gas tank not full?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by PA Prius, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    At 205,000 miles one of my only complaints with our '04 is that we generally can only get 7.x gallons of gas in our tank when filling what is supposedly an 11.8 gallon tank. We generally fill around 10 miles after the last pip starts blinking.

    We are currently on a cross country road trip. For some reason now we can only get 6.x gallons in when filling, also waiting until last pip blinks. The other difference is that usually we could drive 60-150 miles before dropping the first pip after filling. Since starting this trip it either only shows 9 pips after having filled or drops the 10th one within a few miles. When filling I keep filling after the auto shut-off until I get up to the next whole dollar amount.

    Any thoughts or similar experiences from others on this?
     
  2. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Hmmm 60-150 miles on the first pip is quite good. How many miles do you get a bladder (tank lol)? Also, next full up try turning the nozzle to the 3 o-clock position. It let's the bladder breathe while filling.
     
  3. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Also, in addition to how many miles do you get from full to the blinking pip, what's your average mpg?
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Your location would have helped, as outside air temperature is the primary determinant in bladder size and humidity is the minor determinant.

    In the heat of a MS summer in the late afternoon I could get 11 gallons in my Gen 2. In winter I could get 7. Open the gas cap first, then pay and whatnot before filling.

    (some summer days I would go 200 miles before the first pip disappeared, in winter 60 miles)

    How many miles each pip lasts is random:
    If you have in laws in your car, get gas at 3 pips, they can make your life hell.
    If you have your spouse in the car, get gas at 2 pips, they will never let you forget.
    If you are alone you can get gas at one pip, you will have to keep walking back to the station until you have 3 gallons in the car BEFORE you attempt to restart it or you may need a tow. (or disconnect 12 volt battery and reconnect)
    If the last pip blinks, get gas NOW. Under some circumstances I ran out of gas in 7 miles once blinking.
     
  5. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    I only got 180 miles on a half tank, will all this crappy snowy weather here in TN. :(
     
  6. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Thanks all. Getting ready to hit the road for today, KS to NM. This trip is PA to AZ, so temps have been mostly in the 20's during the day. Will be getting warmer today. Lifetime average mpg is 52. Will try the 3 o'clock position today.

    PA P
     
  7. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Today's fill-up went better--
    - filled at 3 o'clock position.
    - after auto shut-off filled an additional dollar's worth beyond mu usual round-up.
    - temp most of the day was 63°
    - ran 100 miles before dropping first pip
    - currently two pips left at 310 miles on tank, 51 mpg

    Two or three fill-ups tomorrow....

    PA P
     
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  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am also turning nozzle to the 3 oclock position these days. Best I've done is about 150-160 miles on the the first PiP, but that was back in summer. Winter we are low too. My wife usually fills up <8 gal in winter. You may have some decent miles on blinking pip, but unless you're trying to set the miles per tank record, not worth the risk of going empty which could be bad news on a 2004 unless you handle it just right.
     
  9. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    So you're on a road trip and you're still getting 51 mpg? Can I just ask, how fast are you going?
    On long trips I have a hard time pulling even like 46 mpg. But that's me keeping up with traffic at like 70-76 mph
     
  10. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Driving 60 - 65. Maybe this evening I can look for the link to the report on our 7500 mile road trip with this car-- wife and I, two teenage daughters, all the camping gear, roof rack and we averaged a hair under 50 mpg for the trip, 60 mph on that trip.

    PA P
     
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  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    That's great MPG for the load, though I wonder if thats real calc or MFD.
    Even if my wife has 50 MPG, I bring it down to 48 just sitting in the car, well not quite so bad, I forget the calc but I think about 1/2 MPG loss per 100-lbs.

    Although one thing in your favor, I am thinking PA Prius you may live outside of the EPA reformulated gasoline region, so that could mean you get a little more energy content per gallon. And certainly the driving path you mentioned is outside the RFG zones on the East Coast. In the warmer area, the summer gaso is starting to come into play, and that has more energy.
     
    #11 wjtracy, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  12. GMAccord

    GMAccord Junior Member

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    I have seen this problem routinely in Chicago area. This is one of the problem areas with prius.

    1. Winter filling to the last pip/marker is sometimes difficult and even if managed, it drops in the first 20 miles.
    2. In summer the top pip/marker gives upto 100 miles easily. Something to do with the flexibility of liner I suppose.
    3. In most highway gas stations in Ont/Canada when I travel, filling the tank is a pain (done 6 annual trips with Prius) You have to find a station which has a very slow fill setting or it will auto shutoff after a gallon or so.
    4. Even at its best, the gas gauge is not reliable. My max fill with all fuel warning lights has been 7 gallons.
    5. Its called a "Guess gauge" for a good reason!
    The other problem area is the subtle but distinct prius smell inside the car. None of my other cars have a distinct smell. Something to do with battery exhaust I was told.
     
  13. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts and questions. A few more comments—

    My lifetime "actual calculated" is .8 mpg less than MFD. You are right, wjtracy, I am reporting MFD here. Although the "hair under 50" on our camping trip mentioned above was calculated, not MFD. I'm not up on the various geographic gas grades as it sounds like you are. I occasionally am able to get ethanal free gas, but that generally does not happen on trips.

    Yesterday I got 140 miles before dropping first pip and got 50.9 on first tank and 58.9 on second tank. Beautiful weather, sunny, low 60°s. Filled with 7.3 gallons after blinking pip for 15 mlles on first fill and with 6.5 gallons with two pips left on second fill.

    Now working at resolving a possibly more critical issue on this thread--
    How do you reset ABS light &amp; yellow ((!)) ? | Page 4 | PriusChat

    PA P
     
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