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reserve fuel - Page 2

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Posted by on April 7, 2007, 9:05 am

I was about to say there's probably no real fuel sensor in the tank but then
how would the gauge respond to how much fuel was put into the tank? LOL
I set the trip odometer, and when I get the warning to refuel I check to see
how many miles I've driven. I get a warning around 430 miles, (this time of
the year) usually there's still 3 to 3 1/2 gallons left in the tank. In the
summer I still get a warning around 430 miles but there's still 4 to 4 1/2
gallons left. I think it was designed this way to give us something to
complain about ;)
It may seem like an inconvenience but if there's been a sudden spike in fuel
prices, 8 to fill is better than 11 3/4 to fill. Right?

Posted by Bruce on April 7, 2007, 3:30 pm

I guess I'm just trying to understand. If there is 3 1/2 gallons left
in the tank, can I drive another 150 miles?

The other question is regarding the procedure if I run out of gas.  I
have read somewhere that the computer in the Prius senses when you run
out of gas and won't let the engine start until more gas is added.
However, you have to put about 3 gallons in the tank to reset the
sensor. Normally you walk/hitch to the nearest gas station and beg a
gallon container and buy a gallon of gas. Would I have to get 3
gallons to reset the sensor so the computer would allow the engine to
restart? This all hypothetical, I hope. I want to understand these new
procedures, just in case.

On the other hand if I refill within 40-50 miles of the alarm, it is a
moot point.

Thanks for the info,

On Sat, 7 Apr 2007 05:05:06 -0400, "mark_digital©"

Posted by Michelle Steiner on April 7, 2007, 3:40 pm

When you run out of gas, the car keeps running on battery power until
the battery is depleted.  It is not a good idea to do this, though.

The sensor that requires three gallons is the sensor that displays miles
per gallon and distance since the MPG display was reset.  It has nothing
to do with starting the car.

The one time I ran out of gas, two gallons was enough for me to drive
again, using the gasoline engine.  I don't know whether less gas would
have done it because the roadside assistance guy brought only two

If you have 3 1/2 gallons left in the tank, you should be able to drive
another 135 (45 MPG) to 150 (50 MPG) miles.  I act on the assumption
that when the last bar starts blinking, I have 2 gallons left in the

Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by richard schumacher on April 7, 2007, 5:23 pm

Well, *if* there were 3 gallons left in the tank, then yes you could.

But the key point here is that, because of the tank bladder, you cannot
reliably predict, from the amount you put in at the last fill and the
distance travelled since then, how much "ought to" be left in the tank.  
When the last pip starts to flash you really do need to buy gas
immediately.  The forums ore filled with sad tales of people who assumed
that they could drive another 50 or 20 or 10 miles after they reached
that point, and were wrong.

Posted by Bruce on April 7, 2007, 8:34 pm

I think I understand that while the Prius has a 12+ gallon tank, when
the light blinks don't bet on more than about 50 miles. My limited
experience has been that I can't put more than about 9 gallons in the
tank at that point. It appears that the 12+ gallon tank (at least in
my car) doesn't really hold that much. At least I know how to proceed.

On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 12:23:27 -0500, richard schumacher

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