CX-3 Low Fuel Warning & Distance to Empty - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-30-2015, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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CX-3 Low Fuel Warning & Distance to Empty

So my low fuel warning light illuminated for the first time (bottom right hand corner in attached picture) when I had a range just under 50km and 2 bars left on the gauge. I was a bit worried for awhile since I had travelled over 700km on one tank of unleaded fuel without it coming on. Now I am wondering how low I can drive the CX3 before running out of gas. The owner's manual states when the fuel light illuminates there will be 9 litres of gas so in theory you should be able to drive well over 100km with this light on assuming 6.1 litres per 100km but my range is saying I only have 44km left. Could I keep drive when the number passes beyond 0?

Has anybody else tested the limits of the CX3 fuel gauge past the zero value on the range indicator? I am so nervous about running out I am carring a can of gas in my car at the moment just in case and with the iStop feature how would you know it has run out if you are waiting at the traffic lights and then the car does not start.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-30-2015, 06:19 AM
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just to say i was able to push my cx 3 about 15 miles on 0 bars b4 i was really thinking i was empty and filled up at the pump for 11.5 gallons (11.9 USgal tank). this will vary of course but i do not recommend to ever run ur tank that low. U run the risk of sucking up sediment and eventually gunk as time goes on and clog the fuel filter and possibly injectors down the road which is a somewhat costly repair. I would mentioned also if it ever gets really cold in Australia (20 degrees F) runnng the tank that low will introduce moisture buildup and will slowly cause corrosion in the fuel system. im not very familiar with how low temps get there.

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post #3 of 15 Old 11-30-2015, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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That is good to know you can still drive the CX3 on 0 bars which means you really need to get to a fuel station without too much delay possibly within 20 minutes. 11.9 gallons would mean you are driving the AWD version I assume with the FWD with slightly bigger tank capacity. There are almost no place in Australia that will experience extreme cold of 20 degree Fahrenheit for prolonged periods but I can see what you mean about not draining the tank dry and its impact on the fuel system.

It is interesting to read the owners manual says there can be some incosistances between the expected range and fuel remaining when driving the car for the first time or after a reset of the fuel consumption values which could make the available range less or more depending if you were driving on the highway or city areas.

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post #4 of 15 Old 11-30-2015, 05:42 PM
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On an 11.9 gal tank, mine hits 0 bars and 0 "range" at 10 gallons consumed. That leaves 50-60 miles range left in the tank.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-01-2015, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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So I decided to fill up my CX3 today with only 1 bar and 15km left on the range indicator and it drank 44 liters (11.6 gallons) of gas. My FWD has a 48 Liters (12.7 gallons) tank. So I am guessing I may have had another 40km or so maybe less with city driving.

I am thinking the fuel capacity might be a little more than Mazda official figures as when the gas pump clicked to tell me I had a full tank, I pulled the nozzle out and slowly filled the neck pipe of the tank for another 2 litres or half a gallon in U.S measurements.

Another way to determine if you are very close to empty is if a "Check Engine Light" illuminates in the instrument panel along with a low fuel warning light according to the owners manual. Has anyone seen the Check Engine Light illuminate when driving on a near empty tank? I am not really a risk taker so unless I am in area where I don't mind running out of fuel I don't think I will be testing the limits of that warning feature anytime soon.
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-01-2015, 09:59 PM
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I had an interesting experience with this driving down to Toronto the day after we picked up our CX-3. We took a wrong turn during our road trip, middle of the night, and in what looked like a suburb, with the fuel light on and about 14kms of range left.

We eventually found our way around and to a gas station, where we filled up with 5kms left...and by "filled up," I mean we put in about $40 of gas, which going by the 48 litres of capacity, and the $1ish price per litre of gas in Ontario, meant we still had about 8 litres left to drive on.

It's been a struggle reassuring my gf that she doesn't have to worry when the light comes on and she has limited range left. My only concern is that the car doesn't "learn" based on your mileage and driving habits, and keeps going low when there's well over 50kms or more left in the tank.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-02-2015, 04:23 AM
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The light is fixed and will always come on at the same time (on level ground) but the miles to empty will vary depending on the driving style at the time. You need to note the mileage at the time the light comes on and after say three times, you can be confident about how much is left. You can then establish a reasonable “miles to empty”.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-03-2015, 09:40 AM
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Bottom line,on all our cars,you fill upnat a quarter left,never gobdo low that a light goes on,its bad for fuel pumps
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-03-2015, 11:39 AM
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My experience has been... There is approximately 10 percent of the listed gas tank capacity remaining when the low fuel indicator light illuminates. However, one should not try to see how low can I go. If you run the fuel tank almost or fully dry, then I believe the fuel system can ingest potentially harmful products. It is best to fill the tank before reaching or at the low fuel indicator light.

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post #10 of 15 Old 12-03-2015, 04:51 PM
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There's no harm in running your fuel tank low. Fuel pumps are cooled by the fuel moving through the internals of the pump. Further, the fuel pickup is at the bottom of the tank, which means whatever crud or debris might be in the tank will get picked up regardless of fuel level. Besides, that's what the fuel filter and other filter elements/screens are for.

Running your tank dry is another matter.
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