Here’s Why You Should Never Drive On An Empty Tank

Priyanka Raj

Priyanka Raj


Picture this: you're driving from one place to another when you look at the flashing light on the instrument panel. The car is low on fuel, the E light is on, but you have driven further than this before with less in the tank. You're running late to a meeting and have no time to stop by a gas station, so you pressed on and ignored the warning light. 

Whether it's intentional or not, finding yourself low on gas can happen to anyone. What you might not realise is that going onto E often has a negative long-term effect on your car. Read on to find out what's at stake, and how long you can really keep up with it on the road.

How Bad Is It?

Apart from the mental stress of finding the nearest fuel station, an empty fuel tank can get real ugly for your car and create even more damage below the surface.

Exhausting your Fuel Pump: A fuel pump is a part that puts fuel in your engine (surprise!) and also requires keeping itself lubricated. When your car is consistently low on fuel, the fuel pump isn't receiving proper lubrication that will eventually lead to costly premature damage and replacement.

Tank Sludges: It's typical for gas tanks to have leftover debris or sediments settling into the belly of your tank. Though this may not be a cause for concern, if you're someone who has a close to empty gas tank on many occasions - this leftover dirt can go into your fuel pump and clog your filter. Even worse, this leftover dirt can travel up to your engines and slow your gas flow, making it rough to start & damage your engines over time.

Running on Fumes: ⁠A dry fuel tank can also lead to your car pumping air instead of fuel into the engine. This leads to a loss of power as your engine will be running too lean.  So while you may think you're being as efficient as possible by waiting till the last drop to refuel, you may be forcing your engine to work harder by surviving on fumes.

How Far Can I Go?

There's no exact distance on how long your car could go on empty as it all depends on the car's age, model, weight, and driving style. Regardless, driving on an empty gas tank frequently would increase your risk of severely damaging your car and unnecessary costly replacements.

As the mileage written in car manuals doesn't account for standstill traffic or long terrain with bumpy roads, we highly recommend being on the safe side. When you see the needle leaning towards 'E', you better fill up.

What Can I Do?

If you’re ever in a situation where your car has suddenly stalled in the middle of the road, here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe:

⁠First, Turn your hazard lights on and if you still have any gas left - pull over to a safe location on the road like an emergency lane or any area that is away from direct traffic.

⁠Second, Dial in for help to either your friends, family or anyone that can get to you around the area you’ve stalled. If you can’t think of anyone - get in touch with your insurance provider, tow company or search for any gas station or towing services near you.⁠

Drive With A Peace Of Mind

Driving on an empty gas tank and stalling your car can be stressful.

With a Flux subscription, you can count on us to be at your service. Our concierge team will be there for all your road emergencies. From our independent inspection to 24/7 roadside assistance - we’ll protect you throughout your journey, so all you have to do is enjoy the drive.

Explore our flexible subscriptions and available cars on our website at -



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