Is it really that big of an emergency to fill up right after the fuel light illuminates?

October 24th, 2016 by

How far can you drive after the VW gas light turns on?

If you’re the type of person who likes to test the limits, or avoid pulling out that debit card, you might feel inclined to ignore your fuel gauge for as long as possible before stopping at the pump. Here at Compass Volkswagen, that’s not necessarily our style, but we understand gas prices skyrocket and you want to get the most mileage you can. Or, if you’re on a long trip through unknown streets, you may simply be cruising along without a gas station in site. Are you about to find yourself stranded. No matter what your reason for wonder how far you can driver after the VW gas light turns on, we have answers for you.

How many miles can I drive after my fuel indicator light turns on for VW?

As much as we want to give you a direct number so you can feel assured of your mileage when the gauge nears empty, there are a 2016 Golf Sportwagen dashboardvariety of factors that prevent us from doing so. Each model provides different fuel efficiency numbers, and economy is getting better with each new model year. What we will say is that most models can drive about 30 miles after the fuel indicator light comes on. This is more or less true depending on how hard you’re pressing the accelerator and how old your vehicle is.

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The best way to figure out how many miles you can drive, specifically for your vehicle, is to record your own fuel efficiency based on your actual driving. Each time you fill up completely, reset the trip meter. You can easily find out how big your gas tank is, then divide your mileage based on how much gas you fill up next time you’re at the pump.

For example, if you have a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta, it has a 14.5-gallon tank. Say you fill up after 396 miles of driving and purchase 12 gallons of gasoline. This would mean you were averaging 33 mpg, while also filling up with 2.5 gallons left in the tank. In this example, you’d have approximately 82 miles to drive, but most of the time the light comes on when you’re at one or two gallons left, so expect to drive no more than whatever one gallon of gas typically gets you for your particular vehicle.

Of course, we highly recommend you fill up before an emergency strikes. Letting your fuel tank get low is bad for your fuel pump and can be hard on your engine. Fill up when you reach 1/4 tank to erase any worries and keep everything in top shape.

Do you have any more VW related questions? Leave us a comment below and we’ll try to get back to you with some answers. Otherwise stay tuned here at the Compass Volkswagen Blog for more on all things VW.