[WARNING] Running out of gas

Discussion in 'Prime Fuel Economy & EV Range' started by bwilson4web, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    So this morning I finally burned the last of the gas in our Prius Prime Plus and a warning message flashes up about "Hybrid System Stopped" and "Steering Power Low". Near as I could tell, I'd run a little over one gallon (64 miles / 54 MPG) on "empty" but sad to say, I don't have the exact number. The car became a rolling inertial mass and I pulled into a parking lot where I added the spare gallon and then it got interesting.

    In the Gen-3, turn the car off; add the spare gallon, and; back on and it would start the engine and away you'd go. Only this time, it would not start the engine and kept displaying:

    Hybrid System Stopped
    Steering Power Low​

    To get rolling again, I removed the 12V battery ground for about 30-60 seconds and reconnected. Fortunately I'd bought a leather man multi-tool for this car on Saturday. Sad to say, I did not think to buy a cheap LED flashlight, small crescent or vice grips, nor the tire patch kit (on my 'to do' list.) Reconnecting the ground and tightening the clamp screw, everything started up and I was on my way to a nearby gas station.

    At the station, the pump first clicked on 10.4 gallons. My usual practice is 'two clicks' which brought it up 10.7. Add the gallon from the spare can gives 11.4-11.7 gallons total. The spec says 11.4 gallons.

    There was no indication when the car actually runs out of gas. It simply became an inertial mass when "Steering Power Low" is displayed which is consistent with the Gen-3. However, the Gen-3 would suppress the power flow arrows before the alarm giving me time to use the traction battery to reach a safe parking place.

    Also new, is the need to do a 12V power-ON reset by removing and reattaching the 12V ground wire. I only had a spare gallon can and don't know if adding more gasoline would resolve the problem. Regardless, if you don't know about the 12V power-ON reset, you might have to suffer the cost and delay of a tow.

    Bob Wilson

    ps. Miles to empty is still showing 530 miles. I'm going to throw a charge on it and see what happens.
     
    #1 bwilson4web, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    I'm confused, Did this happen in your 2010 Prius? Or do you have a Prime?:confused:
     
  3. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    You should probably update your profile now that you don't have either the Gen 1 or the Gen 3...

    In any case, I thought I had seen where more like 3 gallons are necessary to get the car running again in a Gen 4?
     
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  4. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    Interesting that the buffer seems to be half (60 miles, one gallon) of what the 2010 was and what it seems like my 2012 would be if I do the math when I fill up. This test was probably good for that alone, some people will assume they have a 120 mile buffer like in the gen 3.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    Yeah, I heard that for third gen as well.

    The best I can say is that's grammatically correct, lol.
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Done, the signature had the details but I tend to forget about the single, choice option.

    The fuel quantity has to do with turning off the low fuel indicator. But there are logistics issues associated with carry of more than a single gallon and as my test this morning showed, power cycling the 12V by disconnecting the ground was what it took.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    It was my Prius Prime Plus as the 2010 was sold. I was slow changing that profile setting as we used to own two different Prius models, a Gen-1 and Gen-3. Now we're down to a Prius Prime Plus and BMW i3-REx.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. CaliforniaPrius

    CaliforniaPrius Active Member

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    Time to study the manual regarding where's the 12V battery.
     
  9. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    just look under the hood, you'll see it, it's there:p
     
  10. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    Isn't it dangerous to carry fuel in a car that has a big electric bat?
     
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  11. VTBIGDOG

    VTBIGDOG Active Member

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    I'm trying to understand why you would deliberately empty the fuel tank, unless it was to see what kind of bad things can happen, like what you experienced, or possibly having a fuel pump going crazy sucking air, or other bad stuff like that.
     
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  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Probably:
    [​IMG]
    You should avoid it!

    No problem, just forget every thing you've read. You are getting sleepy, sleepy:
    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson
     
    #12 bwilson4web, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Are you saying, running out of gas, even with Ev mode energy remaining, causes the car to stop producing torque immediately?
     
  14. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The OM says this about how much fuel to put in after you've run out of fuel (emphasis mine).

    Running out of fuel
    When the vehicle has run out of fuel and the hybrid system cannot be started,
    refuel the vehicle with at least enough gasoline to make the low fuel level
    warning light (→P. 655) go off.
    If there is only a small amount of fuel, the
    hybrid system may not be able to start. (The standard amount of fuel is about
    2.0 gal. [7.5 L, 1.7 Imp.gal.], when the vehicle is on a level surface. This value
    may vary when the vehicle is on a slope. Add extra fuel when the vehicle is
    inclined.)
     
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  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Bob is the resident measurer & experimenter IE our Engineer. He did similar tests with his Gen 1 & Gen 3 Prius. His studies and evaluation help us better understand the awesome technology in our vehicles.
     
  16. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I believe I had mentioned some of Bob's research regarding 3 gallons needed for Gen 3. I cautioned somebody that one gallon might not be enough.

    So, Bob used one gallon to restart a Prime? Perhaps one gallon would work on Gen 4. I do not remember anybody (admitting to) trying it yet.
     
  17. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    it's nice to have a guinea pig among st us:D
     
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  18. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Not as dangerous as carrying fuel in a car that has a big combustion engine (which the Prime has as well).
     
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  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    There was battery energy showing on the display but apparently unusable.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Was it above or below the Ev line?
     
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