Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by bwilson4web, Jun 26, 2009.
Miss me yet?
Every motorcycle I've ever had has had a reserve tank. You run out, flip the switch, and head for a station. THAT would be a good reminder that it's time to fill up your Prius- within the next 49 miles, anyway...
If you can't read a gas guage on a car that has the range of a Prius, often enough to keep it from running out of gas, you need to stop driving. Anyone that lacking in their abilitry to observe and respond to the world around them is too dangerous to have a drivers license. So stop driving immediately before you kill someone. We don't allow babies to play with razor blades, for similar reasons. It just makes good sense.
It doesn't need a reserve tank or ability to run EV after you run out of gas. What it needs is a low fuel warning light that is at least as visible as the average car instead of that very faint blinking monochrome cursor.
How about a yellow icon with the with a graphic of a gas pump like most modern cars have? It's not as if there is no place to put that.
How about the color changing to red or amber when you get to the last bar?
It is much easier to miss dangerously low fuel levels in the Prius than any other car I have had that was built in the last 10 years.
With the 2 USG reserve already in the tank, that adds up to 11.5 gallons. With some allowance for unusable fuel which is normally impossible to drain from the tank, that seems about right.
The most frequent cause of a car by the side of the road is running out of gas. It is the most frequent help call for roadside assistance. This reality keeps AAA and roadside assistance in business.
Our 2003 Prius fuel gauge has been flashing since yesterday evening. So this morning, I drove it to my favorite gas station and filled a 1 gallon spare can in the trunk of the car. I'm deliberately running my car out of gas.
When the last of the gas is gone, I'll check the ECU codes. Then I'll count restarts until the car no long restarts and record the code that means it won't try again.
Next, I'll disconnect the 12 VDC battery and add 1 gallon to the tank. I'll reconnect the 12 VDC battery, check the codes, and try to start the car. If this works, we will have a way to avoid towing the NHW11 to the dealer if it runs out of gas.
Then I'll get another gallon of gas and start the next test. The next test will see to what extent the Graham scanner can reset the codes and avoid a tow.
The final test will see if the Tc signal can be used to clear the code too. This has the advantage of not having to disconnect the 12 VDC battery or having to own a Graham scanner to avoid a tow.
Once this series is done, I'll replicate the same fuel exhaustion tests with our ZVW30, the 2010 Prius. Again, I'm trying to find ways to run out of gas and avoid having to be towed to the dealer.
So does anyone have a problem with these tests?
Excellent, So Then you'd be a prime candidate to buy my 'Cattle Prod In the Drivers Seat', Low Fuel Alert System ! I've been 'refining it'. It begins when the gauge gets below 1/2 tank with 'warnings' that gain in intensity, and increase in frequency until the tank is refilled above the 1/2 full level. I guarantee that no one who has it installed ever runs outta gas again ! It has the added benefit that should your heart begins to beat abnormally, it'll work equally well as a defibulator. It helps keep drivers who're prone to falling asleep, alert and focused too. This may be the greatest automotive advance since the hybrid drive system itself. I'm just waiting on the patent.
What is faint about the blinking monochrome curser? My 73 year old eyes have no problem at all in seeing it and knowing what I need to do.
Maybe your display illumination needs to be turned up higher!
I didn't say it needed anything EXTRAORDINARY! Just similar to most cars that do have a dedicated yellow gas warning light. Why are you even defending this reduction of functionality?
It was dumb for Toyota to have a low fuel warning less visible than the norm.
I didn't say it was impossible to see it, but it is needlessly obscure.
You don't need to get sarcastic.
I ran out of gas in my Ford Focus. She ran like trash then stalled and wouldn't start. I'm confused. How is this different from a "normal" car.
Some of the newer ones do not have the switch. My 09 Harley Sportster does not have a reserve, though it does have a "low fuel light" that comes on with around 1.5 gals left. Not sure if they are all going that way, but I'm sure that eventually they will.
That is no excuse for not paying attention to your car and your environment. The most common cause for engine failure in a plane is also fuel exhaustion - are you going to defend the pilots that ran out of gas?
A little preparation goes a long way...and being aware of your vehicle's operational status is a great insurance against running out of gas (or many other problems, e.g. out of oil)
If the aviation industry adopted the same horrible fuel gauging accuracy that is common in the automobile industry, would you defend them?
I want better fuel range planning than is permitted by these gauges, and appreciate Bob's efforts to provide better detail. Among other things, it will be very useful when 1973-style gas rationing returns.
