If your car has a 17.5 gal tank, how much fuel do you actually buy?

Well, fortunately Kroger tracks the shit out of your purchases, and catalogs it for me in the app, so with just a little bit of clicking..

I have filled up with, in gallons:

  • 14.7 (and I think the light had just come on)
  • 11.5
  • 12.4
  • 16.5 (damn, how’d I do that)
  • 10.0
  • 11.4
  • 14.8
  • 10.6
  • 14.2
  • 14.5
  • 10.2
  • 14.5

&c &c.

I can clearly run the car a bit longer than I actually do, between refueling. In light of electric car benefits and all that, it’s clearly in my best interest to reduce refueling hassle.

I really want to measure how much I have left when the light comes on. I only see one past 14.8, and that’s 16.5: I suspect I filled my car and brought the 2 gal gas tank for my lawn mower, so as to maximize my monthly fuel discount (one-time-use-only, and all that, a play the game requires you perform). So let’s stick with 14.7 or 14.8 as the light.

If the manual says I have 17.5 gallons, that means I have about 2.5 gallons left when the light activates. At my driving, that should get 50 miles at least.

Light cometh on

I think the lesson is just wait for the light to come on.

If the manual is to be believed, that is. You know, the one time I ran it lowest was probably its very first refuel, I got stuck on a patch of interstate with hardly any exits, just Jersey barriers. (so, if I had run out of gas, I probably would’ve been rear-ended, my only option being to exit the car w/ flashers on and sprint away hoping it doesn’t create a pile-up and national newsworthy day of mourning type tragedy infamy) I could almost swear I got at least 15 gallons that night, if not 17. I’d stand by 15, but I long lost the receipt. I thought not much of it. I don’t think it’s worth running dry the fuel pumps (plural, folks, there is high pressure injection) dry just to know the limit. Carrying any extra gas at all would mean using it when the light comes on, not when it runs dry.

I have been calculating my MPG at refuels and I think I’ve been getting 26-28 recently. So I should assume mileage above 23, and just drive to 14.8 gal worth, at least. That’s 340 mi. I really shouldn’t need a refuel before 340 mi. And after that, expect the light at 380-410 mi.

It really wouldn’t be that much hassle to carry some 2 or 5 gallon gas tanks in the rear, and fill up with those in my garage. I mean, why not? I knew a guy at work who used to do that. It’s smart. You only have to carry the gas home, unless you want to go on a crazy road trip. Guys with trucks often have tanks like that, but I think that’s more about filling other vehicles like tractors and ATVs and dirtbikes and Gators and maybe earthmoving equipment, too.

I want to make a little lookup card with useful numbers to help box-in and estimate if not calculate my mpg, without having to pull up the calculator app, nor do any mental math (neither good while driving). Knowing I fill up either 10-11 or close to 14.7 helps greatly.

I originally thought 1 lookup card would be good enough, and I think it’s the most helpful, but now I realize a very-specific 2-card system would be much better, if I got close to the light I could be very accurate/precise, and also fallback to a more general covered area if I used more or less fuel than expected.

A good 5 gal tank is only about $ 50, so it’s not hard to imagine road tripping with 2 or 3 5 gal tanks strapped down, if you really want to make time or are crossing some huge stretch of desert. I would hate to spill gas in my car, but it wouldn’t be a problem in a pick-up.

That said, refueling is so quick and so easy it’s hardly an improvement. I mean, the gas near my house is crowded a lot, but hardly never at 5-6 am.

If the light is to be believed, again there are still 2.5 gallons left. That’s hard to believe, but it’s good to know.