Tank on EmptyTank on Empty

When The Gas Light Goes On

December 14, 2007 about Toyota RAV4

I have a 2007 Rav4 which has a 15.9 gal tank. I always drive the car till the gas light comes on, upon which I fill up (fill until gas pump shuts off automatically). After about 20 of these fill ups, I found that I am on average, putting in 12.5-13 gal after the gas light comes on. Hence, I have about 3 gal of gas left in the tank. I keep track of my MPG, and I average about 22-23, so although I've never ran the gas till it stalled, I think I could very safely drive at least 60 miles in highway conditions after the light comes on.

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November 3, 2009 by sheena

This is quite helpful. Thanks.

August 9, 2010 by Biff Hendo

I have a 2008 with the same experience. I wonder why the owners manual states a 16 gal. tank yet I get a low fuel light and fill up with 12.5-12.8 gals every time. On a related note, would it kill them to make the low fuel warning light audible like most American cars?

July 27, 2011 by seriously..

Really? The big blinky light doesnt stand out enough for you? And obviously stopping at a gas station when you're at around 1/4 tank is way too much work. Get a bicycle.

May 27, 2012 by Big Eric

I have the same problem as this post. I only take 12 -13 gallons whin filling up. I also think I have 2 - 3 gallons in reserve. Having that much in reserve prevents me from cofortabll planning the range on long road trips.

December 22, 2014 by lectroman4

I have a 2012 Rav4 which also has a 15.9 gallon tank. When my gage registers 3/4 empty, it takes exactly 10 gallons to fill to the extreme top. I just ran it to when the light came on (today) and I put 12.6 gallons in. I keep very close records on my gas and mileage. I have driven 17,867 miles, used 704 gallons, averaging 25.3 mpg. My best mileage was 31.3 mpg and my worse was 21.3 mpg. (Average cost per gallon was $3.14)Thankfully gas is down to $2.09/gal and dropping

January 30, 2020 by dave

I have a 2015 rav4 and drove it about 45 miles after the "low fuel" light came on. When I filled up, it only took 12.75 gallons even topping off (its a 15.9 gal tank, so I thought the pump was stopping early, but no.) That means I had at least 4 gallons of fuel left when the warning light came on. That means I could have driven about 100 miles. I don't know if I have a defective sensor or not, but if not, that is way too early for a warning. I am used to maybe two gallons left in other vehicles which would be about a 40 mile safety net which is more than adequate.

June 20, 2022 by Rebecca

I have a 2007 rav4. I was curious how many miles i had on the empty light so I drove it until it stopped. It drove 99 miles on the empty light. (my test supports Dave's calculation).

September 2 by Harddriven

I commute and monitor milage per gallon. I do this with any of my cars in my rotation. The 07 Rav4 with its 15.9 gallon tank turns the light on at 12.5 or so, leaving enough to allow some travel to safety. My commute is 71 miles one way if the light turns on at the start of my trip, I can make it home and gas up for the next day. By the way the fuel in your tank keeps the fuel pump lubed and cool. So keep that in mind, you don’t want to run it down and beyond reserves often as this may cause damage in the long tun.