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This is a confusing issue for me as well. I'm sure I have the American-style car with the gas tank bladder, for one thing. But I'm wondering a couple of things:

1. How elastic is this bladder? Does it vary with temperature?
2. If it is in fact elastic, how accurate is the 11.9 capacity figure?

This weekend we drove from NJ to VT and back, around 800 miles round trip. On the way there, we got about 46 mpg because of all the mountain climbing at 75 mph. My husband filled the tank in VT before we went home. I don't remember the exact figures at the time, but I estimated the car would take 7-8 gallons (it was somehting like 350 miles on the tank, about 46 mpg. So that's 7.6 gallons); he put in 9.5. None dripped out. On the way home we managed to get 47.0 mpg on 464 miles with one bar showing but not blinking. I have to say the first 6 bars disappeared MUCH more slowly than usual. So I figured this morning I would fill up with 9.9 gallons. Well, the car only took 8.3. Either I was getting 55 mpg (doubtful) or the car just took a lot more gas than usual at the previous fill-up. Or the mpg readout is faulty. Or, one of the other choices you mentioned above, most likely #3. So:

1. If we overfilled and "poisoned the emissions system," what real damage did we do? Permanent and needing repair?

2. If the bladder is elastic, how can we ever judge how much gas we have?


Thanks for any insight you can offer.

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