Why is it that sometimes I can put 14 gallons in my car and other times only 12 gallons ? Usually fill up when I’m down to 40 miles to empty?

cheerpower 09/08/2018. 27 answers
Cars & Transportation Maintenance & Repairs

27 Answers


mobilmen59 09/20/2018.

It is said that you should buy your gas in the early morning hours while it's cool out, since liquid expands when it's hot and contracts when it's cold, You actually buy more gas. As for all the debris in the tank, it's going to move around anyway, even while you are diving.

Gasoline in the tank helps keep the fuel pump cool. So you should always try to keep at least a half a tank.


W⛧ 09/20/2018.

Topping up isnt cost effective. Why? Because when you do top up you arent really topping up; The pump is reversing and sucking some of that gas out of the tank (yes they can do that!).

Also, are filling up your gas tank at way too close to empty. You dont want to fill up your tank on empty or close to it. Most of the sediments are at the bottom of the tank. If you fill up at close to empty, those sediments will become recirculated into the tank.

Fill up at half a tank.


curtisports2 09/20/2018.

Gas gauges are not that accurate.


STEVEN F 09/20/2018.

As others have stated, 'miles to empty' is the computer's CALCULATION of how far you could drive based on recent fuel usage before running out of fuel. It IS NOT an actual measure of how much fuel you have. Driving on the freeway vs driving in stop and go traffic has a significant impact on how far you can drive on a given amount of fuel.


Percyqted 09/20/2018.

It depends on your average fuel consumption since you last reset the computer.


Name Withheld 09/20/2018.

Depends on the logic in your mpg computer. In mine: it constantly calculates the miles-per-gallon SINCE I LAST RESET TO "O", then uses the amount of gas remaining to come-up with the miles-to-empty.

So - if I reset to "O" when I fill the gas tank on the interstate and average 35 mpg until I'm down to 5 gallons left, it will say 175 miles to empty.

If - however, I reset to "0" and drive in city traffic at 10 mpg, with 5 gallons left it will tell me I have only 50 miles to empty.

So - how often you reset the computer to "0" and what kind of driving determines miles to empty - not the amount of gas left in the tank.


regerugged 09/20/2018.

Temperature may have something to do with it. If the fuel is cold, it is denser.


thebax2006 09/20/2018.

Because the on board miles to empty isn't a reliable way to figure it out.

Just don't "top up" the tank. That will saturate the charcoal emission canister with raw gas and set codes. Stop filing when the auto shut off stops the gas pump.


Jeff 09/20/2018.

The ECM uses the MPG average of that tank. So, if you had predominantly hiway or in town miles the "40" miles left is an avg over the whole tank. An aside, you shouldn't run your tank below a 1/4 very often. The fuel pump is submerged in the fuel to keep it cool. If you consistently run the fuel low it will shorten fuel pump life


JetDoc 09/20/2018.

The "miles to empty" on your car's instrument panel is only a guess on the part of your computer, and then only if you maintain the same speed and power use as you have been driving. Don't count on it to be 100% accurate. It's better to fill up when your gas gauge is down to 1/4.


Rico 09/22/2018.

Cause sometimes gas is different prices a gallon


Stonehaven 09/22/2018.

14 is more than 12 gallons.


Anonymous 09/20/2018.

You have a rubber gas tank...


Robert M 09/20/2018.

You have a RESERVE area in your tank that holds emergency fuel up to FiVE extra gallons. FUEL GAGES are NOT accurate and NONE of them reflect the actual amount of gas in your tank only a rough rough guess. I have NEVER been able to figure out why NO car I have even seen cannot have an accurate FUEL GAGE< only a GUESS meter! GOOD LUCK!


River Euphrates 09/20/2018.

Some gas is bigger than other gas.


R K 09/20/2018.

the gas left in the tank is not always exactly the same when you fill it up.


Country Boy 09/20/2018.

Hope this will help you a bit: Drive your car till the *low fuel light comes on. Fill the tank full ASAP and jot down the # of gallons it took to fill the tank. Open the manual in your glove compartment to the specifications pages to see what the *capacity of the tank is. Subtract the # of gallons it took to fill the tank from the capacity. The subtracted # will tell you the amount of fuel left in the tank when the low fuel light comes on. If you know the capacity of your tank and how many miles you can drive *after the low fuel lite switches on.


Anonymous 09/20/2018.

Temperature of the fuel has a lot to do with it. And the exact amount left in the tank is an approximation consistent with your driving habits as of late. Usually there is a gallon of gas in the tank.(or 40 miles if you are driving on the flat road....60 if you are going downhill all the way and 20 if it is uphill all the way.


Adam 09/20/2018.

If it says 40 miles to empty it means 40 miles by the gas mileage your getting from how your driving.. so if your driving with higher gas mileage than you could go 40 miles on less gas meaning you need more gas to fill your tank up to full


Ricki 09/20/2018.

< when I’m down to 40 miles to empty? >

How do you know that? Could the gauge on your car be inaccurate?


unknown1 09/22/2018.

You may have a fuel vapor venting problem coming from the gas tank.


boluwatife 09/20/2018.

These may be due to the rate at which your fuel is been burnt by the engine or the strength of your fuel


Gerald 09/20/2018.

The level of the ground has a lot to do with it. Even filling a lawn mower, as very slight grading of the ground not level makes a lot of difference of how much you can get in.

Never run the car under a 1/4 tanks as the fuel pump runs in the tank and the fuel keeps the pump cool, so if it is not completely submerged the pumps over heat and burn out, costing $1500 to repair, at least.


STEPHEN 09/20/2018.

Firstly, that "miles to empty" thing is wildly inaccurate.

Secondly, do you get your fuel from different places? If you do, most people don t know that fuel retailers are allowed to set the pumps between error limits. When you buy a gallon of fuel it is normally below a gallon. Some retailers take the pi55 on these settings and hope they don t get tested by the weights and measures people.

It s a huge con on the public but it s totally legal.

WAKE UP PEOPLE. WE RE BEING RIPPED OFF.


Erik 09/20/2018.

Cause there's more or less gas in your tank, derp


Scott 09/20/2018.

Inaccuracy with your gauge.


Egbert 09/20/2018.

The gauge is not accurate.


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