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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.

Last words, if you are interesting in our maintenance tips that we have shown, don’t hesitate to follow us. Let’s take a catching up with us through daily updated articles and together have a safe driving!

  1. SIR M AUTO CARE says

    Good Updates, reminders, and information. This keeps me informed. Now I keep extending this to my clients

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

    2. Gashumba Chris says

      Intresting thanks a lot

  2. Mugarura Leonard says

    Thac for this very important information regarding car fuelling tips. I have learnt muvhnon.this topic.

  3. David Mureithi says

    Thanks for the tip. I will no longer fill to the brim including the inlet pipe. I suppose the sensor stops further refuelling when this level is reached.

    1. Joseph Ayoma says

      Filling isnt bad but the matstu guys even lean the cars to increase the capacity. This is the bad bit.

  4. mbiro. says

    So helpful. I learn something whenever I read.

  5. Surely Ocorere says

    Thanks for the tip,,, I always wanted to know how far a car will go when the fuel light comes,,, now I know

  6. Olwee Umar Sherriff says

    Learnt a lot,thanks for the information.

  7. Nobby says

    Good insights there…Thank u

  8. Cliff says

    This is very helpful.continual educating us

  9. Dullah says

    Thanx, whenever i read your articles i got something new. Good job keep it up.

  10. Eddie Nyaga says

    I recently became an active driver and your articles have really shed a lot of knowledge that have bailed me out of tough spots as well as putting me on the look out to avoid future mishaps. Keep them coming. Thank you.

  11. Alwyn Munatswa says

    Very Helpful, Many thanks

  12. Kyabire Henry says

    Thanks a lot indeed learning is continuous. Keep up with more posts, bravo

  13. Stephen Nyamai says

    Your driving & basic mechanical tips are quite eductive.

  14. Walker says

    Thanks very useful info as I’ve seen many shaking the vehicle to fill in more fuel

  15. CK says

    Very helpful titbits about how to manage a vehicle with regard to fuelling and refuelling.

  16. pablo says

    My question then becomes, when does the pump attendant know that he should stop filling the car with fuel, when the pump hose mechanism snaps back or when he see the fuel at the mouth of the fuel tank pipe??

  17. Makay William says

    Thank Car from Japan for the information and updates however i have a question not related to this, how can i control my automatic transmission car in case the braking system stops while on a high speed because for a manual you can use gears.
    Thank you

  18. Kalesy says

    Thanks for sharing this important topic on car fuel tank, have learned

  19. Kasinga Hussein Mohammed says

    Great thanks for the useful information

  20. Kasinga Hussein Mohammed says

    Great thanks for the useful information as to protect our machines.

  21. Anthony says

    This is very informative, how do I subscribe to you blog to receiving such useful information

  22. Linus Agoya says

    It is good to know about the Tips you give on Vehicle maintenance and fuel refills, most people do not know this

  23. Mozino Travasso says

    Thanks today I have learned a lot

  24. Alfred Tonui says

    On the dash board of my Toyota corolla wagon 103 there is this sign check engine.what cause this sign to appear?my car also has is a dual fuel car.but there is no gas station in kenya.roads are bad in kenya and the gas tank frequently keeps on tearing and making terrible noise.what is the effect if I will approach a mechanic to remove it.does it hold a dangerous gas? Will it blow if I store it?

  25. Daniel Kotati says

    Thanks for the information keep educating us much appreciated

  26. Kasenga says

    Well articulated

  27. GIFT CHIKALO says

    This is great. I’ve learnt something important on fuel and tank, keep on updating on such issues so we can use these vehicles effectively.

  28. Onesmo mababu says

    Is real fuel capacity written in card car?

  29. Nam Hoang says

    I drive a 2015 Camry Se. My fuel capacity says 64 L. I have a digital distance til empty reader. I drove my car until 5km to empty then filled my car up to full. It took only 54 L to fill up. Does anyone know why I’m off by 10 L. I always felt like I got bad milage for that. My car ranges from 505-530Km when full.

  30. Ashley Johnson says

    I thought that it was interesting when you said that normal vehicles will typically hold between forty-five and sixty liters of fuel but that other cars are capable of holding more at one time. I have been thinking about buying a car but I have been worried that I would have to make trips to the gas station a lot to fuel up. I will be sure to find a car that will hold a lot of fuel at one time in order to avoid the need for making several trips to get more gas.

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