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Low Fuel Level Light - How much Left? Not much!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Fuel Economy' started by Fitchdave, Aug 3, 2007.

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  1. Fitchdave

    Fitchdave Silver Squirell

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    Good Evening to All,

    When I get a new vehicle I like to calculate how much fuel is left in the tank when the low fuel indicator comes on. On most vehicles my experience indicates approx. 1-2 gallons. Knowing this figure helps prevent an out of gas situation in a remote area or at a time when stations are closed.

    Sooo, on the way home from work this evening, the low fuel light flashes. I figure I've got about 40 miles to go to get to my home town gas station where prices are low. Well, I run out of gas on the Interstate after only 25 miles! Was on cruise control doing 65mph, Master warning light on dash comes on, the high temp coolant light comes on the MFD, and speed drops to a steady 53mph.

    6 Bars of energy took me about 2 miles at 53 mph, then up an off ramp at about 25 mph, and then barely moving with 2 Bars (purple by the way) at about 5 mph into a gas station that was a 1/4 mile off the ramp.

    After receiving some fuel, engine started right away, back onto the Interstate. A few miles later the warning lights go out, and after about 10 miles I'm back to 6 Bars. Hopefully no damage done.

    Lesson Learned, get gas RIGHT AWAY when low fuel flashes!

    PS: Have had car 2 weeks, driven a little over 1000 miles and have averaged 47-49 mpg for the first 2 tanks. Very satisfied, best of class quality. I am learning new hybrid driving techniques each day. Looking forward to averaging 55 mph back and forth to work. 70/30 mix of Interstate and rural/city streets. 50 mile trip each way.

    Would like to hear if others have had similar experience running out of gas.

    Regards,
    Dave

    .
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Yeah with the Prius, you can't do the "oh the light's on, I have x litres/gal of fuel left" like you can with other cars.

    Even if you physically had that much fuel left, the computer is stupid and thinks otherwise so it'll shut down when it thinks it's out (whether the tank's physically dry or not is a whole 'nother matter).

    So yeah, just pump when it says Add Fuel.
  3. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver squirell @ Aug 3 2007, 09:07 PM) [snapback]490251[/snapback]</div>

    Welcome to the site and to the Guess Gauge. You just joined the "out of gas club". No permanent damage if you don't make a habit of it.
  4. Fitchdave

    Fitchdave Silver Squirell

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Aug 3 2007, 09:55 PM) [snapback]490270[/snapback]</div>


    Thanks Tideland Prius,

    Another "Programmer" thing! I guess I'll just get used to filling at 2 bars. What happened to the "good ole days" when gas was $.25/gal?



    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(JimN @ Aug 3 2007, 10:05 PM) [snapback]490278[/snapback]</div>


    Hi Jim,

    Thanks, now that I know what I didn't know, I know I won't run out again. What part of So.Jersey? I grew up in Plainfield.

    Dave
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Sometimes I buy gas when I have 3 pips, sometimes when I have 2. I don't think I have ever let it get to one.
  6. Fitchdave

    Fitchdave Silver Squirell

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dogfriend @ Aug 3 2007, 10:11 PM) [snapback]490288[/snapback]</div>

    Now I know how it works.
    Are you satisfied with the HID headlights? They seem too low in alignment on low beam. The dealer says he checked them and says they are within spec? Is there an height adjustment screw accessible?
  7. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver squirell @ Aug 3 2007, 07:34 PM) [snapback]490304[/snapback]</div>

    They seem fine to me. Visibility is good. They have an automatic leveling device which is attached to the rear axle to adjust for loading etc. Its controlled by the Headlight Leveling ECU (no lie)

    There is an adjustment procedure in the service manual:

    [attachmentid=10352]

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  8. oly_57mpg

    oly_57mpg New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver squirell @ Aug 3 2007, 09:07 PM) [snapback]490251[/snapback]</div>

    Yep. I chalk it up to new drivers that are bad at math. They can't figure the product (miles left in the tank) from the number of gallons from the last fill-up and the current miles per gallon. It's easy.

    I think you need to see this thread... Hahahhaha...
  9. 04preius

    04preius New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver squirell @ Aug 3 2007, 08:07 PM) [snapback]490251[/snapback]</div>

  10. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    3 bars=begin planning where and when I'm going to get fuel
    2 bars=get fuel at the next available "favorite brand" of station, even if it means stopping when I don't want to
    1 bar=get fuel IMMEDIATELY, from the NEXT station (even if it's a splash and dash)

    I've never seen the low fuel indication and am doing my best to keep it that way!
  11. PA Prius

    PA Prius Member

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    I'm curious, how many gallons did it take to fill your tank after running out? We almost always wait until the last pip starts to flash before filling, but still only get around 8 gallons in the tank. We fill on the slowest automatic setting on the nozzle and then top it off another half gallon after the automatic shut off. So I am wondering whether you actually got to add 11.9 gallons when filling?

