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Usable Fuel Capacity, how much have you used before running out?

The other day I was driving to work and my trip computer was flashing '35' miles left to empty. There were two dots remaining on the fuel gauge. As I

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Old 07-30-2009, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Usable Fuel Capacity, how much have you used before running out?

The other day I was driving to work and my trip computer was flashing '35' miles left to empty. There were two dots remaining on the fuel gauge. As I kept driving the 'miles to empty' value worked its way down to about '18' and then the gauge dots went down to one. At this point the fuel computer stopped reading miles left to empty and just put dashes across the readout.

I freaked out despite knowing that one dot on the fuel gauge corresponds to over a gallon in the tank. However, it brought up an interesting question.

What is the USABLE fuel quantity in our 19 gallon tanks? When I filled up that day, I got 18 gallons in the tank. Today in a similar situation I got 17.5 gallons in the tank.

So, what is the most gas you've put in your tank (ie how close to 19 gallons have you come without having the engine die on you)? Anyone tempted fate and lost, running out of gas? How much did you put in when you filled up then?


Addendum (to clarify the questions):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupacabra View Post
I thought out tank had an 18gallon capacity. But if its 19, why does the screen go to the dots?
Nope, it's 19 gal. See the manual clipping from below.

With 16 LEDs for the gauge, each dot represents 1.12 gallons. I've found it's pretty close to dead-on. However, knowing you have 1 gallon left in the tank doesn't mean you have one USABLE gallon left. Depending on the tank shape and pickup, you may not be able to get all of that remaining fuel out. Hence my questions (I should have explained better).
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Last edited by spearfish25; 07-30-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I never run any of my vehicles much under quarter of a tank.... I've also never run out of gas or had to worry when I didn't fill up at a quarter of a tank...

I did forget once and got to 50 miles left and it started flashing - nice feature
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ive gotten to that flashy screen twice so far. But I get mine when the screen last reads 25miles.

It usually takes about 17.5-17.6 gallons worth of fuel. I thought out tank had an 18gallon capacity. But if its 19, why does the screen go to the dots?
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The other day I was driving to work and my trip computer was flashing '35' miles left to empty. There were two dots remaining on the fuel gauge. As I kept driving the 'miles to empty' value worked its way down to about '18' and then the gauge dots went down to one. At this point the fuel computer stopped reading miles left to empty and just put dashes across the readout.

I freaked out despite knowing that one dot on the fuel gauge corresponds to over a gallon in the tank. However, it brought up an interesting question.

What is the USABLE fuel quantity in our 19 gallon tanks? When I filled up that day, I got 18 gallons in the tank. Today in a similar situation I got 17.5 gallons in the tank.

So, what is the most gas you've put in your tank (ie how close to 19 gallons have you come without having the engine die on you)? Anyone tempted fate and lost, running out of gas? How much did you put in when you filled up then?


Addendum (to clarify the questions):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupacabra View Post
I thought out tank had an 18gallon capacity. But if its 19, why does the screen go to the dots?
Nope, it's 19 gal. See the manual clipping from below.

With 16 LEDs for the gauge, each dot represents 1.12 gallons. I've found it's pretty close to dead-on. However, knowing you have 1 gallon left in the tank doesn't mean you have one USABLE gallon left. Depending on the tank shape and pickup, you may not be able to get all of that remaining fuel out. Hence my questions (I should have explained better).
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Last edited by spearfish25; 07-30-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not true - usually the first dot lasts me like 80 miles on the freeway at about 25mpg... the second is good for about the next 50 or so miles... and w/in the next 50-60 miles im down two more dots... haha someone could write a PHD paper about the dots -- and there are 16 leds not 17
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabarivas View Post
Not true - usually the first dot lasts me like 80 miles on the freeway at about 25mpg... the second is good for about the next 50 or so miles... and w/in the next 50-60 miles im down two more dots... haha someone could write a PHD paper about the dots -- and there are 16 leds not 17
Right on about the dot number...updated the original post to say '16' instead of '17'. But still comes to 1.12 gallons/dot.

Yes, the first dot or two 'last' longer than the remaining dots. However, by the time you're down to one or two dots, you do in fact have about 1-2 gallons left in the tank.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do realize our cars are new. However, older people have always warned about your fuel pump sucking-in crap at the bottom of the tank. Watch out!!!!!


Oh, and after the last big earthquake (Cali, of course), I was glad I have always exercised filling-up as soon as I hit 1/4. Just imagine just having a few gallons of gas, you have to commute far, and although you have all the money in the world, gas stations are closed.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab83_750 View Post
I do realize our cars are new. However, older people have always warned about your fuel pump sucking-in crap at the bottom of the tank. Watch out!!!!!
meh sounds like outdated and false info. i know the rule is treat a quarter tank like an empty tank when you are running forced induction
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab83_750 View Post
I do realize our cars are new. However, older people have always warned about your fuel pump sucking-in crap at the bottom of the tank. Watch out!!!!!


Oh, and after the last big earthquake (Cali, of course), I was glad I have always exercised filling-up as soon as I hit 1/4. Just imagine just having a few gallons of gas, you have to commute far, and although you have all the money in the world, gas stations are closed.
Bingo! You get a rep point! Crap will get sucked up from the bottom!
Carry some cash hidden in your car(for gasoline only). The station may be open, but the ATM's go down!
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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mine notifies me at 46 left to empty? thats weird haha
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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mine notifies me at 46 left to empty? thats weird haha
ive owned 3 350zs, and all three did it at 46 also
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I ran out of gas the other day. have a gas station in my neighborhood and ran out between my house and the station. Pulled up in front of a house and had my wife go get a gallon of gas and bring it to me. Car cranked right up after pouring the gas in.

I did not pay attention to how much it held after filling up but as best I could calculate I went 48 miles after it told me "46 miles to empty". so it is pretty much dead on. My 05 350Z seemed to have some reserve in there but not this one.

I think I will fill it up before it gets that low next time. lol.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When my Z arrived at the dealership, fresh off the truck, I came to the dealership to take it for a drive. The car had no dots lit up and the fuel indicator was flashing. We brought it to the gas station and the pump registered that we put in 18.9 gallons. You can run these things pretty low, but as everyone else has stated, not recommended at all.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I did a test and had 38 miles to go when I filled it up w/ 18 gallons.
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