Fuel tank bladder collaps

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by artistdr, May 20, 2013.

  1. ahmeow

    ahmeow Prius Lover

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    Thanks Ron. Yes it depends a lot of condition as you said. No definite amount we can tell.
     
  2. artistdr

    artistdr Junior Member

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    I would like very much to hear from any one who has had my problem. What fixed it? Thanks
     
  3. Red09

    Red09 Junior Member

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    Are you getting better fuel mileage or is the distance you can drive before you run out of gas shrinking?
    I would be happy if what used to take 10 gallons now only took 6 to 7 gallons.
     
  4. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    You heard from me and I'm fairly certain every Gen II owner has experienced this. My reply above details what I do to fix it. I'm certain you could go 400 miles on your tank and even farther. Its just a matter of ignoring the gage and pushing past your comfort zone. Once you run more than 9 gals out of the tank, your guess gage will become more accurate.
     
  5. artistdr

    artistdr Junior Member

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  6. artistdr

    artistdr Junior Member

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    I will try, but if this has been such a bad problem with the 04 to 09, why not a class action suit? I would be in.
     
  7. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Most likely because there is no justifiable safety issue. If you go in front of a judge (or jury) and say, I was left in the middle of the road b/c the car ran out of gas, they don't tend to side with you (esp when the gas gauge was blinking at you).
     
  8. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    I realize I'm coming in relatively late to the game.
    1. People have reported refilling fluctuations but in eight years I don't recall anyone ever reporting a collapsed bladder. Fluctuations have always been attributed to the flexibility of the bladder and have always been short term. This makes me think that the reason you are not hearing from someone who has had the experience is that no one has had the experience. Either you are the very first or it's the wrong avenue to pursue.
    2. Someone questioned the overall tank size. I routinely can pump up to 10 gallons into my '04 and on warm days in summer a little more. I normally refuel when my last pip in blinking. In the winter, it's closer to 7 gallons. The GenII is rates, as someone said, at 11.4 gallons.
    3. Running out of gasoline and pulling over will not damage the Prius. Running out of gasoline and running on battery for an extended period will wreak serious havoc with the battery and must be avoided. In the "good 'ol days" people wanted to push the Prius' limits and routinely ran out of gasoline. Every one of them planned their routes for easy pull-over and carried a tank of gasoline with them: at least 3 gallons, 4 preferred.
    4. The most accurate suggestion I've heard so far is to go to a different dealer and have them pull the tank for inspection. But here's the catch: the gas tank is not meant to be opened and closed. From the pictures I've seen, opening the gas tank ruins the gas tank. So you're buying a new one anyway. You can only pray that ruining the current one proves the problem and that the insurance company will reimburse you for the replacement.
    Take a look at this thread to get a firm grasp of what the inside of the the fuel tank looks like and what is involved in accessing the bladder:
    the gas bladder: exposed! | PriusChat
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    To the OP.
    That's too bad.
    State Farm is just being cheap here.
    What do you have to prove? The performance of the vehicle has changed. Specifically the capacity of your gas bladder.

    They just don't want to pony up for the considerable cost of replacement of the entire system.

    But IMO you have a right to have your vehicle restored to pre-crash condition. This symptom did not manifest until after your crash....so whatever the minutia of what might be causing it....it's a different level of performance.

    But as long as you can get gas into it....and can drive it, good luck getting State Farm to admit there is a problem or pay for remedy.
     
  10. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Gas gauges in just about every make and model of car are a bit inaccurate - it is just the way that it is. With the Gen 2 Prius the issue is that the gas tank is not a set size - in other cars people just learn their own car's behavior and adjust to it. I think the other issue with the Prius is driver behavior - people are far more interested in the mileage that they get so it gets more attaention.

     
  11. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Sorry but I do not agree. It is easy to rail against big companies but just go back to the original posts. In post #5 Artistdr blasts the dealership by name stating that they are not standing up for him. What the heck is the dealer supposed to do, commit insurance fraud and say that a part needs to be replaced when they do not believe it? What is the insurance company supposed replace a part even though the experts (the dealer) say otherwise? Just think of what insurance premiums would be if they just approved every claim whether or not it could be proved.


     
  12. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    You can disagree if you wish, but I'm not advocating for Insurance Fraud here, and neither is the OP.

    The expected standard of restoration is restoring the vehicle as much as possible to a pre-crash condition. The OP States:

    "We have a 2008 Prius that had a rear end accident a couple years ago. SINCE the accident the tank will only hold between 6.5 and 7.5 gallons of fuel when filling an empty indicated tank"

    I think that is a significant drop in capability and given the timing and immediate development after the crash should be considered part of the restoration from that accident.

    Sure, you can say the gas bladder still holds gas, and it still works..."prove" this isn't just normal for this gas bladder, or a sign of normal age. BUT...I think that's just being cheap and petty here. The OP's expectations here are NOT unreasonable. If you believe the OP and believe that the fuel capacity of the gas bladder dropped significantly after the crash, then you should believe the OP has a right to remedy.

    Error if you are going to error, on the side of the customer. Better for State Farm to maybe pay out a little more on a claim than they should....but keep a happy customer and a good reputation. Than refuse and make an unhappy customer spreading a bad reputation.

    This is nothing that comes anywhere close to a "fraud" situation. This is a conflict between definitions of remedy. I think The OP can and should expect the same performance from the gas bladder post accident as before.
     
