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MLW2233

Prius Petrol Tank And Tescos

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Have just today picked up my GEN 2 2008 T3 Prius 32K miles, from the Toyota Main Dealer.

Very pleased with it over my 3 hours of ownership so far. It had 2 bars on the petrol gauge and I reckoned I could get it around the M25 to home where a Tescos garage and petrol voucher awaited. Off I went. After a few miles it went to one bar, and then a little later it started flashing in the green colour.

I noticed the mileage and it flashed until I got home 27 miles later. On a very gentle trip around the M25 it was doing 55-65 mph and about the same in mpg. Great I thought. I covered about 65 miles.

At home my wife and I drove less than 2 miles to our local Tescos to fill up, and show her the car.

This is where I need the experience of you all. I put 46.77 litres in it and the nozzle clicked out as is usual in any car.

I thought that was a lot.

At home, all the new Toyota books come out and the manual said the tank has a 45 litre capacity. How can more petrol physically go into this car than is possible?

4 possible answers.

1). The data is 'wrong'. The book does have an 'American feel' to it, and UK cars have a slightly larger tank.

2). The tank is bigger on March 2008 UK standard cars, than the data suggests.

3). I did not put 46,77 litres in it but much less. The Tescos pump is dispensing less petrol than its charging for. I really put in 40+ litres or whatever, and was charged for much more.

4). The tank is 45 litres, but with the filler pipe etc it is much more. Note: The tank did not overfill, and not a drop of petrol overspilled.

I am open to offers on any of these, and have asked Tescos to check the pump. I await a reply. The receipt gives all the details which I have passed on to them. The CCTV camera will show me filling up.

How dry would this car be with these symptoms? Every previous car I have had, even if bone dry would never have the capacity when it was built and installed at the factory. Even when a car runs out of petrol and stops, one cannot even then get the full capacity in it, as 1-2 litres are in the bottom.

Is it Tescos or me?

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It sounds as though you were very lucky not to run out of fuel. Running out of fuel and continuing to drive on the Hybrid Battery alone is a very, very risky thing to do on a Gen 2 (1.5L engine). The Toyota engineers have generally designed a car that protects itself from the driver doing stupid things, unfortunately they forgot to protect the Hybrid Battery from damage caused by draining SOC too low in the situation of running out petrol whilst driving - this bug applies specifically to Gen 2 and it was fixed for the Gen 3.

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As Timberwolf says, you were extremely lucky a) you did not eun out of gas, and b ) you didn't run out of gas on the M25!!!!

Last I heard it's 125 quid ro get you off of that car park! What wold you have done if you had got caught in traffic at the Dartford crossing??

Even if you had a Tesco voucher there is no excuse for running out of gas!

Now then... My gen2 had a 45 litre tank, same as all of them and the Gen3 is the same. However, you will get some more up the filler tube, maybe 2 litres and I understand all pumps have nozzles that will not let you spill any, ie, they switch off if you are 'full'.

On this basis I suspect you had a thimblefull left in your tank and maybe had even less... I will lay you 10-1 that you drove into the petrol station on electric and had already runmout of petrol!

I don't know where you picked your car up from, but surely a quick visit to a local petrol station of any flavour for a couple of gallons to get you home would have been more sensible?

Doh! And I thought Prius drivers were nice sedate sensible people!

:thumbsup:

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You must have been driving on fumes...or Battery. That 'extra' 1.7 litres you squeezed in was probably up the filler pipe.

It's worth remembering that the fuel tank on this car has a bladder that it uses to fill the air space as fuel is used up so you never really know exactly how much fuel you're going to get in the tank - the bladder expands differently at various times of the year due to the temperature...

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Oh dear I feel very sorry....honestly. But it is your fault! I read the 'Running on Empty' piece below where a number of you stated that when the light flashes it is very pessimistic and there is about 7-9 litres or more left; more than enough to get home.

I now feel very silly. Still, no damage as the engine was still kicking in at the end. The fuel pickup must be very low.

Love the car and after a few more miles I will post thoughts and questions to you.

For a definitive answer; when the last bar flashes how much is left.

I can start by saying 29 miles.

By the way as my last 3 cars were an old Mercedes 230 124, a SAAB 9-3 hatchback, and now a Prius I hope you will see I am a nice person!

Thanks

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You must have been driving on fumes...or battery. That 'extra' 1.7 litres you squeezed in was probably up the filler pipe.

It's worth remembering that the fuel tank on this car has a bladder that it uses to fill the air space as fuel is used up so you never really know exactly how much fuel you're going to get in the tank - the bladder expands differently at various times of the year due to the temperature...

Hi.

Who told you that, I understood that only the cars in the USA have bladder tanks.

