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Prius and filling the tank



  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    Your problem does sound like mine but I am only putting in 6.5 gallons. The most I have gone on the empty light is about 20 miles. I also assume there should be more in the tank but I'm not willing to try it. I have contacted Toyota and they tell me it is normal, I don' think so. They are not willing to do anything till it gets warmer. Have you taken yours in for service? I have been asking other people I see if they are having these problems and they aren't. I sent a letter to Toyota arbitration last Monday and am expecting to hear from them this week. I requested a buy back or replacement since it can't seem to be fixed. It is out of Toyota's hand now and they have to abide by the arbitration ruling. It has to be settled within 40 days. I will post what happens.
  • yermellyermell Posts: 6
    well my tank problem is improving, I've gone from 7.5 gal. or so last month up to 9.68 gals. today. I was on my flashing light. The temp was 43 F. I too wish Toyota would come clean on this. If the bladder tank is best technology I could probably live with it in the winter, if that is what I was expecting. But as I said in an earlier post, I didn't have this problem last year.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    My bladder problem this winter disappeared a few weeks ago but I did NOT have it in 2007, 2006, 2005 or 2004.
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    I just filled mine up today and it took 5.2 gallons with 1 bar still lit. It has been in the sixties here for the last few days;
  • Worth mentioning is the method by which the Prius should be filled. My point being: Over the last 4 plus yrs of filling my '04 Prius I found that filling very slowly makes fill-ups attain maximum fill. When I do hit the blinking fuel gauge lite I know I can go approx. 25 miles. With that in mind, I find fill-ups usually are about 9 to 10 gallons. Again I reinterate. FILL VERY SLOWLY. It works for me. Last note...Winter's very cold weather does vary fill-ups about a gallon or so less.
  • Well spring is almost here in Canada. I will watch this closely this summer and next winter. On my 05 and the 08 and I will advise - up here in Canada we are in litres so I will be converting. It is still a great car - I just wish I could depend on the gauge - is full really full?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Does your Prius (or HH) have a spring loaded round metal flap that covers the hole where the filler nozzle gets inserted? My 2004 does not, but it may have fallen in the tank causing the filling problems I experienced a few months ago. I don't remember if there ever was such a flap. Other owners report having such a flap.
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    Not that I know of.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    Add gas very,very,very slowly.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    There is no flap. The problem must have been caused by very cold temperatures that did something to the rubber bladder in the tank. Once it warmed up, the problem disappeared. I don't know why it never happened in previous winters.
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    I'm glad your problem disappeared. Mine hasn't. It is now 70-80 degrees here and I still can't put in more than 7 gallons. I went for my arbitration hearing on the 18th and won my case. Toyota will be replacing my car within the next 45 days. It was very interesting listening to the representative from Toyota disputing my claim. According to her, there is no way to measure the amount of gas in the tank ( I thought that was what the gas gauge was for ), you cannot go by what it says in the owners manuel because it is wrong, and Toyota feels that there is nothing wrong with my car, that is how they all perform. I don't think so. Regardless, I love this car and am replacing it with another Prius.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Congratulations on winning your case. Too bad they couldn't fix it but now you will end up with a new car. Not bad.
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    First, let me say that the input I have read here is most valuable information and it's groups like this that keep us, the consumers, well informed.
    IToday I saw that my gas tank was at half full. Last Friday, I picked the new car up from the dealer (Prius 2008) and they had the tank filled upon delivery. Ok, so we are at 1/2 of a tank of gas and the total miles to date is 117. My first concern in that if a half of a tank is approximately 5-6 gallons, and I went only 117 miles, the gas mileage realized was close to 20 MPG. HOWEVER, the consumption meter shows an average of 44 MPG. Ok, I have read that I need to give this time, etc., which I am willing to do.
    However, today, on 1/2 of a tank, I decided to fill it up. I started filling it in the usual way, and the gas cut off at under 3 gallons. I had read the above posts last night, so I was sort of expecting this problem to occur. I repeated this several time, trying to fill the tank, but it kept clicking off. I then proceeded to fillit ever so slowly, guessing that I had better stop at approximately 5 gallons. I was very concerned of a back-flow, and didn't want to have a mess of gas on the ground.

