Imagine this: You’re driving on a long highway like the I-80 or Route 60, miles away from the nearest town. The sun has set, and the road is enveloped in darkness.
Suddenly, the dreaded low fuel light illuminates on your dashboard. I’m sure at this point, a sinking feeling of panic will emerge. How far can your Nissan go before it comes to a complete stop, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere?
I’m sure many Nissan owners have faced this low-fuel, nerve-wracking scenario, questioning just how far their vehicle can travel on empty. The uncertainty can be anxiety-inducing, especially when you’re far from a gas station or in unfamiliar territory.
So let’s talk about several important pieces of knowledge about the Nissan, such as:
- How far can you drive a Nissan with the low fuel light on?
- Do Nissans have a reserve tank?
- What to do when your Nissan gas gauge hits E
- Getting the highest MPG with these driving tips
Quick Coverage about Nissan Cars
Nissan, a name synonymous with automotive excellence, has been at the forefront of the automobile industry for decades. Founded in 1933, this Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer has consistently delivered vehicles that combine innovation, reliability, and performance.
- Engine Variants: Nissan offers a range of engine options, from the efficient 1.6L 4-cylinder engines found in models like the Nissan Versa, to the robust 3.8L V6 engines that power the iconic Nissan GT-R.
- Transmission: Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a hallmark of many of its models, providing smoother acceleration and enhanced fuel efficiency.
- Fuel Efficiency: On average, many of Nissan’s sedans, like the Nissan Altima, offer a commendable fuel efficiency of around 28 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway.
- Safety: Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility includes features like ProPILOT Assist, which offers semi-autonomous driving capabilities, and Safety Shield 360, which provides a suite of six advanced safety features.
- Global Sales: In 2019, Nissan sold approximately 5.2 million vehicles worldwide.
- Market Share: As of 2020, Nissan held a market share of around 6% in the U.S., making it one of the top automobile brands in the country.
- Awards: Over the years, Nissan has garnered numerous accolades. The Nissan Leaf, for instance, was awarded the “World Car of the Year” in 2011 due to its innovative all-electric design.
How far can you go on Empty for a Nissan?
When the low fuel light (E light) comes on in a Nissan, it usually means there is about 10% to 15% of fuel left in the gas tank. At this point when the E light comes on, most Nissan vehicles can travel between 30 to 50 miles before running out of fuel and coming to a stop.
Of course, we do strongly encourage you to refuel at the nearest gas station before actually running out of fuel.
Can You Drive a Nissan With the Low Fuel Light On?
It is definitely possible to drive a Nissan vehicle when the low fuel light is on. However, we generally not recommended to drive with the low fuel light on for an extended period as low fuel levels can damage the fuel pump and other components of the fuel system.
When the low fuel light turns on in your Nissan, do address the situation with caution. Here are some concerns to be aware of and precautions to take:
- Risk of Running Out of Fuel: Driving with the low fuel light on means your fuel level is significantly low. You should understand that continuing to drive in this state increases the risk of running out of fuel, which can lead to unexpected breakdowns and inconvenience.
- Engine Performance and Safety: As the fuel level decreases, the engine’s performance may be affected. You may experience reduced power and acceleration. Additionally, certain vehicle features like power steering and braking might be compromised, posing potential safety risks.
Here’s what you should know if you own a Nissan Rogue.
This leads us to the next question that we commonly get from car owners…
Do Nissans have a reserve tank?
Unlike some vehicles that have a separate reserve tank, Nissans do not feature a dedicated reserve tank. Instead, when the low fuel light turns on in Nissan, the indicator signifies that the fuel level has reached a critical point where only a limited amount of fuel remains in the tank. Essentially, the low fuel light acts as a warning that you are now operating on the reserve fuel level.
Remember, the absence of a separate reserve tank in Nissans means that you need to keep a close eye on your fuel gauge and act responsibly when the low fuel light signals that it’s time to refuel. Prioritizing timely refueling will help you maintain a smooth and worry-free driving experience.
Here’s what to do when your Nissan gas gauge hits E
If you find yourself driving with the low fuel light on, follow these steps to ensure your safety:
- Pull over soon: Find a safe spot to pull over to stop.
- Stay Calm and Focused: Panicking or feeling anxious can cloud your judgment. Stay calm and focused on finding a safe solution.
- Signal and Change Lanes: If you’re on a multi-lane road, signal, and change lanes to move towards the rightmost lane. This allows other drivers to pass more easily and minimizes potential hazards.
- Look for an Exit or Safe Area: Keep an eye out for the nearest exit or a safe spot to pull over, such as a parking lot, gas station, or rest area. Avoid stopping on the side of the road, as it can be dangerous.
- Use Hazard Lights: Once you’ve found a safe spot, activate your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.
- Contact Roadside Assistance or a Trusted Individual: If you’re unable to reach a nearby gas station, contact roadside assistance or a trusted individual who can help you with fuel or provide further assistance
Access Google Maps to find the nearest gas station to you.
When searching for the nearest gas station, accessing Google Maps can be incredibly helpful. With Google Maps, you can find a wide range of gas stations in your vicinity and easily locate the one that suits your needs. Simply open the Google Maps app, enter your current location or allow the app to access your location, and search for “gas stations” to view the available options in real time.
How to better estimate your remaining mileage?
Engage in a bit of additional arithmetic: Suppose your Nissan’s fuel tank has a capacity of 14.5 gallons. When the low fuel indicator illuminates, it’s plausible to deduce that you’re left with approximately 1.45 gallons of fuel, which is 10% of the total capacity. If your Nissan’s fuel efficiency stands at 27 miles per gallon, you can calculate that the residual fuel can propel you for an estimated 39 miles before depletion.
Get the Highest MPG with these Driving Tips
- Smooth Acceleration: Gradually press down on the accelerator over a few seconds to achieve efficient and comfortable acceleration from a complete stop on dry, level roads.
- Maintain Gear Engagement: When encountering stop-and-go traffic, keep the car in gear without stalling, stopping abruptly, or excessively slipping the clutch. Maintain a safe following distance to allow for better planning and smoother driving.
- Utilize Cruise Control: When suitable, engage the cruise control function. Allowing the vehicle’s computer to control the speed helps achieve better fuel efficiency compared to consistently pressing the accelerator pedal.
- Opt for Higher Gears: Shift to higher gears as soon as the speed permits. This leads to lower engine revolutions per minute (RPM), reduced fuel consumption, and less strain on the engine.
- Reduce Unnecessary Weight: Remove any unnecessary items from your vehicle to minimize weight. Carrying excess weight can increase fuel consumption, so strive to have a lighter load for improved fuel economy.
- Follow Regular Maintenance: Adhere to a regular maintenance schedule, including timely oil changes, clean air filter replacements, and maintaining proper tire pressure. These maintenance practices not only contribute to better fuel economy but also help prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.
As always, do be mindful of your vehicle’s range on empty and take the necessary precautions. Refuel promptly when the low fuel light comes on, plan ahead to locate nearby gas stations, and implement driving techniques that maximize fuel efficiency.
Additionally, staying up-to-date with regular vehicle maintenance and tire pressure checks can further optimize your Nissan’s performance and fuel economy.
Remember, responsible fuel management and safe driving habits contribute not only to your personal convenience but also to the overall well-being of your Nissan and fellow drivers on the road. Stay proactive, stay informed, and enjoy the journey with your Nissan!
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.