Lol, most general aviation planes are still using rather inaccurate fuel gauges - you have to use a calibrated dipstick if you really wanted to measure accurately. What's the difference? The laws mandate a reserve fuel (I'm not talking about a spare tank). Perhaps if they start ticketing people who run out of gas (like they can pull pilots' licenses for those who force land due to fuel exhaustion however unlikely)...
I, too, appreciate them but for a different reason. Seems to me running out of fuel is not much different from having a simple engine malfunction, e.g. failure of spark plugs. Now it is curious why the "Check Engine" light will fail to be set when the engine runs out of fuel - I'm sure there are lots of indications/sensors that the engine is not operating properly...
Yeah, a flashing icon on the instrument cluster right in your line of sight just isn't enough.
BTW my last bike had a gauge and no manual fuel tap at all.
Of course 1960s VW beetles had a tap under the dash for a reserve fuel supply but no gauge, I prefer a gauge. You want to go back to 1960 technology? What happened with your bike if you forgot to switch to the main position on the fuel tap? You ran out with no reserve!!
Another BTW, it wasn't a separate tank, just 2 pickups at different heights.
It's probably been said already, but the main problem is the coarseness of the digital read-out, versus the 'interpretability' of an analog device. I've always had analog meters for fuel guages, and have often driven to the E line, maybe slightly less, maybe slightly more: but you can SEE these small differences in an analog device. When you fill up the tank afterwards, you can work out what that reading represented, in terms of an empty tank, and how far you can push it the next time you can't find a gas station (well, not literally!)
Here, it's 10 blocks and you're out. Not 'which part of the last block am I in?'
If they use a digital read-out, it should have many more segments.
I drove a new Aurus a week ago, as a courtesy car. They didn't tell me about the fuel guage. A mile down the road, the fuel guage started to blink, a series of beeps was heard, and a big orange triangle came up: just like the engine warning in my old Lexus that basically says: 'stop now, or regret it'. I nearly died of fright.
There is no excuse for running out of gas in the 2010 Prius in my opinion. Yes a different warning method with and orange, yellow or red flashing light would be nice but not necessary IMO. I sure can see the flashing gauge as its right next to your speed indication which you should be looking at anyhow. If you don't notice the flashing gas gauge you should not be driving anyway as your preferential vision must be bad, heck you normal straight ahead vision must be bad too.
Man once that gauge starts flashing you still have a long time to fill up so pay attention drivers.
I am 62 years old and have only run out of gas once in my life and i have driven on business a lot in my working career. to me keeping at least 1/4 tank in your car is a safety issue as you never know how far you may have to go to get gas in some areas or in big cities and on the freeway you never know how long you might be stuck in stopped traffic either. Once you get to 1/4 tank it is time to start at least thinking about stopping for gas at you next chance to get your favorite brand.
Why is this important is that gas gauges are notorious for being inaccurate, only recently haves the miles to empty feature been added and then it isn't always clear how the miles to empty is calculated.
Fill up early and remove the stress and risk of running out of gas and increase your highway safety impact on yourself and everyone else around you on the highway.
My '55 Beetle had the tap, too, but being unwilling to run out of fuel and having to switch to the reserve (with my toe to the valve on the firewall) on a freeway with cars doing 70 almost bumper-to-bumper, I always filled up by the odometer.
That worked quite well. On the Prius, just fill up when one gets to 400 mi on the display. Should work well. Personally, I now use modern technology and fill up soon after I get down to one Pip.
I have managed to not ever run out of gas in my Prius, but it should have a yellow warning light like almost every other new car.
The system they have now does not catch your eye like other cars. A couple of times when I looked at the gauge to notice that little flashing bar, the miles to empty was already showing zero. I was lucky to be very close to a gas station at the time.
You actually have to make a conscious effort to look at the gauge or you will miss it and end up stranded on the side of the road. It doesn't draw your attention to it like a yellow warning light that only turns on when there is low fuel. The all-the-same-color gauges just blend into each other even when the fuel is critically low.
It would have been very easy for the fuel pump icon in the display to switch to amber when you are at the last bar level.
Or it could just have a dedicated low fuel light along with all it's other warning lights.
You can also keep repeatedly checking on the miles to empty readout and stop for gas before it reaches 0, but none of that is as easy as a simple yellow gas warning light like the other 90% of cars have.
The gauge they have now does show you the info, but it doesn't have much of a warning when it's low. The last bar blinking does a weak job of drawing attention compared to a fuel warning light that isn't the exact same color and brightness as everything else in the busy instrument panel.
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