What Happens if You Drive Your Car With Fuel Needle on ‘E’?

Here is a common question of what could happen if you run your car on low fuel for a long time? We know that a lot of people drive in this manner where they go to the petrol pumps only when the orange light comes ON indicating reserve fuel. However, most experts say that you should never let your fuel drop below 25%. While there are merits to it, it is not always possible to fuel up so frequently. But could you damage your car if you keep running on low fuel in the long run? Let us find out.

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low fuel metre needle on e

How Fuel Injection Works?

To understand the effects of driving on low fuel constantly, we must first look at how the fuel assembly works on a basic level. While there are many components to it, we will discuss the major ones which include the fuel injectors, fuel pump and fuel lines (pipes). Modern cars use high-pressure injection systems since most of the cars are direct injection. This is done to ensure that minute droplets of fuel are sprayed in the cylinder so that the burning of the air-fuel mixture is efficient. When one runs on low fuels, the sucking efficiency of the fuel pumps can get affected because there is not enough fuel to suck. The pump is immersed in the fuel to working effectively but that is also not possible with a low fuel level in the fuel tank.

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Effects of running the car with low fuel

  • It could damage your fuel pump in the long run. The pump could get hot due to the lack of fuel in the tank and experience wear and tear.
  • This might be obvious, but still, we shall discuss it. If you are in the habit of always running on low fuel, you might end up getting stuck on the highway. This could be hugely inconvenient, at best and dangerous, at worst.
  • One must understand that the fuel tank is always supposed to be inundated in fuel. But when there is no fuel or not enough fuel, there might be dirt and particle accumulation at the bottom. This could hamper the sucking ability of the fuel pump if these dirt particles get stuck in the pump or fuel lines.
  • The fuel injectors could also get damaged if there is not enough fuel to inject.
  • Also, if these particles enter the cylinder, it could even damage the engine components or at least cause unnecessary wear.

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These are a few effects of running a car on low fuel for long periods of time. We would like to advise everyone to drive with more than 25% fuel in your fuel tank for the ideal performance of the car and longevity of the components.


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