Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Francisco Bay Area,California
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Great story, running out of gas
This Running out of gas story borrowed from Yahoo-Prius post.
My silver 2002 (Platypus) has run out of gas twice. The last time
happened a few weeks ago returning to New Jersey from a visit to
western Pennsylvania. I made a mistake not topping off before leaving
Pittsburg. I was travelling east on Route 80.
I don't reqcall quite where the fuel light started blinking. I must
have drove about 60 miles on empty. Not a good idea.
I thought I could make it to New Jersey.
I thought I could make it to Dover.
I thought I would just stagger across the state line . . . . which is
exactly what happened.
Just after crossing the Delaware to NJ, the gas motor stopped. Now,
in a hybrid car, the gas motor starts and stops all the time as the
motive power is handed off between the gas engine and the electric.
But this time I knew the jig was up. Sure enough, a moment later the
screen lights up with all sorts of warning lights with drastic
messages. You would have thought it was the end of the world.
"Hybrid System Failure"
"Power Steering Pump Failure".
There was a third one, but I can never remember it.
Before it was all over there was a forth one that I'd never seen
before: brake failure.
All the power assists are electric, you see.
Well, I decided I would continue until the car rolled to a stop and
then figure how to proceed. I was travelling at 70 mph whe the motor
failed, and the electric drive held the car between 60 and 70 for well
over a mile. Then the car slowed as the traction battery became
Then the computer shut down the system entirely to prevent the
traction battery from being damaged. So I wwas coasting. There was a
sign saying that exit 4A was 1/4 mile away. I didn't think I would
make it. The car was already slowing when the sign came up. 50-45-
40-35 . ..
I tuned on the blinkers.
I was rolling maybe 10 mph when the exit came up. It was an uphill
exit. I said, "I don't think we'll make it." But we came to the top
still moving, if barely. There we had to turn left and cross the
overpass over the highway. The gas station was on the other side.
I said, "I don't think we'll make it" and to tell the truth, I was
sweating gumdrops. I thought I'd have to get out and push. But we
were still moving, if barely. So I steered left and we started across
I tell you, I walk faster than that car was moving. And I don't walk
very fast at all. But moving, if only at a slow creep, the car
crossed the overpass.
On the other side I had to do another left and then a quick right to
get into the gas station. The car was moving so slow, I could have
stopped it by opening the door and putting my foot on the ground. I
thought "We'll stall in the middle of the intersection".
But I steered left and held my breath, and the car creeped across the
intersection. Then I steered right into the gas station. And when
the car finally stopped of its own accord, it was exactly infront of
the gas pump.
You may be asking, "Why didn't you stop for gas in Pennsylvania?"
Well, everywhere except New Jersey, gas is more expensive and you have
to pump it yourself.
New Jersey has cheap gas and self-service is not allowed. But this
was the first gas station in New Jersey. It was the most expensive
gas in New Jersey.
I think paid $1.92 for a gallon of regular.
I admit it was foolishness not to stop for gas sooner.
Platypus started promptly after fill-up (hint: you must re-boot) and
there was a little unacustomed jerkiness coming off a dead stop until
the traction battery was recharged, but by the time we got home (after
another 60 miles on I-80/280) it was fine and so far as I can tell, no
ill effects of my folly.
Next time, I promise, I'll gas up in Stroutsburg!
Is this story Great or What !! So please _do_not run out of gas in a Prius
you probably won't make it !
Toyota Hybrid Vehicles, To make the World a better place to live
for present and next generations to come.
C.Rickey Hirose, The Hybrid vehicle's Ambassador.