government agency you call when you get a tank of contaminated fuel.....read my post from the thread "What Grade of Fuel Do You Use?"
OC wrote:

Flyingn is 100% correct - octane is a measure of volatility, at what temperature gasoline will ignite. Higher octanes ignite at a higher temperature, lower octanes at a lower temperature, thereby being more susceptible to preignition. I work for the local government agency that tests the quality of motor fuels including octane and cetane ratings within my jurisdiction. Octane is determined by doing a high stress and a low stress test on specifically designed test engines, and taking the average of the two tests. Contrary to popular myth, higher octane grades do NOT have more BTU's per gallon, nor do they necessarily have more cleaning additives than regular grades.

Use the octane that your engine was designed for, and you should have no problems as long as the gasoline retailer has been doing his regular tank/dispenser maintenance. I cringe when I hear some folks mention how they let their tank just about run down to nothing so they could test their mileage. Wrong - that is the best way to get condensation in your tank, especially in the colder winter months, don't let your tank go below 1/4 full. I could tell you horror stories about how we get complaints from people who let their tanks just about go dry, fillup at the gas station and then can't even start their car to pull away from the pumps - and then claim the gas they just bought was contaminated. Then we go in and test, and to their disbelief, nothing is wrong with gasoline from the retailers tank from which they just purchased!

Other hints - change fuel filters regularly (every 15 - 20K miles), and NEVER purchase gas at a station that has a tanker truck dropping a load into the storage tanks - whatever sediment or water is in the tank will be stirred up. Buy gas from stations that appear to have newer dispensers and equipment, don't buy gas just by price!

Sorry about the War & Peace novel, but this is my field at work! Wink

OC
To make along story short - when someone complains about contaminated fuel, there are two questions we ask right from the start:
A) How much gas did you have in your tank before you filled up?
B) Did you notice a fuel tanker loading the storage tank while you filled up.
In nearly 90% of the complaints we get, the complainant answers "Almost on E" to A. In less than 5% of the complaints we receive, do we actually find the gas in the storage tanks contaminated. The reason the complainant has a $600 repair bill is because he helped contaminate his own tank - by making it a habit of running down to "E" before refilling, especially during the cold winter months when condensation contamination is much more prevelant. Also, you say you have no chance of sludge getting past your fuel filter when you run it down to "E". I don't think so.... you should see some of muddied brown residue samples I get as evidence from the repair shops who repair these fuel systems - too bad the storage tanks of the original product tested just fine.

Moral of this story - don't run your tank down to "E" habitually to calculate your mileage - you may get away with for awhile when your car is new, but eventually it will catch up to you!! :roll:

OC
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I've done it on all four of my previous cars, each of which lasted me well beyond 200,000 miles and never had a fuel pump problem.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top