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Old 11-17-2019, 11:51 AM
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The DTE (Distance to Empty) Challenge

Well, I had a 2015 JKU Sport and now have a 2016 JKU Rubi. With both of them I have wondered 2 things:

1 - How many more miles can I go after the DTE indicator transitions from 30 Miles (remaining) to "Low Fuel" before running out of gas?

2 - How many gallons does the gas tank really hold?

My findings:

1 - I can go about 61.5 miles (give or take) before running right out of gas after the "Low Fuel" indication has started.

2 - I have kept close watch on mileage and how many gallons I pump into it at the gas station. As near as I can figure, the math always suggests a 21.5 gallon tank, not a 22.5 like is stated everywhere. This has been a mystery.

Please chime in with your findings....

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Old 11-17-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
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When my dte flashes "low" Torque pro estimate is reading about 46km (about 28 miles) left.
Torque estimates to a dead empty tank, but I have never taken it that far. Frankly I don't see the sense in chancing an empty tank on the road in trying to figure out exact numbers when filling/emptying isn't an exacting science to begin with.


Volume of fuel changes with temperature as does the volume of the air pocket in the tank..... MPG's change with wind and driving conditions..... Parking/driving on an incline has an effect on the gas gauge.. and a bunch of other things. When the stars all align in the correct postion, maybe you get 22 gallons into the tank, maybe you don't.


I think it's a 22.5 gallon tank.... INCLUDING the built in air pocket... so you will never actually get 22.5 gallons in there.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:38 PM   #3
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I try to never go below 1/4 tank as I have read on multiple forums the electric fuel pump is cooled by the fuel. So running down to the last gallon can shorten the life of the fuel pump...just sayin'
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:23 PM   #4
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Parking/driving on an incline has an effect on the gas gauge.. and a bunch of other things. When the stars all align in the correct postion, maybe you get 22 gallons into the tank, maybe you don't.
Got fooled by the gas gauge once going up and down a steep mountain. Couldn't figure out how I was burning so much gas..... When I turned around the needle went back up the other way. I don't remember if climbing made the needle drop or if it was descending that made it drop.

All total it was close to a quarter tank difference.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
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I try to never go below 1/4 tank as I have read on multiple forums the electric fuel pump is cooled by the fuel. So running down to the last gallon can shorten the life of the fuel pump...just sayin'
This theory only applies when you run it completely dry, else you always have fuel to cool the pump. Old school thinking gets me to think the 'sludge' is always the last part of the fuel tank to ingest into the pump to clog the sock causing issues. This being said - Living in the frigid shithole of Massachusetts I always fill before 1/4 tank to prevent freezing which is probably a myth as well with all the ethanol they substitute with!
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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This theory only applies when you run it completely dry, else you always have fuel to cool the pump. Old school thinking gets me to think the 'sludge' is always the last part of the fuel tank to ingest into the pump to clog the sock causing issues. This being said - Living in the frigid shithole of Massachusetts I always fill before 1/4 tank to prevent freezing which is probably a myth as well with all the ethanol they substitute with!
I don’t believe there is sludge in a vehicles gas tank settled at the bottom (except after sitting overnight). Just hitting a couple stops and bumps probably gets everything mixed up in the tank.
Gas stations is where the sludge might build up. If you buy gas from a remote gas station, you might get quite a bit of water and or sludge in your tank. But by the time you find out you’re already in trouble though.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:25 AM   #7
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I get nervous when my DTE quits reading in distance and says low fuel. I can tell you I have been right at gas stations when my low fuel light pops on and like clockwork I take 18.5 gallons. I fill the same way each time light the pump click off wait 30 seconds add until it clicks off again and call it good. If I am traveling I let the tank get low if I am just running around I never go below 1/2 tank ...just in case of the zombie attack I want a full tank.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #8
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:36 PM   #9
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Great episode.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:35 PM   #10
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My education in the Navy has me looking for fuel at a half tank. I never start off road with less than a full tank (and check all fluids), just one more thing I don't need to worry about.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:46 PM   #11
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My education in the Navy has me looking for fuel at a half tank. I never start off road with less than a full tank (and check all fluids), just one more thing I don't need to worry about.
Agreed...but, we do rock crawling excursions where I want the bare minimum fuel in the tank. Neither here nor there.

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Old 11-19-2019, 07:09 AM   #12
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Agreed...but, we do rock crawling excursions where I want the bare minimum fuel in the tank. Neither here nor there.

