[WARNING] Running out of gas (Gen III)

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

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    23,011
    12,882
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2014 BMW i3-REx
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Re: [WARNING] Running out of gas

    I had to cycle through the different displays: Trip A, Trip B, miles to empty, odometer.

    Bob Wilson
     
  2. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,224
    139
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Does it really matter? I know of at least 3 and I don't go seeking them out. The claim was that at 2 pips you won't have any risk of running out of gas. It is untrue.

    I'm really amused by the number of absolute and ridiculous claims being made by your side of this argument.
     
  3. Midpack

    Midpack Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    461
    43
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    'Our side' is "really amused by the number of" counter argument posts directed at "your side" that you conveniently overlook. Telling? But you're welcome to the last word here, we're done...
     
  4. viking31

    viking31 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    512
    18
    0
    Location:
    West Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Bob, yes, I understand you purposely ran out of gas to measure how far the vehicle will go on each tank of gas. OK, fine. But, you went well over 100 miles on each test with the car doing its best (flashing last fuel pip) to tell you immediately get fuel and you are complaining that the car stops when it has no more fuel. Well, that's usually how it works. Do you need more warnings?? Horns, buzzers, computer voices??? You would have to look long and hard to find an area of the US without a filling station over a hundred miles away or a road warning you of the lack of filling stations ahead.

    So the car stopped when it ran out of fuel. Big deal, that's how it works when the gas is exhausted. It seems that you are implying that the Toyota engineers simply forgot to enable the traction battery to continue to its 'last breath' no matter the fuel situation. I think not. I believe the main cause of premature battery failure is irresponsible drivers running out of fuel on numerous occasions and pushing the traction battery to its limits. Toyota is simply, and wisely, protecting the traction battery.

    I have followed your posts in the past and have been impressed with their technical content and in depth analysis. But this last one, esp. the later part, has me wondering about your thought processes. It actually was so bizarre, that at first I thought you were joking (perhaps you are, if so you got me!).

    Rick
    #4 2006
     
    3 people like this.
  5. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,224
    139
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    The problem is that it sounds reassureing but you really can't predict that either.

    When I ran out of gas in a company vehicle I had been given an assignment to pick some stuff up and it was the first time I drove it. Roundtrip was maybe 4 miles and it indicated 1/4 tank when I fired it up. Didn't even make it half way. Minutes later it was out of gas just before the exclusion zone at the end of a military runway. Luckily it didn't stall out at the actual end of the runway, I really wouldn't have relished trying to explain why I was parked there...and that flatbed was heavy enough that it would have been tough for me to get it rolling pushing it mysel.

    The second time I was driving an old Caprice that my wife had as a hand me down. It had run out of gas on her and I figured she wasn't paying attention--au contraire. She swore it had 1/4 tank (maybe more, I forget) although it showed empty when I got there. Concerned about the need to figure out what was going on with it--and recognizing that if it had major trouble I would need to empty the tank anyway--I put five gallons in it and took it to work a few miles away, giving her my car to drive. Can't remember the exact reading after the fill but it was something like 1/4 tank or more. After sitting all day I started it and headed home with 1/4 tank showing...made it about two miles when it died. Had to replace the tank, sender, and fuel lines as everything was leaking like a sieve.

    Wasn't like I had been cavalier with either of them. Something like this could happen again to me tomorrow...especially since I tend to try to help friends/family when they are having vehicle trouble.
     
  6. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    2,224
    139
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I don't think I've overlooked much. It was pretty easy to rip your fabrications to shreds. Don't let the door hit you! :p
     
  7. ronhowell

    ronhowell Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    681
    32
    0
    Location:
    Cypress, CA.
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Only 3 events? .... out of how many events where Prius drivers with the gauge showing 2 pips have NOT run out of gas!

    I can live with the that probability. There are more dire events in life than running out of gas.
    And incidentally, I am not on any side in this discussion.
     
  8. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    5,338
    908
    251
    Location:
    Surprise, AZ (Phoenix)
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Knowing I have ~2 gallons at the first flash is good enough. If, through lack of planning, I run my car out of gas, coasting to a stop is all I'd get out of any other vehicle. I'd seriously want to see what this car does though w/ a fuller traction battery, but am seriously not willing to try it here (because it's simply too hot to hike for gas or even store a tank in my car).
     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    23,011
    12,882
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2014 BMW i3-REx
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    My apology if this was not clear:
    • NHW11 - continues to run on traction battery until the charge level is too low to continue. I've gone up to 1/4 mile.
    • NHW20 - continues to run on traction battery until the charge level is too low to continue. Others have reported over a mile.
    • ZVW30 - has no power regardless of the traction battery level.
    There are bloody, deadly reasons why a Prius that has run out of gas should get to the shoulder or a safe place. In this case:
    I lost my '91 Camry when I crested an over pass only to find a car stopped on the off-ramp because traffic was backed up on the two main lanes. In the rain slick, down grade, my non-ABS Camry could not stop in time and I had no escape path.

    So we will have to agree to disagree about whether or not the ability to move an 'out of gas' Prius to a safe place is a safety feature, an important safety feature. It has nothing to do with not running out of gas but getting out of the way. As the Oklahoma crash shows, there are deadly reasons why getting out of the way, even if there is no gas, is important, regardless of how the car ran out of gas.

    Running out of gas should not be a capital offense in Prius with enough traction battery energy to get out of the way.

    Bob Wilson
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. asv

    asv New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    23
    9
    0
    Location:
    Philly Area
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Don't run out of gas, problem solved. There is no reason you should ever run out of gas with a DTE display in a %$%ing Prius. I'm having a real tough time understanding the "safety argument." Does an out of gas GEN III Prius behave different than any other car? Can't you coast to the shoulder?
     
