Beat this - low fuel light distance record.

IdahoDoug

 
 
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Aug 9, 2003
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Ever wonder how far you can go on your low fuel light? I got to find out this evening. I had a road bike race in Eastern Washington and the low fuel light came on as I arrived. But, it was a 10 mile hill climb up Mt. Spokane and I'd never been there so I wanted to drive up it to get the GPS altitude to guage my race pace as I went. Reasoning that there was a gas station 12 miles from the base, I went for it. So there's 20 miles with the light on, including climbing 3600 feet on a mountain road.

After the race, a violent storm hit, and I was treated to a shed blowing across the road in front of me, two trees down we had to drive in the ditch to get around, and the first time I've ever seen actual zero vis in a dust storm (literally could not see the road in front of the truck at a full stop). I get to the gas station and they'd lost power. Whoops. Now at 32 miles.

My path home was all on secondary roads, so I just headed home hoping to come across a gas station. Sure enough, the next one about 8 miles farther also had no power. Well, I reasoned, I'm about to cross the state line into Idaho, so maybe that Shell station I pass on my workout rides is on a different power grid. Meanwhile, that storm I'd driven out of is still in my mirrors.

I get to the Shell pump, hop out as hail is zinging off the truck, and - what's this it won't respond??! With huge raindrops plopping down and the wind picking up so strong the pump metal canopy structure is creaking, I ran in the door to find they'd just reset the pumps after a power loss. It's going to be about 10 minutes. No big deal, I'll just sit under the canopy - it's a new station and quite big. 3 minutes later, wind-driven gravel is pelting my 80, the 80 is rocking on its springs and the canopy is now seriously flexing. Trying to decide if the best thing to do is sit here and wonder if the canopy's coming down on me, or leave, the station loses all power and I took off again - starting to feel like a vagabond now. 44 miles on the odometer.

With at least a 35mph tailwind, I started inching my way down the last secondary road, watching branches fall into the roadway, lawn furniture and deck chairs hitting fences, etc.

Incredibly, I got all the way home rolling stop signs and gently accelerating. The final tally? 59 freakin' miles!! I suspect this is an all time record - anyone beat it?

DougM
 
Joined
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Dixie co. Florida
good story Doug, 59 miles? that is about 4 gallons?

my limit is my commute ~35 miles, when it comes on I gas up near my destination either work or home. and I thought I was pushing it.

Mine seams to come on arround 20 gal so there is suposedly 5 more left in the tank, but I have never actually cought it right when the light cam on. is your similar?
 
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Alexandria, Virginia
IdahoDoug said:
Ever wonder how far you can go on your low fuel light? I got to find out this evening. I had a road bike race in Eastern Washington and the low fuel light came on as I arrived. But, it was a 10 mile hill climb up Mt. Spokane and I'd never been there so I wanted to drive up it to get the GPS altitude to guage my race pace as I went. Reasoning that there was a gas station 12 miles from the base, I went for it. So there's 20 miles with the light on, including climbing 3600 feet on a mountain road.

After the race, a violent storm hit, and I was treated to a shed blowing across the road in front of me, two trees down we had to drive in the ditch to get around, and the first time I've ever seen actual zero vis in a dust storm (literally could not see the road in front of the truck at a full stop). I get to the gas station and they'd lost power. Whoops. Now at 32 miles.

My path home was all on secondary roads, so I just headed home hoping to come across a gas station. Sure enough, the next one about 8 miles farther also had no power. Well, I reasoned, I'm about to cross the state line into Idaho, so maybe that Shell station I pass on my workout rides is on a different power grid. Meanwhile, that storm I'd driven out of is still in my mirrors.

I get to the Shell pump, hop out as hail is zinging off the truck, and - what's this it won't respond??! With huge raindrops plopping down and the wind picking up so strong the pump metal canopy structure is creaking, I ran in the door to find they'd just reset the pumps after a power loss. It's going to be about 10 minutes. No big deal, I'll just sit under the canopy - it's a new station and quite big. 3 minutes later, wind-driven gravel is pelting my 80, the 80 is rocking on its springs and the canopy is now seriously flexing. Trying to decide if the best thing to do is sit here and wonder if the canopy's coming down on me, or leave, the station loses all power and I took off again - starting to feel like a vagabond now. 44 miles on the odometer.

With at least a 35mph tailwind, I started inching my way down the last secondary road, watching branches fall into the roadway, lawn furniture and deck chairs hitting fences, etc.

Incredibly, I got all the way home rolling stop signs and gently accelerating. The final tally? 59 freakin' miles!! I suspect this is an all time record - anyone beat it?