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Please explain the purpose in that.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:39 AM   #13
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Agreed...but, we do rock crawling excursions where I want the bare minimum fuel in the tank. Neither here nor there.

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Not trying to pick a fight here...I have been wheeling for 30+ years and have never heard of that. Help me understand the sense in that?


Gas weighs ~6lbs per gallon. If the tank is 21.5 gallons, then a full tank weighs 129ibs. If I assume "bare minimum fuel in the tank" means a half tank, then we are talking a weight savings of 64.5lbs ( at 1/4 tank it would be 97lbs).



Is that really compressing your suspension that much? If it were me, I'd keep the full tank and jettison (I'm ex-Navy too) some other cargo.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:53 AM   #14
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:22 AM   #15
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If I am traveling I let the tank get low if I am just running around I never go below 1/2 tank ...just in case of the zombie attack I want a full tank.
I don’t t let it get below 1/2 tank either, but because of earthquake preparedness. I figure my Rubi can get me around any fallen bridges or damaged roadways. We would only have to go 15 or 20 miles at most to get through the destroyed area.
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:26 AM   #16
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I donít t let it get below 1/2 tank either, but because of earthquake preparedness. I figure my Rubi can get me around any fallen bridges or damaged roadways. We would only have to go 15 or 20 miles at most to get through the destroyed area.
actually mine is for similar reasons. Not for earthquake but for other weather related issues we get in my neck of the woods.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:29 PM   #17
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Not trying to pick a fight here...I have been wheeling for 30+ years and have never heard of that. Help me understand the sense in that?


Gas weighs ~6lbs per gallon. If the tank is 21.5 gallons, then a full tank weighs 129ibs. If I assume "bare minimum fuel in the tank" means a half tank, then we are talking a weight savings of 64.5lbs ( at 1/4 tank it would be 97lbs).



Is that really compressing your suspension that much? If it were me, I'd keep the full tank and jettison (I'm ex-Navy too) some other cargo.
Not sure why it's difficult to understand. Weight is weight. It has nothing to do with compressing suspension. Trying to get up and over rocks is tough. The last thing I need is extra weight. We went out today and the total mileage on trail was 8.6. I had 1/4 tank when I started which was more than enough. Topping it off before I went would have been completely pointless.

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Old 11-19-2019, 04:51 PM   #18
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Not sure why it's difficult to understand. Weight is weight. It has nothing to do with compressing suspension. Trying to get up and over rocks is tough. The last thing I need is extra weight. We went out today and the total mileage on trail was 8.6. I had 1/4 tank when I started which was more than enough. Topping it off before I went would have been completely pointless.

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It's not that much weight and it is placed low. Might even help your COG. Aren't there some people or professions out there that actually fill their tires with liquids that add extra weight just for this purpose because it is at the lowest point it can be? I have no personal experience with that per se, but I do have a lot of experience with being top heavy off road, especially in the rocks. I would have loved if each tire had an extra 100 lbs in it on my old ZJ. Thing was tippy as hell.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:13 PM   #19
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It's not that much weight and it is placed low. Might even help your COG. Aren't there some people or professions out there that actually fill their tires with liquids that add extra weight just for this purpose because it is at the lowest point it can be? I have no personal experience with that per se, but I do have a lot of experience with being top heavy off road, especially in the rocks. I would have loved if each tire had an extra 100 lbs in it on my old ZJ. Thing was tippy as hell.
It weighs more than my wife.

I can tell the difference when I have a full tank.

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Old 11-19-2019, 06:01 PM   #20
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My education in the Navy has me looking for fuel at a half tank. I never start off road with less than a full tank (and check all fluids), just one more thing I don't need to worry about.
Naval Aviation teaches that the three most useless things in the world are the runway behind you, the altitude above you and the fuel you left on the ground. While the first two don't really apply to vehicles, the last sure does in the fuel in the station that you passed up.

I have been known to drive to a fuel warning light, but it was always in a vehicle that I had extensive experience with it's fuel consumption and a road that I was very familiar with stations and locations.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:29 AM   #21
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It weighs more than my wife.

I can tell the difference when I have a full tank.

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I can see your point as you might be sheading just over hundred pounds (weight of a spare tire) and only going a very short distance to wheel while traveling a route you know all too well.

Must be some very steep climbs for that little weight to negatively affect the tire traction.

