The Ford Explorer is a popular SUV known for its spacious interior and comfortable ride. It is also a fuel-efficient vehicle that can go a long way on a single gas tank. However, if you see the gas light comes on, it is essential to know how far you can go before you run out of gas.
How Far Can Ford Explorer Go With Gas Light On? Ford Explorer can up to 35 to 55 miles with a gas light on. 2001-2004 models can cover an estimated distance of 30-40 miles, while the 2018-2022 models can go about 40-50 miles. You can travel 35-45 miles on 2005-2007 models with the remaining gasoline in the tank. Moreover, 2008-2011 models can cover an estimated distance of 40-45 miles compared to 2012-2017 models, which can go up to 35-50 miles.
This article will cover the different Ford Explorer models, their fuel tank capacities, and the factors that affect how far you can travel with an empty tank. We will also talk about the driving range with reserve fuel and risk factors associated with driving with low gas in the tank.
Fuel Tank Capacity of Different Ford Explorer Models
The Ford Explorer models have been in the market since 1991 for different generations. Each model year with a specific engine option and trim level has fuel tank capacity.
The most recent models, 2020-2022, have a fuel tank capacity of 17.9-20.2 gallons, varying according to trim level in each model year. From 2011-2019, the fifth-generation models have a fuel tank capacity of 18.6 gallons for all variants.
The third and fourth-generation models, from 2004-2010, have a fuel tank capacity of 22.5 gallons for all trim levels.
The earlier models, from 2002-2003, have a fuel tank capacity ranging from 16.8-22.5 gallons varying for different trim levels. The second-generation models, from 2000-2001, have a fuel tank capacity of 21 gallons, 1999 and 1995 model years with 17.5 gallons, and 1996-1998 models with 21 gallons.
The first-generation models, from 1991-1994, have a fuel tank capacity ranging from 19-19.3 gallons.
The ranges in some generations are due to the difference in tank size for specific trim levels or special edition models. Similarly, the distance you can travel with low gas will also vary depending on which year and model of your SUV.
Factors Affecting the Distance You Can Drive Ford Explorer with Gas Light On
Several factors can affect how far you can travel with the gas light on. For example, if you’re driving on a highway, you can travel further than driving in the city’s stop-and-go traffic.
It also depends on your driving habits. For example, if you accelerate and brake aggressively, you’ll use more fuel and cover less distance.
Moreover, if you’re driving in hilly or mountainous terrain, you’ll use more fuel, and the distance covered will be lesser than on highways.
The distance you can travel also depends on the payload on your vehicle. For example, if you have a lot of passengers or cargo in your Ford Explorer, you’ll use more fuel and cannot be able to travel as far.
Older and poorly maintained SUVs will not be as fuel-efficient as newer ones. Therefore, fuel economy will be higher for more recent models with regular maintenance and, as a result, increased distance on reserve fuel.
Driving Range of Ford Explorer with Reserve Fuel
When your gas light comes on, you have a certain amount of fuel left in your tank. Most Ford Explorer models have a reserve fuel capacity of around 1.5-2 gallons.
If you’re careful, you can usually travel around 25-50 miles with the gas light on before you run out of gas. However, actual mileage can vary depending on the model year, driving conditions, and vehicle engine.
The 2001-2004 models can go about 30-40 miles, while the 2018-2022 models can cover about 40-50 miles. 2005-2007 models can travel 35-45 miles on the reserve fuel. Similarly, 2008-2011 models can cover an estimated distance of 40-45 miles, while 2012-2017 models can go up to 35-50 miles on the remaining fuel in the tank.
First and second-generation models from 1991-1994 and 1995-2001 have relatively less mileage because of the old conditions of the engine, and you can travel an estimated distance of 25-30 miles.
Driving Range of Ford Explorer Hybrid with Low Gas Light On
2020-2022 model Ford Explorer Hybrid has a driving range of around 40-60 miles before running out of fuel, depending on the specific driving conditions. It can cover slightly more distance because it has a gas engine and an electric motor.
It will switch between running on gasoline and electricity depending on your speed. The driving range also depends on the battery charge level.
However, since Ford Explorer Hybrid has a series configuration and it cannot run on electric only with the engine turned off.
Therefore, the vehicle will immediately stop as soon as it runs out of gas despite the charge level remaining in the battery. Consequently, you should go for refueling when the gas light comes ON.
How to Check the Number of Miles Ford Explorer Can Go with Low Gas Light On?
You can estimate the driving range of your SUV with the gas light on in a few ways, as the actual mileage can vary depending on several factors.
You can use the vehicle’s fuel gauge to estimate the remaining fuel and distance to empty. It will show you the amount of fuel left in the tank. Moreover, the fuel gauge will be in the red zone when the fuel is less.
By checking the remaining fuel, you can assess the average distance you can travel by multiplying it by your vehicle’s fuel economy.
The second method is to use the vehicle’s trip odometer. You can set it to show how many miles you have driven since the last time you filled the tank.
When the low gas light comes on, you can divide the miles you have covered by the miles per gallon your SUV gets to estimate how many gallons you have left.
Moreover, there are several fuel range calculators available online that can estimate how many miles you have left before you run out of gas depending on the model of your vehicle, the type of fuel you are using, and your driving habits.
You can manually check it by driving your SUV. Keep on driving until it runs out of gas, and the engine stops. It will show how many miles you can cover on the reserve fuel.
Another option is to use the Distance to Empty (DTE) feature on the latest models.
Based on your current fuel economy and driving habits, it will display an estimate of the distance you can travel before you run out of gas.
What are the Risks of Driving a Ford Explorer with an empty tank?
While it can be tempting to push your vehicle as far as you can with the gas light on, there are some risks involved.
The most obvious risk is that you can run out of gas and be stranded on the side of the road. In addition, it can be dangerous if you’re in an isolated area traveling with your family or if it’s late at night.
Driving with low gasoline in the tank can also cause damage to your vehicle’s fuel system.
Finally, driving with an empty tank can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety if you don’t find a gas station nearby.
Moreover, there is a risk of an accident if the engine stalls due to no gas left and you lose control of your SUV.