DougM
In mine even if the light has been on for a little while it still will only take about 65 litres and the tank (I believe) is about 95 litres capacity which gives about a 7-8 gallon reserve. So even if there is only 7 gallons and if you're getting 12 mpg you had a long ways to go before you'd have run out.

That wind sounds terrific, like a cyclone/hurricane/typhoon. Is that typical for the PNW?
 

MaddBaggins

Remember the KnightRider!
 
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The Old Pueblo
59 miles with the light on, wow. I driven around with it on E for a while but never saw the light come on. When I filled up it took 18.5 gal. So I figure I can go around on E for some time. Still makes me nervous though, I usually fill up when it goes just under 1/4. :cheers:
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
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Bellbrook, OH
have done careful documentation that my light comes on after using 20 gal., meaning 5 should be left x 14 mgp = 70 miles, theorectically... i've actually used about 3 gal of that and gone about 45 mi after the light on.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
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Nothing like a natural disaster to test your involuntary limits.
You beat me. I usually gas up when the light comes on at 20 gal.
Yep, supposed to be 5 gal more.
I have pushed it to 52 but was really beginning to question myself as I had no real reason to push it other than curiousity.
Nice story, sounds like an interesting time.
 

miked

 
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Mar 9, 2004
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632
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Imperial Valley, CA
is the fuel pump cooled by the fuel on these rigs?
just wondering.
i've had to replace a pump on a friends volvo. we think it burned out because he would run it near dry, then put like $3 bucks in at a time. in the desert southwest, your car is already overheated when you come out to start it.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
378
Well I only got about 32 miles out of mine. Then it quit, nothing. Was coming back from a wheeling trip in the Sierras and one of my gas cans was damaged and dumped it's load so I was running 5 gals too light. A couple of gals from a couple of pals and we were on our way again. This was mostly flat running at 60-65 mph.

Just another data point
 

dmc

 
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Apr 6, 2004
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Wandering the Western Hemisphere
My story is not quite as exciting. I made it 47 miles this week with the light on. I was late for a tee time and figured even at 80 I would get 11mpg. When I finally filled up I had more than a gallon in tank.
dmc
 

Brentbba

Former Golfer
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Don't know what the mileage was, but I have put a full 25 gallons in on one occasion. Great story!
 

ace10

Another one bites the dust!
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doug-

my burning question is: how many gallons was your fillup when your "adventure" was over?
 

Brentbba

Former Golfer
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cruiserdan said:
Um,

Can you say "subtank"?............:flipoff2:

Then you could drive it til it started to sputter and then fill on the go.....:D

Yeah, Yeah, Yean Hmmm, ok......all of us just don't have as sweet a tricked out rig as you do Dan. hehehe :D
 
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Messages
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cruiserdan said:
Um,

Can you say "subtank"?............:flipoff2:

Then you could drive it til it started to sputter and then fill on the go.....:D
I've always considered a subtank or extended main, but was wondering how much the added weight would offset some of the utility.

Anyhow, i've never had to put more than 22 gal in mine.

What are you guys getting on your trip meters when the light pops on? I have 33s, no speedo correction, and usually get the light on when i'm at 220-230 miles.
 
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chiz45 said:
What are you guys getting on your trip meters when the light pops on? I have 33s, no speedo correction, and usually get the light on when i'm at 220-230 miles.

~315, smaller than stock tires, no speedo correction,
 

Brentbba

Former Golfer
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Running 285's with Christo's speedo correction gear which almost corrects for slightly larger tires.

With stock 275's I'd usually get to around 280 combined type driving. Now with 285's and correction gear, I get to about 250-255 with same type of driving.
 
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chiz45 said:
What are you guys getting on your trip meters when the light pops on? I have 33s, no speedo correction, and usually get the light on when i'm at 220-230 miles.
Running 285s here w/ no speedo correction. With mixed city/highway I get the light at around 260-270 mi. With city-only driving, around 240-250 mi.
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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I just checked my receipt, and it took only 22.2 gals to fill, so I guess I had a ways to go yet. Wasn't fun pushing it tho, so I'll let my record stand....

DougM
 
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Irving, TX
miked said:
is the fuel pump cooled by the fuel on these rigs?
just wondering.
i've had to replace a pump on a friends volvo. we think it burned out because he would run it near dry, then put like $3 bucks in at a time. in the desert southwest, your car is already overheated when you come out to start it.
Since the pump is in the tank, I would suspect that is the case. I just replaced the fuel pump on the wife's minivan, which uses the fuel to help cool it. I suspect the fact that she routinely drives it with the low fuel light on, contributed to its demise.

Bob
 
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