How many miles will she go when the BC says 0? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 12:36 am Thread Starter
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How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Last week I rode the bike to a seminar in Long Beach, about 33 miles away. I planned on getting gas after the seminar, but realized once I got there that I'd left my wallet at home.

The BC said I had a range of 42 miles, which quite quickly dropped to 36 getting on the freeway. I don't trust the range indicator. The last 20 miles always seems significantly shorter than 20.

Once on the freeway, I lowered the windscreen and stayed low behind it, then got behind a semi and tried to stay in its draft the whole way home. I don't know how much difference it made, but I made it home with 4 miles left on the range.

This morning I drive to the nearest station. The range was 1 when I pulled in. I toyed, momentarily, with the idea of driving around in a circle at the gas station to see if it'd die at 0, or shortly thereafter, but laziness and not tempting fate talked me out of it (mostly laziness).

Does anyone know what happens with the range hits 0? Will it die shortly thereafter, or do you really have another 20 miles? I don't see the point in having a reserve on a bike with a fuel gauge, but now I'm curious.

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post #2 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 1:22 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

On my LT, I think I rode almost 40 miles with --- displayed on the BC. On the GT, about the same. But I wouldn't consider this "the rule" by any means.
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post #3 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 1:56 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Like Joe, I can affirm you can drive on - - -. Done so lots of times. I have run out twice, once when it still showed some miles. The BC is not infallible, but I must say, that in the last few years I have come to rely more and more on the BC. I consider it a sin to fill up if its showing any more than about 30.

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post #4 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 2:04 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My BC does a great job calculating the mileage. I've verified it on many occasions. The miles to go is an entirely different matter. Not realistic at all for me. The gas gauge and warning light are much more of a reliable indicator.

On to the question. Mine will go maybe 10-12 miles after ---. Then it sputters to a stop. You are suddenly reminded just how heavy the bike is and how dependent you are on the engine to move it around.

This one is a big YMMV.

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post #5 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 4:09 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Hi Bob,

It might be useful to know how much fuel you added at the gas station. Subtract that from 6.3 gallons, and you know how much you had left.

I have seen many a "---" on my daily commutes. The most I have ever driven over zero is close to 20 miles, gentle riding, with a 50/50 ratio of freeway and city. I don't recommend it. Nonetheless, I feel very comfortable riding 10 miles past zero. Reset the tripmeter or note the odometer when the miles remaining hits zero.

I believe that on average, 0.6 gallons of fuel remain when the miles remaining hits zero.

It isn't a good idea to run out of fuel. The user manual specifically says not to. Someone recently posted that it could damage your bike.

While typing this, I had another thought. I have noticed that miles remaining drops by 5 mile increments until it hits 20 miles remaining, then it goes to zero. Perhaps the meaning of the "---" display is "less then 20 miles". In other words, 19 miles remaining.

Cheers,

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post #6 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 8:41 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Riding it down that low really isn't good for any fuel injected vehicle. Basically what happens is all the crap at the bottom of the gas tank is delivered to your injectors and you face the real possibility of one or more clogged injectors. Best to fill it up with at least a gallon remaining in the tank.

IMHO of course.

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post #7 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 9:23 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Although I agree that running on empty isn't good for the vehicle,
"all the crap" in the bottom of the tank gets sucked through the filter
before it is delivered to the injector rail,
I think it will clog the filter long before it plugs an injector.

As for myself I've run 20+ miles with --- displayed,
I added 6.19 gallons of fuel once, that's much to close,
but there just wasn't any fuel available.


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post #8 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 9:55 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobnoxous
The BC said I had a range of 42 miles, which quite quickly dropped to 36 getting on the freeway. I don't trust the range indicator.
From what I see, the BC calculates mile to go based on fuel level and MPG at the time, so when you got on the freeway your MPG may have dropped and the BC figured fewer miles.

Since the fuel CAUTION light can be programmed based on float level, I will guess that the EMPTY level can also be set, and that it is set as the float nears the bottom. How much fuel is left after that will probably vary wildly between machines.