ColinEL

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Ah, you're right. I misread that info, seems the bladder is a North American thing. Though my car seems to have a thermos (it certainly seems to pump something a couple of minutes after shutdown) which was also supposed to be an American thing according to some peeps. Oh well, ignore me and I'll go away :)

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Ah, you're right. I misread that info, seems the bladder is a North American thing. Though my car seems to have a thermos (it certainly seems to pump something a couple of minutes after shutdown) which was also supposed to be an American thing according to some peeps. Oh well, ignore me and I'll go away :)

That little pump that runs on odd occasions such as after shut down is the vacuum pump used for the braking system etc.

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Hi on my both my Gen2's when the light was flashing I could not get more than 35 litres in which left just over 10 litres left or 100 miles my Gen 3 is about the same except that it will go for 120 miles because it gives better MPG.

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Oh dear I feel very sorry....honestly. But it is your fault! I read the 'Running on Empty' piece below where a number of you stated that when the light flashes it is very pessimistic and there is about 7-9 litres or more left; more than enough to get home.

I now feel very silly. Still, no damage as the engine was still kicking in at the end. The fuel pickup must be very low.

Love the car and after a few more miles I will post thoughts and questions to you.

For a definitive answer; when the last bar flashes how much is left.

I can start by saying 29 miles.

By the way as my last 3 cars were an old Mercedes 230 124, a SAAB 9-3 hatchback, and now a Prius I hope you will see I am a nice person!

Thanks

Hi MLW. First of all welcome to TOC - I'm sure the tone of some of the replies above is more out of concern for you and your new Prius rather than to imply you've been a very naughty boy!

Something doesn't look right here to me. If I understand you correctly, when the last bar started flashing you continued for another 27+2 miles, so 29 miles in total, and the entire trip after picking up the car (starting with 2 bars showing) was about 67 miles. As quoted in other threads the consensus is that there is about 2 gallons left in the tank (I'm quoting gallons rather than litres because then it's easier to estimate your range from the mpg figure) when the last bar starts flashing, so typically over 100 miles. I would therefore have expected your car to still have enough fuel to cover 70 miles or so which is roughly 6 litres, so you should only have been able to put in another 39 litres or so at Tesco's since the tank capacity is 45 l.

I have a Gen 3 Prius and the "beep = 2 gallons" rule of thumb seems to tally with the amount of fuel I can fit into the tank when refuelling. Based on what ian rooke says it is similar for the Gen 2. The Gen 3 beeps when the last bar starts flashing - if your car didn't beep then you might have covered a few extra miles before noticing how far you had travelled, but even so you should have had plenty of fuel left assuming you travelled 67 miles and started with two bars showing. The Gen 3 shows an estimated range and IIRC this is not available on the Gen 2 but you're not missing out because the Gen 3 estimate is very inaccurate as the tank nears "empty" :).

I think the pumps at all fuel stations are regularly checked for accuracy so would very much doubt it is an issue with Tesco's gauge.

I had a quick look at Fuelly (www.fuelly.com) where you can drill down into stats for individual cars. During a random browse I found a driver from Portugal who appears to regularly allow their tank to get pretty empty. They have got up near your figure of 46.77 l a few times and quote one tank up at 52.67 litres. I can't comment on the accuracy of Portugese petrol pumps but it does seem to indicate that it is possible to get significantly more than 45 litres into the car.

So if I have understood your mileage numbers correctly it would appear to me that your Prius's fuel gauge may be a bit suspect. If I were you I would keep a note of your mileage between fill-ups, aim to refill by around 350-400 miles, and make a note of how much goes in each time. Subtract that from 45 l and it should give you a feel for the fuel/range left in your own car and the number of bars it is displaying on the fuel gauge. I'm sure you've got the message that it's not a good idea to run out of petrol! Even though the car could continue on its HV Battery alone it would only manage another 1-2 miles and there is a big risk of seriously damaging the Battery.

Finally one other remote possibility is that your fuel consumption was, for some reason, significantly higher than the quoted 55-65 mpg. I very much doubt this is the case but it would be worth checking that you reset the trip each time you refuel (or if the Gen 2 has two trips like the Gen 3, make sure you know which one you're reading and when it was last reset).

I hope some of the above helps - enjoy your new car :)

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Oh dear I feel very sorry....honestly. But it is your fault! I read the 'Running on Empty' piece below where a number of you stated that when the light flashes it is very pessimistic and there is about 7-9 litres or more left; more than enough to get home.

I now feel very silly. Still, no damage as the engine was still kicking in at the end. The fuel pickup must be very low.

Love the car and after a few more miles I will post thoughts and questions to you.

For a definitive answer; when the last bar flashes how much is left.

I can start by saying 29 miles.

By the way as my last 3 cars were an old Mercedes 230 124, a SAAB 9-3 hatchback, and now a Prius I hope you will see I am a nice person!

