Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Gas Tank

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Posted by EARTHLINK EAST on June 1, 2012, 4:34 pm
On a trip last week my gas gage started flashing.  I confidently drove it
about 10 miles to the next gas exit.  Within sight of the ramp a huge
apostrophe (!) flashed on the screen and I was running on electric at 70 mph
(and slowing) for half a mile and luckily up the ramp.  At the top, I was
out of juice.  I didn't make the gas station but it was close.  Through the
years every time I have filled my 2006 tank after it started flashing, there
has been about a 1.5 gallon left.  Why did it run out.  I should have been
able to drive 50+ miles.  Is there an explanation?

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on June 1, 2012, 5:17 pm

You shouldn't have been doing that in the first place.  That you got
away with it for so long is just dumb luck.

With the bladder, you can't count on the dashboard information down to
that level.

Posted by rjdriver on June 2, 2012, 2:45 pm

Is this out of the norm for your 2006?

My only experience with the Prius is a C I have driven for two months.  The
gas gauge is not very accurate.  It moves like snail for the first half, and
like a cheetha accellerating from the half way point to blinking.  When it
starts blinking, the driving range display says zero, yet I have driven as
much as 40 miles after that.

Yours seems inaccurate in the opposite way, but you imply that it was not
always such ("I confidently drove it
 about 10 miles to the next gas exit."), and that this is a sudden reversal
of what you're used to.  Something is causing the gas sensor to malfunction.
Has the car ever been stored for a long time of non use with gas in the
tank?   Could be some build up of residue in there.   With an electrical
fauire, you woud get no reading at all or perhaps intermitant readings.  If
it continues to react like this, and you can't live with a <10 mile warning
to an empty tank, I woud have it looked at.   Unless there is some easy way
to flush clean the tank,  I fear the repair may not be inexpesive.


Posted by bwilson4web on June 2, 2012, 9:24 pm
Your 2006 and our 2003 both have the 'bladder' tank. Although I
usually have about 65-75 miles after "flash", it has been as quick as
25 miles and as long as 135 miles. I've run out of gas over 40 times
as part of my gasoline studies. So when "flash" comes on and I don't
intend to refuel right away, I carry a 1 gallon spare in the back.

My recommendation is when the gas is finally out, lift off the gas and
let the speed fall down to 18-20 mph, a maximum range speed and
minimize all electrical loads. Then try to stretch out the distance to
the next pump.

Bob Wilson

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