Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV popular for its spacious interior and good fuel economy.
However, you have come across a situation when the low fuel light on its instrument cluster comes on, and you don’t know the remaining distance it can cover.
How far can a Chevrolet Equinox go with the gas light On? Chevrolet Equinox can cover a distance of 44 to 80 miles on the remaining 2-2.5 gallons with the gas light On. However, it can vary in different models according to the engine type, driving style, city or highway area, and drive configuration of your SUV. Occasionally driving is safe with low fuel indication, but it can damage the fuel system components if you do this frequently. So it is recommended practice to refill the tank before it goes below 1/4th of its capacity.
We will discuss various aspects of driving the SUV with low gas light ON and possible driving range with the leftover gasoline in the tank.
What is the meaning of Chevy Equinox gas light On?
The low fuel warning light on the Chevrolet Equinox’s instrumentation cluster is near the fuel gauge.
It intimates the driver in case of low fuel or near-to-empty tank of the SUV. In the basic level instrument cluster, it turns ON when the fuel level goes below a certain threshold.
It helps caution the driver to refill the tank at the nearest gas station; otherwise, the engine can stop working. Whenever you add gas to the tank, the light goes OFF.
For advanced level instrumentation clusters, whenever you turn ON the engine, the warning light comes ON momentarily to indicate its working status.
It also performs its primary function of indicating low gas according to the tank level.
Moreover, in advanced models, you can also see the remaining mileage of your SUV on the leftover gasoline in the tank.
Therefore, it will help plan your journey accordingly for tank refill to avoid any inconvenience.
Its switch or level sensor sends a signal to the fuel gauge regarding the fuel level in the tank.
Then, with the help of programming, it turns ON the low gas light when the needle on the fuel gauge goes near the empty level.
Fuel capacity of Chevrolet Equinox gas tank
It has a good size fuel tank suitable for longer trips in a single refill.
However, size can vary for different model years from its introduction in 2005 till 2022.
For 2005-2006 models, it can hold 16-17 gallons, while 2007-2009 models have a fuel capacity of 15-16 gallons.
2010-2017 models have 18.5-19 gallons of tank size. You can add fuel up to 15.5-15.7 gallons in the gas tank of the 2018-2020 model of the SUV.
The 2021-2022 model has the lowest gas capacity of 14.8-14.10 gallons for FWD and 15.5-15.7 gallon tank for AWD.
How many miles Chevy Equinox covers on a full gas tank?
Chevy Equinox maximum distance coverage on a full gas tank can vary according to different model years due to changed tank sizes, FWD or AWD drive configuration, driving in city or highway areas, and your driving habits.
It can also vary according to the weather conditions and operation of the heating/cooling system of the SUV.
You can compute it with the EPA fuel economy rating of your SUV and multiply it with the fuel capacity of the tank.
For example, a 2005 model has a mileage of 17/22 mpg in city and highway areas, respectively, and the tank size is 16-17 gallons.
Therefore, it can cover a distance of 272 to 374 miles on a single tank for FWD configuration.
The 2022 model has an EPA rating of 26/32 mpg in city/highway areas and has a tank size of 14.8-14.10 gallons for FWD.
Therefore, it can cover 385-451 miles without refueling on a single tank.
Moreover, the latest models of Chevy SUV also have features to display the possible distance coverage on available fuel in the tank.
It takes the recent fuel average and multiplies it with the leftover gasoline in the tank to give the figure.
However, the actual distance range can vary according to your driving conditions.
How long can you drive a Chevrolet Equinox with the gas light ON?
Gas or low fuel light comes on a Chevy Equinox when the level sensor in the tank can no longer measure the remaining gas.
However, the tank is not entirely empty, and there are 2-2.5 gallons of gasoline left in the bottom and fuel lines.
The vehicle’s driving range with the remaining fuel varies according to the mpg rating and your driving habits.
It will be significantly different for engine type, drive configuration, and highway and city areas.
On the highway
You can drive at cruising speeds without much braking and interruptions on highways. Therefore, mpg ratings are higher for such driving conditions.
