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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The gas gauge had 4 bars and then the car started slowing down and all the lights came on including a large OUT OF FUEL light.

The strange thing was that previously my wife thought that I had put gas in the car because it was at 1/2 tank and I thought she had put gas in the car a few days prior to this incident. In other words the gauge went from 1/2 full to full without us putting any gas in! Then it slowly went down as normal except then went it got down to 1/2 full it was really EMPTY!

I tried a search. Someone on this board had their gas tank or gas gauge replaced by the dealer because of a problem. I was wondering if this happened to them. I cannot remember the detail of what I read. This was about 6 months ago. I am getting ready to call the dealer to check out this problem.
 

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While the nonlinear gas gauge can fool many while working normally, this sounds like a different case. Perhaps the inclination calibration is off, and one of the readings you observed was on a slope, and you had much less gas than indicated. Then on the level you ran out.

In the meantime, go by odometer mileage, not the gas gauge, and fill up (maybe with up to a gallon topoff to be sure you are full).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1) I don't recall what color the bars were on the gas gauge. Can they be different colors? What do they represent?

2)The gauge indicated that we had well over 1/2 tank for several days after we had run it down below 1/2. This was not based on a single observation of the fuel level. In fact, my wife and I were confused over the issue that neither one of us could remember putting gas in the car!

3) Ours is a '05 purchased last November. The "out of fuel" light was a large warning light that appeared when the ICE turned off and we were on battery. This is when the fuel gauge showed 1 flashing bar and then that disappeared. By the way the battery lasted approx 3 miles before we came to a stop.

Does anybody recall the previous post and thread regarding a fuel tank and/or sending unit being replaced by the dealer???
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
KTPhil said:
In the meantime, go by odometer mileage, not the gas gauge, and fill up (maybe with up to a gallon topoff to be sure you are full).
The odometer is a great tool but I paid good money for a car with a working gas gauge.
 

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The TSB is EL010-04.

2004 Prius VINs
JTDKB2#U#40000001 – JTDKB2#U#40057579 Meter and Filler Pipe
JTDKB2#U#40057580 – JTDKB2#U#40078361 Filler Pipe Only
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dan-The Toyota Service Bulletin does not apply since ours was Mfd. 10/05.

Do you think that the bladder in the tank and with the weather being so darn hot around here (100 to 110 degrees) could have had something to do with this faulty reading?
 

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Good gauge or no, miles is a reliable measure if you dont' want to walk...

"The gauge indicated that we had well over 1/2 tank for several days after we had run it down below 1/2."

If true, this is pretty celar evidence of a malfunction. I believe there is, in effect, a "software diode" in the display logic, which prevents the gauge from rising unless it is refilled with more than about 3 gallons. So if you parked on a hill, and the inclination meter was faulty, it might show a low tank. Then measured on the level over the next few days, even though it "should" show more gas available, it would persist to show you less than half.

If true, then the jump to showing MORE than 1/2 indicates a fault, either in the gauge, or the inclinometers.

In any case, it's worth checking out by the dealer, and at least having it reported so a later failure is covered under warrantee.

In the meantime, use your odometer...
 

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Ken Cemo said:
Dan-The Toyota Service Bulletin does not apply since ours was Mfd. 10/05.
Wow, Oct. 2005, you must have the futuristic version. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
KTPhil said:
If true, this is pretty celar evidence of a malfunction. I believe there is, in effect, a "software diode" in the display logic, which prevents the gauge from rising unless it is refilled with more than about 3 gallons.

If true, then the jump to showing MORE than 1/2 indicates a fault, either in the gauge, or the inclinometers.
Would this type of malfunction also result in the resetting of the "miles per tank"?

In other words- when the gauge went from below 1/2 to near full (without adding gas) wouldn't this have reset the miles at the same time? It didn't. Under normal circumstances does the mileage reset when you add 3 or more gallons?

I will pass on this info to the dealer tomorrow.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the failure mode involved, so it might or might not affect the "mpg odometer". At any rate, suggest the dealer check out the inclinometers and recalibrate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE-The dealer went with the TSB #EL01004 and replaced part #77201-47090 pipe sub-assy. fu and part # 83291-47101-RP computer, combina. This was all done under warranty. The parts were described as a fuel filler neck and gauge.
 

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You said you had a 2005. Your car doesn't qualify for the TSB EL010-04 under warranty.

Qualified VIN ranges:
JTDKB2#U#40000001 – JTDKB2#U#40057579 Meter and Filler Pipe JTDKB2#U#40057580 – JTDKB2#U#40078361 Filler Pipe Only

I would expect Toyota to kick back that warranty claim, which means the dealer would have to eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I talked to the Dealer and they admitted that changing what they did may have been overkill. My main concern was to have the problem fixed and to have a accurate working fuel gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I understand the negative comments made here about people who have irresponsibly run out of gas in their cars. I have made that same mistake before. This is not the topic of this thread. If you have comments regarding this personal issue please refer to another topic or start your own.
 
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