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My 2012 Prius C fuel Gage problem.

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Phil 29 Palms CA, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    In the past I have had my fuel Gage go down 1 bar after about 60 miles traveled. Since my last fill up my fuel Gage has only gone down 1 bar (9 still ON) after 185 miles travel. The gage appears to be struck with 9 bars ON after 185 miles traveled!, Any fix to a stuck fuel Gage indication?
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Did you overfill? Is the MPG on this tank higher than normal?

    If your current MPG is normal, continue traveling towards your normal refill distance. Odds are, the gauge is not stuck, but will return to normal expected behavior. These things are not necessarily as accurate or linear or repeatable as many customers expect.

    If you get to a tank distance where you normally expect to be well below half, but the gauge is still stuck at 9 bars, then it is likely to be a problem. And by all means, if problem hints still persist, don't go a longer distance than normal for refills, regardless of how high the gauge reads.
     
  3. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    Thanks for the reply and advice. Since I bought my Prius C I have had the policy of driving until 5 fuel indicator bars were ON and 5 fuel bars were OFF. A t that time I would put exactly 5 gallons into the tank. This procedures would give me a 10 bar full tank indication after refill. After about 325 miles and 5 bars ON and 5 bars OFF I would repeat the procedure. I now have 3856 miles on the odometer and it is the first time the fuel gage is stuck at 9 bars ON after 186 miles of driving. I will drive until 400 miles since fill up and see if I get 5 bars or more OFF. After 400 miles of driving I will add 5 gallons to the tank and see what happens...
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    iirc, there is a way to reset the gauge. i suppose you could try disconnecting the 12v negative for a few minutes to see if it helps.
     
  5. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    Fuel gauges are notoriously unreliable.
    Hopefully yours will come "unstuck" and then work pretty much normally after that.
    P.S. If you bought the car in 2013, it might still be under BTB warranty......might.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    When putting in 'exactly' 5 gallons, does the pump ever shut off automatically before reaching that amount? And if so, does that mean you continue forcing in more fuel until 5 gallons are actually in?

    If so, then your pattern should produce wildly varying distances for the first bar to go out, because each refill reaches a different 'top' level. Refilling to the first or second pump cut-out should produce much better consistency, though still not as regular as you may expect.
     
  7. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    The way I add fuel to the tank is by multiplying the price per gallon by 5. I pay the gas station exactly that dollar and cents amount. When the gas pump reaches thar money amount the pump automatically shuts off. I have never had too much fuel in the tank to cause an overflow while pumping gas into the tank.
     
  8. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    But that doesn't really answer the question that was asked.
    Do you ever have to "squeeze" to get in the whole 5 gallons......by pulling the nozzle out a bit or by doing multiple "clicks" ??
     
  9. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    The answer to your question is - NO... Never had to 'squeeze'. To get the whole 5 gallons in the tank. I do not know by never letting my fuel tank go much below 'half full' has caused the computer software to cause my problem?
     
    #9 Phil 29 Palms CA, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2015
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Different strokes for different folks I guess, but that seems complicated.

    What I do is pump 'till the nozzle's shut-off shuts it down, done.
     
  11. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    After further thought, here is what is causing your "problem":
    It is YOU. ;)

    Putting in exactly 5 gallons is leaving it a little bit short every time and eventually putting in only 5 gallons leaves it enough short that it shows up on the gauge.

    If you will actually FILL the tank........instead of just putting in 5 gallons.......your gauge "problem" should disappear.
    (y)
     
  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Because you start your refills over a variable range (somewhere between 4.5000 and 5.4999 bars, all rounding to the same '5' bars), your refill method also produces a variable endpoint. And because those bars don't necessarily represent the same amount of fuel (the gauge is non-linear, and the top of the gauge is not at the real top of the tank, and the bottom of the gauge is not at the real bottom of the tank). Across the auto industry, the top bar is also commonly a very wide bar. It could also be ythat your #5 bar is a wide bar.

    The tank that took 60 miles to lose the top bar was a low fill. The 185 miles to lose that bar was a much higher fill. I was suspecting an overfill, but you other answers suggest otherwise.

    Your refill method renders any 'miles to lose top bar' statistics meaningless.
     
  13. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    To fuzzy1: If you had my problem, how would you perform my next gas fill-up? Wait until 450 miles since my last 10 bar ON fill-up, then only put enough gas into the tank to limit it to 9 bars ON? This is my plan at this point. Does the plan sound good to you? I hope I show at least 5 bars OFF on the gage at when I reach 450 miles!
     
  14. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    Don't make this so difficult.
    Whenever you decide to put gas in it.......FILL IT UP to the second click.

    If something in your brain won't let you do that.......then you must accept the fact that YOU are causing the gas gauge to be "off" from what you think it should be.

    Simple. Easy. It might make you walk BACK into the station to get change from your cash pre-pay though.
     
  15. Phil 29 Palms CA

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    Easy Rider 2: I thought letting the pump run until it automatically shuts off would over flow the tank or maybe cause the float in the tank to get stuck at the high point of its movement in the tank. Has your procedure of pumping until the pump automatically shuts off ever caused your Prius C to stick at 10 bars ON?
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    What overflows the tank is repeated ignoring the auto shutoff. The shutoffs work pretty good, stop pumping gas just about the time it gets to the filler neck. Only once, in 35 years or so, I've had the shutoff stick, gas overflow.
     
  17. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    It is interesting to read the different practices of Prius owners. I wait for a full fill up to get an accurate Gas Mileage calculation.
     
  18. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    NO. And not any other car I've driven in the past 50 years or so either.
    And I've driven a LOT of different ones since I shuttled cars for a rental company for about 7 years.

    Where did you GET that idea from anyway ??

    Now, having said that, I did have one pump nozzle fail on me about 6 months ago and overflow the input neck.........but that is only one in maybe 10,000 or so......and it caused no problem what so ever. Well, except for the gas smell on my shoes that is.
    I did report the bad nozzle to the station attendant.

    If you are REALLY afraid of the auto-shutoffs, then stand there and shut it off when you start hearing the gurgling noise in the filler neck.

    But I think you really need to just get over it and do what the other 50 million drivers in the country do every day.
     
  19. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Others already given good answers, but I'll reiterate:
    I would completely abandon one of your two irreconcilable practices, it doesn't matter which one. Either quit per-determining exactly how much fuel to add, or quit paying attention to how many miles that top fuel gauge bar lasts.

    Myself, I nearly always fill to the first or second cut-off click of the pump, and don't pay any attention to the upper bars on the gauge. The trip and tank average MPG displays are enough info for me, until the gauge gets down to the last three bars. And I will drive it down into the last bar, but note that I'm also using an additional tank level reading from an OBDII port reader.
    Overflowing would indicate a defect to the fuel station's pump, not in your car.

    I've never had the tank float stick in any car of any brand in my four decades of driving. On the other hand, the gauge of my newish Forester sometimes gets the top several bars stuck off, but this now appears related to me powering up part of the car to extract various meter readings for my fuel logs while the vehicle is still fueling (I know, some folks will shame me for doing this). It has never persisted to the next tank.
     
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