Jackson Browne not withstanding, I've often wondered just how far I can drive when my gas gauge gives me a beep and the little yellow light comes on. I've often wondered if there is a standard amount of gas left in the tank or if it varies from model to model. I'll tell you this much; it can vary a lot.

Some cars actually give you quite a bit of warning before you run out of gas. The Nissan Altima has enough gas left in the tank to take you an additional 100 miles while the vehicle with the least range is the Chevy Silverado which will only take you another 25 miles or so.

Wouldn't it be nice if that kind of information was included in your owner's manual. I doubt that the information is there, but there is a place where you can find out just how far you can drive your vehicle before you actually run out of gas. The site is called Your Mechanic and they have a guide to many of the more popular cars and an estimate of the amount of gas you have left in your tank when the "empty" light comes on.

You'll find an easy-to-use chart HERE

By the way, the old thing about running out of gas can ruin your car is partially true. The reason is that, once your tank gets low, all the dirt and sediment that has settled in your gas tank can foul your engine. That, in turn, can cause damage to the catalytic converter which will have to be repaired or replaced.

Next time your fuel light comes on, you'll have at least a rough idea just how far you can go before you're stranded at the side of the road.