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Prius and filling the tank



  • 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.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    I had this issue come up for the first time this winter, since 2004. I was pissed because the meter showed about half full, I couldn't get any more gas into the tank and I didn't know which was incorrect. I think the gauge was under reading and the tank was close to full although it could have been the other way around. I drive very little in the winter, so I waited until I racked up 250 miles, and the gauge was near empty, (by that time it had warmed up outside) and then filled up with 6.5 gallons and the gauge showing full. Had I gone on a long trip, I would have put a 5 gallon gas can in the back just to be sure. It has been a few months with no problem. We're doing a 1,250 mile drive to Chicago in a few weeks and I don't anticipate any problem other than the Mississippi flooding. I will take a full size spare with me since I had a flat in the middle of nowhere last year (on the original tires with about 20,000 miles on them). I had to buy one tire and rim to finish that trip since I already had a set of four new tires that I should have put on before leaving home.
    I do love the car itself and the great mileage. My neighbor has a Lexus. Last night I showed him how to check the mpg. It was 13.9 on the screen since his last fill up.
  • sherry9sherry9 Posts: 14
    I have the same problem with the tires on mine. I have almost 22,000 miles on it and my tires are shot. Still, I love this car. My new one is on a ship now and I will have it by the end of the month. Hopefully I won't have the same problem with the gas tank again.
  • descovydescovy Posts: 1
    Did I read correctly in the '08 manual that it needs premium fuel? Please advise, because I find that no one mentions anything about it...

    Also, dealer told dh to use "B" to brake at stop lights/signs, etc... for better fuel miliage, from what I am reading here, more like when you go downhill a mountain, not for quick starts, for me it is what is like to put a regular automatic in "low" Seems to me like a waste to go in "B" all the time. No mountains in Houston ;)
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I have not read this part of the forum before, but was somewhat aware of a 'gas tank' problem. Yesterday I was down to 1 bar, and on my Prius this means I have 3 gallons left (about) - based on the other fill-ups. I put gas in, but it only took 6 gallons. The pump kept shutting off. I told the service guy at the gas station his pump was faulty, and paid for the 6 gal and left, then went to another station. Same thing, got in 2 gal there, and the pump started shutting off. I was filling very fast, and will try it slower next time, but it's not happened before this, and I fill fast all the time. If this happens again, I will take back to the dealer and see what can be done. I have many records of filling up the car. It's about 75 degrees here in San Jose, so the cold is not the issue. And it's worked fine until now.

  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    That is pretty much what happened to me except I had 5 bars on the gauge and it wouldn't take any gas so I didn't know if I was full, half full or less. The problem seems to have disappeared as strangely as when it appeared. We going on a long drive soon and I'll keep track of the gas situation and report back.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No neither statement is correct.

    The Prius only needs basic clean 87 Octane. Anything else is a waste of money.

    The dealer is wrong. That's not too uncommon. Most sales people are as aware of the Prius as they are of the Space Shuttle.....and I sell Prius'. 'B' is only for engine braking in downhill situations so that you don't ride the brakes all the way down. There's no other purpose.
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Hello to all

    I have concerns about my MPG and I would appreciate any help you might offer.
    Here's the deal. I purchases, and love, my 2008 Prius with package #7 3 weeks ago. Since that time, I have gained insight into the "Bladder" type of fuel tank, etc, and understand how to fill the tank, which by the way is very different than filling my Pathfinder, which I do Not miss...

    When I bought the car, the gas indicator had all bars lit, indicating a full tank. At 5 bars, I filled it up, with 5.013 gallons and set the trip A odometer to track my MPG. At 3 bars, the next week, I was able to fill it with 6.06 gallons and noted the Trip A odometer at 323.3 miles. I thought that I was supposed to divide the miles driven (323.3) into the 6.06 gallons. I was under the impression that I was getting approximately 53 MPG.

    What I am seeing now on my trip odometer is 168.7 miles driven, with now bars indicating 1/2 of a tank (5 bars). My consumption meter is showing today an average of 47.2 MPG at the 47 miles that I drove today.

    I am confused and I hope I don't sound a a bit ignorant here. How do I track my MPG, based upon the above MPG information, what does it seem to you that I am getting MPG? Can I be getting only 30 mpg? I don't think so, but the wisdom and knowledge I have see here is impressive.

    Many thanks

  • On occasion I have filled my tank('06 model)to the brim and the bar gauge has read 2 bars below maximum. It usually reverted to the correct level but I never established a correlation as to how many miles I drove before it did. I don't understand why it happens, just a quirck I suspect.

