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Cadillac CTS DI FE3 PDQ Crystal Red/Ebony
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Discussion Starter #1
how many more miles after the low fuel alert

in terms of city, highway, cityhighway mix

or there is a reading?
 

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2015 ATS 3.6 RWD Premium
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502 Posts
Look at the DIC and see what it indicates your 'Range' is for the current fuel consumption. The computer accuracy is not bad if you reset the DIC data during every fuel up. You will usually have a 1.5 to 2.0 gal reserve. No one can really answer your question unless they know the driving conditions you're in (i.e., speed; traffic, road, and weather conditions; A/C use; etc.).
 

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08 White Diamond CTS DI RWD FE2 all options
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2,541 Posts
Be very careful. If you get "low fuel" warning you may have as little as 1 gallon left. You run out of gas quicker than you think. I usually try to refuel with needle above 1/4 of tank. Just to be on the safe side….

And as other said: it depends on driving conditions, you doing up hill, downhill, level road….
 

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CTS 08
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302 Posts
Look at the DIC and see what it indicates your 'Range' is for the current fuel consumption. The computer accuracy is not bad if you reset the DIC data during every fuel up. You will usually have a 1.5 to 2.0 gal reserve. No one can really answer your question unless they know the driving conditions you're in (i.e., speed; traffic, road, and weather conditions; A/C use; etc.).
Doesn't work. When the low fuel warning is on, the range automatically displays "Low Range"
 

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2014 ATS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2016 Corvette Z06, 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD Diesel
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2,911 Posts
Southern will probably add some more info to this thread also. I remember he ran into an issue when parked on an incline that the car wouldn't pick up fuel even when there was quite a bit left in the tank. I never let mine run too low for this reason plus I imagine that the high pressure pump on the DI engine would be most unhappy pumping a mixture of fuel and vapor.
 

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2009 CTS DI AWD FE2 CRYSTAL RED TINTCOAT/LIGHT TITANIUM
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295 Posts
There is another reason to not let your fuel run down too low and that is because the fuel itself acts as a coolant for the fuel pump. Consistently running the tank to near empty can and has caused premature pump failures.
My feeling on gas tank 'reserves' is that it's there for emergencies only. Whatever warning system is present is there to basically tell folks that don't pay attention otherwise, 'Hey, dumbass, get gas!' :thepan:
 

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2008 Cadillac CTS DI AWD Thunder Gray Chromaflair/Ebony
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798 Posts
See...I think you are looking at this from the wrong perspective. Why would someone continually fill the gas tank whenever it get down to 1/2 way unless they are retired and have time to waste?

I usually wait until the light comes on, but when it does, I take it seriously and get gas almost immediately. Too much other things to do with those 10 minutes of my life.
 

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2008 DTS LUX III - Gold Mist traded for 2004 Tbird
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1,511 Posts
I understand where yates is coming from. I am retired but I remember those balls to the wall days.

Here was my issue.
The gas tank in the CTS is what is called a "saddle" tank. The old tanks used to be behind the rear axle, the tanks were just large rectangular tanks that might have been 36"x30"x10". BUT. After a few Pintos exploded after being hit in the butt, the gas tanks were moved in front of the rear axle.
Pretty much the same tank on FWD cars.....just in front of the axle. But on RWD.......there is the annoying little detail of the drive shaft. So they had to in essence, build two tanks, one on each side of the drive shaft. They also have a scheme to "redistribute" gas from one side to the other. The only person around here that knows exactly how this is done is Ewill3rd. He works on them.

What happened to me was that I had between 3 and 4.7 gallons of gas left and went up a hill in PA. Now this wasn't a Colorado mountain and the hill was only about a 1/2 mile long, on a state Highway (PA S18)but all the gas apparently got on the side that did not have the pickup. So, the car bucked and acted very much like the ignition was being turned off and on and finally stopped. I thought for sure it was a spark problem. Me and the road assistance guy could see that there was gas in the car. The gauge showed about 1/8 tank and there had been no low gas light. It never crossed his mind to dump a couple of gallons in, that "obviously" was not the problem. However when they put it on the flat bed and swished it around for 30 miles to the local Dealership in Wilkes Barre.......it started up.

They could find nothing wrong.

They advised me to never drive in the mountains with less than 1/4 tank....and a half tank would be better.
I found that to be unacceptable on the trip back home, down the Endless mountains in PA, into the appalachians, and into the north GA mountains........before I got to the flatland. Filling up every 150 miles. Sheese.
What would happen if it happened at night, out of range of Onstar? I paid $43000 for this?

I only found one other CTS that had ever done something like this, but as Cadillac said "It could happen".
Flint Mich Tech assistance told my Florida Shop Super that it was "normal" and "could" happen again.
I was willing to accept a shotgun approach where they replaced everything in the gas delivery system, but Cadillac would not authorize that.
So,I don't have my beloved CTS anymore.
But they told me, that the reserve was <> 1.7 gallons after the gauge shows empty.

