Low Fuel Indicator

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Danimal01, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Danimal01

    Danimal01 New Member

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    I've had my 2006 Prius for 2 weeks now (I love it) and I had to fill my tank up for the first time. I drove about 30 miles while my fuel indicator was blinking. When I finally filled it up, the pump shut off at just under 10 gallons. The car has a 12 gallon tank. Does everyone else's Prius' start blinking at them when they still have 2-3 gallons left in their tank?
     
  2. Tom_06

    Tom_06 Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Danimal01 @ Sep 25 2006, 02:39 AM) [snapback]324555[/snapback]</div>
    The car does not have a 12 gallon tank. You have what might be UP TO an 11.9 gallon tank depending on the mood of the bladder. Check your manual - it will tell you that as the weather gets colder, you will have less and less capacity.

    Then there is the matter of whether you can actually suck all of the gas out of the tank. There will always be some gas in the tank when it runs out.

    And the real problem is just as likely that thanks to the bladder the tank was not really full. There have been reports of people running out in as little as 8 miles after the blinking light came on, others have gone more than 50 miles. You were lucky.

    I went to an open house at my Dealer's Service Dept. The "Master Tech" for Prius's said that you should only consider the Prius as having a 10 gallon tank. Trying to get more in can flood the carbon filter and cause a check engine light (and maybe spit gas all over youself). Trying to drive on a blinking indicator will cause you to run out of gas and perhaps damage the HV battery if you try to drive too far on battery alone.

    This thing has an 11.9 gallon tank in the same way that it takes 3.9 quarts of oil at an oil change.

    - Tom
     
  3. ekpolk

    ekpolk What could possibly...

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    Concur with the last post. Don't screw around in this regard. Though it does seem supremely ironic (at least to me), the fuel system on this car is quirky to say the least. None of the "benfits" of pushing your range are worth the potential costs of actually running it dry. BTW, I have a friend who drives an 05 model. She pressed on after the pip started flashing -- and made it five miles before the bladder ran dry! I've seen comparable inconsistency with the gauge in my 04 (though I haven't run it dry). Don't mess with this.
     
  4. brandon

    brandon Member

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    ... and still, I'm quite satisfied with a 450-500 mile tank.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Don't push it. The car knows itself best so when it says I want fuel, give it fuel.
     
  6. chimohio

    chimohio New Member

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    Only 4 fill-ups on my relatively Prius and only got the blinky once just as I got back from work - I had planned to fill up anyway and put 8.6 in the car. Probably could have gone farther but why press my luck.
     
  7. vkykam

    vkykam New Member

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    From the light starts blinking, I'd figure about 2 to 2.5 gallons based on my last fillup, as I went somewhere north of 100 miles on a 49mpg average.

    And for those that take the owner's manual of 11.9 gallons as a reference, my last fillup running that empty netted me 47.X L, or more than 12.5 gallons.

    But from the stations I have around here, from when the pump clicks to when gasoline sits at the top of the filler, it's about 1 gallon. If you know how far you are from the theoretical 11.9 gallon maximum (i.e. if click is 1 gallon from top, then assume you've got 11 gallons), then based on the fuel consumption computer, you can pretty much calculate when you'll run out of gas.

    I don't recommend anyone ever trying to run it that empty, as literally, your mileage may vary.
     
  8. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

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    Ahhh this is the golden Bannana Award question![​IMG]

    Most have said when you get to 2 blips/bars its time to refuel.. [​IMG]
     
  9. Rancid13

    Rancid13 Cool Chick with a Black Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Sep 29 2006, 08:08 AM) [snapback]325577[/snapback]</div>
    ITA. When I last fueled up a couple weekends ago, I let it get down to 1 pip remaining and it would only take ~8 gallons. I squeezed in another couple of drops to make it 8.5 but didn't want to risk overfilling.
     
  10. jverdin

    jverdin New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rancid13 @ Oct 3 2006, 01:16 PM) [snapback]327402[/snapback]</div>
    I filled up for the first time and with 1 bar left I was able to put in 10 gallons of Shell's 89 octane with no problems or spillage. I got 47mpg with the first 6 gallons of gas, not bad. I am really enjoying my Prius and all my peers really like the car. Thank you admins for this great site!
     
  11. DanMan32

    DanMan32 Senior Member

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    I have gotten 12.5 gallons in the car also.