Glad you made it!
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post #9 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 9:59 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

[QUOTE=VRodPete]Riding it down that low really isn't good for any fuel injected vehicle. Basically what happens is all the crap at the bottom of the gas tank is delivered to your injectors and you face the real possibility of one or more clogged injectors. /QUOTE]I will disagree, but based on my understanding of course...

The fuel pickup is low in the tank so it can get to the last of the fuel. Since it is a fuel-injected engine, the fuel pump picks up and delivers a lot of fuel to the injectors, but very little is actually injected while the rest goes back to the tank.

So I think all of the crap at the bottom is constantly being sucked, up even with a full tank.

I do try to fill up before the BC hits -- though...
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post #10 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 11:27 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

IMHO, if you're riding around with the BC reading "--" for miles to go, you need to plan your fuel stops better.

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post #11 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 12:46 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I too feel that with the pick-up having to be as low as possible to the bottom, any contaminant would already be in the filter. I liked the old fashion way of lowering the pick-up when the bike started to sputter, but guess those days are over.

I generally get it filled up every 200 miles or so and have ridden it around 325 miles max. Seems I added about 6.X to fill it up.

Only way to really know your bikes MPG and useful range is to ride it to empty and have a little in a spare tank to get you to the nearest fill-up.

I need to stop every 200 miles or so to stretch, get something cold, add fuel and hit the head...... I'm in it for the journey.

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post #12 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 2:57 pm
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Red face Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRodPete
Riding it down that low really isn't good for any fuel injected vehicle. Basically what happens is all the crap at the bottom of the gas tank is delivered to your injectors and you face the real possibility of one or more clogged injectors. Best to fill it up with at least a gallon remaining in the tank.

IMHO of course.
I mean no disrepect, but that would only be true if we didn't have fuel filters.

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post #13 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 3:31 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman
I mean no disrepect, but that would only be true if we didn't have fuel filters.
I wish fuel filters were 100% efficient, but they aren't. Those of you that want to run your tanks dry along with the sediment in the tank, please do so, I don't care if you do or not. I do agree that the fuel filter will catch most of the gunk - but they aren't perfect... really.

My experience with autos is that if you run a tank down a few times on a FI vehicle with a few years on it, you will be getting your injectors cleaned soon. That's all.

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post #14 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 4:32 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Shortly after my "low fuel" light came on the count down began. Shortly after the BC read 0, she sputtered to a stop. I looked back at the display and it read, "Walk Stupid!"

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post #15 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 4:32 pm
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Cool Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My experience with the fuel filter comes from a fill-up with bad fuel. The LT stopped after 10 miles. There was no crap in the tank when I siphoned it down but when I emptied the filter this black, slightly thicker stuff came out. I put it in a jar and as I moved the jar it acted like a cloud. It did not separate.
My conclusion is the filter will catch some very small particles. I do not think we have much to worry about mess in the injector rail.
That's my story.

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post #16 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 7:52 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My one time running down to was crossing Texas/OK. The BC counted down to 10 miles remaining then went to "--". I went about 5 miles before I got to a gas station, and the fill up was just shy of 6 gallons. So I could have squeezed out another 10 or so miles before walking.

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post #17 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 8:44 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I don't think you will get a definitive answer because there is none. Machines and gages will never be true on, from one, to the other.

Personally I rely on my miles traveled more then the BC and the fuel gage. Old habits die hard I guess.

I also would say that unless you are running a fuel additive I would never let it get below a 1/4. I run mine into the Idiot Light on Sea Foam and Marvel gas treatments. Other then that, I top it off pretty regular.

Maybe the way I was brought up but running tanks low is for sure harder on the fuel pump and yes I too believe you can suck dirt past a fuel filter into the injectors.

I have seen the difference that flowed and cleaned injectors make in performance and know they got clogged someway. I proofed it on a live data recorder/fuel controller that showed both injectors, flow, pulse width, open and close, and the affect on AFR. With before and after data side by side.

I wish I knew all the specifics on these injectors. Marren Fuel Injection http://www.injector.com/ would have tested and flowed replacements, and I know they will test, refurbish, and flow your injectors for a reasonable price, on a pretty decent turn around. Not Affiliated, just a satisfied customer.

