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so i'm driving along, windows down, just enjoying my music in 4pm Santa Monica (LA) traffic. all of a sudden my poor 3 starts having a seizure. :( i jump out of the car and start pushing. luckily i was close to an alley and was able to get to the side of the road safely. call up my friend who drives a 32 ford which doesn't have a working gas gauge and therefore always has a spare gallon or 2 of gas. fill up with about a gallon of 91 octane and get to a gas station. i fill up my friends plastic container and think to myself, "screw it, let's see what 91 feels like" and proceed to fill my tank with 91.

i was wondering, how bad is running out of gas for the engine?

also, do you guys think 91 octane will make much of a difference in our cars?

and one last question, i heard somewhere it was bad to switch back and forth between high octane (91) and normal (87) gas. just wanted to know if this was true or not

thanks in advance guys, i really want to know how much damage might be caused to the engine by running out of gas.
 

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i would sell my car and ride a bike if i ran out of gas.


running out can be bad. but not as bad on a newer car.
 

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if it was older, the fuel lines might have some buildup or dirt or something in it....could clog up or ruin your fuel injectors. other than that....eh. i'd get some fuel additives and try to clean it out tho.

autozone FTW!


it's that, WOOP WOOP!
 

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the only way i could see anything getting actually dammaged would be from the components of the fuel system trying to opporate without any kind of fuel in them. but even then i dont see it hurting much unles you do it all the time
 

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It shouldn't damage it at all. I have my commerical pilots licence and when you shut down a piston engine in a plane you do it by cutting the gas off to the engine.
 

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yeah but piston a/c are designed to be shut off like that. The fuel pump isn't starved of fuel when pulling the mixture(s).
 

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yeah thats a good point, I always forget about the pumps since the 172's dont have one, they just gravity feed from the tanks in the wings.
 

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And since you ran out of gas here's a question, did you run out right at the "E" or did the needle go below it? and how long after the low gas light were you able to drive?
A friend told me that there is like 4 liters of fuel left after the "E" so that you can make it to a gas station but I dont believe him.
 

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Does the 3 have a low gas light and a buzzer? Or just the low gas light? I never ran it down that low.
 

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My old Jetta also had a buzzer. The buzzer would go off for low washer fluid too.
 

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My 94' 4runner would just shut down if it had no fuel. It was like somebody just walked up to my car and turned the ignition off.

No sputtering, seizuring, or anything like that. Must be some kind of idiot proof sensor that turns the car off when I ran out of gas. :)
 

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i ran my 3 a couple of times at E or when the light was on ( no buzzer just a light ) it dies go below E when its really really low, i mean really low... it got me to a gas station every time tho, once i drove for about 15 or so minutes on it ( in traffic, hence i was a bit nervous), but pulled in to the first station i saw, dint feel like tempting my luck... but yeah i did it many times actually, and so far i got lucky i guess
 

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I usually fill up before E, as most of my driving has gas stations every 40kms roughly. One in the town I work, another 25 clicks to barrie for gas if i need it, or i skip barrie and hit the 400, and which 40 clicks later is another gas station, and after that probably bala.

Unless you have a good reason to wait for E, fill up sooner. Sometimes things just happen.
 

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no worries, as long as you didnt try to statrt the car again after it was out of fuel. just dont make it a habit lol. fuel pumps use gas as lubrication, so obvoiusly if you run out your not lubing, and it could cause problems, but yours s alright.

As for all of you worried about the low fuel warning. have no fear. You have at least 2 gallons of fuel left when that light comes on. Ive driven as much as 50 miles with the light on, went to a gas station and still only put 12.3 gallons in the tank, thats getting close to the breaking point, but i wasnt even worried.
 
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