    If all Prius are equal, then only the first bar would vary in the amount of fuel it would represent. Everything below that should be the same in gallons, tank to tank.
    Consider a container that is graduated. Sure, you could vary how full you fill the container, but once you reached a mark while draining the container, that mark would represent the same amount of remaining fluid, no matter how full you initially filled the container.
    Even with the bladder, considering the coffee/wine box that also has a bladder, the vertical level of fluid should be the same for a particular amount of fluid, no matter how full the container was filled.
    However, there are other criteria the guage uses to try and even out the reading, such as tank temp and vehicle tilt, which actually may make the readings worse rather than better.
     
  12. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Sep 29 2006, 08:08 AM) [snapback]325577[/snapback]</div>
    Right, and don't think that if you run out of gas, the battery will act as a 1-mile "lifeboat." That will ruin the battery.

    I generally fill up at 2 pips.
     
  13. Proco

    Proco Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DanMan32 @ Oct 5 2006, 10:39 AM) [snapback]328427[/snapback]</div>
    This is something I've been wondering about.

    I park in a parking garage at work and there have been times it would seem as if my gauge was going down quicker than usual. Sometimes I park on a level surface. Other times I've backed into the first spot on an up-ramp so I can just pull straight out on the lower level (does that make sense?).

    Could parking on a slope like that cause my gauge to go down quicker than usual?
     
  14. 200Volts

    200Volts Member

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    Having now driven 100k in my 04 and 06 Priuses combined:

    I just ran out of gas, 10.8 miles after my blinking low fuel started.
    I've also driven over 90 miles after my blinking low fuel ligh came on.

    So, now when it lights up, I get gas ASAP.
     
  15. pjelkins

    pjelkins New Member

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    everyone.

    Newbie here. I just filled up my tank (~55 degrees at the time) after about 450 miles. I'd been on the last pip for about 20 miles. It was the first time the tank had been filled, though it was done by the dealer, so I don't know how they did it. At any rate, it took less than 8.5 gallons. I've been reading a bunch of threads on the bladder, but there really doesn't seem to be much agreement. I'm not looking to break any records for miles on a tank. However, given a choice, I'd rather not get gas if I can still go 50 or more miles. I filled up today before the blinking started because I'm going out of town tomorrow. If I hadn't been, I would have probably waited until it started blinking. I have about a 9 mile commute to work, and I pass a half dozen gas stations along the way, the first one being about four miles from home. So, I guess my question is this: Assuming I'm driving locally, is there any reason not to wait for the blinking, then get gas ASAP, say within a couple of miles? Also, would the shape of the bladder (given the weather, etc.) change your buffer after the blinking begins? I've seen a lot of varying reports for different cars re how far you can go before empty once the blinking begins (1 mile v. 30 miles v. 90 miles, e.g.). Would that variation exist from tank to tank for the same car too, or could you rely on (say) a 10 mile buffer if you'd been able to go at least that far in the past?


    Thanks,

    Pete
     
  16. Dr Ed

    Dr Ed New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(aaf709 @ Oct 5 2006, 11:13 AM) [snapback]328476[/snapback]</div>
    Me too. I fill at 2 pips. The last blinking pip is not a reliable indicator on how far you can get. But each time I fill at 2 pips I can only get just over 9 gal. One would think tat then that 2 pips means having about 2 gal in the tanks and should be ok for another 90-100 miles. Wrong. Twice I didn't fill a 2 pips and continued on. Flashing started only about 5 minutes after hitting 1 pip. So my advice is don't let 2 pips get to 1 pip because you have no idea how long that last pip will go.
     
  17. hdrygas

    hdrygas New Member

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    When it gets down to one non blinking pip I re-fill. Why take it down to the last drop? Even if you are having this really great tank the calculated average will be what it will be. After a year or two moving the lifetime up or down by more that a tenth or so is impossible. Chill and Refill.
     
  18. BobZ

    BobZ New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Danimal01 @ Sep 25 2006, 02:39 AM) [snapback]324555[/snapback]</div>
    Hey I didn't even know there was a low fuel indicator. (Thanks) I can't seem to get out of that once a week mode filling the car. Plus I like pissing the gas guy off with a hundred dollar bill on a Sunday morning. hehehe Looks at me all pissed off when the pump stops at seven bucks and utters with that Turkish accent..."Ees it fool , ees it fool ?? hehehehe I'm such a bastard. Anyway Danimal I'm in Lindenhurst too (New York)

    Dan....12.5 in a 11.9 tank (bladder) it that possible or does your gas guy have his finger on the scale :blink: :blink: (If you know what I mean) ;)
     
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