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Discussion Starter #1
Assuming many of you have had the experience of burning the tank to
"almost empty" (one bar on the gauge) and then being able to add no more
than 7 or 8 US gallons to this 11.9 G. tank..... MY experience.
Today, I got a "promise" from the customer relations rep at "my"
dealer, that Toyota is very much aware of the problem and is seriously
doing something which will eventually bring about a RECALL..... OK, my
fingers are crossed, but not holding my breath.
Don '04 Blue
 

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When considering this problem, I think that the following should be taken into consideration.

1.The time of the last bar blinking is not empty. 1.5 gallons or more still remain in the tank.
2.The automatic stop of the fuel nozzle is not yet full. About 1 gallon or more is added, may be.
3.The vehicles are stopped horizontally then it is refueled. The gauge is measurement by the same float as the former, and the displays by carrying out analog digital conversion.
The difference 2 gallons or more comes out in the case where the front has risen with the case where the front has fallen.
The car front has fallen, it can refuel in some more.

_______________________
USK Bordeaux mica 2001
22,140.08 miles / 379.05 gallons = 58.4 mpg 3/29/04
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2004 Fuel tank/gauge

USK
Thanks for Your comments.
I agree, all the factors you describe can influence the amount of fuel one
is able to add at one time. I would just like to have confidence that the
fuel gauge is telling me the truth about how much fuel is in the tank.
The surface where I re-fuel is quite flat and horizontal.
The miles-per-galllon You show for your 2001 is quite impressive!
Is the tank in my 2004 the same design as your 2001? Some have said
cars for use in Japan do not have the internal bladder Which is required
in the U.S.
Don
 

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Hi DON;
The internal bladder is not in both 01 and 04 model of Japan. However, I think that there is no influence of the bladder about tank capacity. Because I think that the value is written to the specification of 04 US model if it has the influence and capacity decreases , AND
There are many those who say can not refuel also in Japan, so that it is in specification.

The gauges have only ten segments, and it is widely different value in same one segment. I am also very worried. S0, I am using the precise digital fuel meter.

The clear point is when the beep sound and the last segment is blinking.
I check the meter then. 1.5 gallons remains there. So, I refuel before consuming one gallon. I refuel 12 gallons average at my 13-gallon tank.

I guess the about remain as follows for 2004 Prius.

9 segments 10 gallons
8 segments 9 gallons

2 segments 3 gallons
1 segments 2 gallons
Blinking 1.5 gallons

Please record mileage When the 10th segment disappears. This value is set to a.
Please record mileage When the 9th segment disappears. This value is set to b.
It seems that it is putting into full at the time of a>1.5* (b-a).
And It means not putting into full at the time of a<1.5* (b-a).

_______________________
USK Bordeaux mica 2001
22,140.08 miles / 379.05 gallons = 58.4 mpg 3/29/04
 

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The fuel gauge in the 2004 is setup to display 9 gallons of capacity, plain & simple.

If you want to use more between fill ups (which is a bad idea, hence the design choice), don't plan on using the gauge as an indicator of gas beyond that 9 gallon limit.

And yes, the bladder does influence capacity. But that is beyond the 9 gallons as well. So if you don't push it, you'll never encounter the "problem" you describe.

The refill blinking and "Add Fuel" message will be triggered as an indicator to get gas, not actually a warning that the tank is about to go dry like in traditional vehicles. So like for me, I simply fill up right before I get home when the blinking starts anytime during my commute.

By watching the distance shown on the Multi-Display, which is automatically reset for you everytime you refill, you can see how far that 9-gallon non-emergency capacity will take you. Just match the values to this chart:

40 MPG = 360 miles
41 MPG = 369 miles
42 MPG = 378 miles
43 MPG = 387 miles
44 MPG = 396 miles
45 MPG = 405 miles
46 MPG = 414 miles
47 MPG = 423 miles
48 MPG = 432 miles
49 MPG = 441 miles
50 MPG = 450 miles
51 MPG = 459 miles
52 MPG = 468 miles
53 MPG = 477 miles
54 MPG = 486 miles
55 MPG = 495 miles
 

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I agree to John's method for safe operation.

I think the important recognition, It is the distinction between physical tank size and usable capacity.

