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reserve fuel

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Posted by Bruce on April 7, 2007, 12:52 am

How much gas is in the tank when the fuel warning comes on? I have
just bought a used 05. Twice the warning has come on and I've only
been able to put about 9 gallons in the tank. Doesn't the tank hold 12
gallons? Do I really have 3 gallons left in the tank? There is one way
to find out, but I understand that you have to put 3 gallons in it if
you run out of gas before the car will restart. That would make it
tough to carry in a one gallon can.

Posted by Greg on April 7, 2007, 2:56 am

The tank contains a bladder that shrinks and expands,
depending internal and ambient temperatures. So,  the
amount of fuel indicated when the warning appears is a
wide ranging variable. i.e. I've read histories that indicate
you have anywhere from 50 to over a 100 miles left to go
before the tank is really empty, and the car actually runs
out of gas.

Just add gas at your earliest convenience when the last
fuel gauge bar starts flashing and you should be fine.

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Bruce wrote:

Posted by biomedbert on June 2, 2007, 5:11 am

I recently ran my 07, OUT of gas. The meter started flashing just as I
left my driveway, about 47 miles from my job. A few mild hills,
freeway - doing 70-75 mph. After work on way to the nearest gas
station (about 1/4 mile away) It shuttered and bucked a few times. The
red triangle of death (and tone) came on. I was on pure battery. Made
it OK. I shoehorned in 11 gallons, and I had to be really persistent
to get that much in there. It restarted after only a few second delay
(whew). Anyway, I saw a post on prius.chat. This guy had taken apart a
prius fuel tank assy. (with pictures) Its more of a kind of module
actually. The fuel pump & filter, sending unit and other stuff is in
there also the gas bladdler (yes the gas tank is a sort of rubber
bladder, think hot water bottle) it is sealed in a metal shell.
Apparently you can OVERFILL and burst the bladder. (which is how this
guy got one to inspect.)

Posted by Michael Pardee on June 2, 2007, 4:02 pm

The story and pictures are at

Posted by A Sherman on April 7, 2007, 3:13 am

I also have an '05.  I typically wait for the last block on the gage to start
flashing and then drive 30-50 miles more before refueling.  The most I have
ever put into the tank was 9.8 gallons.

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