One bar flashing fuel light

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by choudynasty, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. rich s

    rich s Blackie II The Prius

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    When my light starts blinking I fill up with about 9.4-9.6 gallons. That means I have about 2.5 or 2.3 gallons left. I don't let it go more, because the tank should not be run too low. There are reasons not to drain down to the bottom of a tank. Restarting a Prius that has run out of gas is really bad and takes more then a gallon+ of gas. I have gone more then 50 miles on the blinking light. I don't think it is a good idea....Rich
     
  2. jenzfc

    jenzfc Junior Member

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    Guys don't let drain your gas tank. It's really bad for the gasoline filter. Yesterday right after the meter the light started blinking I went to the gas station. Obviously if you're in the middle of nowhere and it starts blinking its good to know you still have at least 75 miles to find a gas station.
     
  3. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    Bob Wilson who has experimented with his 2010 Prius by running it until it had no gas left in its tank has reported that 2.1 gallons is left in the gas tank after you see the first bar blink and you get the warning beep. It's probably safer to say a 2010-2012 Prius Liftback has about 2.0 gallons left in the tank. A Prius Plugin and Prius c have smaller gas tanks. How far you can go with 2.0 gallons of gas depends on the driving environment and your driving skill, e.g. at +71 mpg calculated, my 2010 Prius has been able to go about 660 before the first beep and the last bar started blinking, 690 miles before the Miles to Empty = 0 miles, and up to 800 miles before a fill up (11.25 gallon fill up, stopping at the first click). The fuel tank level gauge sensors are not that accurate when the gas tank is very full and when it is near empty. Direct readings of the fuel tank level gauge sensors don't help that much more either. The ScangaugeII xgauge fuel level (Flv) can't seem to get an accurate reading over 11.3 gallons and under 0.7 gallons.
    YMMV. hope this helps

    Walter Lee
     
  4. kdkuhns3

    kdkuhns3 Member

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    Not sure if this helps, but on my last tank I hit 0-E at 622 miles and didn't fill up until 720. I was at 70 mpg when I hit empty, but due to some highway travel ended up down to 66.9 mpg by the time I filled up. I ended up putting in 11.5 gallons! So, I went almost 100 miles after I hit E without running out of gas. But like many others, I wouldn't recommend pushing it that close. I am not going to push it that far again anytime soon.
     
  5. alfon

    alfon Senior Member

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    On the 2010-2012 Prius after the first auto click off at the gas pump you can still nurse
    another 2 gallons into the tank until the gas can be visible at the top of the filler neck.

    I know some of us think this is a big NO NO as the fuel system may be or will be damaged. I noticed in the
    owners manual, at least mine in the 2010 Prius owners manual, there is no mention
    of this. You would think that if it was such a serious issue it would be mentioned in the owners manual but
    it is not.

    I have at time filled up to max with standing fuel at the filler neck and have had no problems. No
    bells, whistles, or flashing lights went off.
     
  6. MattPersman

    MattPersman Member

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    how long are you clicking the dribble by dribble to get 2 gallons after the first click? I have tried to add more fuel after the first click and its a chore to get 3 tenths of a gallon in, i could not imagine 2 full gallons, would be easier from a plastic gas can
     
  7. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

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    everybody,

    A little bit of thread hijack here. I used to own a 1967 Opel Kadett "L" wagon whose fuel tank was high in the right rear fender (dangerous in a right side t-bone crash if in the last half of the car of course). The filler neck was about ONE INCH long with the gas cap angled a little bit less than a 45 degrees from the horizontal, so you could see directly down to the bottom of the tank (even being able to place a yardstick down to the bottom if you wanted to).

    Because of this & depending on how long a particular nozzle was, many times a station attendant would want to hang the hose back up thinking the 10.2 gallon tank was full when it could EASILY take at least 2 or more additional gallons (& this was also reflected on the gas gage too). Once I demonstrated : that you could see the actual bottom of the tank; that you could feel the end of the filler neck with your finger; that it was fully capable of taking at least 2 additional gallons after the automatic shut off; & the gage reading at the first shut off, I no longer had any trouble getting a full tank at those stations. Of course I never had any more trouble of that nature once so many stations went to self serve pumps.

    But come on now, guys. Ever since I sold that car (& got something with a typical low mounted, below-the-floor-pan fuel tank) I've never gone past the shut off click other than to round up to the nearest 50 cents or full dollar (whichever is safely reachable). We've all learned long ago here (& at PriusOnLine) as far back as in the early 2G, that it is bad to over fill the Prius. Doing that could cause overflow into the charcoal canister (probably throwing an un-clearable code that won't let you pass your emissions test---don't remember if the code part is true or not) or overflow between the bladder & tank wall (causing you to NOT be able to take on as much fuel any longer---because the trapped fuel had nowhere to go). Either condition required a complete tank assembly replacement, I believe, at a cost of $400+ plus labor.

    Please don't tempt fate by playing this ridiculous game of who can go the most miles after the last bar starts blinking before running out & over-filling the tank to get the most miles per tank. There is no official contest that makes it worth becoming stranded in the middle of a traffic lane or just having to replace your fuel system (tank, filter, pump, charcoal canister, etc.). Just make it a habit to : think about getting gas at 2 bars; make an effort to get once you hit one bar; & just go get gas for sure as soon as you hear the beep & the last bar starts flashing---remember that since the 2010 models, you don't even have any battery power available to help you get to the side of the road or any further once you do run out.

    One more slight hijack here & then I'll go. When I used to have one of my diesels years ago before diesel became easier to find (& was cheaper than regular gas) & over a dollar per gallon gas hadn't really been thought of, I used a station in Middletown,CT that had its diesel pump WAY OVER at the side of their lot. That side of the lot was bounded by a narrow one lane road over by the pump. Since the garage also had a row of used cars for sale as well as a row of customer cars both before & after repair work, any of us who used that diesel pump had to drive up onto the side walk to get close enough to the pump & not block any traffic on the narrow one lane street (that was quite busy, by the way). Later, once gas was over $1 per gallon (& diesel too), you had to pay double the dollar amount on the pump because it was a very old pump & the price per gallon line at the bottom of the readout area couldn't be set any higher than 99.9 cents per gallon. Hence, they just set it to 1/2 the price per gallon that was current & you paid double what was on the total sale line. That's all, & I promised I'd go now. Bye!!

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
     
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