Question Regarding Fuel Gauge Calibration on 2006 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Jen Hasty, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Jen Hasty

    Jen Hasty Junior Member

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    So, I have a 2006 Prius. I had my oil changed before planning a trip to Philadelphia (drove from North Carolina). The night before I left, I was at a gas station filling up with the lock on the pump. The lock didn't release once it was filled, so it overflowed quite a bit. I was able to get all of the excess gas out, and I was good to go. My car drove fine to Philly and back, but about a month after the trip, I started to notice that my gas gauge was going down quicker than usual.

    It wasn't incredibly noticeable until the other day. My gas light was flashing on Thursday, so I bought gas. I drove about 10~ miles before getting gas and it only filled up around seven gallons. I've noticed that happening before this, but the next part is what made me realize that something could be wrong. I drove to work and back home on Friday and did not drive my car all weekend.

    When I got in my car on Monday to go to work, my gas gauge had nine notches. When I got back home from work on Tuesday, my gas gauge went down to four notches. My gas mileage has also went from 48.9 to 48.2 somewhat quickly. I'm not sure why my gas mileage is going down, but I know that I have more gas in my car than it's showing.

    My question is... I've read a lot about this issue and it seems to be pretty similar to those who try the Fuel Gauge Calibration. I'm confident that I can do this accurately and do think that it could help, but I'm not entirely savvy with cars. So, is there any reason not to try this? Or, is this something else? I just want to try what I can before I have to pay someone to look at it the next time I have my oil changed. I don't want someone to tell me that I have to replace my entire gas tank, so I'd like some other opinions from those who are more experienced than I am.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Your gas mileage will be worse during winter. That's a given.

    You can try and reset your gas gauge (entire car) by disconnecting the negative 12v battery terminal for a few seconds and then reconnect. You will have to reset your radio stations and your automatic roll down driver's side window.
     
  3. Jen Hasty

    Jen Hasty Junior Member

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    I'm not sure that I can do that myself without messing something up. Will the Fuel Gauge Calibration not fix this issue?
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    what is the fuel gauge calibration? what do you have to do
     
  5. Jen Hasty

    Jen Hasty Junior Member

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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles, and how long have you owned her?
     
  7. Jen Hasty

    Jen Hasty Junior Member

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    Roughly 160,000 miles and two years. I posted this elsewhere and someone said that this is a common problem in the winter because the gas tank has a rubber bladder inside (which I didn't know). So, the colder temperatures cause the bladder not to expand, which leads to holding less gallons than it does in warmer temperatures. I guess I may leave it alone for now. I don't see it leaking or anything, and my tanks are lasting around one week, which isn't too bad considering I drive 40 minutes to work and back for five days each week.
     
  8. Jen Hasty

    Jen Hasty Junior Member

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    Roughly 160,000 miles and two years. I posted this elsewhere and someone said that this is a common problem in the winter because the gas tank has a rubber bladder inside (which I didn't know). So, the colder temperatures cause the bladder not to expand, which leads to holding less gallons than it does in warmer temperatures. I guess I may leave it alone for now. I don't see it leaking or anything, and my tanks are lasting around one week, which isn't too bad considering I drive 40 minutes to work and back for five days each week.
     
  9. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    How To: Reset Gas Gauge in a Toyota Prius:
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you're probably better off not fooling with it until warmer weather at least. if you noticed a drastic change after the overfill, it's possible that something may have been damaged. there's a carbon canister that filters fumes and can get flooded in that situation, but i don't know if that can affect your gas gauge. if it's running fine and your mpg's haven't changed, (.7 mpg is really incalculable) i would just fill up based on miles driven, say, every 3-400 miles.
     
  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    7 gals is not too terribly bad for winter fill-up.
    Yes the gauge drops rapidly as low as 20-30 miles per "pip".
    The very first pip can last can last over 150-miles if you get a good fill-up (in the summer).
    Then the pips go down fast after that.
    Recently some of us have been experiementing with turning the gaso nozzle sideways to try to keep the Prius shut off mechanism from jumping early.
    A long time ago I've had one experence like you where the pump failed to cut off....not sure what that's all about.
     
  12. mdhsabh

    mdhsabh Junior Member

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    At the blinking dot, I've put as little as 6.5 gal in to fill up the tank. I followed the re-cal instructions at about half-a-tank, with the gauge one notch low. I got the 5-digit number with 1 in the middle, then on the next Odo press, the display returned to Trip A, which is apparently a success. But the fuel gauge didn't change. I did the procedure today with 3 dots, and the procedure went as described. But there are no other changes. What Changes does this procedure make? I would have expected the gas gauge to have changed in some way, for instance, re-center to 5 dots. But if the gauge is the same before and after, how does this procedure help with better accuracy? Sorry if it was mentioned and I missed it.
     
  13. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    From what I've read the procedure only resets the the inclination if it is incorrect.

    With the car having a rubber bladder for a fuel tank, the bladder in your car may just lack the flexibility to hold any more gas than that right now. This would be especially true if you are dealing with cold winter temperatures where you are.
     
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