RAC Approved Garage

Ignoring A Low Fuel Indicator.

How frustrating is it when you get into your car and realise, you’re late for work and the low fuel light indicator is flashing intermittently? You suddenly realise you must make a decision; the problem isn’t always that the low fuel light has come on but more that you don’t know how far you can travel without running out of fuel.

Is it really so risky to disregard the low fuel indicator?

The fuel level sensor or an inbuilt distance-to-empty calculation might turn on the fuel light. However, the distance you can drive on a low fuel tank varies per vehicle, as well as the road conditions and your driving habits.

A small vehicle can generally go 35 to 50 miles, but bigger cars and SUVs may travel 20 to 30 miles. The ideal practise is to always maintain a quarter tank of fuel in your vehicle. That way, if you fail to fill up, you should have enough fuel in reserve to travel to a nearby gas station.

Ignoring that helpful but annoying light of the fuel level indicator is risky, but how dangerous is it to disregard it?

The first thing to keep in mind is that fuel gauges are not the most exact devices and only offer an approximate estimate of the fuel level. The level in the tank is monitored by a float in even the most sophisticated vehicles nowadays. The height of this float is then sent to your fuel gauge, either electronically via a microcontroller or by tiny coils and metal strips. When your low fuel warning light comes on, you may only have around 6% to 8% of the tank’s capacity remaining. The amount of fuel used might range from 4 to 8 litres but does vary depending on the vehicle, mileage, and road conditions, among other factors.

The main danger of running out of fuel is becoming stuck on the road. Aside from that, you risk damaging your fuel pump, because if you don’t have enough fuel in your tank, the fuel pump may start sucking air and may overheat. And if that occurs, the repairs will cost you a lot more than a tank of fuel.

Fuel Pump Replacement

What are the options to save the last few drops of fuel if you’re far from a fuel station?

• Drive at 40 m/h if at all feasible, as this is the most fuel-efficient pace. This, however, depends on several circumstances, like where you’re travelling, the road conditions, the weather, and so on.
• Your windows should be rolled up. Open windows increase drag and wind resistance, causing the engine to use more fuel.
• If you’re on the motorway, take it easy on the accelerator and keep a steady pace.
• Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption. Inflate them to the proper pressure.
• If you have any electrical devices, unplug them, and turn them off.

As a result, driving your car when the low fuel sign is on not only puts you in a stressful situation, but it also puts your vehicle at danger of costly damage. To avoid this, be more cautious and always keep a quarter tank of fuel in your car, pay special attention to tyre and car maintenance, understand how to increase your fuel economy, and enjoy your journey!

Steering Wheel Vibrations

When travelling, try to plan and think ahead.

The recommended practice is to always maintain your fuel at least a quarter full. That way, even if you fail to fill up, you’ll have enough fuel in reserve to get you to the next stop safely.

If you have any concerns about the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, then please book an appointment with our Reliance Bicester technicians. Our garage has the latest diagnostics equipment, which allows us to quickly identify any issues with your vehicle and enables our experienced technicians to provide more accurate advice on how to procedure with any required repairs.


Get in touch by calling 01869 320032 to book an appointment, or if you prefer, simply email us at info@reliancebicester.co.uk – We’re here to help!

Additionally, regular routine servicing and maintenance is crucial for increasing your vehicles longevity and maximising its performance. Not only does it work to rectify any current wear and tear in your vehicle, but it also effectively aids in preventing further damage from presenting itself in the future.


Our Services


Vehicle MOT

Our fully-equipped garage enables us to undertake MOTs and inspections on all vehicles in the Class IV, V & VII categories and we have the technical expertise to work on models of any type and age.

Vehicle Servicing

Car servicing is essential for keeping your vehicle well-maintained and in the best possible condition. Although not a legal requirement like MOTs, full annual servicing is highly recommended to increase the life-span of your vehicle and reduce the need for major car repairs.

Wheel Alignment

If you’re concerned about your vehicles wheel alignment, our latest equipment uses advanced technology making even 4 wheel alignment more accurate.

Breaking Systems, Discs & Pads

Brakes that function and operate smoothly are extremely important to ensure a safe driving experience. Brake discs & pads are crucial components of your car’s braking system and keeping them in optimal working condition is vital for the safety of both you and other drivers around you.

Vehicle Diagnostics & Repair

If you have a vehicle fitted with an Engine Control Unit (ECU), our qualified technicians can carry-out advanced car diagnostics and run your car through an ECU code reading machine, which will produce a unique report indicating if any further work needs to be done.

Inspection & Safety Checks

If you’re vehicle is experiencing vibrations or your vehicle is pulling to one side, then it’s time to check your brakes, suspension, steering or tyres.

General Repairs

Whether it’s an electrical fault or a worn clutch, a transmission or suspension problem, our experienced technicians can quickly diagnose and repair your vehicle.

Tyre Checks & Replacement

For safety reasons, it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. As an official partner of BlackCircle tyres, let us quote you.

Regular vehicle servicing and maintenance should also be done to avoid future inconvenience and unfortunate incidents on the road like sudden breakdown etc. It is wise to schedule and book a routine service to ensure your vehicle is always running smoothly whilst also protecting your safety on the road.

Pricing & Plans

For a quote, simply drop us a message to start a conversation and explain your vehicle concerns, or give us a call. We’re here to help!

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To book an appointment, you can send us a message with details of the problems with your vehicle. You can reach us via Facebook & Google, or simply pick up the phone and give us a call.

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(01869) 320032