Motoring Discussion > fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? Miscellaneous
Thread Author: diddy1234 Replies: 27

 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - diddy1234
I just rescued a mates wife after she ran out of fuel.
She was well aware the fuel was low and was on her way to the garage when it ran out of fuel.

Just to add the fun factor it was a diesel Astra so a long pull through ensued for a few minutes until started again after a jerry can helped.

So my question is, is it industry standard to have the fuel light flash and at what level ?

I am assuming the fuel light will come on at 5 litres of fuel left then flash with less than 1 litre of fuel, does this vary from car to car or is it standard across all makes and models ?
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Fursty Ferret
Mine's never flashed. But I have been about 40mph past the "0" point on the range computer with no ill effects.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - R.P.
Funny I was wondering about this the other say. BMW bikes actually count down the miles in a very large font - unerringly and unnervingly accurate......:-)
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Perky Penguin
Mine just comes on steady and with an indicated range of 70 miles which ties in with the handbook saying it comes on with 5 litres remaining. Thats's it - it doesn't go on to flash when the fuel gets lower.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - BiggerBadderDave
I filled up today, the dial was about 2mm below the zero mark. I squeezed in 81 litres so still four litres in there somewhere.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - diddy1234
wow that's some large fuel tank.

I thought the biggest would be around 60 litres to fill.
what car is that ?
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - FotheringtonTomas
Elsewhere on the 'net - light comes on at about 50 miles left, starts flashing at about 5 miles left.

My lovely van's light comes on when there're about 5 litres left - say 45 miles or so.
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Stuartli
The handbook (at least with VW) states how many litres are left when the low fuel warning light comes on.

In the case of my former Bora it was approximately nine litres and with the Jetta it's seven litres.
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - DP
The Scenic always used to make me laugh. The (all digital) dash would beep and the empty (red) segment of the bar type fuel gauge would start to blink. The 'range' option on the trip computer would get to somewhere around 60 miles, then switch to two dashes. In other words, you could have 60 miles, or 60 ft worth of fuel left, with EXACTLY the same indication on the instruments. Soooo Gallic. All it was missing was the shrug.

The Golf's light supposed to come on with 7 litres remaining (or for some reason, 8 litres if it's a 4 Motion model). More annoying is the BEEEEEEP and "PLEASE REFUEL" message at key on. I hate being patronised by a car.
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - rtj70
In my Mazda6 (diesel) there's about 9-10 litres left when the fuel light is on. Well I can never fit more than about 55 litres in. The fuel gauge itself is not that near empty. Also the remaining miles readout also gets to 0 around the time the fuel light comes on. So in reality it could probably go a fair distance.

So I think the car is telling you to fill up in plenty of time... and I tend not to run it low.
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - WillDeBeest
You've evidently been used to small cars, Diddy. The best big ones are the diesel versions of cars that also have a thirsty petrol version. The Volvo's tank holds 70 litres, which an S60-R might run through in no time, but which is good for nearly 700 miles in the D5.

One of the many minor objections to our competent but rather disappointing Toyota Verso is that the tank is 15 litres smaller than the Volvo's and needs a fuel stop after barely 400 miles.
 Fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - DP
My brilliant, but well used mk2 Mondeo diesel used to put its light on, then if ignored it would go out and the gauge would climb slightly. This, I found out as I coasted to a halt on the side of the M3 once, meant the sender unit was shot rather than anything relating to the diesel fairies magicking a few more miles into the tank.

When the light was on, it was alright. When the light went out again, you had a mile. If you were lucky.

 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - oilburner
Of all the cars I've had, the Avensis is the daftest for its fuel light.

Trip computer says zero miles, fuel gauge says "empty" and yet if you fill it up you can only fit in around 50 litres on a 60 litre tank.

Basically, when the red light comes on you have about 150 miles left, and still another 100 when it's supposedly empty! Talk about cautious...

OTOH, Mrs OBs Zafira, when it's says Zero miles left, it really has 0 miles left, as I found out much to my embarrassment one cold winters night...just 50 yards away from the petrol station... A bit of slack would have been good! :)
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Harleyman
Never liked running on fumes, I tend to subscribe to the old-fashioned view that by running a tank to empty you're more likely to have problems with dirt in the fuel.

I think the i10 warning light comes on with about 4 litres left, never been brave enough to test just how far that takes me. Ford gauges used to be the most pessimistic, often showing empty when there was another gallon or so left; on my Renault 16, empty meant just that.

For the bikers amongst us; how many have made the classic mistake of forgetting to re-set the reserve tap after filling up, and then running out completely? Thankfully, less likely in the modern age with automatic reserves and fuel gauges on bikes being more commonplace; I suppose there are some advantages to modern technology!

Brings back to mind my old Rover 2000, the only car I ever owned which had a manual reserve tap. Were there others?
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Runfer D'Hills
My Westfield, I know I must have mentioned it before, had only a 5 gallon tank and when driven as it was intended needed to be filled up at least every 150 miles.

Anyway, one very early Sunday morning in deepest darkest rural France it was clear that it was going to be difficult to locate an open filling station. Never has such a car been driven in such a mimsering fashion for so far by the so worried...
Last edited by: Humph D'bout on Wed 3 Nov 10 at 21:20
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Dave_C220CDI
No fuel light on the Escort - but the needle goes a laughable distance below the "empty" marking and it still keeps running. These days I tend not to put more petrol in than I need for the journey in hand, although even that can stretch to 30 sometimes. I'd hate for the car to terminally conk out with 50 or 60 in the tank.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - PhilW
" is it industry standard to have the fuel light flash and at what level ?"

