What Does After Refuel Mean? The Truth Behind The Message

What does after refuel mean? How do drivers know when to refuel? Is there a clear indication of this? 

If these questions keep popping up in your mind, you’re in the right post. Also, we will tell you why the gas light and check engine light are still on after refueling and how to solve them. Keep scrolling for more details.

What Does After Refuel Mean?

After Refuel refers to fuel consumption after a reset. After refueling, the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) or the check engine light will turn on briefly after the engine is started. 

What does after refuel mean

What does “after refuel” indicate in your car? – Image source: Endurance

After Refueling Definition

Regarding the after refueling meaning, it will reset the “Average mpg” calculation every time you refill. This is a lifetime-spanning mpg estimate that only resets when you select to do so from the dashboard menu. 

If you have never reset your car’s battery, this figure is basically your average mpg over the time you’ve got the vehicle.

Because of this, based on how frequently you refill, it will let you know the accurate measurement of your gasoline for the last week or recently.

Normally, the check engine light will light up for a few seconds after refueling and then turn off. If you see it’s still glowing, it’s probably malfunctioning.

When Do You Need To Refuel?

If you are a regular driver, you probably know that nothing makes driving more stressful than getting trapped in traffic on the road. It will be worse when your car’s fuel level warning light flashes. This is even especially true for inexperienced drivers. 

Obviously, the ideal approach to stay out of this problem is to fill up when you notice that the gasoline indicator points to a low level. This includes refueling at 4/5 level for most cars before the terrible “you’re nearly out of fuel” alarm flashes.

How Far Can You Still Drive After The Refuel Warning Appears?

Take the length of road you have traveled after your previous refuel and divide it by the amount of fuel the gas station attendant has poured simultaneously.

Assume you traveled 400 kilometers before stopping for petrol and that it required 40 liters to refill the car. Then the response is 10.

It indicates that your car typically drives 10 kilometers for each liter of petrol. You can repeat this calculation across multiple refuels to gather additional data while driving. The value after several measures will be more precise.

Now that you know how often your automobile needs petrol. You can calculate how much gasoline is still in the vehicle when the fuel level warning light comes on. Whenever you see this warning signal, all you should do is start your engine. 

Recall how much petrol was added to your car on the most recent recharge. To get the result, take the gasoline tank capacity shown in the owner’s handbook of your car minus the amount of gasoline left over.

You will also obtain a more reliable result if you compute this after repeatedly seeing it.

In this instance, both the fuel capacity and the fuel usage (10 km/l) are known to you (10 liters). Using these two numbers, you may calculate that your automobile will continue to run for an additional 100 kilometers until the fuel caution light comes on.

The “After Refueling” Lexus meaning or in any other cars stays the same, so you can apply this formula to them all.

Check engine light turns on after refueling

Check engine light turns on after refueling – Image source: Top Gear Philippines

Why Is My Gas Light On After Refueling?

Worn-Out, Broken Variable Resistor

A variable resistor comprises a steel needle and a board connection. Rust, over time, can cause the tiny metal traces around the needle to be worn out and broken. Not only may the corrosion trigger this deterioration, but both inexpensive fuel and toxic gasoline additives could be the reasons.

To deliver accurate measurements to the fuel gauge, the wires on the needle must hit the resistance board. However, this is impossible if the corrosion on the cables is too severe.

Broken Float Indicator

It’s possible that the float sensor is broken and isn’t functioning properly with other components. The fuel gauge in the dash menu may receive inaccurate readings when some parts of the fuel level sensor or the touch screen are not working or broken.

Fuel Gauge Not Working

The fuel gauge sometimes has a failure rather than the detector in the gasoline reservoir. The sensor in the gasoline tank is programmed first to provide information to the fuel gauge. 

Yet, if the fuel level light still flashes even when your car is full of gas, it may have an issue with the gauge that has to be diagnosed by a mechanic.

Blockage Of The Fuel Tank Vent Hole

A small air hole is located at the top of the gasoline tank. In some cases, this opening could get plugged, which might harm the fiberglass reservoir. 

This tank may shrink due to a closed vent hole, which may result in the metal needle moving over the resistor panel being bent. As a result, the sensor won’t be able to provide the fuel gauge with the correct values.

When do you need to refuel

When do you need to refuel? – Image source: Daily Express

How To Fix The Problem?

The broken float sensor and variable resistor need repair or replacement immediately to avoid more serious damage. Besides, you can tell when a gas cap needs to be replaced by checking it. 

A gas cap may occasionally be defective even when it is fastened. If you frequently have your car serviced, your technician can tell you once there is an issue with your cap and whether it needs to be changed. Here are several indicators that it’s time to replace your gas cap:

  • The smell of gas in the vehicle
  • Low fuel efficiency
  • A distinct color over the fuel tank’s edge
  • Unfastened/Over Fastened or broken gas cap

Why Check Engine Light Still Comes On After Refueling? How To Fix?

Loose/Over Tighten Gas Cap

If you keep your engine on while taking the gas cap off, the car may detect a pressure decrease in your fuel tank and turn on the check engine sign.

The gas cap is really important. Its tasks involve avoiding the entry of debris that can combine with gasoline. Besides, it can ensure no fuel leak from the vehicle and maintain a high fuel economy by avoiding gas vapor leaks. When gasoline spills out of the fuel tank, there is a high chance of fire.

If you don’t properly fasten the gas cap after refueling, or the lid does not click after you close it, the check engine light may turn on. After pumping fuel, if you detect this problem, inspect and fasten the cap right away. In case it still doesn’t click, it’ll be best to change it.

When a gas cap is properly tightened, it will have click sounds. Although it is recommended that drivers click at least three times, the exact number of times does not really matter. The objective is to have at least one click.

The gas cap might also be overtightened, particularly if you don’t stop after only one click. It is suggested that you shouldn’t twist the gas cap too tight since it might cause the gasket to degrade.

Broken Gasket 

Gas vapor cannot escape because of the blown head gasket above the cap. Additionally, it prevents fuel from entering the tank.

Drivers can no longer depend on their gas cap’s sealing capability if the gasket on it is damaged becuase leaks and the entrance of dust or debris won’t be prevented. The check engine light can turn on as a result of this. Thus, drivers should change the gas cap to resolve this issue.

Broken Vacuum Line

A vacuum is transmitted from the manifolds to the desired location via a tube known as a vacuum hose. The different automobile compartments all employ vacuum lines. 

They come in various shapes and sizes, with interior diameters that are typically smaller than outside diameters and construction materials that vary.

Vacuum hoses commonly consist of rubber, which wears out quickly and results in a vacuum leakage. It suggests that the amount of fuel is reaching the exhaust pipe even though the injectors are correctly operating and supplying gasoline to the cylinders. 

As the gasoline is not being burned, this might harm your catalytic converter.

Replacing a broken vacuum hose will not be difficult if you get the diameter size. However, you can go to the auto repair or dealer so that the mechanics can assist you.


What does after refuel mean? It refers to fuel consumption after a reset. After refueling, the malfunction indicator lamp and the check engine light will turn on a few seconds after the engine is started. 

If these lights still remain on, there may be some damage. You need to replace damaged parts if required. We hope you found this article useful. See you in the next posts!

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