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Fuel Level Indicator

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Unleashd, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Unleashd

    Unleashd Junior Member

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    If I am not mistaken, my 2004 Prius has a 10.x gallon tank. I see there are 10 bars on the fuel level indicator on the dash and assume that each bar corresponds to a gallon. Yesterday evening, the car was down to the last bar, I had 325 miles on the trip meter and it took only 7.2 Gallons to fill it back up. Though it relates to a 44.7mpg avg., which I am happy about, my question is how much do each of those bars actually relate to in y'all experiences? I never let my cars go below the 1/4 tank marker and refill them religiously. Since this is my first Prius, I am wondering when do people normally refill their tanks?
     
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I wait until miles to empty is 0 miles unless it's a long ways to a gas station I want to use. I have about 1.8 gallons left at that point.

    Edit: Fuzzy reminded me that since I have a Gen III, my run till 0 miles method isn't a good idea for a Gen II because Gen IIs have a fuel bladder which makes gas gauge readings unreliable, particularly at low fuel levels.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the bars (pips) are not linear and don't relate to much of anything. divide your miles by your average fuel economy gives a better sense of how much fuel has been used and fill up at two bars or more to be safe.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    As already mentioned, the bars are not sufficiently linear or consistent to reliably assigned a gallon value. This is true in nearly all cars, not just Prius.
    The Gen II has a fuel bladder, which adds considerable uncertainly and inconsistency beyond the norm of other cars. While some owners have often gone more than fifty miles beyond the flashing pip, others have run out of fuel very shortly after it began flashing, and a few have even run dry with one or two solid bars remaining. That is why the Gen II gas gauge is often called a 'Guess Gauge'.

    Here are JimboPalmer's Gen II rules, the last sentence based on direct experience:

    You have a Gen III, which does not have the fuel bladder. We Gen III owners have been consistently able to push well beyond the points where numerous Gen II owners have reported being stranded.
     
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  5. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Deleted duplicate post