Research reveals how far cars can drive on 'empty'

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An American auto repair website has conducted a survey to discover exactly how far a car will travel after its fuel light comes on.

YourMechanic, a mobile mechanic service, with bookings made online, carried out the research into a number of common models from 2015, and found varied results.

For example, the fuel light on a Honda CR-V is triggered when there are 8.7 litres of fuel remaining in the tank. At this point, the car has a range of between 62 and 78 miles. A number of Ford models, including the Mustang, Focus and Edge, can have anything from 35 to 80 miles left when the fuel light is illuminated at below one sixteenth of a tank.

The ever-efficient Toyota Prius was found to have an impressive range of between 76 and 81 miles left after the fuel light comes on at below six litres of fuel.

The fuel light in Jeep's Cherokee illuminates at just over 11 litres and indicates that the car has a remaining range of 66 to 93 miles. Meanwhile, the American carmaker's Wrangler only has 47 to 58 miles left when its tank reaches below 10.6 litres of fuel and the light comes on.

Of course, these figures all depend on driving conditions – whether you are travelling at high speeds or stuck in traffic can affect how many miles your car has left.

The survey also questions whether it is dangerous to drive with the low fuel warning light on, and lists the potential consequences of running out of fuel. Driving on a motorway or negotiating a blind bend are just a couple of situations where running out of fuel could prove dangerous.

While you're not going to ruin your car by driving with the low fuel light on, components such as the catalytic converter and fuel pump have a higher chance of receiving damage when driving with low fuel levels.