Miles to empty? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Miles to empty?

Is this for idiots?

How accurate is it?

I have a 16 Fusion I use for my work car. It has 135k on it and still runs like a top. I change the oil every 10k with a Motorcraft filter and 5.7 qts of Mobile 1. On the oil drain I still get back about 5.5 qts.

The gas tank capacity is 16.5 gal. When I run the car down to 9-10 miles to empty and do a fillup, I can only squeeze about 14.5 gal in.

I wait until the pump shuts off, let it 'rest" a few seconds, then I can get about .4-.5 gal of additional fuel in.

So, am I not getting a full 16.5 gal in or is the miles to empty inaccurate for stupid people who dont pay attention?

I usually do a fillup somewhere around 50 miles to empty, but depending on gas prices I sometimes run it lower to save a couple bucks.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:53 AM
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I had a '09 Focus. It showed 0 miles remaining before it was empty. I think Ford programmed it that way to make sure you didn't actually drive until the engine quit.
Now I have a '15 Mustang EcoBoost. I haven't "tested" it for accuracy!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:16 PM
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There are several factors which affect that reading, one of which is in your settings and another in how you have been driving. It takes an average of your mileage and NOT your current usage. So if you have been doing a lot of fast or stop and go driving it will give you an estimate based on that driving pattern which may be lower mileage than you are cruising at.
I remember a magazine article that mentioned that they almost got caught out of gas because of that. They were testing an F150 doing some steady, level highway driving and noted the number of miles to empty was plenty to get them to the next stop. The problem was that the next leg of the trip was up a winding mountainous stretch of road and their mileage dropped. Suddenly their miles to empty reading dropped dramatically and they were running on fumes when they reached a station.
I seem to remember you can change how it calculates that estimate based on how long a period it samples for the math.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:46 PM
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In the car biz I drove cars that flashed/blinked RANGE _ _ _ and made it to the gas station no problem (except for the anxiety involved, of course). Manufacturers don't want anyone running out of gas with the MILES TO EMPTY flashing even 1 more mile left. There's a cushion, but most systems update based on current consumption so that a 5 miles to empty reading may vanish before you get that far.

Remember that Seinfeld episode with Kramer test driving a Saab to see how far he could go on empty?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:24 PM
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Drive it til it stops running and you'll know for certain.

Might want to bring along a couple gals of go-juice just in case.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ocious View Post
In the car biz I drove cars that flashed/blinked RANGE _ _ _ and made it to the gas station no problem (except for the anxiety involved, of course). Manufacturers don't want anyone running out of gas with the MILES TO EMPTY flashing even 1 more mile left. There's a cushion, but most systems update based on current consumption so that a 5 miles to empty reading may vanish before you get that far.

Remember that Seinfeld episode with Kramer test driving a Saab to see how far he could go on empty?

And most MFG's give you free roadside assistance for the first 1-3 years depending on who it is, so they don't want to pay to be sending guys out to put gas in cars.

I love that show, another couple car classics are "the smell" episode with Jerry's BMW and the one where they try to take Newman's mail truck to MI to cash in their cans for the 10 cent refund
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:35 PM
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Keep in mind that many modern cars have a submersible fuel pump living in the gas tank. The gas in the tank actually cools the pump. If you run too low on gas, the pump may overheat leading to an early death. I wouldn't be surprised if the "miles to empty" setting is calibrated to avoid running the tank dry.
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