Help! Overfilled my Prius -- long term effects?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by briansabeans, May 27, 2008.

  1. briansabeans

    briansabeans New Member

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    I decided to fill up my one month old 2008 Prius this weekend. It turned out bad. Very bad.

    I started pumping the gas and decided to put it on "slow" pump mode. The reason? I heard other people were having early shut offs on fast mode, so I went slow.

    It was cold, so I sat in my car during pumping. I sat and watched the gallons go up.

    Around 9 gallons, I knew something was wrong. I should have had a 1/3 of a tank. I exited my car, and to my horror, gas was flowing out of my gas tank like some sort of perverted waterfall. I estimate about 1-2 gallons of gas was all over the ground. This was a brand new Chevron gas station that opened about a year ago, so it's not old equipment.

    I've since driven it about 100 miles. Should I expect any long term damage to my Prius? I sure hope not! I'm real worried about this...I certainly don't want to get the dealer involved if I can avoid it, but I want to make sure I don't have a big problem down the line.
     
  2. jetlaw

    jetlaw New Member

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    Unfortunately, this is not scenario where anyone is likely to be able to accurately tell you that everything is guaranteed to be perfect. That being said, I would not worry too much if everything is working ok at the present time. From what I have read about others that have had issues from overfueling, there is the potential for an immediate issue of an annunciator coming on from having gas between the bladder liner and the tank, which it appears did not happen to you. The other possible issue would be fuel contamination of the charcoal filter, which may be a bit more difficult to detect. My suggestion to you would be to drive the car as you normally would, and do not be overly concerned. Much as hypochondriacs are convinced that they are always sick, you can worry yourself to death about the condition of your car!
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That actually is old. Odds are pretty good the pump sensor was shot.

    As for damage, your emission equipment won't be harmed much by a single incident. Don't worry about it.

    .
     
  4. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    if there's no check engine light, don't worry about it.
     
  5. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    It is *very dangerous* to get in and out of a car while refueling it! In dry weather you can build a static charge between your body and the car while siding off the seat, and if you discharge near the nozzle you can ignite the fuel vapor. See below for an example:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3x-8tj49ac]YouTube - Gas Pump Fire[/ame]

    <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3x-8tj49ac>

    You should always keep your hand on the nozzle during refueling, both to quickly stop overfills and to avoid fires like the one above.
     
  6. Rest

    Rest Active Member

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    Why do women insist on not staying grounded by going back into their vehicle when they fill up?
     
  7. Danny Hamilton

    Danny Hamilton Active Member

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    I've seen plenty of men do the same. This is an equal oppurtunity mistake, and your comment leaves your misogyny hanging out in the open.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the vehicle tests the charcoal filter on a regular basis. As Galaxee states, if you don't have a warning light on the dash yet then you're in the clear.
     
  8. NaptownPrius

    NaptownPrius Getting Greener....

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    Concur, stay with the pump...I keep my hand on it, as some will pop out of the tank inlet.
     
  9. briansabeans

    briansabeans New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. No check engine light, so it seems good.

    Now, I am a man who went back into his car during fueling. The one poster's sexist comment is silly. I know it can build a static charge and I know it's stupid. That said, it was 45 degrees out and I had a T-shirt on. In my 12 years of driving, I've probably done this move under 5 times. Of course, I had to had a pump overfill my tank for the first time in my life on one of these rare occasions. I won't let it happen again.
     
  10. hairgal

    hairgal New Member

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    Im curious how your car is doing. I had a very similar situation except I was actaully holding the nozzle and pumping. My mpg has dropped dramatically, not sure ir it is realted or not. It would seem to me there is a problem with the car if it is not inditcating it is full.
     
  11. MsDaisy

    MsDaisy Goddess of Green-land

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    It may have been the pump. I had an experience a while back when I was getting gas for my lawnmower...the pump actually got stuck and would not shut off. I was filling a 5 gallon can and wound up pumping another 4 gallons before I could get the idiots inside the station to turn the pump off from inside. Then the cashier complains to me about having to call someone to come clean up the spilled gas. No apologies for the stuck pump or for the gas that was soaking through my socks and shoes. And she could not give me a refund so I had to go back when the manager was in to get a refund for the excess over 5 gallons. I don't go to that station any more, even though they are usually a couple of cents under the other surrounding stations. And better yet, I pay the man down the street to cut my grass every other week.
     
  12. eujay

    eujay North CaField Service Guy

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    Hi All,
    I overfilled my 2007 Prius yesterday.
    The gas gage showed full.
    After driving over 200 + miles the gage was still showing full.
    This morning I removed the gas cap and looked inside. No sign of Gas in the tube so I took it to a gas staion and put some more gas in.

    The Prius took about two gallons and then the gas pump stopped.
    I drove away contented.

    Now on my way home after driving about 150 miles and the gas gage is starting to drop in a normal way.

    My Prius survived being overfilled.
     
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  13. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I don't think a simple overfill like this does any damage.

    I also had a similar experience recently. The gas pump was super slow for some reason and even though I had the trigger fully depressed it literally took about 4 or 5 times longer than normal to fill. You guessed it, because of the slow rate it didn't develop enough back pressure to cut off and it overfilled to the point where the petrol gushed back out. I was holding the pump at the time so it wasn't really that much petrol that spilled.

    This annoyed me only a little bit, what annoyed me a whole lot more was that after I went to the counter and payed, I politely informed the attendant of the problem with the pump and he didn't want to listen, instead he claimed that I didn't know how to use the pump properly! Honestly if I hadn't already payed at that point I would have withheld some of the payment just to annoy them.

    BTW. This problem is usually caused by a partially blocked filter in the pump (which is what I tried to inform the attendant of). The pump cut off is calibrated for a given back pressure, so if the pump is going very much slower than normal then it can fail to cut off.
     
  14. Kimber

    Kimber New Member

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    Thanks so much for giving me hope! I had an overflow about two weeks ago-on my 2005. It's dropped two pip's and I've driven 240 miles with the average temp here around 40 degree's.
    I've attemped to fill her up but was only allowed to add 3 gallons before the pump shut off.

    Either I broke my baby or this is some of the best milage I've ever had.

    This is actually my first post here-
    What do you all think? Should I be carrying extra gas with me or just keep driving and see what happens?

    -Kimber in AK.
     
  15. Philosophe

    Philosophe 2010 Prius owner

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    Not to bring bad news, but you may have to replace some components of the vapor filtering system (if overfilling did occur, considering that there is an overfill protection mechanism).

    This PDF document should bring all the required explanations. Maybe someone can come with a more definitive answer.
     
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I would be more worried of the effect of the gas on the paint than anything else.
     
  17. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Do Not carry gasoline in the car in a can. You did not break the gas gauge with a single overfill. The top pips always drop slowly. You may safely ignore the gas gauge when it reads nearly full but you must pay attention when it reads nearly empty.

    But don't make a habit of overfilling. Eventually it will damage parts of the fuel system, and they are expensive to replace.
     
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  18. Kimber

    Kimber New Member

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