How Many Miles Can You Drive Once Blin Starts Flashing?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by ydpplqbd, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    How Many Miles Can You Drive Once Blin (AKA Pip) Starts Flashing?

    As you all know after the Prius 2ndGen gets down to the last blin, the car will continue to drive with a solid blin on. However, after driving about 30 miles in my 2ndGen, the blin will start to blink (which means that you are really low on fuel). I have been keeping scrupulous mileage records of miles driven versus fuel pumped in at fill-up. My routine is to fill-up but never try to force additional fuel in (IOW, when the pump clicks off, I consider the tank full - obviously, different fuel pumps have different click off points).

    After doing the math, I realized that I have considerable more range than the flashing blin would lead me to believe. Usually, I get to the last blin (non-flashing) at about 270 miles since last fill-up. And, my blin typically begins to flash at about 300 miles (give or take a couple of miles). Originally, I would drive about 30 miles after the blin began flashing and then fill-up. However, as my confidence has grown (some would say hubris), I have driven 50 miles, then 60 miles and so on, past the blin first flashing. Last night I drove 84.7 miles after the blin began flashing (IOW, I drove 383.7 miles since the last fill-up).

    My question: how do I recalibrate the gas gauge, or the flashing blin, in my 2ndGen so that the actual range based on fuel pumped and mpg (say 384 miles= 8 gallons x 48mpg) is reflected at least with respect to when the blin starts flashing*.

    *- in a perfect world, my blin would start flashing at about 350 miles. Thereby leaving me with 30 to 40 miles of safe space to get to a gas station.
     
    #1 ydpplqbd, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    This only applies to North American Gen 2s.

    My minimum was 8 miles.

    Other times I went 30 miles.

    After running out of gas twice, (it takes 3 gallons all at once to make the computer aware you added gas) I quit being stupid and got gas at two pips.

    My v is way more predictable, as it does not have an inner bladder that folds and unfolds like a gen 2.
     
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  3. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    Are you keeping track of gas mileage versus fuel pumped at most recent fill-up in your Gen2?

    Do you know of a way of recalibrating the Gen2 fuel gauge and/or flashing blin?
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I used Fuelly to track my gas mileage in my Gen 2. 2006 Toyota Prius MPG - Actual MPG from 367 2006 Toyota Prius owners

    The flexible bladder flexes a different amount each tank, largely due to outside air temp and creases from past folding. If you recalibrated, it would only be good for that tank.

    Average for the last 5 tanks is a good standard.

    If your mother in law is in the car, get gas at 3 pips.
    If your spouse is in the car, get gas at 2 pips.
    If friends who will carry gas cans are in the car, you can go to one pip. (It needs 3 gallons without starting the car to register that you got any gas)
    If you see the pip blink get gas on this block.
     
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  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Quote of the day!
     
  6. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    How did you run out of gas if you record fuel mileage and mpg diligently?

    I generally do not want to go past 95% of the projected range (namely, last fill-up in gallons multiplied by average mpg for last three or four fill-ups). Last night when I pushed my Gen2 to 99.9% projected range was an experiment near gas stations, civilization and AAA (IOW, an anomaly).
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    As I say, the size of the gas tank is different every day.

    Past performance is no guide to your current situation.

    Get gas at two pips.
     
  8. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    My experience is exactly the opposite in that the fuel bladder seems to be taking the same amount of fuel within 1/10 gallon during this winter season (so long as I fill-up at the same 30 miles after blin starts blinking).

    PS I think a better statement regarding past performance is the following:

    Past performance is not a guarantee of the same performance in the future but is one of the best indicators regarding real-life expectations of future fuel economy.
     
    #8 ydpplqbd, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  10. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    Thanks for your good wishes (I wish you the same)!!!

    I am still trying to find information on resetting or calibrating when the blin begins to flash.

    PS Fuel does not magically disappear (if you drive regularly). Thus, if you know your average mpg over several weeks and amount of last fill-up, then you should know your distance-to-empty (AKA DTE) with great accuracy (this method has been working for me without any hiccups). You have taken the POV that the gas tank is a different size everyday and hence you should fill-up prematurely. IMHO, the relevant issue is that the fuel in the tank is essentially a non-compressible material (a tiny-tiny bit of compression of fluids is to be expected, but likely not relevant, and likely to stay the same volume if there are no wild swings in temperature). Meaning we know how much was transferred to the Gen2 at fill-up and we have estimated consumption of fuel based on average mpg and mileage driven. Thus, the expansion and contraction of the gas-tank's liner/bladder is interesting but not definitive in determining DTE.
     
    #10 ydpplqbd, Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  11. PriusPaddler

    PriusPaddler Junior Member

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    I cannot help you recalibrate. But in my 2009 Prius, I have pushed it to 410 miles on one tank, and refilled it with just a hair under 10 gallons. Lately, I feel more nervous and refill about 30-50 miles after it starts blinking. This is less than 300 miles on the tank and it will use about 8 gallons give or take at the refill.

    I agree that it is frustrating to fill up somewhat prematurely, but I am wondering (since you know your car pretty well) if you can't simply use the total miles driven if you really want to drive longer and the last blin is flashing...? This time of year in Minnesota winter (lower mpg anyway), I'm not taking too many chances.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    While there are things that frustrate me, I guess that just hasn't been one of them. I'm going to fill up sooner or later anyway, and it's not as if giving myself a better safety margin means I'm using more gas overall.

    Consider an inclement weather situation, or some other kind of delay of your trip. A Prius is an excellent car to get stuck in (as long as the hybrid system isn't disabled), sort of a climate-controlled motel on wheels.

    Unless the tank is near empty.
     
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