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I bought a black package #6 with 3 miles on it on 7/8. After my first 280 miles the bladder gauge showed half full. I figured I was on my way to 56 mpg!!! However, the gauge RAPIDLY started dropping after that, to a point where I filled up at ~310 with only 2 bladder gauge bars left. The MFD tells me that my MPG was 44.5. I am assuming the tank is around 10-11 gallons. Is the computer's MPG calculation wrong? Did I jump the gun on filling up, and would have got another 140 miles out of that tank?

Thanks for your input.

Kevin
 

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No, you would not have. The "guess gauge" is not very linear. When (or before!) the last bar flashes, buy gas. If you fool around you may run out, as many here will attest.
 

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Get used to the non-linear gas gauge! At least it only goes down.

Overall, the MFD in our Prius seems to register about 2 mpg more than the pump, but it's often more accurate than the pump calculation for any particular fill. The pump calculations vary dramatically based on when the instant of shut-off, which isn't consistent. So according to the MFD, 11 of our 12 tanks have been between 48.6 and 56.2 mpg, which makes intuitive sense considering driving conditions, while the pump calculations range from 39 to 76 mpg.

(The 12th tank really WAS a fluke - 67 mpg, due to 50 miles at 100+ mpg achieved while rolling down a mountain pass.)
 

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30 miles?

The gauge went from half full to 2 blips in 30 miles. Did you leave the car on while you went to work one day? I've only had mine for a month but it's never dropped that fast.
 

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Don't trust the first tank. You never know how full your dealer filled it. They're known to stop at the first auto shut-off. You will notice that on average you'll only be able to fill 8-9 gal unless you really push it.
 

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After a while you will learn how much gas you get per tank. Figure you need to fill it about every 400-450 miles and you should be fine. The worst that will happen this way is that you won't take a lot of gas when you fill the tank.
 

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I generally find the last 4 blips are about a gallon each, the ones before are about 3/5 gallon. Full to first blip is about 3-4 gallons.
 
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