    PA P
  12. Fitchdave

    Fitchdave Silver Squirell

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PA Prius @ Aug 8 2007, 04:51 PM) [snapback]492615[/snapback]</div>


    Hi,
    When I coasted into the off ramp gas station, I got 1 Gallon, then proceeded to my favorite station about 20 miles further, where it took 10.904 Gal. So I think the engine stopped while there was still about 1/2 Gal of fuel left.
  13. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver squirell @ Aug 3 2007, 10:10 PM) [snapback]490280[/snapback]</div>

    Cinnaminson
  14. forman

    forman Junior Member

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    Well I did it today also. Making a long story short.
    After watching the last bar flash for 40+ miles the Warning light & a few others came on. I pulled over off the freeway, looked at the owners guide. Called AAA, got 2.5 gallons of gas, went to the nearest gas station added 9.2 more gallons. BTW, I set the pump for auto fill/stop and when it stops, that's it.
    That tank was about 450 miles before the warning light went on.
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    wow.. I've done 70-80kms on the blinking bar (still didn't die on me... knock on wood).
  16. darlenegalik

    darlenegalik New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(forman @ Aug 14 2007, 10:33 PM) [snapback]495823[/snapback]</div>

    I also ran out of gas (on the Garden State Parkway in NJ) - but I just tried to go too far with that blinking bar. I must have gone about 45 miles from the beginning of the blink. But when the big red triangle with the exclamation point came on, and the car when to electric only, I drove approx. 2 miles to the next rest stop and got $3 of gas to get me to work. (Great expression on the station attendant when I asked for that much gas- he immediately glanced down to the 'Hybrid' logo).

    And to JimN - I work in Lakewood, so I've probably passed your Prius on the Parkway many times... Power to the Prii - !
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    To do a gasoline energy test, I have to run out of gas with a 1 gallon spare can in the trunk. So I've run out of gas over half a dozen times and typically:

    130 miles - longest run on flash
    ~60-70 miles - most frequent
    ~30 miles - shortest, very hot day

    My estimate is there is about 1.1 gallons. But if I wanted to stretch it, I'd drop my speed to 18 mph and be very surprised if I didn't get at least 100 miles down the road. Even at 24 mph, I'd expect to get at least 80 miles and use cruise control to hold it.

    Bob Wilson
  18. McShemp

    McShemp New Member

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    "6 Bars of energy took me about 2 miles at 53 mph, then up an off ramp at about 25 mph, and then barely moving with 2 Bars (purple by the way) at about 5 mph into a gas station that was a 1/4 mile off the ramp.

    I don't believe eight bars will take you two miles at 20-25 mph much less @ 53 mph.
  19. tekn0wledg

    tekn0wledg New Member

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    This has really been quite informative. As a relatively new Prius owner, I am still trying to figure out the Guess Guage.

    I have been disappointed at how inaccurate the PIP bar seems anyway.... My calculations show I should have 8-9 bars, but it still shows 10. Then after it starts dropping it goes down more quickly that my calcs show.

    For example, there are 10 bars, so each bar represents 1.19 gallons, roughly. After having burned 3gal of fuel I should show 6.43 bars [which we'll say is six] but it actually shows 7. So, it's not an exact readout, which is frustrating to me.

    It gets particularly frustrating as I approach one or two PIPs. My calcs show I can go another 200+ miles, but then I'm sitting on one bar.... So I get gas at my earliest convenience, knowing full well I shouldn't need it for another day or two.

    The whole gas bladder thing is just confusing and frustrating. I'm too scared to let my gas light come on because I don't want to run out of fuel on the road. I wish we had a static idea of how much fuel we had left from the car itself, which we could compare with our own calculations for confirmation.

    That is my only frustrating with the Prius. Aside from that, it's the world's best car! :D

    I guess I have to use the tactics that others have suggested here and use the added gallons on last fillup as a basis for how far you can go when multiplied by your current MPG.
  20. Sailfish11

    Sailfish11 New Member

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    Just last weekend I let it go about 30 miles after it started blinking, with no problems. (I'm cheap and wanted to get over the NY border into MA where the gas is much cheaper) I was on the interstate and didn't slow down at all. Just kept goin'.
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