What To Do If Your Car’s Low Fuel Warning Light is On

An illuminated dashboard light shaped like a fuel pump lets you know that your fuel tank is nearing empty.
Written by Melissa Harvey
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Dec 30, 2022
If your dashboard low fuel warning light comes on, you’ve better drive to a gas station—you’ve only got about a gallon of fuel left!
While it can be tempting to squeeze every drop of fuel out of your tank when the empty light comes on, you really shouldn’t let your gas tank sit lower than a quarter full, which is well before your low fuel light comes on. 
Car insurance
comparison and broker app
is here to answer all of your dashboard light questions. In this article, we’ll explain why you should keep your fuel tank topped off instead of  limping along on empty. 

What is the low fuel warning light on my dashboard?

The yellow gas pump next to the “E” on your fuel gauge turns on when you’re down to your last gallon or two of fuel. While the exact amount left in your tank and
how far you can drive on low fuel
varies by car, you should plan on filling up as soon as possible

What does the low fuel warning light mean?

The low fuel warning light has one purpose: to tell drivers that their fuel tanks are running low. If the yellow fuel pump symbol turns on, you need to drive to a gas station and fill up your fuel tank
Your car’s driveability isn’t affected, and you can still drive safely. Just don’t plan on going for too long—you don’t want to find yourself out of fuel and stranded. 
Aside from the risk of running entirely out of gas, you shouldn’t make a habit of driving with the low fuel warning light on. Your fuel pump needs fuel to act as a lubricant and coolant. When you run low (below a quarter tank), the fuel pump is no longer submerged, and you risk wearing it out faster. 
Replacing your
fuel pump
can cost between $220 and $1,065, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Refilling your fuel tank before it dips below the last quarter, will help extend the life of your fuel pump.  

How to turn off your dashboard low fuel warning light

Topping off your fuel tank at the nearest gas station should turn off your low fuel warning light. 
If your light stays on even when your fuel tank is full, your
fuel level sensor
could need servicing. Try using a higher grade fuel. Lower grades have more impurities or could contain traces of water that may damage your sensor.
If you are still having problems, it would be a good idea to
take your car to a mechanic
. Your mechanic will inspect your sensor for problems and either clean or replace the sensor. Your mechanic also may check your fuel tank for defects. 
Replacing your fuel sensor could cost between $200 and $300, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. 

How to find affordable car insurance

You shouldn’t take a chance on that last gallon in your tank, just like you shouldn’t take chance on getting the best car insurance rates from the first company you call. Luckily, shopping for
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Owning a car is expensive—and car insurance is a major expense. With Jerry’s help, you could save about $800+ a year on your car insurance. 
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