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How much gas left after the gauge says 0 miles??

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by donm527, May 20, 2011.

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  1. Gandalf

    Gandalf Active Member

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    I don't think its quite so straightforward. I filled mine today (my first fill-up) showing about 35 miles left to empty. It took 16.4 gallons.

    I think Miles to Empty is a dynamic number depending on driving conditions at the time of display. I wonder if the actual gauge reading is a better indicator. Mine was at about 2/3 of the way down between 1/4 and empty.

    As an aside, after the fill-up, the gas gauge slowly rose up to full. Nothing wrong with that, but it was a bit odd after being used to my 93 X with a mechanical gauge that pretty much just jumped up to full in an instant.
     
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  3. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    "I think Miles to Empty is a dynamic number depending on driving conditions at the time of display."
    I'd be willing to bet you are correct. I think it is using the current MPG data to make the calculation which makes sense but can be misleading if you go from the highway to stop-and-go and don't realize the estimated range has changed. "Sure, Honey, it says we have 14 miles until empty. It's only 2 miles through town after we get off the highway, we'll make it easily..." Not that I would have first-hand experience (in another car), I'm just guessing.
     
  4. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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    I drove about 40 miles after this on in my 2004 Taurus...

    [​IMG]




     
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  5. chimoman

    chimoman B

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  6. sdm9465

    sdm9465 Active Member

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    Yes, it's a dynamic value calculated using the amount of fuel in the tank and the average fuel economy over some time period. (I think it is explained in the manual for my 2009 as being the average fuel economy for the last 300 miles. It's quite likely the same in the 2011.) Regardless, 0 to empty and empty on the fuel gauge should occur at the same time.

    The amount of fuel left in the tank when the gauge reaches a certain level likely varies a bit from vehicle to vehicle too since the accuracy of the sensors will vary somewhat and the reading is probably affected by the incline of the vehicle too.
     
  7. TIO M

    TIO M Active Member

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    So when I do the math for my 18.5 gallong tank and how far I should be going.

    I average about 22 mpgs on the highway and with the 18.5 gallon tank I should be getting atleast some where between 370 to 400 miles out of the thank....

    I always reset my average mpg so I can gauge better how I'm doing when I'm either towing or on the highway...we really don't do to many in town trips and its not worth doing the math on that.

    Whenever I reset my average mpg on my BMW it tells me I got about 450 to empty and since I do 30 miles to work each way, it stays pretty accurate. My miles to empty reading would either go UP or DOWN.

    Not the case in the Explorer, when it get set on say 18mpg it'll stay that way even after I fill up. I find this to be annoying.

    I refueled the other day and a good 15 miles before I went to fill up I reset my average MPGs and got a stead 23 mpg, when I pull into the fuel station it read 22.8.....I turned off the vehicle and proceed to fill up.

    I started the vehicle after refueling it told me I had 286 miles to empty....:thumbdwn:

    Even though I know it'll go further. Anyone else experience this?

    I was getting 25 mpg one day and it told me that I had 38 miles to empty I filled up and got full with 16 gallons meaning I still had 2.5 gallons left but yet its telling me when I do the math I only had a 1.75 gallons left. Its a little frustrating because if its that way off, I don't want to be refilling at 1/4 tank everytime when I know I got some time to go before I really need it, especially on the long hauls.

    I wonder if this can be corrected my Ford Engineers.
     
  8. sdm9465

    sdm9465 Active Member

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    Resetting mpg has nothing to do with the calculation for miles to empty. Ford uses the average fuel economy over the last 300 miles (if I remember correctly) to calculate miles to empty. They've always done it this way. Read the manual and it will be explained.

    You're complaint about a difference of 3/4 of a gallon seems kind of silly. There's a bit of a buffer built in so that when it says zero to empty the engine doesn't immediately die.
     
  9. TIO M

    TIO M Active Member

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    Cool thanks, I must of missed that. It would make sense then, I remember that on my long trip to Hot Springs, AR from Miami, FL was consistent.

    Well for some reason I just don't trust it once it goes below 1/4 but now I know better, it may be silly. But I just wanted to gauge if anyone else was having like symptoms.
     