For example, for the 2019 models with a 1.5-liter turbo engine, the EPA fuel economy rating is 30-32 mpg for AWD and FWD configurations.
In this way, you can drive up to 60-80 miles with an empty gas tank.
On the other hand, the 2.0-liter engine in the same model has a highway rating of 28-29 mpg.
Therefore, the driving range will be 56-72.5 miles when the low gas light comes ON.
In city areas
City areas driving style has frequent braking while driving at slower speeds due to crowded places.
Therefore, fuel economy is lower in such areas. For the 2019 model, Chevy Equinox’s EPA mpg rating is 25-26 with a 1.5-liter turbo engine.
With 2-2.5 gallons left in the tank, you can go up to 50-65 miles maximum distance before the engine stops.
You can compute the range for your SUV according to its current mileage and multiply it by 2-2.5 gallons.
For example, the 2.0-liter turbo engine has an EPA average of 22 mpg. Therefore, you can drive the distance of 44-55 miles with low gas light ON.
Is it dangerous to drive the Chevy Equinox SUV with low gas light ON?
There is some reserved fuel in the tank when the low gas light comes ON to intimate the driver for fuel refill before any untoward situation occurs.
Therefore, you can still drive the SUV with this indication. However, doing it repeatedly or habitually has long-term harmful effects on the fuel system components.
For example, I have burnt the fuel pump of my SUV due to overheating while driving with low gas indication.
The bottom of the tank contains metallic debris and other contaminants from the gas station.
Operating the SUV at such low levels can cause these fine particles to enter the fuel system and damage them.
Furthermore, there is also a risk of damage to the catalytic converter due to air to fuel ratio disturbance with a near-empty tank.
It also causes a risk of moisture accumulation in the tank and its mixing with the gasoline.
This mixture can harm the valve seals and other components like piston rings. This moisture content can also freeze in the tank in freezing temperatures causing further loss.
Therefore, as a general rule, you should try to avoid the condition of low fuel in your tank to prevent long-term problems.
On the other hand, I will suggest from experience to keep at least 1/4th of your fuel tank filled all the time.
Does the mileage of Chevy Equinox remain the same for all models?
It is available in 4 trim levels with multiple engine options. Moreover, fuel tank capacity also changes according to model years.
Therefore, the fuel mileage of the SUV does not remain the same for all models.
Earlier models introduced in 2005 have less fuel economy; consequently, you can cover a smaller distance on a full tank.
The latest models have good mpg figures and cover over 400 miles without refilling. It also depends on the engine options available within the same model year.
For example, the 2.0-liter engine will have a lesser range than the 1.5-liter on the same size tank due to increased gas consumption for larger size engines.
What is the effect of drive configuration on the mileage of a Chevy Equinox?
It is available in AWD and FWD drive configurations.
The engine uses more power to drive all four wheels in AWD variants and has slightly lesser fuel economy than FWD.
Therefore, they have a less effective range on the same sized tank. Thus, Chevrolet has introduced 2 different size tanks for AWD and FWD models.
Models with AWD configuration tank has tank size 1-gallon larger than with FWD option to compensate for lesser fuel economy ratings.
As a result, you will effectively get the same driving range for a full fuel tank in these models.
Is the gas light accurate on the Chevy Equinox?
Most of the time, this warning light accurately displays the status of a near to empty fuel tank on your vehicle.
Moreover, the Driver Information Center (DIC) on the instrument cluster also shows the mileage you can cover with this fuel in the tank.
However, after some time of low gas light ON, DIC stops displaying the remaining distance, and you have no source to give that information.
In such a scenario, safe practice is to refill the tank from the nearest station.
There can be a false indication on the gauge in rare cases due to a faulty sensor or any other problem.
For example, if the low fuel light does not go away during refilling, you should contact the service to resolve the fault.
Moreover, it can also give a false indication due to problems in the calibration of the gauge.
However, these are exceptional circumstances, and you should follow the caution and data on DIC and act accordingly.