So, you’re seeing the low fuel light illuminating on your dashboard. It is only natural for you to think that there are a few drops of gas left in the bottom of the tank and that you can only drive your used Toyota HiAce van for a few minutes more. On the other hand, you might be curious as to how far you can drive with that light blinking until you feel the first hiccup or signs that your vehicle is out of gas.
In this post, we are going to discuss the necessary details you need to know about driving your van on an empty fuel tank. Once you’re done reading this article, you will have an idea whether it is worth pushing your gas levels to the very last drop.
Is it Safe to Drive with the Low Fuel Warning Light Blinking?
When your fuel level is running low, your primary concern is getting stuck on the road. Apart from being an inconvenience, this situation can be potentially dangerous. What if you break down on the highway, where vehicles are travelling at 70 mph? What if your used Toyota HiAce van stops just as you’re passing a blind curve? There are plenty of dangerous scenarios that can happen the longer you drive with an almost-empty fuel tank.
It is also worth noting that it can be damaging to your van if you keep on driving on an empty fuel tank. When you run out of gas, your catalytic converter may be affected, consequently needing repairs or replacement. Moreover, when you drive with a low amount of fuel in your tank, the pump may get damaged. The debris or gas contamination that has settled at the bottom of the tank will be sent through the fuel pump.
Is the Distance to Empty Gauge Accurate?
There are modern vehicles with an instrument cluster that contains a distance to empty gauge. The information gives drivers an approximation of the number of miles their car can run before they run out of gas. There are people who prefer this over the low fuel warning light. However, this can be dangerous because the gauge only provides a rough estimate.
It is worth noting that the approximation is based on the average mileage of the vehicle. Since the information is not relative to the driving conditions, it can be inaccurate. For example, if you mostly drive on highways, then your distance to empty gauge won’t give an accurate measurement when you’re stuck in traffic. That said, it is still best to rely on your low fuel warning light.
How Many Miles Can You Drive your HiAce Van on an Empty Fuel Tank?
Once the low fuel warning light comes on, there will not be many miles left before you see the first signs that indicate you’re out of gas. You should know that the number of miles varies significantly across different makes and models of vehicles. In most cases, you can try calculating an approximate driving distance.
Generally, once the low fuel warning light is on, it means that there is 10-15% of the overall fuel capacity left in the tank. We suggest using the low-end of the calculation to be safe. You also need to consult your manual to know how much fuel your tank can hold. Let’s say your used Toyota HiAce van can hold 15.32 gallons of fuel. Then, this means that you have approximately 1.53 gallons of fuel in reserve.
Now, you need to multiply that figure to the average fuel-economy rating of your van. If your van offers 20.7 avg mpg, then your driving distance will be 31.67 miles.
As we’ve mentioned, the figures you usually get are only rough approximations. So, it is still advisable to go to the nearest gas station once you see the low fuel warning light coming on.