    If you filled the tank before the fuel level gauge reverted then that might be the cause of your low mpg reading. Absent a major change in driving conditions it is unlikely you would go from 47MPG to 30MPG. Whenever the "quirck" happened to me it wasn't reflected on the elapsed consumption gauge. Hope it makes sense to you.
  • Firstly - I am now filling it up v e r y s l o w l y.
    I just returned from Florida (Ontario - Florida) - so I did about 3,500 miles - - my highest fill-up was 9.559 gallons and I know I was on the low of bar 2 - I never let it go to bar 1, since I ran out of gaz. Most of my fill-ups are around bar 3-4 and I was putting in about $23 - or 6.4 gallons - on my total trip - going between 55MPH and 77MPH - I took 72.7 gallons for an average of 48MPG. I think this is higher than the indicator was showing. On one occassion, I did over 100 miles before the first bar disappeared.

    Anyway, I love my Prius, I know I have the most ecological green car out there - (even better than those Smart Cars or those Mini's)

    I am not happy with big SUV's burning all the gaz. I don't mind $4. a gallon - maybe there will be more smaller cars out there - more hybrids. When we look around - with all the big SUV's - with only one person in the car - it is a shame.

    Some day, driving a big car alone, will be like - smoking in a restaurant - it will be forbidden. We need to take care of this planet - Sorry - now I will go with the TreeHuggers web sites ....
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I posted above (sc) and now again. In my last tank, which did not fill up 'on it's own' (shut off around 7 gallons - and I know it should have taken at least 9), I kept putting in little bits of gas, until I thought it was full. Today I was on 420 miles and had 2 bars left. This has never happened before, at 420 miles it's usually on the last bar and it's blinking at this mileage. (and I think I have 2 gallons left in the tank - which I know now I do not). So, this clearly means the tank was not getting full in all previous fill-up attempts. Today I filled up, and I filled slowly with the gas nozzle barely in the tank. The gas overflowed, onto the ground - just a bit, but the tank was totally full. It took 10.8 gal today, with 2 bars left on the indicator. We are all assuming when 'we think' our tank is full, we are at 12 gal. I think this is a mistake.. many of us are not getting 12 gallons into the tank when the pump stops letting gas in the tank and shuts off. Here's what I have been monitoring.. each bar and how many miles.

    Bars.... Miles
    1....... 130
    2....... 158
    3....... 183
    4....... 209
    5....... 257
    6....... 310
    7....... 353
    8....... 420 Filled up here 2 bars left and it took 10.6 gal.

    It will be interesting to see how many miles I get on this 'full' tank. I'm not sure the tank has ever been full before.

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    We are all assuming when 'we think' our tank is full, we are at 12 gal. I think this is a mistake.. many of us are not getting 12 gallons into the tank when the pump stops letting gas in the tank and shuts off. Here's what I have been monitoring.. each bar and how many miles.

    It doesn't really matter what the bars say. It's just a simple gauge. You know exactly how big the tank is because the manufacturer tells you the exact size and you know how many gallons you just put in it. The gauge could be off by 1 bar easily and I believe the Prius has a bladder gas tank so you will have variables as to the size of the gas tank.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Yes, we know we all have basically 12 gallons. The point is, are we filling the tank to 12 gallons. Many are not able to, and don't know where the '12 gallon mark' is, because the gas is shutting off early. The indicator marks may read 'FULL' when we only have 10 gallons in the tank, or 9 gallons in the tank. If this is the case, I would expect the 1st bar to go off - indicating fuel used - before 100 miles, at maybe 50 miles.. then you know the tank was not full when you stopped filling. I will know, for my car, on this next tank, when I actually overflowed my tank by accident. But this will be a good gauge for me. If I now travel 150 miles before the 1st bar goes out on the gauge, then I will know I was not filling my tank before.

    I would also assume, of course it's a guess, that all gas indicators are about the same.So others should get close to this also - and I would be interested to see what others are getting on 'each bar'.

  • priusdarpriusdar Posts: 6
    I have just read several stories of concern on: There are MANY other websites that speak to Prius problems: - - - - - these are just the ones I have stumbled across.

    I am SICK to my stomach. I have TRUSTED Toyota for YEARS to provide a SAFE and RELIABLE vehicle. I traded in my 2007 Toyota Touring Avalon on my 2008 Toyota Prius ... NEVER even giving ONE thought that I was buying an UNSAFE and HAZARDOUS car. (Boy do I ever wish I still had the Avalon ...)

    I have personally experienced the FAULTY gas tank design, fuel gauge that is ONLY at best a GUESS gauge, gas and air bubbling out when you TRY to fill the tank and the sheer fright of WONDERING if you are going to run out of gas when your tank shows a few bars left on the gauge.