My DTS, being FWD, has a large flat gas tank and cannot have the problem of the CTS. But of course, 99.9% of the CTS' will never have this problem either.

And when things are working normally, there is a "well" in the tank where the first fuel pump is located. It sits in a couple of cups of gasoline. So it runs relatively cool.

On the flat, I never had a problem.
 

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08 CTS RWD with all options
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178 Posts
I had about 40 miles left in my fuel range when it turns to low range, then few miles later the DIC fuel warning rang and "low range" flashed, I filled the car from the nearest gas station with only 15.5 gallons. I've filled the tank right after the Warning bell and "low range" flashing few times and every time the average fuel filled was about 15.5 gallons.
So I would say when I hear the DIC fuel warning bell, my 08 CTS tank has about 2.5 gallons left.
Now I drive the car about 20 to 30 more miles after the warning bell before fill up, and I fill on average 17 gallons, the fuel tank capacity is 18 gallons. Put in mind that I drive 20% city/ 80% freeway, and I live in California with no up or down hill driving.
Also it depends on your driving habit and the road conditions
 

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2009 CTS
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34 Posts
Most cars give a low fuel warning between 25 to 50 miles to empty but you windup with about a 3 Gal reserve. Best advice is when "low fuel" is indicated get fuel ASAP. as Pogo said "To be fore-armed is to be fore-warned and to be fore-warned is to be half an octopus"
 

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Cadillac
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I had about 40 miles left in my fuel range when it turns to low range, then few miles later the DIC fuel warning rang and "low range" flashed, I filled the car from the nearest gas station with only 15.5 gallons. I've filled the tank right after the Warning bell and "low range" flashing few times and every time the average fuel filled was about 15.5 gallons.
So I would say when I hear the DIC fuel warning bell, my 08 CTS tank has about 2.5 gallons left.
Now I drive the car about 20 to 30 more miles after the warning bell before fill up, and I fill on average 17 gallons, the fuel tank capacity is 18 gallons. Put in mind that I drive 20% city/ 80% freeway, and I live in California with no up or down hill driving.
Also it depends on your driving habit and the road conditions
Same here!
 

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2010 CTS-4 3.6 & 2008 SRX-4 V6
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I always assumed 2 gallons once the DIC switched to "low range" - but I have never received a chime or a warning. I tend to proactively add fuel at 1/4 tank - that gives me a couple of days to work fueling into my schedule and I never worry about having to drive like a nanny to protect declining reserves.
 

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2019 CTS
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2,898 Posts
There is also the old story of there being junk in the bottom of the tank and if you run too low, you start to suck that up into the injectors. I don't know is water and sediment are problems any more but if there is a chance, it would be an additional reason to fill up early.
 

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2014 SRX Premium w/20" chrome
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I have never received a chime or a warning. I tend to proactively add fuel at 1/4 tank - that gives me a couple of days to work fueling into my schedule and I never worry about having to drive like a nanny to protect declining reserves.
I agree. I can't remember when I've ever had a low fuel warning. I just don't feel comfortable letting my fuel continuously run low. Being a former pilot I take my fuel gauge(s) very serious. I don't let the car get below 1/4 tank. Personally, I just don't want to get into a possible situation where I may not have a gas station within my range, or suddenly find myself in a traffic jam with a low fuel warning. Plus, I'm not very fond of sucking fuel from the bottom of the tank.
 

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2009 CTS DI AWD FE2 CRYSTAL RED TINTCOAT/LIGHT TITANIUM
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295 Posts
I agree. I can't remember when I've ever had a low fuel warning. I just don't feel comfortable letting my fuel continuously run low. Being a former pilot I take my fuel gauge(s) very serious. I don't let the car get below 1/4 tank. Personally, I just don't want to get into a possible situation where I may not have a gas station within my range, or suddenly find myself in a traffic jam with a low fuel warning. Plus, I'm not very fond of sucking fuel from the bottom of the tank.
Amen to that - 'Nuff said. :horse:
 

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Cadillac
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There is also the old story of there being junk in the bottom of the tank and if you run too low, you start to suck that up into the injectors. I don't know is water and sediment are problems any more but if there is a chance, it would be an additional reason to fill up early.
Just to correct a mis-perception... all fuel pumps are mounted to suck from the very bottom of the tank. The fuel level doesn't affect where it picks up from and the pumps have a filter sock mounted to them which act as the primary filter. The inline fuel further down the line acts as a secondary filter and is the replaceable version.

My experience on the 17 gallon (approx) advertised tank capacity is the fuel fill light comes on at about the 2 gallon mark so fill up within 30-34 miles. Not intentionally but I've driven it down low enough that it required 16.7 gallons of fuel.
 

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08 CTS RWD with all options
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