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1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 05-20-2010, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation How many miles left with low-fuel light on?

This is the stupid question of the day but i need to know. I have a 04' F350 power stroke turbo diesel. How many miles do i have till empty when the check engine light comes on?
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How many miles do i have till empty when the check engine light comes on?
Don't know..........depends on when the check engine light comes on.

Did you mean the "low fuel" indicator light?
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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assuming you are talking about the short bed truck in the pic, it makes a difference short bed to long bed. I'm fairly certain you have the smaller tank which is 32 gallon tank, and if it comes on at 1/8th of a tank then that is about 4 gallons. Assuming you are getting about 15mpg then you have about 60 miles. That also assumes your gauge is reading very accurate. Most of them don't.

IF you mean the check engine light, the only thing that is going to empty out is your wallet. Then I'd say anywhere from 10 miles to 400 miles.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah i meant low fuel light. thanks guys
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by turbo_diesel View Post
How many miles do i have till empty when the (low fuel) light comes on?
It probably varies. Only once in the last 11 years did I care. I was heading home from a long trip and wanted to make it to my home truckstop before I fueled up, so I gambled. The low fuel light came on with about 30 miles to go. I made it to the truckstop, but I'm sure I came in on fumes. That fillup my 38 gallon tank held 42.8 gallons when filled to the cap with liquid diesel. I averaged 13.295 MPG on that tankfull, so I probably had a smidgen more than 2 gallons left when the low-fuel light came on.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As it has been said, each truck or car is different.
There are some that when the needle is at the E there is enough to get to the next station, while there are others that when it gets to the E that is it, no more fuel...... and one is along the side of the road.

I know that I have pushed that line very few times, as I do not wish to find out just how close I can push it.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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my last truck, a 1 ton with a 460, had two tanks,
one would read full, untill the truck bucked and lurched,
then the needle would drop to read empty,,,
the other tank, would read full, and suddenly go to half empty, then read correctly to empty,
and then i had about a mile or so after the light went on,

I HATED THAT 6MPG TRUCK, on the alaskan highway,
the truck loved the canadian gas stations,

Hence me buying the sweet diesel i have now,,
100 gal in the back, and 30 in the truck, 19MPG
washington to Tok, it diesnt like those canadian stations,
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends on how much traffic there is and if it is snowing or raining out.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it would depend on how 'clean' the inside of you tanks is (which you have no idea unless you pull it ) if somehow you have debree or sludge etc.. then you could read say 50 miles left when you really dotn cause of blockage... i was on e one time, 50 miles, got close to the station it read 45... then the turn into the station with its bumpy, risen 'platform' (higher than the road) the electronic gauge dropped to 7 and i litterally 'bucked' into place.. filled up was fine


generally if it tells you 100, its really only 60ish, if it says 60, you need gas NOW.. especially with these trucks
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TTBadDog View Post
It depends on how much traffic there is and if it is snowing or raining out.
Or how far it is to the next station.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What you need to do is find out exactly how much your fuel tank holds. Then figure out just what your mileage is with what ever you haul in your truck. Then drive around until the light comes on and then hit a fuel station and see how much fuel you can put into the tank. Subtract this amount from what your tank holds and multiply the results by what your mpg is. Then you will have an idea of how far you can go.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I took a different approach because I have a gasser and running out of fuel is no big deal as long as you have a full gas can nearby. My results are for a gasser but should be similar.

I loaded a 5 gallon gas can (with 5 gal of gas) in the back of the truck and headed out for a weekend trip. On my way home I purposely ran out of gas. After pouring the 5 gallons of gas into my tank I drove to the nearest gas station which was only two miles away, thus not using much gas after running out. I made sure to fill the 5 gallon gas can to the same level as it was before filling my truck on the side of the road. Here are the results.

8794 - low fuel light comes on, overhead display (OHD) says 27 miles to empty.

8813 - OHD says 10 miles to empty.

8832 - OHD says 0 miles to empty. (wow 10 miles = 19 miles…)

8866 - ran out of gas, OHD says 16.1 mpg. (70 mph…must have been a tailwind!!)

Now, I reset the OHD when the low fuel light came on, to get the correct gas mileage for the last few gallons. This will be used to calculate the number of gallons left in the tank when the low fuel light comes on. You will notice the 'OHD - miles to empty' gets a bit confused when the fuel level gets low. From my calculations, there is about 4.5 gallons in the tank when the low fuel light comes on based on 16 mpg. I've found that the OHD runs about .5 mpg high, so the 4.5 gallons is conservative.

It took 29.3 gallons to fill the gas can and the truck. This is to the point where the pump automatically shut off. The most I've trickled in after the pump shut off is about 4 gallons.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd be willing to bet in my 99 that I could go unloaded about 80-90 miles from the time the light very first comes on.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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just keep in mind that the lower you run the fuel, the more likely your fuel pump is to momentarily suck air due to sloshing. this leads to low fuel pressure, which leads to a real expensive set of new injectors. compare the $ for a set of injectors to the $ to stop sooner and put in at least some fuel.
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