I believe that most of us do not know our range limitations after we get the idiot light or DING for the fuel level. I understand I get appox. 10 miles to the gallon in 4LO but in many circumstances I won't know how much longer the trail will be or, the time it will take to run it, and or get back to a refill, especially riding with others.

My gauge doesn't indicate to me exactly how much fuel remains. I don't think my math skills would get me to a safe point in my head either say, after three days of operation.
If I were a betting man, and running the same distance day after day, I see a flaw in my ability to only put the exact amount of fuel in daily for my requirements and trying to look into the future comsumption.

We all call that low fuel warning light, "The Idiot Light," for a reason.

With all that said, I have been in a situation were fuel consumption was a real concern after running extremely low, in the desert. As the wife and I talked I failed to realize I hadn't refueled as per my requirements. I hadn't really noticed the level at all as we left the last town. After the ding and fuel low indication I had her look on a state map to see how far the next town was going to be as there were no indicatons from road signs.

As it happened we were about fifteen miles outside of my calulated fuel range and traveling at 75 MPH. I slowed to 63 MPH ( my best economy speed) and determined from a mile marker we were farther behind than we thought. So we slowed to 55 MPH the rest of the way, and prayed.

Unbeknownst to us, there was a gas station about 15 miles just outside of town and we refueled there. I would have to get our journal out and look but I bet were well below 2 gals of fuel left. (Berly, ID to Laramine, WY along I-80)

All the while, as my empty 3 gallon gas container sat in the back! I emptied it earlier that morning, not having used it all across America east to west on the TAT. there was a lesson there! I know how I felt the entire time that light was on!
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:01 PM   #22
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^^^^ This exactly! There are so many things that I cannot control while I am out on the trail or even the highway for that matter. The one I can control (up to a point) is how much fuel I have so that in the unlikely event that I break down in the desert (and the engine is still running) I can still run an A/C or heater until help arrives or I can safely walk out.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:25 PM   #23
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Got fooled by the gas gauge once going up and down a steep mountain. Couldn't figure out how I was burning so much gas..... When I turned around the needle went back up the other way. I don't remember if climbing made the needle drop or if it was descending that made it drop.

All total it was close to a quarter tank difference.
If you're low and heading down a steep hill, you'll "run out".
Point the Jeep uphill and it will start right back up.
....ask me how I know....
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:23 AM   #24
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I get nervous when my DTE quits reading in distance and says low fuel.
Ditto. I was coming home from the beach with my wife last week. Interstate 16 is a 150-mile piece of concrete between Savannah and Macon, GA. Not a lot of exits, and many of them don't have any services.

We were in a great conversation and I missed one of the last stations for awhile. Next thing I knew her GLC300 flashed the low fuel light. I switched over to DTE reading on the IP. Plenty of miles left, so no worries. Then a little later we passed an exit that didn't have a blue "Services" sign showing gas, so we just went by. Got even with it and looked down at the road and there was a station. Dangit!

Before too long the DTE changed over to a LOW FUEL, YOU STUPID BASTIGE! warning that came back ever minute or so even when you cleared it. I was actually pretty worried then, mainly because the missuz was in the car.

Fortunately we made it to a station and all was well. But I had the cruise set on 58 for the last 8 miles.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:37 AM   #25
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Ditto. I was coming home from the beach with my wife last week. Interstate 16 is a 150-mile piece of concrete between Savannah and Macon, GA. Not a lot of exits, and many of them don't have any services.



We were in a great conversation and I missed one of the last stations for awhile. Next thing I knew her GLC300 flashed the low fuel light. I switched over to DTE reading on the IP. Plenty of miles left, so no worries. Then a little later we passed an exit that didn't have a blue "Services" sign showing gas, so we just went by. Got even with it and looked down at the road and there was a station. Dangit!



Before too long the DTE changed over to a LOW FUEL, YOU STUPID BASTIGE! warning that came back ever minute or so even when you cleared it. I was actually pretty worried then, mainly because the missuz was in the car.



Fortunately we made it to a station and all was well. But I had the cruise set on 58 for the last 8 miles.

Did almost same thing with wifeís Honda minivan between Orlando and Cape Canaveral. Didnít want to pay the higher gas price for the stations along the turnpike. Didnít realize East of Orlando was a gas station desert. Amazing how far that minivan went on 0 miles to empty.

Honda probably has over 2 gallons reserve after O miles. Keeps the soccer moms from running out of gas (and the occasional too stubborn to stop husband).


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