Everything Drivers Need to Know about the Fuel Tank Capacity

Your car reminds you of refueling the tank by turning the fuel light on. Many drivers find it annoying and choose not to refill before driving a few more miles. Others freak out and head out straight away to the nearest gas station. Well, every driver should know some facts about the fuel tank capacity to avoid either damaging the engine or feeling too rushed.

What Is a Car’s Standard Fuel Tank Capacity?

The fuel tank is a part of the engine system that contains the flammable fuel such as oil. Most average tank size of a car can carry something between 45 and 65 liters. However, SUVs and trucks have larger tanks while the size is smaller for the Nano cars.

Some vehicles have a secondary fuel tank called the reserve tank, which contains approximately 15% of the capacity of the primary chamber. However, it’s only seen in older vehicles or the ones designed for particular use and long distance.

fill gas tank full
The reserve oil is almost 15% of the total amount of fuel. (photo source: iStockphoto)

You have to read the writings on the fuel chamber’s cap to find out the capacity of your car. If it reads 60L, it means that a gasoline tank capacity can contain 60 liters fuel. In modern vehicles, this quantity is inclusive of the reserve tank, which only indicates the level where the fuel light will warn you about a low level of gas. You should also know that you won’t be able to empty the tank because the engine will stop functioning when there are 5 to 10 liters left. Besides, 1 or 2 liters of gas will be unusable because it just keeps the sediments at the bottom.

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Is It Possible to Fill Gas Tank Full or More Than the Rated Capacity?

Technically, yes and no. You cannot put 60 liters into a 55 liters container. The gas tank capacities also need a stable volume to normally activate. On the flip side, the inlet pipe or fuel neck in some cases can hold 10 to 15 liters. Besides, most gas chambers are bigger than the rated fuel tank capacity because so that there’s room for air at the top, which helps to prevent vapor locking.

Fuel Tank capacity
Overfilling the fuel chamber will cause engine damage. (photo source: YAYImages)

You should not overfill the fuel chamber because it will not leave any space for the air. In that case, oil will have no room to expand when warm, creating pressure on the tank’s walls and leading to damaging the engine.

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How Far Can a Car Go with the Fuel Light on?

You might have already checked the fuel tank capacity of your automobile. Well, it’s also important to know how far it can go when the fuel light turns red. You certainly don’t need to panic because the indicator just signals that the fuel has reached the reserve level, which is almost 10% to 15% of the total capacity of the chamber. So, it means that the car still has much juice to drag you a couple of miles. However, it’s not a good idea to drive until the tank is dry because you will only draw the sediment through the system and damage the engine parts because these will have more friction and be overheated because of the low level of fuel.

To make clear about this problem, we will show you a video about Can you get more miles on the road with a POOR FUEL TANK? It will also show you the limitation of your fuel tank capacity to make sure you will have a non-trouble driving.

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