Range 13 Miles on E light?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by kellec, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. kellec

    kellec New Member

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    I have a 2014 Prius v, that I bought new at the end of 2014 so have been driving it for about a year and a half.
    I am getting something like 38 MPG average.
    When I had 1 bar of gas left on the display, the range said 13 Miles, which seems low...
    Then when it went to E light, the range miles started dropping, I got to a gas station around 4 miles left in range.

    Is this accurate? How much is left in the tank when you hit E? If I am getting 38 MPG average and the range is 13 miles then I have 1/3 of a gallon left? I thought usually cars have anywhere from 1-2 gallons when you hit E.

    Does anyone have experience with this?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    typically 2 gallons, it's in your o/m. it's not counted in dte, cause they consider it safety/emergency.
    so you have a good 70 left, but be careful.:)
     
  3. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I don't own the wagon, I own a standard Prius, but I'm a little unclear what you mean by "E-Light"?

    On the standard Prius the gauge is made up of an arc of pips. As you use gas each pip disappears until you reach the final pip.
    The final pip, will, if you keep driving a standard 2013 Prius, will eventually start blinking and the vehicle with give you a rather missable, single auditory tone.
    At that point I personally switch to DTE or Cruise Range, which show the same mileage left, and I usually drive until that number reaches zero. Then I fill up. And so far....*on my vehicle only...there has always been a gallon or more fuel left.

    In an urban environment, not likely to leave me stranded far from a gas station, this is the cycle I usually follow.
    However, IMO filling up sooner, is always better than filling up with a plastic gas can...too late.
    Waiting until 2 pips, or even 3 pips and filling up? Only means putting less gas in the tank at fill up and a lower initial investment. I don't perceive much if any disadvantage to it.

    My only caveat is that Distance to Empty or Cruising Range, is NOT a written in stone, perfect number. The miles left can disappear quickly, in less time, depending on your driving conditions.
    In other words, I've had times when the DTE said 10 miles, and then I drove about 2-3 miles only to have it reading Zero, and times when I had it say I only had 3-4 miles left and then drove much farther before it reached zero. So once the Pip blinks and I hear the tone? I keep a close eye on Distance To Empty.
    I attribute this to no technology being able to predict the "conditions" of driving. And with a Hybrid that can significantly affect how much gasoline is being burned.
     
  4. kellec

    kellec New Member

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    What I mean by E light, is the light that turns on once the last square disappears from the fuel gauge. Based on your answer I guess I need to look for a DTE reading, not range. My display button cycles through to show range but no DTE. Seems like range can fluctuate based on driving conditions so they try to predict, but even still, 13 miles seems like a low prediction if I'm getting ave. 38.
     
  5. kellec

    kellec New Member

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    Yes, I saw 2 gallons in my manual, but that's why I was unsure why range wasn't reading (something like) 70 when the light came on. I suppose it's a difference of 'range' vs 'dte'?

    I was thinking what I might do is drive it till the light turns on and get gas as son as possible and see how many gallons it will take. Then I know how much I have left.

    I start to panic when the light comes on and it says 13 miles. I don't think running out of gas on the freeway with a toddler sounds like fun. If you run out of gas, can you just drive in electric mode?
     
  6. bisco

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    not really, if your battery is close to full, you might get a mile on the flat. best to fill up asap.
    dte and range are the same for toyota, they will not show you the safety amount, too many people would be running out of gas and complaining.
     
  7. kellec

    kellec New Member

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    I still don't get it...if range and dte are the same, why is it saying 13 miles when the light turns on when I average 38 mpg?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it should be saying zero, when the light turns on, has it always said 13?
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Hear hear!

    Everyone goes on quests, without a clear idea of why. Chasing the bottom of the tank is one of these: no upside, good chance of a hike down a highway.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    repeating myself here, but my wife and i were 50 miles from our hotel, in the middle of the night, in the olds of central florida. no exits before ours, and the tank hit empty in our hycam, avg mpg 45 mpg on the gauge.
    i kept telling her we'd be fine, but inside, i was a mess.:eek:
     
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  11. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    There is no DTE on my v, just range that decreases. As stated above Toyota is looking out for you by "lying" to you about the range to give you extra time. But let's say it was accurate and you were caught in a traffic jam, were lost or just could not immediately find a gas station? Lots of people would run out of gas including the guy three miles ahead of you that caused the traffic jam. So virtually all cars misrepresent the actual range left or simply go to empty on the gauge with at least one gallon left.