  10. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    So, I never try to run my Explorer out, but I was wondering if I was going to a couple nights ago. I was down to about 10 miles showing on the display, but no problem, there is a gas station about 2 miles away, and I'm guessing there is a buffer on the display.

    Well, there were wicked storms on Friday night, and the northeastern quadrant of the city was without power. In the hunt for a gas station with power, I went about 6 miles after the display hit zero.

    Because of the storm, the station's data hookups were down, so I couldn't use the credit card to fill up, and just dropped about $20/5.5 gallons in to get on my way. I wish I could have to see just what it would have taken.

    But - at least I know that you can go 6 miles after 0 miles on the display.
     
  11. Bob71

    Bob71 New Member

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    My wife for different reasons kept putting off getting gas because had not been close to the place we usually get gas. We were going to the store and she was below 5 miles I her she could drive. She wanted to know why I wanted her to drive I told her if we run out of gas I wanted people to know it was her and not me. When I filled the tank it took 17.8 gals. That is as close to empty, as I would want to get?

    During the week she drove with the 30 miles to empty it changed every time you start the car. Example 5 miles to work the 30 miles changed to 25 mile to empty, the next time she started the car it was 22 miles to empty. She would loose mileage each time she started the car. Not sure how the dynamic value is calculated but it changes when the engine is started with the gas left in the tank.

    I also explained the damage she could have done by running so low on gas. Just like I told her never put gas in when you see the gas truck filling the gas station tanks.
     
  12. Essex4x4

    Essex4x4 Well-Known Member

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    I know this is for the 5th gen explorer but my 4th gen has the same thing in it. "miles to empty" If that thing says 0 and you don't buy gas you are screwed. I have had my exp shut off at 0. I don't test that anymore and do not recommend testing that at all.
     
  13. spitfisher

    spitfisher Active Member

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    Finally someone brings up some logic, youre absolutely right. in the summer time running to the car to inside the 50 mile warnings is OK, try to avoid it in the winter, condensation from warming a up and cold nights in the winter can make a messy octane level for a 40k + car.

    As someone pointed out, once it hits a quarter of a tank, start looking to fill up, all you doing is putting off the inevitable.
     
  14. sgparnes

    sgparnes Active Member

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    How about the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and a car salesman drive to see how far they can go until the car runs out of gas.
     
  15. sdm9465

    sdm9465 Active Member

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    Well, I managed to run out of gas in my 2011 a few months ago. My 2009 will easily go 25 miles after indicating 0 to empty as would the 2002 and a Freestyle I previously owned. Never ran out in any of them. The 2011 didn't make it 10. My wife was not impressed. I won't be playing that game again!
     
  16. goofydisneydaddy

    goofydisneydaddy Member

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    There is no reserve. Last night, after driving 10 hours, I pushed it to the limit. DTE said 8 miles left when I got to my destination. This morning, filled up at gas station with 6 miles left and it took 18.02 gallons.
     
  17. VinceL

    VinceL Well-Known Member

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    As a test, we ran ours down to 0, and we found that we still had a gallon of gas left when we filled up. We don't make a habit of such things, but we were curious how much petrol the old girl had left in her when she told us she couldn't go any farther :)
     
  18. Essex4x4

    Essex4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Old? Do you have another expy that is of a previous generation? I would say a 2013 would be an infant lol.:D

    cuttin it close eh?
     
  19. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Rep

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    donm527, Bob71, sdm9465, goofydisneydaddy, & VinceL,

    This entire thread really made my Friday! :D

    There will be some difference between model years along with whether it’s 4x4 vs. 4x2 due to the different fuel tank designs. The DTE (Distance To Empty) is a rough calculation to tell you when you’re getting low on fuel. Some vehicles are more accurate than others in relation to this because of the fuel tank design. The end result is that DTE is a rough estimate, but when it gets low you should be looking for fuel. :)

    I hadn’t seen that episode, Joe Dirt; hilarious! Is that how you felt?

    Cory
     
  20. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    There is no reserve tank in that you can't switch over to another tank, but according to my 2011 Owner's Guide, there is a reserve and the total capacity of the tank takes the reserve into account.

    Peter
     
  21. TripFoeYa

    TripFoeYa Member

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