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Fuel Gauge

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I know the fuel gauge takes into considering recent driving (e.g. if you drive it hard, it will drop faster, and not simply because of increased fuel usage). That said, yesterday I went out (24 mile round-trip) driving as efficiently as I could, and appeared to have plenty of fuel for the trip out and back. I descended a hill, and as expected the fuel quantity dropped due to the shift of fuel in the tank. I then got stuck in traffic on said hill for about 5 minutes.

By the time I got to my destination, the needle was pointing at 'R', and refusing to move. A period of driving in EV mode didn't rectify the situation. I then drove a further 1.5 miles (mostly EV) to the nearest petrol station. I put in a gallon of fuel, and when I switched on the car, it jumped up to over 1/4 tank.

Has anyone else seen this behavior? Did the float get stuck? I clearly had far more fuel onboard than displayed.

This is twice now that it has indicated MUCH lower than IMHO it should, making me believe I'm about to run out of fuel when this simply isn't the case.

In the past, the fuel light would come on, then I could get 30-40 miles before it reached the 'R', but a couple of times now it has dropped suddenly straight to 'R' and bringing on the low fuel light as well.

It's slightly disconcerting.

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My (non-hybrid) behaves similarly, once the low fuel light comes on it needs a substantial amount of petrol in the tank to extinguish it. I once put a few litres in after it came on and it remained on. If I recall correctly, there's something in the owner's manual that mentions this.

I once drove around fifty miles with the light on and the remaining range showing zero. I wanted to see how far it would go before needing fuel. I chickened out and filled it, but still only managed to get 36 litres in what is supposed to be a 40 litre tank (I had a full container in the boot).

I no longer worry when it shows empty, but make a mental note that there's (probably and hopefully) at least five litres in the tank.

Put it down to one of the 'facilities' of the car.

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For a long time, on a previous car, the fuel gauge was constantly on empty.  That car, the range function on the dash was actually very good, so we just used that.

With our Yaris, the range readout is at a fixed fuel economy.  No matter how hard or gentle you drive, it still follows the same economy algorithm.  The previous car could show a range of (say) 200miles, but that could have been influenced by some hard driving the previous day.  Next time in, you could drive gently and efficiently and get back home with more range than you started with.  It was a live figure whereas the Yaris is a dead one.


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The fuel gauge jumped up a lot with little fuel being added. This is why I wondered if the float had got stuck.

The range indicator starts at a fixed value if you clear the trip log, but if the trip log has some records in it, then the range is based on that.

It starts at 370 with no records, and I've seen it at 430 based on the trip log. I would need to fill the tank to see what it reads now.

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Milage vs. indicated tank quantity correlated so I think it was reading correctly after I filled up. It was just that on the hill it dropped to 'R' and the light came on, and it didn't go back up again on the level as it usually does. I'm thinking that putting some fuel in freed it again????

I've found the fuel gauge to be broadly reliable, except when it gets to the bottom of the scale, then it becomes a bit like Russian Roulette. I wish there was some way to visually check the tank.

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