[WARNING] Running out of gas (Gen III)

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

  1. lar.smith42

    lar.smith42 Active Member

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    When you are getting over 40 MPG 20 to 30 cents a gallon docent make a big diff. Im 72 and living on Social Security and I can do it. My road trips are usually around 1200 miles one way.
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I.e. there is not much price differential in your area. My travels easily see spreads of 50 - 70 cents per gallon. In my normal shopping zip code, the price spread this morning is 92 cent/gallon.

    Some normal intelligent people are more geared towards planning and cost optimizations and other math puzzles than others.
     
  3. lar.smith42

    lar.smith42 Active Member

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    I like to think i'm a normal intelligent person but thats probably up for debate. If I thought I was going to run out of gas I would get 1 or 2 gal of the expensive gas till I could get to the cheeper stuff. I guess I'm a little old school. I spent 10 years in the Army, 6 years as a volunteer fireman, and about 18 years driving a 18 wheeler all over the US. I like to keep my gas tanks fairly full in case of a emergency. Planning and cost optimizations and other math puzzles are great as long as they don't put you,your family, or other in danger when you run out of gas in traffic.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i always imagine myself being chased by terrorists. i'm trying to find a police station, and the last thing i want to do is run out of gas.:eek:
     
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  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Five years later, I edited the first post to accurately describe what happens and emphasize the absence of an alert or alarm.

    The first time was a surprise due to the absence of an 'engine won't start' error. The tone of my first report was stressed because of the surprise. The 2010 Prius needs at least a CE when the engine 'fails to start' so we can use the remaining traction battery energy to reach a safe place.

    The only error indicator, the subtle loss of energy flow arrows, lets a skilled driver use the remaining traction battery energy to reach a safe parking place. But this is not advised.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #485 bwilson4web, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
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  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I put a much more detailed response in the other thread. No, I don't run out of gas in traffic, and don't endanger people.

    As for getting 1 or 2 gallons of expensive gas to tide over to the cheaper stuff, I'll just mention one of my highly formative experiences, a long trip in a sparsely served rural area, when a very major holiday coincided with a Sunday (31 years ago last week). When unexpected events left me with an untopped tank, I planed about 40 miles ahead to top off in a certain town. However, all stations but one closed for the holiday, its price was jacked up by the boss, and the 'entrepreneurial' clerk added a mandatory 'pump unlock' fee equal to more than half a tank.

    Knowing what little I knew then, with fuel gauge just above 1/2 tank on a short-ranged car, I said no thanks and sweated the 130 more miles to the next station (with tourist trap prices) that was certain to be open. Had I known then what I know now about fuel gauging and hypermiling, I'd have given him a hardy 'You're Number One' salute, more merrily left him behind, then sailed beyond the tourist trap too to another place beyond with more reasonable prices.

    There have also been other formative experiences, including the OPEC oil embargo four decades ago. Some places had rationing plans where many people could not legally buy any fuel on certain days, regardless of travel need. Knowing a vehicle's real fuel range, in advance, was highly valuable.
     
    #486 fuzzy1, Jan 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  7. PriusC_Commuter

    PriusC_Commuter Active Member

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    Any idea if anyone has run out of gas in the Prius Plug-in? I'm still curious to know if when the gas motor shuts off the remaining EV miles are usable or if it behaves like the non plug-in model.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i haven't heard or seen anything. it would be interesting to run it dry with a full charge. i already did it in a gen II, someone else's turn.:cool:
     
  9. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What the heck, I'll try running out of gas on my GenII and see what happens.......for fun
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's no big deal, just have 3 gallons of gas with you, and stop on level ground.:cool:
     
  11. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    Yes, I know this thread is a zillion years old.
    Yes, I know that it's 25 pages long (I read every page).

    On the other hand, this thread is the "gold standard" that people are still referred to from other threads (in fact, just last week that happened) and so I have a question. It's probably a question that Bob Wilson can answer, so if you know him, please point him this way!