    Now, I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED to have discovered that my car very well may QUIT functioning in snow or slick conditions!!! I live where snow happens rarely, but rain happens ALL the time! I do drive in snow conditions often ... luckly is seems, not yet in this HAZARDOUS car.

    I was SOOOO very EXCITED to take my new Prius on our recent road trip!!! Now I am nearly in tears realizing that I am driving, "literally" ... AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN ...

    Luckily, as of today, there has not been any physical damage. Unfortunately, emotional damage and loss of faith in Toyota has happened.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Thought your write up was good.. but I don't think you are driving 'an accident waiting to happen'. Where I was 100% Prius before my gas issues, I am not 90% Prius, still playing with the gas tank issue. I have read most your links, and there seem to be some real issues out there in cold weather.. but I'm in CA, so don't think this will affect me.. but I'm sure it does for those that have posted issues. I hope Toyota does address these concerns for us all.

    I do not think there is any facts indicating you will run out of gas when there are 1-2 bars left, and I think we are safe to drive 25 miles when the indicator light starts blinking - if there are facts other than this, please post. I will drive now and fill up when I'm at about 3 bars.. hoping to keep the bladder expanded so the tank will fill.

  • weickweick Posts: 7

    I agree with you completely that the Prius is an unsafe vehicle. Because of my concern for your well being I am willing to purchase your unsafe Prius from you immediately so that you can buy a safer vehicle. I will pay you low blue book even though your vehicle is a safety hazard.

    Please contact me immediately so that you minimize the risk to yourself and your family.
  • priusdarpriusdar Posts: 6
    I will pass on your offer of low blue book ... my state has a lemon law and I have written to our attorney generals office ... I am scared ... not stupid.
  • I have driven my 08 Prius at least 15 miles from the time that it started beeping. I have driven it 40 miles from the time it went down to 1 bar.
  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28
    I am a happy 2008 Prius owner, may be looking for another, maybe I could be talked into taking your unsafe 08 prius off your hands. Hate to see you drive an unsafe vehicle. What state are you located in? How many miles on the Prius? Which model is it,which packages does it have? Will you give someone a real GOOD DEAL to get rid of it ?
  • mmgwhmmgwh Posts: 1
    Priusdr, GET a GRIP on yourself!!

    First of all is NOT Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. They do NOT test cars, they do not provide independent opinions and ratings, and they accept advertising on their site. Most importantly, according to their very own FAQ, about 1/2 way down, they are "basically a complaint site" and all the information is submitted by their readers. You should really keep this in perspective -- what you are reading is the anecdotal stories of a few people who felt like airing their complaints.

    Regarding the FAULTY (your caps, not mine) gas tank design, it's only faulty if it LEAKS (my caps, not yours), otherwise I think I can live with it and not be TOTALLY DISGUSTED.

    Keeping things in perspective and understanding the sources of information are wonderful things. Enjoy your Prius if you can. I love mine. :blush:
  • priusdarpriusdar Posts: 6
    I am glad that others are happy with their Prius. I was until May 23rd. The time I needed to count on my car was on a road trip with long distances between fill ups. In town and in areas where fuel is readily avialable, it is important to know how far you can travel on the road.

    I spoke with Toyota technicians and other Prius owners BEFORE I began looking at what other Prius owners were noting as challenges they have experienced with their cars. The sites do echo what I have been told ... I did not take the complaint sites as the truth.

    With that said ... here is the response and acknolwedgement that the bladder issue cannot be fixed from Toyota Coprortate:

    Re: Prius gas tank safety issues

    Dear Ms. :
    We apologize with your dissatisfaction with the fuel tank bladder in your 2008 Prius.

    As your Case Manager explained to you, this is the design of the fuel tank and there is no repair available to change the design.

    We appreciate you taking the time to let us know of your dissatisfaction with the fuel tank bladder because the only way we know what our customers are looking for is when they tell us, as you have. We try to scope our customers out in advance, by researching the market, conducting interviews, surveys, focus groups and doing our homework, but there's no better source than a Toyota owner who takes the time to tell us like it is.

    We can't guarantee that a change would be made, but if it were, it would be driven by just this sort of honest communication.

    We have documented your email at our National Headquarters under file #. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us.


    Toyota Customer Experience

    In closing, I find it interesting that individuals feel the need to offer to buy this car ... no thank you. And others express that I need to get a grip. Thank you all for your comments ... you all lucky owners that have not yet experienced the serious issues that MANY other ownes have and I hope that you never do.
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