[WARNING] Running out of gas (Gen III)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by bwilson4web, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. teiresias

    teiresias Junior Member

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    This would be my experience. Yesterday, I got the fuel beep and blink for the first time since owning the car. My commute is basically a mile (maybe 1.5 miles) with two gas stations between home and work, so I just pulled into the Shell and filled up, and it took about 9.2gallons to fill up.

    My previous car, a 2007 Civic Hybrid, had about 3 gallons left in the tank when the fuel light would come on, so this is pretty much what I'm used to.

    I have noticed that the car's displayed trip mpg seems to be more off the mark (it's over estimating) now that it's gotten colder. Granted, I haven't really owned the car in "hot" weather yet (bought it the last day of October), but it seemed to be a bit more accurate with the slightly milder weather a few weeks ago.
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My easiest car to run out of gas in, was 'my' first car, back in the days of no idiot lights or buzzers a bit less than 40 years ago. It did run out with the needle still above 'E'.

    This was not long after my parents ribbed me about being concerned about fuel range in their car with the needle actually on E.

    On this score, this Prius is really no different than any of my cars built in the past 30 years.
     
  3. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    Well, at least the Prius *does* sound, well *before* you are dry... :rolleyes:
     
  4. Erik Aalto

    Erik Aalto Junior Member

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    My first vehicle, a 1979 K5 Blazer, was so unpredictable, you could run out of gas with the gauge at 1/4. I ran out of gas at least 2-3 times with that, once in my Z28, twice in my 2G Prius, and my wife once in the 2G Prius (one of my times was her fault, she took my car because she was low on gas). I haven't bothered risking it in the 3G Prius, but I am curious about how far it COULD be pushed. I put in 9.5 gallons or so this morning, with 50 miles left on the range gauge.

    I only bothered to read through about 15 pages, and it just seems like people agree to disagree. Having personally ran out of gas on the freeway at 65, I loved the fact that I could limp to the gas station. I made it just as my battery bars had turned purple.

    I've had to walk to a gas station while running out once (died 1/4 mile from the station, would not go any further on the battery).

    Anyway, my 2 cents - the limp mode is certainly a cool feature, but I define it as a necessity when you have an unpredictable fuel tank/bladder. If the 3G has a more accurate gauge, I see no point in having limp mode as it should become harder to run out of gas.

    When I ran out of gas in the 2G, it was with about 480 miles on the trip meter, and an economy of about 48 MPG. I was POSITIVE I should have been able to go at least another 45 miles, but sure enough I ran out of gas. The culprit? A wife who doesn't pay attention when she fills up the tank, and if the pump stops, she must be done fueling up. I always try to make sure that I am filling up as much as the car calculates I have burned, and if it takes more than that, fine.

    If anything, if I had to pick something that frustrates me, it would be the fuel bladder in the 2G.
     
  5. mathan

    mathan Junior Member

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    I actually ran out of gas when picking up my mother-in-law at the airport. I totally thought I had more gas than I thought when it turns out my other half used the car and didn't tell me, and didn't bother filling up! :)

    But yes, my habit is that when the gas gauge beeps, I'm at a gas station within reason.

    My mother, used to fill her '86 Ford Escort whenever it hit quarter of a tank.
     
  6. RaZa

    RaZa Member

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    Has anyone done any recent experiments on the 2012's? I'm curious how crippled my car would be if it runs out of fuel. Seems silly that the car would potentially stop dead even if there is a perfectly good traction battery with more than enough charge to pull the car off the road...
     
  7. RaZa

    RaZa Member

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    So how bad was it when you ran out? Was the car completely crippled?
     
  8. mathan

    mathan Junior Member

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    This was a Gen 2 2009 rather than a Gen 3 - I literally ran out driving to the airport and ended up driving up to the gate to get my parking pass, and pulled into a spot just as the electric went purple. I was s******* myself.

    I have no plans on running out in my Gen 3 2012. :)
     
  9. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    The car completely crippled?? Didn't you read, he was picking up his mother-in-law. It was mathan that suffered the effects of running out of gas. :)
     
  10. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    This might help.
     