Thanks

Are you sure it was 46.77 Litres and not £46.77 in money ?

£46.77 in money, at say £1.33 a litre, would work out at just over 35 litres which sounds about right for a flashing last bar on the gauge.

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Hi Good call Kithmo I did not see that one.

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Yes, 35 litres sounds much more like it. The fuel guage is notoriously pessimistic.

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Are you sure it was 46.77 Litres and not £46.77 in money ?

Kithmo, I wish you'd posted that suggestion 3 minutes earlier: it would have saved me a lot of typing :)

I know Prius drivers tend to be from the more mature end of the age spectrum, but surely you're not suggesting a Prius driver may have had a "senior moment"???

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I know Prius drivers tend to be from the more mature end of the age spectrum, but surely you're not suggesting a Prius driver may have had a "senior moment"???

Oh gawd!! I get a Prius in September :help: :help: :help:

Kingo :thumbsup:

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Thanks for all the suggestions. It was £63.56p 46.77 litres at £1.35.9p a litre.

The guy at Toyota said when it was running out a warning strip appears across the screen. This did not happen, but I did hear a softish bing or bong as the bar started flashing. As it was a new car I did try to keep the speed down and the green recharge up by gliding off the throttle. The engine was cut off for some time going downhill etc. Mpg may well have been mid 60s.

I never try to go bone dry, but I do like to get the warning light on in a new car to see what the worst might be. As such, I expected to put in about 38ish litres.

I'll monitor it and see what happens next.

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Gentlemen/Ladies.......senior moments we all have in this group, even though some of us are not that senior....but what does annoy me more than anything is when members use 'americanisms' I am sure my PRIUS runs on petrol although maybe next time I go to my local garage and have a senior moment I still don't think I would ask for GAS.....!!!!

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Gentlemen/Ladies.......senior moments we all have in this group, even though some of us are not that senior....but what does annoy me more than anything is when members use 'americanisms' I am sure my PRIUS runs on petrol although maybe next time I go to my local garage and have a senior moment I still don't think I would ask for GAS.....!!!!

Unless you had one of these...LPG Prius

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Thanks for all the suggestions. It was £63.56p 46.77 litres at £1.35.9p a litre.

The guy at Toyota said when it was running out a warning strip appears across the screen. This did not happen, but I did hear a softish bing or bong as the bar started flashing.

Hi & welcome to TOC.

When the final 'pip' starts flashing, you should hear a long beep and a message to 'Add Fuel' appear along the top of your multifunction display (MFD). I regularly drive about 20 miles after this and topping up my Gen 2 typically takes about 43 litres. I also monitor consumption using Scangauge as a double check that I am not running dry.

My guess is that your 46+ litres cannot be explained by something to do with the car. If you cannot pin it down on the Tesco fuel pump calibration (which has been raised before), then the only other situation I have personally seen is filling past overflowing on a pump with a faulty shut-off.

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Gentlemen/Ladies.......senior moments we all have in this group, even though some of us are not that senior....but what does annoy me more than anything is when members use 'americanisms' I am sure my PRIUS runs on petrol although maybe next time I go to my local garage and have a senior moment I still don't think I would ask for GAS.....!!!!

Guilty as charged Bob... But Gas is quicker to type than petrol... :thumbsup:

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I pretty much get the same in mine. I generally run it until the last bar is flashing and regularly get £60 worth of fuel in.

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Surely when tescos were asked about how accurate the fuel pump was,they would have checked the the reciept and the information on their till display,and would not have got fuel delivered and price mixed up.

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Surely when tescos were asked about how accurate the fuel pump was,they would have checked the the reciept and the information on their till display,and would not have got fuel delivered and price mixed up.

Hi Guys

If I can offer my penny worth, I have just filled up at Tescos, two pips left, the third one went out on the way there maybe a couple of mileS drive, I put in 35.41 litres, I always fill up when it gets to two pips left, and always seems to be about the same amount 35 litres.

ColinEL

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When I had a Gen2 the filling pump cut out very early. By pulling the nozzle most of the way out you can dribble a number of litres more in. The capacity, in practice, was at least 50 litres.

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UPDATE

The man from Tescos rang me.

It is because they have a flexible tank he said, and it is 11 gallons in size. I have done some research he said.

Oh no said I.

Anyway, two fill ups later.

I let it go down to 3 bars. Then 44 miles later it went to two bars, and I filled up. 37.04 litres to fill up. 489 miles = almost 60 mpg.

This looks good to me. but I am surprised by the fuel guage. It does not move at all until 140ish miles. I know most cars look good for ages and once past half way the needle drops like a stone, but this seems a bit unbalanced. Also in order to fill it up and stop it clicking out, I have to have the nozzle at 3 o'clock even when starting.

How normal is my fuel guage and tank contents? Very happy with the mpg.

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