Low Fuel Light

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Taser, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Taser

    Taser New Member

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    Good Day Everyone,

    I picked up my Prius on 3/1/10. So far, love it! I am saving a LOT of money from my '07 Chevy Tahoe I traded in. Fill up was $27.00 the other day versus the $70.00 I am used to that went the same distance.

    I got down to one bar on Sunday with no Low Fuel light or warning. Reading other threads, I am sure it has one. When does it activate in your experience and how long do you have before you're calling Freeway Service Patrol? :)

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
     
  2. Mailmandolin

    Mailmandolin Junior Member

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    I got my first warning yesterday. It is a double beep. I thought a seatbelt was off and the warning came on. The dash told me I had 22 miles left to go. I just went to a gas station I liked and filled up. You will get the warning soon enough.
     
  3. dwhutch

    dwhutch New Member

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    That last bar will start flashing also a beep will be heard. That is your low fuel indication. You will have about 2 gallons left at that point.
     
  4. Cary

    Cary Just call me junior

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    I ran into this yesterday with my 2010 Prius .... so if one has only 22 miles to go and the bar is flashing, how can there still be two gallons in there? I filled right up at this point, and it took only 9.4 gallons.
     
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    The "miles to go" is not terribly accurate. The tank is rated at 11.9 although mine seems closer to 12.1. Regardless, three tests to complete fuel exhaustion came in at ~2.1 gallons based upon the trip meter MPG and distance. A more conservative number, 2 gallons, would be a good rule to use. BTW, I caution about running out of gas because the car does not raise a "check engine" light or any other indication that you are not running on the last of the traction battery power.

    In the earlier versions, running out of gas raised a lot of error signals and lights. This let us know we had about a mile of traction battery power to reach a safe parking place. This car switches to traction battery and if you don't notice it, can quickly drain the traction battery and then raise a false "power steering" light. When that happens, all power is lost and you will be parking within the distance you can roll.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  6. vday

    vday Member

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    I think that the miles to go is intentionally off. Toyota wants you to fill up before running out of gas. I read somewhere that it is advisable to fill up with no less then 6 liters (about 1.6 American Gallons).
    I find that even when your consumption (MPG) is pretty stable if you add the miles actually traveled and the miles to go you will find that the sum decreases as you advance in the tank. I believe that this for the same reason.
    Do others find the same?
     
  7. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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    Your tank in close to 21.1 wow thats awesome mine seems like 12 :(
     
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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Interesting, I hadn't tried that test, yet. Have you tried to graph it?

    Thanks,
    Bob Wilson
     
  9. Taser

    Taser New Member

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    As I read in some other threads, it is advisable to "top-off" the tank? My first full-up only took about 9 gallons. My MPG seems to be way down as well.
     
  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's what the refill blink is calibrated for.

    I've consistently been at the 9-gallon mark when it triggered.
    .
     
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  11. Taser

    Taser New Member

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    Well, my fuel bar started blinking tonight right at 22 gallons left like ya'll said. :) It works! We'll see how many gallons it takes tomorrow when I fill up.
     
  12. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    I read somewhere that the fuel pump is in the bottom of the tank and fuel cooled. Does anyone know if it will damage the fuel pump if you routinely run your gas tank to near zero before refueling.
     
  13. Harold Bien

    Harold Bien Member

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    I know you posted this observation earlier in another thread, but just now it got me thinking. Wouldn't the ICE without gas act not all that different from a defective ICE? Then why wouldn't there be any warnings/indications when the ICE fails to run?

    Have you tried the test (hard to do) where the ICE fails to run (due to out of gas or perhaps simply pulling a spark plug) and then attempt to specifically engage the ICE (not relying on ICE coming on for low SOC, but perhaps hard acceleration)? I would be very surprised if there are no warnings given at that time...
     
  14. jdk2

    jdk2 Active Member

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    And what about the condensation that must accumulate in a nearly empty tank?

    Though the looks you get from the gas station attendants when you fill up and the car only takes 6 or 7 gallons is disturbing :(
     
  15. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    Please read the User's Manual - everything is written in there.
     
  16. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    I think the claim of more debris in the fuel as the level gets lower is a myth because gas is drawn from the bottom of the tank, regardless of the level of gas in the tank.
     
  17. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    It is true that the electric fuel pump is cooled by "fuel", so it is better to keep a tank at least 1/2 full most of the time. I know this because my prior car's fuel pump burnt out because I would run it to the low fuel warning consistently. I've learned my lesson!
     
  18. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

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    Ditto to everything but the beep. I haven't heard the a low fuel beep.
     
  19. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    It will beep when the fuel level drops to a certain point while you are driving and after that it will emit the same beep when you enter Ready mode until you add gas.
     
  20. drsbm3

    drsbm3 Junior Member

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    On my last two fill-ups I had 491 miles on the trip indicator and 2 bars left on gas gauge and filled up with 8.73 gal. (56.2mpg); then 492.4 miles on the tank with 2 bars left, and filled up with 8.95 gals (55.0mpg). So, with roughly 3 gal left in tank, still 2 bars on the gauge. This seems contrary to others data above since they are getting low fuel indication at 9 gals burned and I am at 2 bars left on gauge. Does fuel gauge take into account rate of consumption? My intention is to take it down to flashing indicator on this tank and see what I have left in tank at that point. Once you get to 1 bar on gauge how soon does it start flashing and indicating low fuel?
     
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