First PIP (Fuel Gauge) Blues

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by 49erfaithful, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. 49erfaithful

    49erfaithful Junior Member

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    Hi all! Loving my 2013 Prius 5 so far.. One gripe that I wanted to gather some feedback/advice about is that first PIP on the gas gauge. I've rented a 2013 Prius on two separate occasions this year and noticed that the first pip goes down between 60-80 miles (yes, after I filled it up to the first click)

    On my Prius 5, the best I've been able to get before it goes down one PIP is 30 miles with the computer calculating over 60MPG. I've been averaging 52-55mpg overall on the computer but my fuel garage starts blinking at around the 400mi mark. Doesn't make any sense to me. I always fill up to the first click. Recently tried second click, but doesn't make any difference.

    Trying to figure out if this is a Prius 5 thing with the wheels, or something I need to get checked out. Tires are inflated to 38psi as recommended in one of the other threads..

    Thoughts?


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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sorry, not sure what you're asking here.:confused:
     
  3. 49erfaithful

    49erfaithful Junior Member

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    Just wondering if those with a Prius 5 (or those with the alloy wheels) are getting similar results..


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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    ah, okay, sorry i can't help, all the best!(y)
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Don't overthink the fuel gauge, it isn't sufficiently accurate or linear or consistent for what you want it to do.

    This is true of most cars, not just the Prius. The fuel sloshes around, 'F' isn't really at the top, 'E' isn't really at the bottom, each gauge increment doesn't represent the same amount of fuel, and the components are cheap enough that there is variation from car to car.
     
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  6. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    The only pip worth worrying about is the bottom one. ;)
     
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    GOOD NEWS if we can find another recent 2013 Prius owner with similar observations.

    We got our 2010 Prius in May 2009 and I'm seeing close to 120 miles on the first 'pip' and roughly 50 miles on each subsequent 'pip'. I have long wondered how long it would take for someone in Toyota to 'fix the problem.' Sounds like the 2013 may have fix.

    If you can get a copy of the "New Car Features," you might be able to find the fix described.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. 49erfaithful

    49erfaithful Junior Member

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    The issue is I also get roughly 50 miles on each subsequent PIP as well.. It's always flashing on the last PIP at 400 miles.. Doesn't add up with the advertised consumption (and actual). The most I can fill up is a little over 9 gallons.


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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    or you can drive another hundred miles and then fill up.;)
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Several points:
    * Your OP claimed 52-55 MPG, with exceeds the EPA label. I fail to see a consumption problem here.
    * Regarding the roughly 50 miles per gauge pip, that sounds reasonable. Don't overthink the fuel gauge accuracy beyond that, see my previous post at #5.
    * Regarding the flashing pip at 400 miles, the industry norm is to leave a considerable safety margin beyond the low fuel warning or 'E' position of the needle or display. You cannot measure the real refill volume without first consuming all of that safety margin and actually running out of fuel.

    For an example of how far a typical GenIII can go once after the pip starts flashing, see Bob's earlier post at: [WARNING] Running out of gas (Gen III). Before testing this yourself, remember that fuel consumption varies drastically with conditions, and sensor and gauge accuracy will vary from car to car. You may have drawn a longer straw than Bob, or a shorter straw.

    This topic has spawned many many threads.
     
  11. Jonny Zero

    Jonny Zero Giggidy

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    My 2012 Five loses the first Pip at about 40 to 45 miles. No fail.

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  12. vday

    vday Member

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    It seems that in the new Prius the pip goes down early while in the older ones including mine very late - I don't believe it means anything other than you need to learn the gauge in each car. I can almost know exactly how nmuch it will take to refill after learning how to "read it"
     
  13. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Honestly, in the 3+ years I've owned my car, I can't tell you when I lose the first pip. I'm with RDGrimes, only worry about the last pip.
     
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Thanks for the shout-out but I would like to cite one specific post in that thread:
    [WARNING] Running out of gas (Gen III) | Page 10 | PriusChat

    The arrows in the energy display go away when the last of the gas is gone. The car silently goes into EV mode and depending upon the battery SOC, you have a couple of hundred yard to a mile to find a safe place to park . . . RIGHT NOW!

    Bob Wilson

    ps. I've added details about the energy flow arrows going away to the first post. It now pretty well describes all that is known about running out of gas in a 2010 Prius.
     
  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I've been doing a "pip study" on our Gen2.
    We are seeing about 100 miles on first pip and 25 to 30 miles thereafter.
    The next to last pip lasts more like 50 miles.

    Here is what the data looks like so far:
    1. 10 pips Filled
    2. 9 pips at 110 mi at 49.4 mpg
    3. 8 at 146 at 49.9
    4. 7 at 170 at 50.5
    5. 6 at 199 at 51.2
    6. 5 at 229 at 52.2
    7. 4 at 261 at 51.8
    So I plan to calculate MPG at each interval and normalize miles to 50 mpg. Some of these intervals I am getting ~60 MPG but the miles traveled per pip is only ~25 miles. I know the next to last pip lasts more like 50 miles, so at some point the curve is not straight.

    The reason I am doing this is to understand if the display MPG varies randomly based on tank fullness or other variables. Also in combination with SCANgauge (new user) I am trying to see if there is some way to estimate energy content of the gaso in the tank and correlate this to MPG.
     
  16. 49erfaithful

    49erfaithful Junior Member

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    Are you pumping to the first click? Here's what mine looks like after pumping to just one click. Two clicks give me about 30 miles.

    Very strange how much it differs from the 2013 Prius Two rentals I've tested with this year.


    [​IMG]


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  17. Jonny Zero

    Jonny Zero Giggidy

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    Yep, first click only. The floats in the tanks probably have a big variance in how they are calibrated.
     
  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Try a different pump or a different station next time? I usually get 100-130km on the first pip.

    Also, make sure there's a 2 psi difference between front and rear tyres (so not 38 all around). The Prius is front-heavy (60-40 weight distribution towards the front) so you'd want just a little more air in the front. No harm done if it's equal all around as far as I know but the owner's manual has a two psi difference for the factory setting anyway.
     
  19. 49erfaithful

    49erfaithful Junior Member

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    Hi all!

    Just a quick update.. Had my 5k service recently and brought the first PIP observation up to them. The dealer said that was definitely out of the ordinary, even in a five. They didn't find any "codes" that would indicate any issues, but 'reset' the system (not exactly sure what they reset). Anyways, now I'm having the first PIP disappear at 10-11 miles without fail. I might bring it back in as advised to by my SA at the dealership for further investigation. I guess it's just my luck of the draw that my first PIP goes down sooner than everyone else. Even with the colder weather, still getting 44-45mpg per tank which I guess isn't horrible. Have been taking the advice of others and filling up well before the gauge starts blinking..
     
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