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USK Bordeaux mica 2001
22,140.08 miles / 379.05 gallons = 58.4 mpg 3/29/04
 

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Prius 2004 tank capacity

On my first tank of gas, I got 42 mpg according to the energy trip log anyway, and gassed up with one bar showing, not blinking yet. As my wife needed to use the P for a long trip, I gassed up anyway.

10 gallons went in before the auto shutoff, then I added .3 more. I didn't want to push it.

This doesn't square with the '9 gallon capacity' comment above. I'm going to try to go well into the blinking zone, and then report. Tank characteristics could vary somewhat from car to car, of course.
 

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fuel gauge/fuel tank capacity issue

I have experienced the exact same situation as drstiver on my 2004 Prius that has 3K miles on it. From the very first tank, when the low fuel light was flashing, the tank would only fill to 7.5 gallons. When the gauge shows 1/2 a tank, it takes about 3-4 gallons to fill. The dealer told me Toyota is aware of the situation, does not have a resolution, and that it would most likely result in a recall of all vehicles.
 

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My understanding is that the "bladder" effect will only present problems when there's a big change in temperature between fillups.

A change from warm to considerably colder temperature will shrink the bladder to as much as 1.5 gallons less capacity, making it seem like you burned less gas (and got better gas mileage).

A change from cold to considerably warmer temperature will expand the bladder, requiring you to put more gas into the tank, and making it seem like you burned more gas than you may have (and got worse gas mileage).

If temperature remains above or below that constant level (what was it, 40 degrees farenheit...or something like that?), then the bladder won't shrink or expand, and will therefore have little effect on your calculated gas mileage.
 

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Bladder shrinkage?

BIF--where did you hear that? It doesn't seem intuitive that the bladder would be able to change that much.
 

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Re: Bladder shrinkage?

hinalea said:
BIF--where did you hear that? It doesn't seem intuitive that the bladder would be able to change that much.
The 1.5 gallon capacity change is provided by Toyota. Can't remember where, but I may have even read it in the owner's manual.
 

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Thanks for all the info everyone; this helps explain why I just got over 100 miles before the rightmost bar disappeared. I normally don't fill beyond automatic pump shutoff, but did have an issue once with a pump that shut off about 2 gallons early.
 

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TechnoMage said:
Thanks for all the info everyone; this helps explain why I just got over 100 miles before the rightmost bar disappeared. I normally don't fill beyond automatic pump shutoff, but did have an issue once with a pump that shut off about 2 gallons early.
you're still best off to stop filling after the automatic shutoff. If you manage to "squeeze" in more fuel into the Prius' bladder, there have been a few instances of the fuel tank "throwing up/belching" fuel once the nozzle was taken out.

I filled up my Prius Thursday. The person who used the pump before me must've tried "topping off" and paid for the extra gas they tried to get into the tank. When I picked up the nozzle, gas came spilling out all over me and the side of my car. :(
 

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Currently 2800 miles.....have never let the fuel gauge get below 2 segments showing. My best tank was 9.22 gal. at 485 miles...just over 52.6 mpg. Another tank was 9.75 gal. at 450 miles....46.15 mpg. I pump gas at a medium speed and have never gotten more than a very short click when topping....and with never experiencing any burps or spits. The refueling has been very consistent and at different gas pumps as well. Considering I've never seen just 1 segment, much less a blinker, I'd say that the gas gauge on my particular Prius is operating as it should. The "born on" date of mine is March '04--no recall needed (or wanted).
 

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The gage on my 04 Prius varies all over the place. Yesterday, coming back from New Hampshire on country roads my average mpg was 51.2. I had three segments left and for over 100 miles the gage did not change. When I stopped to get something to eat I still had the three segments left and when I got back in the car I had one segment showing. That one started blinking after 24 miles and when I got gas the average mpg was 50.5 with 388 miles. I got 8.1 gals. and the automatic shutoff triggered at around 6 gals.
On an earlier fill-up I tracked when each segment went off.
1st = 133
2nd = 25
3rd = 25
4th = 26
5th = 20
6th = 16
7th = 35
8th = 48
9th = 12
10th until it started blinking = 47

Not very linear is it.
 
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