    So here is a way to determine how much gas was left when you fill up on empty with range zero, or anytime. The tank holds 12 gallons, subtract the fillup from 12 and you have the amount that was in the tank. My fillups at empty usually never exceed 10.5 gallons, so I should have 1.5 gallons or more when I gas up. By the way the earlier Gen2 cars have gas gauges that are much less predictable so this does not work with Prius models 2009 or older.
     
    #11 rjparker, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  12. The Electric Me

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    Given your rightful anxiety about the dangers of running out of gas with a toddler on the freeway, my advice is just to fill up wth 2 pips remaining. I'd just ignore DTE, Cruising Range and Blinking Pips.

    As far as your MPG being 38? That is what it is.
    You have the freedom to determine your fill up routine whether you are driving a vehicle that is getting 16 mpg, or one that is getting 38.

    My personal experience IS that once I hit DTE Zero I do have 1-2 gallons left. But...really what does it matter? The trick is to find a routine that provides safety and that you are happy following.

    A benefit IMO of owning a Prius, is the ability to drive farther on a tank of gas, which on a very fundamental level means I can, if I wish, fill up "early" and have driven as many miles or more miles than most regular ICE vehicles, that have used up an entire tank.

    My Honda Fit? I had to fill up routinely around 270 miles driven per tank.
    With my Prius, I don't worry about filling up until closer to at least 400 miles.
    That's a huge benefit of having chosen and invested into a Prius IMO.
     
  13. bisco

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    i never use those two gallons, so i'm a bit worried about them becoming stale, if i do need them in an emergency.
     
  14. kellec

    kellec New Member

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    Sounds good. I always get gas around or before the light comes on, but with the Prius getting great gas mileage I have it on my mind less and less and sometimes the little light creeps up and surprises me, which is what prompted me to question the 13 mile range data. For the record, I've never run out of gas in my entire life and don't plan on it, or even toy with it. But in the event of the little light surprising me at 1 AM on New Years Eve, or on a unscheduled trip to the hospital, 13 mile range is very different from 70. So I think I'll do the fill up/subtraction exercise to confirm.

    Thanks for the responses everyone.
     
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Toyota is a conservative company. I found that the DTE or range (aren't they interchangeable terms?) on Toyotas is usually to the Low Fuel Light (what you call E-light). Of course it's not always dead on but at least you know that 0 miles isn't actually 0. On the regular Prius, I've driven up to 60 miles on the light and still had 1.3 gal remaining. (Summer time only. Never run low in the winter for safety/emergency purposes).
     
  16. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    LOL
     
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  17. JSH

    JSH Senior Member

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    No need to panic, you have lots of range left when a Prius shows Empty. Your best bet is to fill up, see how much it takes, and subtract that from the stated fuel capacity. You will find you have gallons left when the car shows Empty.

    I have 2nd gen Prii but find this incredibly annoying. My car shows Empty with about 3 gallons in the tank. When I drove it to empty it went 125 miles after the car showed empty. Today I ignore the gauge and fill up at 400 miles.



    Nexus 5X ?
     
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Your example, along with another Gen2 incident posted to another thread today, illustrate the great variability of the Gen2 bladder. You got 125 miles after Empty. Prius Maximus got only 3 miles after his last pip started flashing, until he was empty. JimboP has reported a mere 7 miles.

    Drivers of the bladdered Gen2s need to be far more cautious with with low fuel levels than do other generations with fixed tanks.
     
  19. JSH

    JSH Senior Member

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    I routinely drive 75 to 100 miles after the last pip starts flashing and have done so for years.

    Nexus 5X ?
     
  20. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    The problem with relying on 'miles remaining' estimates is the systems 'make fuel' when in highest efficiency highway cruise, then rapidly 'use it up' when in stop-and-go traffic. You seemingly have range to destination until you hit traffic, instead you find yourself pooched.
     
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