Every manufacturer is different! I drive 2 or 3 cars every day, often for long distances - red/orange light comes on at any "range" from 80 miles to 20 and often there is no flashing light and I wouldn't trust any "range" on any car. Once ran out in an Audi A4 which still had 35 miles range. Have driven others which show 0 miles range and gone 30/40 miles (very gently! and with heart in mouth!) before getting to a petrol station. some cars say"reserve fuel level" - most don't.
I find MBs to be the oddest - they seem to vary the most as you drive. Can be cruising along with 100 miles range, go up a slight incline and it drops to 50, go down a slight incline and it goes up to 150! Seems they recalculate according to immediate consumption - other makes recalculate over a longer distance. Some ranges go down and up by single figures some just go down in 5s or 10s and may stick on that figure for many miles (eg pick up a car which has just been driven in an urban area or even just round the dealer's compound and it may say 50 miles range. Take it on the motorway and cruise at 60 and some car's ranges will increase to say 100 miles and others will stick at 50 for ages until range is actually 50.) Some cars are dead accurate - once had an "old" 5 Series which clicked to 0 range as I drew into petrol station and promptly stopped. Some of our drivers are "gamblers" - put enough fuel in so that you drive the last 20 miles on "0" range. I'm not - I drive the last 20 miles with 50 miles range showing - not worth risk of running out. (We pay for fuel on cars we deliver and get money back 2 weeks later) You would be surprised how many dealers supply brand new cars with no fuel in and then tell us to deliver it with at least quarter tank. Worst I had was a range Rover from Midlands to Cornwall - absolutely empty on collection and told to deliver it with a full tank! The other day I had a Toyota down to South Wales and was told to deliver with enough fuel to put out the red light - took me 20 of fuel to put out the red light!
This was supposed to be a short post - sorry about the length!

 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - IJWS14
>> Never liked running on fumes, I tend to subscribe to the old-fashioned view that by
>> running a tank to empty you're more likely to have problems with dirt in the
>> fuel.

Misconception - The fuel pick up point in the tank does not move just because the fuel level is low

Honda un-nervingly accurate, light came on with 10l in the tank, and if filled straight away would take exactly 10l less than tank capacilty, never pushed it further than 50miles beyond the light coming on.

Octavia counts down miles, flashes a warnning at 75miles. Have taken it to 15 to go and still seemed to have 5l in it so not as accurate as the Honda but at least on the safe side. The waring does get more frequent as the miles left falls below 75. The worrying bit is that the 75 varies depending on how you drive so at the end of a long run on the motorway it can be showing 75, following morning (dark, frosty, stop start in heavy traffic) it can be showing 30 miles left after just a few hundred yards. OK once you get used to it - wife panics when the light comes on!
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Kevin
My tank holds 85 litres and the warning light comes on when it gets down to 1/8th. When it hits the empty mark it supposedly has six litres of reserve and the satnav automatically highlights nearby gas stations.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Perky Penguin
"the satnav automatically highlights nearby gas stations." That is a serious bit of kit, for techno freaks like me!
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - hobby
>> "the satnav automatically highlights nearby gas stations."

The big yellow "Shell" sign highlights the garage I use well enough... no need for satnavs.... ;-)
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - hobby
The Roomster kicks in with a loud beep when it gets to that level, usually showing 75 miles on the computer... I'd guess its about 7 or 8 litres left... and like the other VAG cars it beeps on start up if you don't fill it up!

I'm another that tends to just fill up to the brim and run it down... as I'm on a regular commute there just doesn't seem any point in only putting in a tenner and having to stop every couple of days to add more...
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Perky Penguin
I'm with you hobby - the anoraks talk about the weight penalty of driving around with a full tank. With my 35 litre tank I don't worry about that! I usually fill up at 1/4 or the moment the low light comes which is pretty soon after that.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - madf
Yaris holds 40 litres and the last bar on the guage flashes at around 5 litres.. - about 60 miles.

Never tried more than 30 though..

I liked my old Rovers which had a "fuel reserve " switch for such occurrences...I mean Rover P4 of course.. not Austin Rover carp.
Last edited by: madf on Thu 4 Nov 10 at 10:43
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - AnotherJohnH
Smallish FIATs of recent times seem display a solid warning light about 10 litres/100 miles to go.

It's not quite fixed to capacity, in that economical/mimsing driving can put the light out for 10 or 20 miles.

The most I've squeezed into a 45 litre tank is 40 litres, as I'm not one for running on fumes.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Bromptonaut
Citroens seem to display a steady amber light @ minimums. Berlingo also bleeps.

Quantity remaninig varies. In the Xantia its something like 10litres; enough to get to Milton Keynes and back. The 'lingo only has about 5 left and, the old tech 1.9D being a bit of a diesel guzzler, needs feeding NOW!!!!.
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Redviper
Vectra C 06 Plate

Normal driving "range and the distance left is dispayed
When "Range" drops down to "30 Miles" a symbol of a fuel pump is shown also shown wih the distance left, and you have to acknolwedge this by pressing OK - it then returns back to "range"

Fuel Needle does not go into the RED as this stage

"range" gets to about 20 miles, and then the needle will drop into the red, a yellow static fuel light will show on the dash

Range" gets to about 10 miles and the fuel light will flash - apperently its supposed to say "please refuel" on the display but ive never let it get down this far so I have never seen it.

Fill it up, and the car will work out how many miles, after a short delay but if on a long trip, it will gradually increase, sometimes displaying a extra 100miles ontop of what it worked out after filling.

I have let it go down to a range of 2 miles, and it took about 56-58 Litres, in a 60* Litre tank (IIRC)

*Approx, Minimum guestimate
 fuel light flashing - how many litres left ? - Collos
I know its not recommended from an economy point of view but I try to keep my tank always full and try never let it go below a quarter and keep a gallon in the boot.I suppose its the differnce between an optimist and a pesamist.
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