    Question: As one who often stretches the range of the Prius (please, no replies indicating that's stupid), I live by the idea that there are 2.1 gallons left when the flash begins, per @bwilson4web 's testing. But earlier in the thread, it is indicated that once ran out after just 25 miles.

    Since that is less than 12.5 MPG (which seems improbable), I am curious whether there is a logical explanation for this result or whether it is an outlier that should be disregarded as faulty data.


     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    With just a little gas sloshing around in the bottom of the tank, maybe it sucked air while going up or down a steep incline?
     
  13. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Many variables to cause one to completely run out of gas around 25 miles after DTE is 0:

    Any combination of driving downhill, headlights + AC or heater on full blast, non-top tier gasoline in tank, low tire air pressure, driving against weather elements, driving over 65 mph, constant change of driving speed, car maintenance, car has become less efficient over the years, and etc.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I think if gas tank cam was a thing, if owners could see the few cups of gas left in the bottom of the tank, they'd be a lot less inclined to run it low.

    I'll muzzle myself now, lol. :censored:
     
  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    If they also saw the amount of sediment I had at 200k miles NEVER having my gas tank run out, that would also act as a deterrent(y):

    What did you do to ur Gen III Prius today????
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Do note that the 25 miles case was in his Gen1, NHW11. But most of this thread, your car, and the 2.1 gallons figure, are specific to Gen3. So that particular 25 mile case is easily dismissed as being from a different car model, not your Gen3 design.

    That said, also beware that individual cars and their fuel gauging can be both different, and inconsistent. But the possible variation range has not been characterized here. That is one reason why so some much safety margin is built in that no Gen3 driver can honestly claim that they were not warned about low fuel.

    Gen2, with its troublesome bladder is different, a few drivers have run out before the warning.


    This thread remains the "gold standard" primarily because no one else has come along to put in even more effort to further refine the topic.
     
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  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Notice:

    Re: [WARNING] Running out of gas
    In over three dozen 'running out of gas' events (planned) with my NHW11, I found:

    • 25 miles - shortest
    The NHW11 (2001-03) has a flexible bladder in the tank that meant an inaccurate gas gauge. Although it usually ran out at ~65 miles, there was a wide variability from ~25 to ~112. The 2004-09 also had a bladder tank. From 2010 on, there was an ordinary tank and the gas gauge became more accurate.

    When either our 2003 or 2010 finally ran out of gas, there was ~1 mile of low power, EV, ~30 mph, to reach a safe parking place. There I would add one gallon of gas and try no more than twice to start the engine. After a 3d, failed attempt, a 12V, power-on, reset is needed to clear the code that prevents further attempts. The 12V reset works on the Prius Prime too but there was no EV reserve and the car became an inertial, rolling mass that you had to coast, if possible, to a safe place.

    Summary:
    • 2001-2009 had a bladder tank that led to inaccurate fuel level.
    • 2010-current had a regular tank that was consistently accurate.
    • 2017-current Prime BECOMES rolling, inertial mass, no warning.
    • 12 V reset needed to clear code preventing subsequent attempts to start engine.
    Bob Wilson
     
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  18. Lightning Racer

    Lightning Racer Active Member

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    When I had my 2010, I often filled up beyond 11 gallons, sometimes even beyond 11.5 gallons using the knowledge from this thread of 2.1 gallons left when the flash begins. I'd make an educated guess on the mpgs I was getting for the remaining distance, accounting for warm up and short trips, cold temperatures, snow, hills, and so on to confidently use 11.5 gallons without running out.

    This failed me once though. The car once ran out of gas going up a steep hill (~20% grade) soon after the blink started. I added about 1.9 gallons from a 2-gallon fuel container, needed to clear the code, then drove 5 miles to the nearest gas station. At the gas station I added 9.95 gallons, so doing the math, the car was starved of fuel on a steep uphill with about 2 gallons left in the tank. That's a good explanation for why Toyota needed to set the fuel warning and DTE=0 with that much gasoline left in the tank.
     
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