How Far would you driving on blinking pip, or Guess Gauge Part 2

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by DaveinOlyWA, May 30, 2009.

  1. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well it was set to be hot, like the mid 80's today (may not be hot for some, but with highs in the low 60's it felt BROILING!) , so thought great day for beach where its usually in high 60's all summer... jump in Pri, its at 2 bars, RT to beach about 150 miles, im at 450 miles, 2 bars... no prob... right??

    well, we take off, and at 510 miles last bar starts blinking and at 570 miles the "distance to empty" is at ZERO... since i am still 40 miles from home, should i worry?? getting better than 60 MPG so thinking if tank is less than 10 gallons, i probably should... so i said heck with it...

    but after watching that last pip blink for over 90 minutes of drive time (it started blinking in Hoquiam 15 miles BEFORE we got to the beach) i admit i got a bit nervous and did the last 25 miles home at 50 mph. (speed limit was 60 so not tooo bad...)

    now, despite the fact that i knew better than to worry, it was a new car and all those horror stories here of people who ran out of gas with 2 pips left, etc. almost got to me, but as it stands;

    :crazy:i drove about 105 miles after the blinking started

    and drove 45 miles after the "distance to empty" hit ZERO :eek:...

    oh well so much for the gas gauge
     
  2. rainman1000

    rainman1000 New Member

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    When you filled up how many gallons did it take?
     
  3. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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  4. tc7

    tc7 New Member

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    Isn't there some issue with doing something like that and how it's not good for your car... Something about keeping the fuel pump submerged to keep it from overheating?
     
  5. Bob_Stan

    Bob_Stan New Member

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    How you drive your car is certainly your own business, but it makes no sense to me to risk getting stranded or even actually damaging the vehicle, just to delay a fill up by a day at most.

    For me, I would try to avoid ever having to drive on a blinking pip.
     
  6. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    I've heard that about keeping the fuel pump cool by not running the gas down low but I did not experience that with my last car. My 88 Honda CRX Si was just retired when the engine suffered a major failure and I routinely ran it down to a gallon or even less and the engine died with the original fuel pump in the car, with almost 400,000 miles and over 20 years on it. I realize one case does not make a rule and I'd like to hear from others on this topic.
     
  7. rwb2035

    rwb2035 New Member

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    I second that... The pump is mounted in the fuel tank to keep it cool. The real trouble starts when there is no fuel passing through the pump (no gas). It's always fun to see how far you can go though.. I think your more likely to kill your pump when you're a repeat offender..
     
  8. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    your concerns are valid, but at the same time, look at my line of thinking.

    here i am sitting at 60 mpg with a 12 gallon tank... even if i assume usable 10 gallons in the tank, i can go 600 miles. but the car is saying i can only go 500???....

    you can call it a risk, i call it simply a fuel gauge that does all it can do to make sure you dont run out of gas. i am willing to bet i could have gone another 50 miles.

    and besides i pretty much knew what i was doing...at least now that i am home, i do now!!

    as far as fuel pump damage. heard of clogged filters doing it. overfilling the tank and clogging the vapor recovery filter doing it, but running it out of gas??

    i had an 87 corolla that had no gas gauge in it. ran it out of gas probably 10 times. it eventually died after i gave it to my nephew, but the fuel pump wasnt what died
     
  9. XMAN LIVE

    XMAN LIVE "Just have Fun!"

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    On my 06 Prius, I always run until gas light blinks and know I can go another 40 miles. I have run out of gas twice. First time no big deal. I was going back and forth to work for three days in Port Arthur with my last bar blinking. Too lazy to stop, rain one day, cold the next forgot another time, kind of thing. Some co-workers asked if I would take them to lunch. I was not thinking about my gas issue. I said sure. We got in car hit the power button and I said oh I better get gas, did not tell them the hole story but I was concern. We made it back into town from Motiva plant 3 or 5 miles and ran out of gas. I put battery gauge up and kept my speed of about 65, we went through 3 bars very fast ¼ a mile maybe, I knew then I better start costing. Exited freeway and had enough juice, I went about a mile (pulse glide) and pulled into gas station to fill up (one bar on screen) my three other passengers where a bit concerned when the beeping noise and lights came on. I was a little nervous if fuel pump would get air in the line mess it up. Got back in the car, hit the power button, car started backup no issue. My co-workers were very impressed.

