Articles - Half full or half empty? - The truth about fuel gauges - The Open News
 
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11-06-2016

Half Full Or Half Empty? - The Truth About Fuel Gauges

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The truth about fuel gauges

Many of us still believe that we can dredge a few extra miles when a fuel gauge is saying we are approaching the empty level. The truth is, it often can't. As the fuel gauge is activated and measured by nothing more than a small floating instrument, the readings can be dangerously incorrect. If you can imagine going uphill in a bus or car, the float is not going to measure the amount of fuel as it slides to one side of the tank. Therefore, when a vehicle is on an even surface it will give a completely different fuel reading. Similarly, those who top up at gas stations might be interested to learn that when they fill the tank past the full level, it isn't really putting any extra fuel in the tank. Engineers and designers of modern cars allow for settlement and the needle going above and beyond to make drivers feel they are safely covered and that the tank has a little extra in case of the need for emergency reserves. This also works in reverse, when drivers assume they can get away with a low fuel gauge reading and suddenly find themselves stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

Fuel economy tips

Whatever about the chances of running out of fuel, one should not let the tank go to rock bottom as it effects the mechanics of the car. Running on empty will have an affect on the brakes making stopping harder. It also has an affect on the steering wheel in much the same way, making it more difficult to turn because it needs extra pressure. Should you find yourself with little fuel it can help to accelerate slowly, and not jam the gears into place. You should not drive faster or slower as speed has no real affect on fuel consumption. Driving at a moderate pace is best advised.
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