    I drove right to the service section of the Toyota place where I purchased this car last Friday, and the service Mgr. told me to bring it right in when I get down to 1/2 to 1/4 of a tank, and they would see if their attempt to fill up would be a problem as well. While I was waiting for the Mgr, I asked a fellow who had purchased the same car a few months ago. I asked him if he had the same problem and he said he did not. There is an obvious problem here. I don't think one should "guess" at how much fuel to put into the car. I love the car but I am starting to pray that this is not a lemon situation. I would appreciate any input. Thank you
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    When I bought my car April 07, I never had a problem filling it up. The most I put in was 10 gallons and that was with 1 bar still showing. My mpg started out at 37-40 and has gradually gotten better. I am now consistent at at least 45 or better. Mileage will improve as the car gets broke in. I did not have any problem till the end of Oct into Nov. As it got colder, the amount of gas I put in went down to 8-9 gallons but my mpg was consistent with the amount of gas I put in the car. That changed in December. I was getting 400-450 miles per tank an I went to under 300 per tank. If you look in your owners manual at the gas tank specs, it will say an 11.9 gal tank with a shrinkage of the interior liner of the tank up to 1.3 gal in temps 14 degrees or below. Needless to say, mine shrank a whole lot more than that. The most I can put in now is 7 gallons and it is 80 degrees here. Do not let them tell you this is normal, it is not. I know this cannot occur on every Prius out there or nobody would be happy. Maybe you have one with the same problem as mine, but I hope not. The benefits of this car still far outweigh the drawbacks. I am replacing it with the same car again and hope I do not have this problem again. If so, we'll just go another round this winter. If I had bought the car used, I would have lived with it. Like you, I bought a new car and expect it to perform like a new car should.

    When you said you put gas in it, did it take 5 gallons to fill it up or only 3 that you put in? There is a problem with the flap in the tank as you are filling up, it cuts off. I haven't had this problem. If that is the case, then your consumption screen with the mpg could be reading wrong. Any way you look at it, something is not right.

    Hope this helps you. Let me know what they tell you. Thanks.
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Thanks for the quick response, it is appreciated. To answer your question, the 5 gallons were put in after the gauge displayed 1/2 of a tank. However, the gas pump stopped as I was fueling, only allowing 2 plus gallons. I then slowly added more, and finished at 5 gallons. The gas gauge then went to the full, with all the bars lit.
    After filling the tank, I set the trip odometer to 0 to see track my mileage. Since I have filled up, I have traveled 89 miles, and the gas meter gauge, still displays all the bars, indicating that I have a full tank. The consumption meter is showing an average of 42 MPG. Is this possible that the gas gauge bars have not decreased yet? I am getting sick at heart thinking that between the gas filling up problem and now the gas gauge still appearing full after almost 90 miles, that I have made a big mistake. I hope that there are people here, that know more than I, that can help to ease these fears.
    Thank you again for your answer.
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    It sounds to me like you have a problem with the flap when you fill up. Your gas gauge is reading correctly because 1/2 a tank should be about 5 gallons. When mine was working properly I could go 100 or more miles before it dropped off full and then about 40-50 miles for each bar after that. If you read back through the other messages, you will see where other people have had that problem. It's not a big problem so much as it is frustrating. Definitely take it back like they said to have it checked. You really haven't made a big mistake by buying the car, it just takes some getting used to. It did for me, anyway. But really, it is a great car. Good luck with it.

    When I first started having problems, I asked everyone I saw driving one of these cars if they had had these problems too. When you see people, ask them about it and if they like their cars or are having any problems. This will also help ease your fears.
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Thank you, again, Sherry

    If this is the worst I have to deal with, it's definately worth learning how to fuel-up the car. I must say that I Love this car, and today, I saw my average MPG at 48.6!

    I will bring it to the dealers service people when it needs a fill-up as they requested me to do. I will also keep in mind the "flap" that you mention.. Great Point! My only complaint, is that the "bladder" type of fuel tank is left to us to discover on our own, and worry, perhaps needlessly.

    Many thanks again

  • scubadogscubadog Posts: 3
    I agree completely with the last post. A car that will not accept the total fuel capacity is malfunctioning. I am now in the process of purchasing my new Prius so have not yet experienced this. I hope I don't. My commute is 450 miles per week and I expect to have to fill up the car just once per week.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I agree. After 30 months and 75000 miles I always drive til the last bar blinks then I know that I have 100 miles at max to go. Unfortunately, and not smartly, I have tested this limit of the envelope.

    When I do as you and fill up immediately at the first station after the bar starts blinking I always put in 9.5 to 10.3 gal. All my records are posted at GreenHybrid, every tankful since day one.

    My 'trigger' is the correlation between the miles driven that tank and the average estimate on the MFD. When the miles driven are 10x the average then I know that I have to put in about 10 gal.....then suddenly the light starts blinking .... and I end up putting in about 10 gal, week after week, month after month, year after year.

    2005 Seaside 74,890 mile and 47.8 mpg lifetime average
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Depending on where you live and drive and how you drive your 450 mi estimate is pretty good.

    But IMO here is why the bladder issue is somewhat of a tempest in a teapot. It is annoying when it occurs. When you can only add 8 gal when you know you should be putting in 10 gal. But this doesn't affect the fuel economy one bit. It just means a slightly more frequent stop at the pump. One would be getting 45-52 mpg on 8 gal iso 10 gal.
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