    The second time was a bit more of a adventure, going from Houston to Port Arthur, there is a gas station just past Baytown that always has gas about 20 to 30 cents cheaper than anywhere else. I have gone back and forth a lot. When I left my house I had two bars, just got on the freeway and lost a bar, so only one left. It was about 85 miles to the discounted gas station. I was thinking fresh bar and I have only gone 420 miles on the current tank, I should make it. I got about 5 miles away and the engine stops running. This was not my first time, so now I had a plan in place. I was going about 65 mph waterways on both side of me know exits, got to make it. I hit the gear shift lever into natural and coast until 55 mph; I got a bridge in front of me. I am get nervous. I put my screen in mode to see battery level. I punch it so I did not lose all my speed on bridge, I lose two bar very fast but make it to the top of hill at speed of about 50 mph, I coast down the hill, back in gear trying to get some juice, about half way I lose faith in that idea and go back to costing in natural, I turn on hazard light now. speed is down to 40, I have gone about 2 miles, still have 3 bars, my heart is beating, it about 8pm the sun is going down, I slow to 30, I decide it time to give the juice, I pop into gear and punch it lose another bar back to 37, back to natural. I have traveled about 3 miles now. I do this twice more (pulse and glide) the car goes to no bars, I have gone 4.5 miles speed is down to 30, I can see the exit and the gas station but not sure I can make it. The gas pedal does nothing steering still seemed okay screen still has display on. The exit ramp goes down and the driveway goes up. Speed is now 18 mph; I am thinking someone is going to hit me. I move over into the emergence lane. Now down to 8 mph. I am looking in review mirror and cars are going by me, I can fell the air pushing the car each time one goes by. The push was not forward it was a rocking the car sideways back and forth. The exit 100 ft and I can hit the small downhill ramp and get to feeder road. At least I would be safe from freeway traffic. I looked in review mirror again, and the cars had their blinker on for the same exit ramp, no way I could pull in front of them. I hit the brakes 30 feet sort of exit losing my last 3 mph. I was mad at first my heart was betting very fast. The gas station still about 1/4 of a mile in front of me. So I do what any one would do I reboot my car once, twice, three times wishing it would start or a bar would show up on the screen. I was thinking, should I call my wife, she would kill me, 90 miles from the house, I did not have a gas can, thinking about the smell of the empty gas can in my car, not cool. Not going to call tow truck. I finally had accepted that I would walk down to the gas station and buy a gas can, fill it up, come back to the car and put it in. Mad at first but then thought how much excitement and fun that really was. It was worth it. Just as I was going to get out and start walking, I hit the power button, thinking I want to make sure the car was off. The GAS engine started, I closed the door, looked in review mirror, no traffic, punched the gas pedal, got speed up to 50 mph thinking the car was going to quit again. I drove up into gas station and saved 32 cents a gallon...pumped 11.4 gallons total saving three dollars and 65 cents.

    The funny thing is before I got my 06 Prius I had not run out of gas for over 20 years. I have always pushed my cars knowing I can go past E, with the whole digital thing it was a different ballgame. Now for the most part when the bar blinks I try to get gas within 20 to 30 miles. If my wife is in the car when it blinks I go to the next gas station even if it is on the wrong side of the road.
     