Run your tank the way you want but rely on miles, not the BC, to keep you from huffen and puffen the LT down the road

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post #18 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 8:54 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I look for gas at 250 miles; my experience at "0" miles remaining will be 1 mile short of the gas station.

Regarding running out of fuel, I understand it's hard on the pump. I would think the fuel acts as a lubricant and/or coolant.

Just my inflated $0.02.

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post #19 of 37 Old Apr 8th, 2009, 11:04 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

On my 06 LT, about the time the BC reads --- is when the fuel light comes on. I've ridden 40 miles like this across the desert and filled 6.1 gals. After reading these responses I'm feeling a little lucky.
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post #20 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2009, 2:35 am Thread Starter
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Thanks for all the feedback. Next time I run it that low (if there's a next time), I'll make sure to note how many gallons I can pump in. I would imagine you cannot get a full 6.3 gallons in. Maybe that idea of running in to sputtering with some gas to pour in would be a fun expirement, but I hate to work my fuel pump like that on purpose.

It's good to know I probably had at least 10 more miles to go. Now I hope that knowledge doesn't make me even more careless.

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post #21 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2009, 6:27 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I know on my 99 LT, my she rest in peace, I could adjust the BC to get a more accurate reading on the gas mileage. It doesn't seem like that can be done on the 05, at least not very obvious. Anyone have any experience with this on an 05 or later model?

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post #22 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2009, 10:44 am
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Talking Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

someone posted a way to get a code number to calibrate the BC on newer years, you should be able to find by doing a search.

My BC once ran down to what I think would have read 5 mi left and when i filled the tank it took 6.3 gal. I understand that the BC factors in driving style and such as well as amount of fuel remaining to give a miles to empty. I have also observed that i get more miles driving at higher RPM's in third gear (the BC puts more in the pot) then I do at the same speed in fourth or fifth. I know both top gears are overdrive ratios and that must be the reason

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post #23 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

VROD Pete is correct, running out of gas is not good. In addition, it plays havoc on the catalytic converter and can mess things up. Last summer, my BC zero reading came up and I rode another 23 miles before finding a station. The tank took 6.2 gallons at the station, so I was basically riding on fumes. Its hard to believe there is much more than a half gallon in the fuel lines and bottom of tank after that register hits a zero reading. After all its only a 6.3 gallon tank.


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post #24 of 37 Old Apr 9th, 2009, 3:54 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Mine goes from 10 to -- . I hit that mark on my way to work one day thinking when I left home I had enough gas to get to the 94 octane at the Sunoco station. I did make it to the station and pumped 6.4 gal into it. I guess I was running on a negative balance. Go figure I was about 10 miles from the station when the BC went to -- In my case it seems to be accurate. YMMV

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post #25 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 10:05 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

About a month ago when I was leaving work for the 26 mile ride home, the BC showed that I had 40 miles worth of fuel. I planned on stopping at a gas station 6 miles from home, so I should have had a 20 mile margin of error to make it to the gas station I was planning on stopping at, although there are plenty of others on the way.

The BC counted down fairly accurately, but after riding 19 miles it showed 15 miles of fuel remaining, and then went to the --.- display while sitting at a set of lights. I had 1 mile to go to the gas station so I took it easy and made it OK.

I was curious to know how much gas was left in the tank, so I filled it up until I could see gas at the base of the filler pipe. I still have the canister so I was careful not to overfill it. My gas receipt shows that I put 6.288 gals in the tank. If the capacity really is just 6.3 gals, then I had had enough fuel for only another half mile.
I now subtract the 20 miles from the BC number when I'm estimating the amount of gas that I have left in the tank.

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post #26 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 1:49 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

To paraphrase Tim Allen................'Never give up........never surrender......."

But ya' might want to keep a pop bottle full of gas in the top trunk...........

Uh................belay that......................
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post #27 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 6:25 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I fearfully noticed yesterday that the BC goes from 10 to flat-line with nothing in the middle. Rode 5 more miles and filled up. That was close enough for me.
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post #28 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 7:48 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

It's interesting that some BCs don't go below 10, and just go to "---". Mine continues to count down. Maybe it's a model/year thing.

