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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

Can anyone tell me what the average kilometers (or miles) i can expect from a tank of gas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

It can vary widely, depending on fuel economy (of course), weather (the Prius has a flexible fuel bladder whose effective capacity drops in cold weather), how much you try to squeeze in with each fillup, and your tolerance for how long to let the "Add fuel" warning continue. At one end of the spectrum, 300-400 miles can be expected in the winter by someone who drives with no concern about fuel economy. As an example of the opposite, see this:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/ ... 7075.shtml

He packed in as much fuel as possible before beginning his trip and likely would have run it dry if he hadn't made it to NY -- neither of which I recommend for the average driver. There are reports in the forums of owners trying to continue refueling well beyond the first pump click-off, with the result of overflowing and subsequent damage to the fuel system's charcoal canister. Running out of fuel and then continuing to drive on the battery can damage the battery.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

I've watched the video, and I think CBS has a problem with grade school level math. They say the hypermiler used just 8.9 gallons and got 71 mpg, which would take him only 631.9 miles. They state several times that the trip is "nearly 800 miles". They are obviously using only the MFD, as they quote the mileage figures with the seal over the gas filler door still in place. It would still be impressive, even if he refilled the tank, because if he actually needed say 11.5 gallons to fill the tank, his average would have been 69.6 mpg rounded off. I suspect that the tank was filled right up to the filler neck, under cool conditons.
Also on the tape, the hypermiler tells the female reporter driving the Prius that "anyone can do this" regardless of the vehicle they drive, but he is talking about "gliding" and using no gas.
Just shows what the media will do for a story, I guess.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger V
I've watched the video, and I think CBS has a problem with grade school level math. They say the hypermiler used just 8.9 gallons and got 71 mpg, which would take him only 631.9 miles.
Admittedly it's confusing how they reported it, but assuming he took only 8.9 gallons at the end, it demonstrates yet again the vagaries of the Prius bladder. I suspect he wasn't as interested in squeezing in every possible drop then as he was before he began.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

That's just it, Jim, the gas tank filler door still has the seal in place, and they are saying he used only 8.9 gallons. So it has to be off the MFD, not the amount of gas it took to refill the tank. If he made a concerted effort to fill the tank to the point that he had before starting out, and succeeded, his miles per gallon would have been lower. Still, he is a hypermiler, so I would expect that he would have a number in the mid to high sixties.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

The Prius Wayne Gerdes was driving had fuel economy reported by the MFD and at least one scangauge connected. He achieved about 71 mpg by all that monitoring, if I read the CleanMPG reports correctly. The CBS reporter in an 'almost identical'* Prius achieved 45 mpg by the MFD, drove 'normally', and finished the 884-mile trip about 3 hrs sooner.

As far as full-tank fuel range for Prius, reports vary from sub-400 to over 1000 miles. The fuel tank bladder in the US version does introduce some variability, but you might suppose 450 miles to start with. If you choose to use and refine hypermiling skills, that would increase, but 1000 miles is a very difficult goal. In my 2001 Prius (about 10% less efficient vehicle) I averaged 400 mile tanks over 109,000 miles, with a best of 530. But I am not a hypermiler, and tried very hard to avoid the blinking low fuel light.

* Gerdes' Prius has the OEM tires inflated to at least the sidewall max psi (probably somewhat above that), he pre-filled the tank with 0% ethanol fuel, changed the engine oil to 0W20 synthetic, and removed some 'unecessary weight' from the vehicle. These are all the tricks played that I know about, and they are all public knowledge. The reporter's vehicle did not have any of those changes, AFAIK.

I reckon that Wayne would have handily beat the reporter without any such preparations, but I'm sure he wanted every reasonable opportunity to complete that trip without refueling.

DAS
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

Sorry, but I'll stick to my original position that if he in fact used only 8.9 gallons, and in fact averaged 71 mpg, then he only could have driven 631.9 miles. Your info boosts the miles traveled to well over 800, but the news report states the trip was "nearly 800 miles". If Gerdes wants to make modifications to the vehicle, and use a lighter weight oil, that's fine. But then he ought to disclose that fact. I suspect very few viewers of that tv newscast looked up the story on CleanMPG as you did.
He could have used an identical Prius to the one the reporter drove, with no mods, and by using just his hypermiler techniques, achieved substantially higher mileage than the reporter. Then CBS could have honestly reported that conservative driving improves mileage. They all chose instead to resort to tricks and dishonesty. Sort of like the old CBS 60 Minutes segment on vehicle rollovers involving a small SUV. They rigged that one and got caught at it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridman
Can anyone tell me what the average kilometers (or miles) i can expect from a tank of gas?
In miles...

40 X 8 = 320 in the winter
50 X 8 = 400 in the summer

This leaves you a couple gallons in the tank to avoid missing dinner.

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2010 with all the whistles and bells is MINE!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

I just finished my first tank of gas with my '08 T#3. I went 470 miles on the tank when the last "box thing" (don't know technical term) started flashing at me. Without knowing how far I can go on the last "box" I decided to fill up. That's over 120 more than my '04 Passat Wagon got.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: What's the expected distance on a full tank of gas?

The last box thing has 2 technical descriptors:

1) Low fuel annunciator
2) Mr. Blinkie
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