  10. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    awesome story Xman!... but to be honest with ya, i didnt feel all that worried, i had my SO and kid in the car...but what the heck. i have roadside. i just call them, they bring me 2 gallons of gas.

    its kind of funny really. you say you never ran out of gas until you got your Pri. i ran out of gas in 4 different prior cars i've owned (probably more i forgot about). since i started driving the Pri, especially in my 04 Tidelands, i really pushed the distances. i had CANVIEW on that one which showed gas gauge in 2½ % increments. once i got a 652 mile tank and actually had the gas gauge bouncing between 2½% and ZERO for a good 10 miles before i got to my regular gas station (passing several stations on the way!!)

    as for today, i just didnt feel like sitting on the side of the freeway waiting for roadside, so i MADE it work.

    as far as the fillup. i stopped at first click. added about another .2 to .3 gallons just to round off the cost a bit. still think i could have gone another 50 miles
     
  11. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I haven't heard of anyone running out of gas with 2 bars on the gas gauge. I normally fill at 2 bars but today ran until the gauge was blinking for the first time. Silly thing to do in my opinion as you have no idea how much fuel is left usable once that happens and it isn't worth the worry. I'll continue to fill up when I'm down to two bars from now on. Why risk being stuck on the side of the road for no real gain? You will have to fill up anyway.
     
  12. XMAN LIVE

    XMAN LIVE "Just have Fun!"

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    My record in my 06 prii is 628 mpg. I was very proud. Before that 550 mpg several times that’s about all I could get. I did take a picture with cell phone but lost picture at some point.

    Something in the Prius pushes me to try max the tank. I hate when you got a good tank going and then my wife wants to drive or she takes the car for the day. Sometimes when driving with the wind and on a concrete road (not black top) and your getting great gas mileage, I don’t want to stop. If I was retired I might just go anywhere the wind blows. My family has a heavy foot, and thinks I am nuts. They say who cares if you’re getting 52 or 48 mpg both number are great. I say I do. My wife and daughter can smash my average in just few hours, not sure how they can do that bad.

    By the way I have run out of gas before when I was a kid. :eek:
     
  13. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    You know, Dave, we do have gas stations here in Hoquiam. Really.

    And you didn't swing by my house and show off your new baby? Really?
     
  14. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    87/88 cars probably didn't have a non-return fuel system with the pump in the fuel tank.

    I know my 2001 Ford Focus did, and I used to refuel that when the gauge read Empty and the fuel light had come on. The most I ever put in that was 50.51 litres, where the tank was documented to have a 55 litre capacity. There are suggestions that fuel tanks often have greater actual capacity than quoted anyway. However, I sold the car when it was only seven years old and had covered less than 60,000 miles. I didn't have any fuel pump problems particularly, though I noticed it ran better with a full tank than an empty one.

    I remember seeing suggestions that the 2G Prius (in Europe, without bladder) still has several litres of capacity after the fuel gauge starts blinking - some of the Portuguese owners did some testing, as I recall - but I refuel with two bars remaining, which has usually been 30 - 35 litres. (I fill up when convenient at about this range, at the fuel station that I know is cheapest for decent fuel.) The stated capacity is 45 litres, so I still had 23-33% of stated capacity remaining. It's still a range of 400-450 miles.
     
  15. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    That's shocking!!
     
  16. nineinchnail1024

    nineinchnail1024 New Member

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    I've never run out of gas in the prius, but I can vouch for it being a bad idea to run on empty. I've worked on performance cars privately and professionally for about 7 years, and I've seen what a cavitated fuel pump can do to an engine. It ain't pretty. I'd recommend always filling up at two bars just to be sure the pump is submerged.
     
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  17. XMAN LIVE

    XMAN LIVE "Just have Fun!"

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    :hat:....How boring...:hand:...Are you chicken!...:fear:....I triple dare you...:eek:...You live on the wild side....:lie:...I can't take it...:tsk:...just kidding...:dance:....your my friend...:fencing:...LOL....:D
     
  18. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    Never have run out of gas in any car, even as a kid. I am a bona fide chicken and haven't let mine get below two pips. Although, I have to admit, I am tempted to see just how far I can get on a tank of gas. This is the only car that has ever tempted me to do that :)
     
  19. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well, i admit i did not stop by but i did think about you. i mentioned you, and Linds said "oh, you talking about the guy with the White Pri with "leaves" all over it...

    now, before you say anything...remember, it was dark... and rainy... and she had had a long day...and she had had an eye appointment but cancelled it...
     
  20. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Yes, you have. There was a link posted to two reports of this in a single thread the last time you made this same claim.
     
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