Running out of gas on purpose

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by berinker, May 3, 2008.

  1. Spectra

    Spectra Amphi-Prius

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    The first, last, and only time I ever ran out of gas, I was in high school, and could always rely on mommy, daddy, grandpa & grandma to bail me out & sweep me up.

    That was in 1969, in a '66 Pontiac LeMans, and gas was $0.38.
    It wasn't fun then, and I can't imagine it being fun now.

    Go figure !
     
  2. Kablooie

    Kablooie Member

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    I ran out of gas in the Prius once. It wasn't too bad an experience other than the explosion that sent me flying in the air 2 blocks over. That put me pretty close to the gas station though so I picked up a can and a gallon and got the car started up again without any problem.

    Now if I can just get my spine back into alignment.





    :rolleyes:
     
  3. berinker

    berinker New Member

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    Can you explain the explosion??????
    Bud
     
  4. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Actually, I read it on this site, likely on a post regarding running out of gas and trying to fill it up using a gas can to get to a gas station. I'd have to do some searching to see if I can find a particular thread that stated this. I don't believe I was mistaken reading this, because it never occurred to me that a car would be difficult to refuel using a portable tank. The explanation, as I recall, had something to do with the bladder.

    That being said, I'm glad to hear that you aren't having an issue with refueling with a gas can. Because I'd like to think the Prius is as easy to fill up with a gas can as any other car (one less thing to worry about).
     
  5. JRGris

    JRGris New Member

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    I was told by a technician at the dealership where I bought my Prius that there is a foam material in the gas tank that be ingested into the engine if you run out of gas. He indicated that it can be a serious problem to run out of gas.
     
  6. alanh

    alanh Active Member

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    I wonder if mechanics' schools have creative writing classes for these stories. :rolleyes:

    No, there's no foam in the tank. See the teardown here.
     
  7. abq sfr

    abq sfr New Member

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    Over 400 miles is a long way to go in the desert, which is probably the minimum cruising range of a Prius. If it's warm I can usually go over 500 between fillups before the last pip blinks. I didn't notice... you from Australia which is probably the only place with Prii and deserts that large?? Just fill it up when near a gas station.
     
  8. schaeffz

    schaeffz Prius Newbie

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    Well, after 4000 miles I finally accidently allowed the gas gauge to go blinking. The weather was nice last week and I was switching back and forth between the Prius and my Sebring convertible (yes, top down on a nice Spring day @ 25mpg trumps 53mpg) and I lost track of the Prius gas situation. Drove about 5 miles after the flashing started to get to the next gas station (yes, I was nervous). It took 9.8 gallons, the most I ever put into it. So, I know I've got at least five miles on blinking, some comfort, but not enough for a highway situation were I may have ten or more miles to the next exit. I've been typically going to one blip, since my commute has a gas station about every five miles, but I am thinking now that the two-blip gas-up will become my standard.
    That's my blinkin' blip story.
    Mike
     
  9. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    The bladder variability and MPG variation make it dangerous to assume that there is *any* particular amount left when blinking starts. One really just should not let it get that low.
     
  10. Kablooie

    Kablooie Member

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    Uh, no. I'm afraid I can't.
     
  11. Jack66

    Jack66 Kinda Jovial Member

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    Bad Mexican food? :)
     
  12. Jeremiahjj

    Jeremiahjj New Member

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    I would just hand-calculate the mileage a few times to come up with an average miles per gallon burn rate under various circumstances (highway, mountain driving, etc). Multiply that figure times how many gallons the tank holds and there you are. It takes the guesswork out of driving. I never look at a fuel gauge. I much prefer to keep my eye on the miles driven. I learned this from flying airplanes where, when the door is closed, everything becomes rate. Gallons per hour, etc. I knew an old pilot who flew a Beech D-18. He'd watch the clock and would point at the fuel pressure gauge at the precise instant it began dropping, indicating that the tank being used at that time was bone dry.
     
  13. abq sfr

    abq sfr New Member

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    It's a pip, not a blip. ;)
     
  14. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Betcha never flew an airplane with a variable-capacity fuel tank :_> How many times will you run out of gas in the Prius before you start watching the fuel gauge? If your distance threshold is 200 miles then you'll probably never run out. If your threshold is 400 miles you certainly will sooner or later.
     
  15. Danny Hamilton

    Danny Hamilton Active Member

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    The size of the tank is unimportant as long as he is using the amount of fuel recently added for his calculations and not assuming any particular amount still in the tank when he fills up. Of course, this leads to an ever increasing amount left in the tank. Eventually, he'd need to either empty the tank and refill it, or trust the fuel gauge for a while until he gets back down to some safe base level of "leftover" fuel. The threshold wouldn't be "miles" but rather calculated gallons. Calculated gallons would be miles divided by fuel use rate (MPG), and he should be safe as long as he is working from an accurate fuel use rate (MPG) and he fills up when the calculated fuel used is less than 95% of the fuel recently added.
     
  16. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    That methodology is obviously *much* more convenient and reliable than consulting the gas gauge :_>
     
  17. Danny Hamilton

    Danny Hamilton Active Member

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    Whether it is more reliable is debatable and depends largely on how reliable the odometer is and how reliable the MPG estimate is. As for more convenient, I don't think he ever said anything about convenience.
     
  18. _echo

    _echo Junior Member

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    Really dumb question:
    How far has anyone pushed it _with_ a scan tool?
    I notice that the blinking happens in my car when the tank reaches ~12%, sometimes it starts at ~15%. I've also noticed that the tank readings are roughly 10% per pip (except for the first one, which goes to ~85%.)


    The lowest I've gotten the tank is somewhere around 7% (~470 mi/50mpg).. I will probably never do that again. Haven't ever run out of gas though..
     
  19. berinker

    berinker New Member

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    You misunderstood. I will not be crossing a desert. I will be driving around
    in the California/Navada deserts - exploring.
    Bud
     
  20. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Maybe you should rent a 4WD something for this and carry three extra 5 gallon gas cans?
     
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