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post #29 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 10:21 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Bob, Are you asking this question about the BC on the LT or a GT? Reason I ask is because you show GT in your signature line.

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post #30 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 10:37 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My BC says 147 miles to go after I fill up. I must ride really hard!!! I know I have problems with my fuel gauge sending unit. Although, I did run out of gas on I71 at 243 miles

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post #31 of 37 Old Apr 10th, 2009, 11:41 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My BC (aka POS) is never correct and the gas gauge is always whacked.
With 137 miles left to go I ran out of gas... twice!

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'02 K1200LTE - "The Silver Bullet" SOLD

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tvguy is offline  
post #32 of 37 Old Apr 11th, 2009, 3:11 am Thread Starter
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Bob, Are you asking this question about the BC on the LT or a GT? Reason I ask is because you show GT in your signature line.
I'm on a GT. I was wondering if some of the BCs that don't show anything below 10 were earlier years and/or LTs.

When a government takes over a peopleís economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
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Bob
2007 K1200GT
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post #33 of 37 Old Apr 11th, 2009, 5:40 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

My comments were about my 2008 LT. After showing 15 to go, I didn't notice if it counted down to 10 before changing to nothing because the next time I looked it was --.-

I was out riding yesterday and played safe when it showed 40 miles to go.

Dave

2008 K1200LT Biarritz Blue
2004 K1200RS Capri Blue




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post #34 of 37 Old Apr 11th, 2009, 11:10 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy
My BC (aka POS) is never correct and the gas gauge is always whacked.
With 137 miles left to go I ran out of gas... twice!
It is probably not your BC or gauge that are whacked, it is more likely a bent float mechanism that keeps the float from traveling all the way up and down smoothly, giving a false (high) reading to your BC and the gauge. They are only as good as the information that they get, Garbage In Garbage Out.

Checking and fixing the float has been discussed, others can help more than I. I just offer free advice and opinions at no charge.
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post #35 of 37 Old Apr 15th, 2009, 11:04 am
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

I got caught on a limited access highway yesterday and forgot that I needed fuel. (Just put in new shocks and replaced the radio, so I was on a high) When I remembered that I needed fuel, I switched the trip computer to distance to empty and watched the gauge go from 10 to --. I had about 8 miles to go to get off the highway. I pulled into a gas station and took 6.204 gallons. Plenty of fuel to spare.

I would have to say that my gauge is very accurate.
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post #36 of 37 Old Apr 17th, 2009, 3:48 pm
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Wink Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Ah Yes a Moony!! Very Nice. Probably has a perfectly good King 200 FD and RA in the panel even in these days of glass. I remember it well.

NOTE > Just like flying. Plan your gas stops well!! Its not good to run out LOL

Later Steve


Quote:
Originally Posted by VRodPete
Riding it down that low really isn't good for any fuel injected vehicle. Basically what happens is all the crap at the bottom of the gas tank is delivered to your injectors and you face the real possibility of one or more clogged injectors. Best to fill it up with at least a gallon remaining in the tank.

IMHO of course.
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post #37 of 37 Old Apr 18th, 2009, 4:14 pm
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Re: How many miles will she go when the BC says 0?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRodPete
Riding it down that low really isn't good for any fuel injected vehicle. Basically what happens is all the crap at the bottom of the gas tank is delivered to your injectors and you face the real possibility of one or more clogged injectors. Best to fill it up with at least a gallon remaining in the tank.

IMHO of course.
actually that would only be true if the filter moved up and down with the level of fuel in the tank. since the filter is stationary it always gets what ever is down there. have had many fuel tank out of cars and deisel trucks over the years and have not seen a lot of stuff in the tanks. see more in tanks of off road vehicles- bulldozers, log skidders, etc-. i thinks the real concern is the pump running dry but would probably need to do it often to do any harm. the other concern mentioned was the cat, although it is possible to overheat the cat w' a lean condition you are more likely to damage a cat by over fueling then by running out of fuel.
but unless you loike to push an #800 motorcycle don't run out of gas
john
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