    2 people like this.
  11. Midpack

    Midpack Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    461
    43
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three

    Mr. Clark: I'll know better than to let myself get drawn into an exchange like these again but OK, kindly explain the overall probability and therefore value of this feature. How often will the average driver run out of gas in his/her lifetime - and please provide your underlying assumptions? Mine were:
    • 100% (not likely) of drivers will run out of gas twice (since you have) in their lifetime.
    • The average driver will drive every day for 50 years (age 17 thru 67, or more).
    • 50 yrs x 365 days/yr = 18,250 days
    • (18,250-2) / 18,250 = 99.989%
    • FWIW my original fabricated 99.9% would be the same as all drivers running out of gas 18 times in our driving lives.
     
  12. wfolta

    wfolta Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    366
    145
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    The way you paint it, every car that runs out of gas does so unexpectedly and also drops the transmission to the ground, halting the vehicle immediately.

    I've run out of gas once in 32 years of driving, and it's been years since I saw someone else who had run out of gas. It's extremely, extremely rare, is almost never unexpected when it does happen, and really, your presentation comes across as if you're demanding meteorite impact protection.

    I think everyone agree's that EV-on-out-of-gas is not a bad idea. It's simply not the life-and-death, men-in-black-helicopters-taking-our-rights, you're-gonna-die-in-a-fiery-crash issue you make it out to be.

    P.S. The accident you pictured was the result of the backup from another accident, not someone running out of gas.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. essaunders

    essaunders Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    195
    17
    0
    Location:
    NH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    This is classic Bug vs Feature.
    Prius Hackers (in the best sense of the word) like the Gen II "Feature"
    Prius Designers didn't like the Gen II "Bug" so they "fixed" it for Gen III.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. steve44

    steve44 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    100
    25
    0
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Model:
    II
    Re: [WARNING] Running out of gas


    :confused:
    Please don't perform you amateur experiments on a public road. Extremely irresponsible of you to risk other people's safety. :brick:
     
    MandyTee likes this.
  15. viking31

    viking31 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    512
    18
    0
    Location:
    West Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Shawn, yes, you would have a right to complain that a vehicle runs out of gas a few miles into an indication of a 1/4 tank left or similar. That would be hazardous in some situations.

    But, Bob is complaining vociferously the new 2010 is downright dangerous because it runs out of fuel and even stops (horrors!!) AFTER it has been warning him rather conspicuously for well over 100 miles that it is about to stop and run out of fuel (which means no go for those who do not realize what the actual purpose of gasoline in a car...)

    And I suppose you, Bob, and others will not purchase any other vehicle in the future that stops when it runs out of fuel AFTER it has warned you for well over 100 miles that the fuel low in the tank... Someone should write to Toyota and tell them about this defect that exists in all their vehicles...

    Hmm, now all you and Bob have to decide upon is whether you prefer Western or English style... and don't forget to carry along a few carrots in the saddle bag just in case you run out of hay...

    Rick
    #4 2006
     
    3 people like this.
  16. steve44

    steve44 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    100
    25
    0
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Model:
    II

    You forgot to include the COMMON SENSE point...
    • $2,400 - battery replacement cost
    • $24,000 - Prius with battery replacement cost
    • $24 to fill up your tank
    Tell me something, BWILSON, what do others in your life say about your judgements overall?
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. fred garvin

    fred garvin New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    376
    55
    3
    Location:
    northern virginia
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    wow - what is it about this thread?

    i said i wouldn't put myself in a spot where it is likely or reasonably possible. You have two examples of you getting into beaters or service vehicles with fuel problems. I don't find myself in beaters or service vehicles very often and i don't think your examples disprove what i said. It is not reasonably possible for me to find myself in your situations.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. alam99

    alam99 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    76
    12
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Bob,

    Thanks for clueing everyone here on the fact that the Gen III will stop moving when out of gas but the battery is still charged. Your experiment and posting will help others avoid similar situations.

    It would be nice to have that extra cushion of electrical charge to move our cars to a gas station. I think previous Prius drivers will have a little more difficulty adjusting to this change than new Prius drivers.

    My opinion is that this change is one of many attempts by Toyota to attract the mainstream drivers into the Prius. If the Gen III continued to be drivable even after running out of gasoline, many drivers may be inclined to ignore the "out of gas" tank to the detriment of the battery. I can just imagine the amount of bad press and bad feelings by drivers when they run out of gas, drive a little more, and then have to spend $2400 to fix their car, compared to the $0 cost / 0 damage that happens to a conventional car's engine when they run out gas.

    I think Toyota could put in a very annoying sound and flashing light system that continues to blare while driven in EV mode until the car gets some gas, but maybe the current scenario where the car simply stops running when out of gas is the simplest, least confusing, least detrimental way (public relations, etc) way to handle it.
     
    3 people like this.
  19. williaeh22

    williaeh22 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    19
    3
    0
    Location:
    Satellite Beach, FL
    I can see from all the replies that most owners just don't get it! Being able to use the electric motor for emergencies is a tool. How many tools have I purchased, in the past, are acquired just for the "in-case scenarios". Toyota did us a dis-service by removing this tool.
    Also might add: disabling navigation system inputs while moving & cartridge oil filter in back of engine.
     
    2 people like this.
  20. steve44

    steve44 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    100
    25
    0
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Model:
    II
    Quite a few people should read this a dozen times and learn the responsibility that FRED GARVIN has already learned. DRIVING IS A
    PRIVILEGE. NOT A RIGHT NOR AN EXPERIMENT. (at least here in the USA)
    :rockon:
    :usa2:
     
Loading...