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I was about 1 1/2 from the filling station when I lost all my fuel. Maintained speed at 50 mph for a short time and felt the car being powered by the batteries. The batteries finally wore down and everything shut down. Coasted into filling station and not a foot to spare! Feared the car would not start...but it powered up and I thought I was in business. Put my foot to the pedal but nothing was there! Sat in "park" for about 3 minutes and allowed time for the battery to recharge. Back in business! Lesson learned...when the monitor says "Add Fuel"...it's not kidding.

Question: Could I have damaged anything during the events from above?

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How many miles did you drive from the time the last bar started to blink to the time your car ran out of fuel?
 

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If you ran it until the BATTERIES drained so far that the car shut off, then yes, you could have damaged something. If there was still some battery power left when you got to the gas station, then the battery should be fine; but either way there is a chance that the fuel pump could have been damaged from having run out of gas.

Running out of gas is bad. I used to do it all the time in my '74 Audi (broken gas gauge, no trip odometer, had to rely on the main odometer and good record keeping.)

Out of curiosity, how far did you go after the beep and 'Add Fuel'?
 

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I went about 11 miles after I received the "Add Fuel" notice. The owner's manual says to refuel as soon as possible. It should read, "GET FUEL RIGHT NOW!" LOL!
 

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I can get at least 50 miles on the Add Fuel mark. I've run out at 87.

I don't think the battery was harmed. The car shuts off before it will get to the harm mark.

As for the fuel pump, I suspect that once the system codes an Engine Will Not Start, or more accurately, Out Of Fuel, the pump is kept off until the next time you restart the car. Doing this would protect the pump.
 

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Boy, this stuff is getting awfully old. Note! after all the Hummer bashing started to appear here, out of curiousity I started perusing the Hummer nets. I found not one negative comment about the Prius in the past six months and not one mention of anyone running out of gas,......... ever...........
What the heck is the problem? Does everyone wait for the computer to tell them when to stop for gas or does it really hurt all that much?
There is a guage that works pretty well...It ALWAYS shows empty on the cars that have run out of gas. Can't you forget about all else and just buy gas when it shows "low" ...... It's going to cost the same either way and the way things are going, it will be cheaper today than tomorrow when you are one "pip" lower.
This is a strange subject for a group of educated adults to be concerned with! Maybe that's why Toyota did not put in a set of instruments. The purchasers of this car may have worried themselves to death about oil pressure or coolant temperature. Maybe if they yanked the fuel guage out and subsituted a great flashing red light when there were only three gallons left in the tank folks would stop running out of gas. Especially if you couldn't remember how many days you watched that red light blink!
I don't really want to sound critical but this subject drives me to be.
 

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hyperion said:
Boy, this stuff is getting awfully old. Note! after all the Hummer bashing started to appear here, out of curiousity I started perusing the Hummer nets. I found not one negative comment about the Prius in the past six months and not one mention of anyone running out of gas,......... ever...........
What the heck is the problem? Does everyone wait for the computer to tell them when to stop for gas or does it really hurt all that much?
There is a guage that works pretty well...It ALWAYS shows empty on the cars that have run out of gas. Can't you forget about all else and just buy gas when it shows "low" ...... It's going to cost the same either way and the way things are going, it will be cheaper today than tomorrow when you are one "pip" lower.
This is a strange subject for a group of educated adults to be concerned with! Maybe that's why Toyota did not put in a set of instruments. The purchasers of this car may have worried themselves to death about oil pressure or coolant temperature. Maybe if they yanked the fuel guage out and subsituted a great flashing red light when there were only three gallons left in the tank folks would stop running out of gas. Especially if you couldn't remember how many days you watched that red light blink!
I don't really want to sound critical but this subject drives me to be.
I'm with you, Hyperion. I like keeping my Prii happy and gas in the tank seems to do the trick.
 

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My drivers ed teacher told me that running out of gas is one of the absolute dumbest mistakes any driver could make, and I heartily agree with him even 21 years later.

It should be LESS so, not more so, for the Prius, because in other cars you have maybe 25 miles warning with one pip left, the Prius you get twice that much warning at least. I make it a rule to always fill up around the 350-375 mile mark, or if I know I'm going somewhere that will take me past that point, I fill it up anyway. Sometimes it'll cost me $10, sometimes $25, but I've NEVER seen the "low fuel" light on the Prius, never even gone below two pips, really, and I never intend to.
 

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paul16451 said:
It should be LESS so, not more so, for the Prius, because in other cars you have maybe 25 miles warning with one pip left, the Prius you get twice that much warning at least.
Apparently not, as a few have attested to ICE shutdown in only 5-10 miles. Which was the initial point of this thread.
 

