Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Sign Up

What type of warning does your car give you when low on fuel?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by JaymzB0nd, Jun 1, 2010.

Social Buttons

  1. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I've filled my car up twice so far. I could have sworn that the first time when there were 2 bars left in the gas gauge, some sort of yellow icon or light popped up next to the gas icon in the middle to let me know.

    Today I was down to one bar and, according to the computer, had around 25 miles left of gas before the one bar began to blink to warn me. I'm in a weird place right now and feel like the alarm install I recently had screwed with everything electrical. Is the yellow icon a normal thing or just part of my warped imagination? What do you guys get?

    Also, does anyone know if each bar represents a certain amount of fuel? I haven't counted to see how many there are but perhaps around a gallon?
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Only my older cars have/had yellow low-fuel lights. Not this Prius.

    Each bar is roughly a gallon, but the gauge is not perfectly linear, so don't count on each bar being the same. And there is lots of sloshing around that the computer mostly (not completely) filters out, but a ScanGauge will display.

    If the last bar is blinking, then the warning beep has already beeped. It will repeat each time you start the car.

    You have two known remaining warnings left. Distance To Empty will count down to zero, though mine seems to snap to zero from about 5-10 miles left.

    The last is the Electric Power Steering warning light, discovered by our Bob Wilson who tests these things for fun and sport. This warning flashes about a mile after you are empty. You don't want to get this one, because it won't leave enough battery charge to pull off the road.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Tall Rob

    Tall Rob New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Yeah, I wanted to see how much I could squeeze out of my first tank. When I got to the last bar it started blinking and counting down the miles left.

    I was on my way home from work and halfway to my destination, I got down to 3 miles left. I decided to get off the freeway for gas. At the stoplight at the end of the offramp, I looked down and saw that my 'miles left' now suddenly dropped to zero. I hit the EV mode and cruised slowly for a few blocks until I found a gas station.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    11,927
    Likes Received:
    3,442
    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2003 Prius
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    Minor correction. If you get the red, power steering error light, it is too late. You are in a 'glider.' The scenario of running out:

    • alert and last bip flash - there is a little over 2 gallons remaining
    • count down to 0 miles remaining - I've not studied
    • run out of gas will over 46 mph - car exhibits detectable loss of power. Slow down to extend range and find a safe place to park before traction battery is exhausted. Distance is unknown.
    • run out of gas under 46 mph - the car continues to operate until traction battery is too low and red "power steering" light comes on. You are now in a glider.
    Unlike the earlier Prius, burning the last of the gas transitions to electric mode without using 'check engine' light to signal the driver the last of the gas is gone.

    Bob Wilson
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    18,046
    Likes Received:
    2,949
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Does the Gen III flash an "Add Fuel" warning on the MFD, like it does with the Gen II?

    Tom
  6. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    After filling up the tank, I drove an average 53 mpg when the first gas bar went away after 49 miles. 9 miles later, it the bar reappeared. Has this happened to anyone before, missing bars reappearing?
  7. claridiva

    claridiva New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    I am sure you will figure this out, but the miles to 0 as indicated on your Prius "countdown" is not literal. Not that I am advocating for this, but there is still a good gallon (or more?) in your tank once the countdown hits 0. I have consistently driven 20-30 miles after hitting 0 with no problems. Even with doing so, the most I have ever put in my tank is 9.8 gallons and it is an 11.9 gallon tank (I believe).

    Again, there are many wise people out there who will tell you to fill with 1-2 pips left on the graph; I just haven't heeded that advice. YMMV.
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three


    Not that I've found, or heard from anyone else, and I've gone roughly 30 miles past DTE=0.



    Yes, I've even see two bars reappear several times.

    This is really no different than the analog gauges on my previous cars, which have been seen to temporarily climb on occasion. A ScanGauge programmed with the fuel level XGauge gives a better idea what is happening -- there is a lot of sloshing around in the tank, with hills, corners, and speed changes. The car's display does not perfectly filter out this noise.
  9. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
  10. wendyp247

    wendyp247 New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Niceville, Fl
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    This was my 2nd fillup since car was purchased .I had one bar left and reading was 30 miles to 0. The car only took 9.1 gallons.
  11. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,813
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Pleasanton, Ca
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV


    I've hit the blinking pip and have filled up with ~ 9.5 gallons. Miles to zero isn't an accurate estimate of how much fuel is in the tank. My current tank...I've got 600 miles on it, the miles to zero is zero, and the pip started blinking @ 565 miles. My tank MPG reading is 63.5 mpg. If I assume 60 mpg, I've used 10 gallons and have ~ 2 gallons left. I'll fill it up when I get home tonight (another 35 miles) and I fully expect to put in ~ 10.5 gallons.
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    11,927
    Likes Received:
    3,442
    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2003 Prius
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Hi,

    • audio bleep and flashing last fuel bar - at this point, ~2.1 usable gallons remain in the tank
    • speed under 46 mph - the car can silently transitions to traction battery power and the state of charge goes down. Eventually, the "Power Steering" light comes on and there is no more accelerator function regardless of the traffic conditions. Try to be careful because one of the most frequent causes of pedestrian fatalities is someone trying to get gas for their car that is parked in a dangerous location. Such cars have been struck and fatalities occur because the car could not reach a safe parking location(*).
    • speed above 46 mph or under engine load - the engine stops and the traction battery state of charge goes down. Use the remaining power to safely park before all traction battery power is lost. Maximum EV range is very load dependent but less than 1/4 mile is a reasonable estimate.
    Bob Wilson

    * - The earlier NHW11 and NHW20 provided a 'check engine light' when the last of the gas was burned allowing the driver to reach a safe place to park. This more dangerous behavior matches Toyota's design.
  13. JaymzB0nd

    JaymzB0nd Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I took my car to the service department and explained my situation and they said it's normal. What's funny is it makes it difficult to know exactly how much gas we have in the tank without having to calculate our mpg since last fill up and what we think we have.
Similar Threads: type warning
Forum Title Date
Gen II Prius Technical Discussion Intermittent (!) Warning light, DTC C1300. What type of Skid Control ECU issue? May 7, 2013
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Which type of AC Compressor? Jul 11, 2014
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting what type brake for fluid 2008 prius? Jul 1, 2014
Gen III 2010+ Prius Audio and Electronics want to upgrade prius 2012 type 2 HU to OEM type 4 or 5? May 11, 2014
Private Sales Prototype Mods Mar 27, 2014