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  11. Randyneely

    Randyneely Junior Member

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    I fill at a 1/4. And have never ran out of gas in 36 years..... But I'm a bit OCD :)
     
  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    If your G3 is like the one I drive.....you'd have to be a moron to run out of gas!! I usually drive until the warning beep goes off, and then I start thinking about getting fuel. I've driven as much as 50 miles past the warning beep and I have yet to be able to pump 10 gallons of fuel into my car.
    If the tank is as big as the manual says it is, I'm lugging around an extra 1.something gallons of fuel after the warning beep and then after my testicular fortitude forces me to stop for gas. I usually keep trip "A" on miles driven on this tank of gas...so even if the fuel level system fails altogether, I think I'd notice before the 600 mile point...;)
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    In some of the places and conditions where I travel, fuel planning needs to happen long before any low fuel indication pops up. Waiting for the warning beep in those situations, or similar indication in other cars, is moronic, as fuel opportunities in the forward direction are far enough away that there is no assurance of reaching it before fuel starvation happens. A low fuel indication in certain spans would demand backtracking, or if lucky just a major course change from the intended route.

    In a previous car after a plan change, I didn't like being forced to look for fuel when the needle was still above 1/2 tank, and having to choose whether or not to cave in to a price gouger demanding a steep pump unlock fee. (I refused, and started my first phase of hypermiling while driving on.) Every car since has had it low tank behavior more carefully characterized.
     
  14. RaZa

    RaZa Member

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    Last night I let the fuel gauge run down to the last pip and the cruising distance remaining was around 30, yet I only put 9.090 gallon in the tank :confused: Maybe the cruising distance was a bit underestimated because I had a low average mpg on that tank, so I'll see how much I put back on this next tank when I do 50mpg or better and I get down to the same indicated 30 miles left.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    If the last pip was not yet flashing, then you didn't even get down to the level where the OP of this thread started counting distance and gallons to run dry.

    It would be nice to have an accurate Distance To Empty display. But the real world must leave plenty of safety margin as a buffer, to allow for the unavoidable measurement differences between cars, and the enormous short term fuel consumption variations from road and weather and traffic and driver conditions and short trip distances, and to cover some driver inattention.
     
  16. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    I am assuming the 2011 and 2012 are very much like the 2010. A PC member did tests on this a couple years ago and found on the 2010 when the last bar starts flashing, you have about 2.1 gallons left. That is 100 or so miles. The last bar starting to flash should not cause immediate panic with something like 100 miles of range left. Just for fun, I have driven 100 miles after the last bar started flashing a few times with no problem. The Gen II was very different with the bladder and I would never run close to empty on the Gen II as it sounds very unpredictable from what I have read here.
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That would be the very first post of this very thread.
     
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  18. will I am

    will I am New Member

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    do not know if it has been mentioned yet but my experience was differ from the first post. i ran out of gas on the freeway and end up coasting for a mile. i noticed my battery was draining extremely fast in ev mode, so i stop accelerating (maybe its trying to start the engine?). lucky for me after i exited the fwy, the stoplight was still green and had enough speed to creep up to the gas station on the hill with one bar left. i'm never doing that again. not sure how many miles it ran but i am sure its over 100 during a 2 day period.

    its a 2011 prius2 purchase jan/12 if it makes a diff.

    Edit: i just remembered the second time it happened to me. i was going on a ramp to fwy60 and ran out of gas. i ended up reversing out and headed to the same gas station a 1/4 mile away. lucky i had enough battery life and experience not to past 41mph. lol so much for not doing it again.
     
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  19. ChipL

    ChipL Active Member

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    Learned that lesson about fuel availability years ago driving a rent-a-moving truck to Texas many years ago. Was unsure of the mpg's and range on the tank. So I stopped often, but saw that gas stations were like 50 miles apart. So I got cocky and tried to stretch out the stops. Only to be needing fuel, and there was no station at the 50 mile point. Had to go another 50 miles, praying that the tank would hold out....
     
  20. Jason dinAlt

    Jason dinAlt Member

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    I don't get this thread. I am buying gas less often with the Prius than with other vehicles I have driven. Because of that I am more concerned about condensation in the gas tank, especially with the higher levels of ethanol in the fuel these days. So I am trying to keep the fuel tank above 1/2, figuring that the potential reduction of maintenance costs will more than offset the fuel economy reduction of carrying around an average of ~40 lb. of extra fuel. And, to misquote the Mastercard ad - reduction of annoyance and anxiety - priceless.
    So, is it just that some of you are gaming the maximum range? Or is there some other benefit to running the tank down that I am missing?
     
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