What Are the DTE Calculations on a Ford F150?

An important skill that has proved to be very useful to drivers is being able to tell exactly when the fuel tank will get empty and how long you will manage with the available resource. It is even more important for those who spend most of their time driving or working devotedly using a pickup truck. That is where the DTE calculation comes in. 

DTE calculation is basically a mechanism that every vehicle uses to determine the information on fuel usage. This calculation helps you estimate the distance you can cover before you completely run out of fuel. This information will come in handy as you plan for your future fuel needs and price estimates.

For beginners with barely any clue on how the calculation is computed, the factors in play, and other bare basics, this is the article for you. It explores most of the questions that you may have on the topic and hopefully, help you understand more about the same.

What are the DTE Calculations on a Ford F150?

Not understanding the basics of your vehicle’s fuel consumption is a problem for many a driver. You may easily find yourself paying for more fuel without the thought that there may be an underlying problem with your vehicle. Hence, understanding DTE calculation is crucial. 

DTE calculation stands for Distance to Empty calculation. Before your fuel tank runs completely empty, there is usually some distance you will be able to cover—that is essentially what the DTE calculation is all about.

For starters, you need to first ensure that you have the running average fuel economy RAFE value—confirm if necessary since this RAFE value tends to get depleted due to battery dying. If yours is depleted, you cannot use it for DTE calculation. If that is the case, the value is set to default. 

To calculate DTE, you will need a few parameters. These include the size of the fuel tank, the percentage level of the fuel, and the RAFE value. With these values, DTE is then calculated with the formula below.

DTE = size of fuel tank x percentage of fuel level x RAFE

Typically, for a more accurate DTE calculation, you will need various data points. In theory, it will only consider one data point. You will need a collection of different data types to make a more accurate estimation of the remaining distance before the whole tank gets empty.

The DTE distance is subject to adjustment considering some factors. These include considering the current fuel level, and average mileage, and then a specific time period is fixed for the calculation. 

What Is the Accuracy of DTE Calculation?

Given that DTE calculation takes into account various data points, it makes it close to an accurate guess of the distance in question. Therefore, with DTE calculation, the distance you can go before the tank gets empty is mostly accurate. However, there is a loophole. 

Firstly, the entire DTE calculation is determined by the manufacturer’s way of calculating it. Also, you may notice that sometimes, the manufacturer of two different models of vehicles does not apply the same DTE calculation for both. The variation may be significant enough to question the accuracy of the DTE calculation in each. 

With that in mind, drivers are advised not to completely trust the vehicle they are using to give an exact DTE calculation. The factors are likely to vary depending on the make and model. Another thing to keep in mind is that your vehicle will often give a slightly different DTE calculation when you start it with a full tank. 


Do all vehicles use DTE calculation? 

The other side of the story is that not all vehicles use DTE calculation. If you own such cars, the only option will be to simply assume the DTE distance. To make a near-accurate assumption, you will need two main factors. That is the gas mileage figure and tour the current gas amount in the tank. 

Is it possible to manually reset the DTE calculator for better accuracy? 

This may be possible, but the manual reset is sometimes not available for some models. Also, it is not a good idea to reset it. This is because all electronics tend to resettle when the battery is turned off. Moreover, resetting may just work for a certain value, and not entirely. Resetting the average fuel economy will only make the DTE distance be calculated inaccurately. 


Understanding DTE calculation is very useful to any driver. This will help you properly estimate the distance you have left before you completely run out of fuel. Thankfully, it is not a complicated process. If your car allows it, then you just need the required parameters and calculate them.