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Don't forget, with other cars, the Low Fuel light comes on at the same time every time. You will know how many litres left after a few refuels from the time you first purchased the vehicle. With the Prius, it's not always the same.
 

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We've run out twice. Once last year after going 34 miles with the last bar blinking and last week with only 5 miles of blinking.
 

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But it's only people who buy a Prius including those experts who are continuously playing the russian rolette game and actually encourageing others to get into the game. A quarter of a tank on any guage should suffice to get you at least thinking about gas. Forget the pips and lights and put a little common sense back in your life. You have a car with an eleven gallon tank. What's so hard about putting gas into it when you show a quarter or about three gallons. Get in the habit of always adding six and if you fall below that give yourself a smack cause you are so darn dumb. Forget how the thread started and forget about coming up with excuses for running out of gas.
Do you possibly want the word to get out that Prius pwners are constantly running out of gas and those that drive Hummers aren't. ... Next thing you know there are going to be statements popping up that the Prius must get lousy milage cause the owners are constantly running out of gas!
Mitsubushi and Nissan would be delighted to start this one.
 

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hyperion said:
Forget how the thread started and forget about coming up with excuses for running out of gas.
We had four VW TDI's prior to the Prius and we never ran out of diesel.

You say fill up at 1/4 tank which would be about 3 gallons. Well in my car 1/4 tank is probably a lot less than 3 gallons. Our guage is not evenly remotely accurate, you go a lot more miles per bar on the upper range compared to the bottom of the range. We can easily drive 100 miles on a new tank without it coming off the full and have driven 160 miles before. The bottom part of the guage goes down very quickly compared to the top half. You're probably not noticing this because you're filling up earlierl.

Since running out the last time we're changing our thinking to fill up when it hits or before the last bar. We're usually driving in town and gas stations are plentiful.
 

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silly said:
You say fill up at 1/4 tank which would be about 3 gallons. Well in my car 1/4 tank is probably a lot less than 3 gallons. Our guage is not evenly remotely accurate, you go a lot more miles per bar on the upper range compared to the bottom of the range.
The thing is, old-style analog guages have the same behavior! They move slower at the top of the range than near the bottom. However, they ARE clearly labeled (arbitrarily, one might add) 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 tank. I am forced to conclude that the semi-digital pips cause people to ASSUME the gauge is more linear than an analog guage and without a label stating where the quarter tank level is, people make assumptions based on the ODO and MPG based on that incorrect linear assumption. The guage is not linear! Neither is any other one that I've experienced!

I would suggest Toyota modify the display so that the pips to the right are bigger than the pips to the left... and maybe change the color from green to blue to yellow to red at the 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 equivalent levels
 

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Maybe if they yanked the fuel guage out and subsituted a great flashing red light when there were only three gallons left in the tank folks would stop running out of gas.
I'd love a great flashing red light on my Element. You could add in a warning beep or a voice saying, "Warning: fill the tank now, bozo." The gauges are deeply recessed and are all but impossible to see when you're wearing sunglasses, and the warning light is faint and not very obtrusive.

After my wife had been driving it for a week, I pulled it into the garage to load it up for dog adoptions the next day and noticed that the warning light was on. I drove it straight to the pump and it cost me over $30 to fill, meaning that I had maybe one or two gallons left.

I ran out of gas once in my Mazda, as did my wife. In both cases the gauge read about 1/8 of a tank (no warning light) and we were on the highway where gas was expensive and figured we could make it into town. She did, barely; I didn't.

Of course I was riding with a friend who said, "Maybe we should stop for gas" and I said, "Naah...we'll fill up in town." With the gas station just out of sight of the rear view mirror, the car died.

Now when I get down to the alleged 1/4 tank, I fill up no matter what car I'm driving.

Jan
 

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Yeah, and the one time I ran out of gas, in my Old Nissan truck (Old enough to have Datsun across the back, actually) I was going uphill in the mountains. I knew the intake was at the front and the float at the back of the tank, so I was living dangerously, but the gauge did read almost 1/4 tank when the truck died!
 

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When the gauge gets low, I fill up with gas. Simple, no stress, and it gives me about 450 miles between fillups.

"I started perusing the Hummer nets. I found not one negative comment about the Prius in the past six months and not one mention of anyone running out of gas,......... "

Hep, that is because those Hummer drivers fill up every day, so they are in the habit! We wait so long between fillups apparently we forget that the car actually uses gas!
;-)
 
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