  13. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    OK, but again I will say that a dealership who tells an insurance company that work is needed when they do not know is guilty of insurance fraud. Is it akin to a white lie? Sure, but remember that however you couch it, a white lie is still a lie. While the OP is not stating that he told the dealership to tell the insurance company that the part is necessary he is blasting them for not doing it - to me different sides of the same coin.

    The issue with the basis of your argument and that of the OP is just plain flawed. Just look at the sentence "SINCE the accident the tank will only hold between 6.5 and 7.5 gallons of fuel when filling an empty indicated tank" - there is a small issue with it - you could call it a technicality, but it is an important distinction. When the gauge reads empty the OP can only pump 6.5 to 7.5 gallons into the tank - he has no clue about what the tank can hold. The OP jumped to the conclusion that the fuel bladder collapsed - something that is not terribly likely - and has been fighting with the dealer and insurance company for months instead of looking at other more likely reasons for the issue - ie, the fuel gauge.

    I'll be the first to slam a company or person who shirks their responsibility to a customer - in this case I just do not see it.
     
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Why do you assume the OP has or had no clue what their tank could or can hold?

    If you read the OP's original post they state that it use to hold 10-11 gallons, and YES...since the accident it now only holds 6.5-7.5 gallons.

    So the OP knew or states the tank use to hold 10-11 gallons from empty and now holds only 6.5-7.5...that is NOT having no clue about what the tank can hold.

    I'm well aware of the quirks and idiosyncrasies reported with the Prius Fuel Bladder. And I agree that perhaps the OP shouldn't of used the term "Gas Bladder Collapsed" but does that really matter?

    Without a mechanic actually looking NOBODY knows what really has happened....but a drop of fuel holding capacity of 3.5+ gallons is not insignificant whatever is causing it. And since the symptoms appeared directly after the accident, I'm willing to believe there is a correlation.

    I've read several threads over the years about people and their life with the Gen 2 fuel bladder. If this had been a case where the OP reported a slow or declining fuel capacity, or a seasonal difference based on temperature? I think my opinion would be "That is Life Per Normal with the Prius Fuel Bladder".

    But SINCE the OP is claiming this drop happened DIRECTLY after the accident, I'm willing to believe whatever the root cause....it happened as a result of the accident. Therefore my opinion is the OP deserves restoration in this incidence.

    Seems to me, you are the one jumping to conclusions. Concluding the OP doesn't know anything about the capacity of their own fuel tank, concluding that the symptoms have no connection to the accident. I'm willing to believe the OP when they say their capacity dropped directly after the accident.
     
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  15. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    I do not want to get into a pissing match, but I'd suggest that you go back and read all of the posts from the OP. What is clear is that he knows that before his accident when his gas gauge showed empty he was able to pump 10+ gallons. After the accident he can only pump 6+. When he fills the car with only 6+ gallons he has no way of knowing how much gas the tank is holding - why is this, because he does not know how much gas was in the tank before he filled up. There is a reason why people jokingly refer to the gas gauge as the guess gauge in all cars - they are just not all that reliable.

    This is exactly the sort of situation why sayings like "when you hear hoof-beats think horses and not zebras" exist. Thinking that the bladder in the fuel tank collapsed is the zebra. You stated -

    Go back and look at the OP's posts, specifically #5. He states that the dealership that repaired the car was unable to say that the fuel bladder was damaged. I think it is safe to say that the dealership would have had a mechanic look at it.

    So, what do you think is more likely - the fuel bladder collapsed or the gas gauge is off and shows empty when the car has approximately 4 gallons of gas still in the tank? One answer is the zebra and the other is the horse.


     
  16. climateguy

    climateguy Junior Member

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    artistdr - Have you followed northwichita's suggestion of recalibrating the gauge (post #3)? That is the logical place to start, before contemplating tank removals, dealerships, insurance companies, etc. It's easy to do, takes just a few minutes, and it's FREE.

    It makes sense that the calibration may have been screwed up during the accident or during the subsequent repair. And what do you have to lose from recalibrating?
     
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  17. artistdr

    artistdr Junior Member

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    Ok everybody,sorry this has taken to long. Been busy with a lot of things going on and I forgot, Embarassed . I had a new 2G Prius in for PDI and decided to give it a try. And guess what,I found out what we were doing wrong! Just one little step messes up everything. Here is the steps from the TSB and only applies to the 2G.

    1. Park the vehicle so as it is level,front to back and side to side.
    2. IgOn and make sure that "Trip A " is showing on the odo ( this is where we made a mistake Embarassed ).
    3. Power down.
    4. Keep your foot off the brake.
    5. Push in and hold down the Odo/Trip button.
    6. Push the Power button twice to IgOn ( not Ready mode ).
    7. Turn the Odo/Trip off then On 3 times in 5 seconds.
    8. Continue holding the Odo/Trip button until a 6 digit code appears.
    9. Release,then push again the Odo/Trip button for another 5 seconds. The 6 digit code will change to a 5 digit code.
    10. After the middle digit,of the 5 digit code,changes to "1" release the Odo/Trip button and the odometer will return to normal reading.

    Hope this clarifies the steps.

    _________________
    Rick Angles
    Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician
    Toyota Hybrid Technician
    Germain Toyota
    Columbus, Ohio
     
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  18. artistdr

    artistdr Junior Member

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    How does one turn the Odo/Trip on and off? # 7
     
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