Honda Odyssey - Gas Tank Capacity

akt01akt01 Member Posts: 3
edited June 2015 in Honda
I have owned a Honda Odyssey since 2003. I have had only one problem with it. The gas tank is advertised as 20 gallons but it has never held more than 16. I have actually driven it until it runs completely out of gas and re-filled it from empty.

The dealer says this is normal and even though the tank is really 20 gallons, it won't actually hold more than 16 for various BS reasons. Has anyone had a similar problem? Or am I the only one that got a Civic tank mounted on my Odyssey?


See Also: Honda Odyssey Reviews & Specifications


  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,208
    You drove your van until it ran out of gas? Did you have to car Triple A to bring you some gas?

    I've never heard of such a thing. But, if that is the only "problem" with the van, count your blessings.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • dsrtrat2dsrtrat2 Member Posts: 223
    Those gas gauges were notorious for registering empty when there were several gallons still in the tank.

    Drive it as if it were a 15 gallon tank. Don't worry, be happy!
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    The little orange light comes on when there is 5 gallons of gas left; another light will come on when there is less than a gallon.

    Every time, I fill up when the little orange light comes on. And every time I fill up, I get around 15-16 gallons of gasoline. So the Odyssey (the 2002s at least) does have a 20 gallon tank.
  • mohanlal2000mohanlal2000 Member Posts: 3
    I have the same issue with the 2004 Odyssey EX model. The orange light shows up when there is at least 6 gallons remaining in the tank. So I fill up about 14 gallons or so.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I'm starting to think it was an intentional design feature to tell you to fill up when you're driving on deserted highways :blush:
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,805
    Because the tank of the Ody is fairly short and flat, you get alot of fuel lying low in the tank. The fuel pump needs that fuel for cooling hence the light comes on fairly early.
  • dsrtrat2dsrtrat2 Member Posts: 223
    You are correct. Good point.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Good point. I never thought of that. I just always thought that it was to give you ample time to find a gas station when you're traveling on deserted stretches of highway...
  • akt01akt01 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    It sounds like a lot of people believe that the light comes when there are 5-6 gallons remaining. My question is – how doyou know? Have you ever run all the gas out? And then refilled? I have. And the most mine will take is 16 gallons.

    I know, the obvious question is: How did I run out of gas? If it holds 20 gallons, and averages 20mpg, I figured I should be able to go about 400 miles per tank. So when the orange light came on after about 300 miles, I figured that it was a mistake. So, I kept going. About another 20 miles. Fortunately, I was close to home when it happened.

    The other theory is that the tank shape reduces the amount of usable gas. If that is the case, then Honda really should change the owner’s manual to indicate that, although the tank holds 20 gallons, you can only use 16, which I think is what people actually care about.

    Thanks again
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I vaguely recall reading something about the warning lights in the owner's manual or something many years ago when I took delivery of my 2002 Odyssey.

    However, I couldn't find the page in my owner's manual...

    But there may have been one time when I kept driving with the little orange light on, and I drove it until another light came on. I filled the tank up, and filled it to about 18 gallons or so, I believe.

    Either that, or the dealership I bought the car from explained it to me like that.
  • ocuihsocuihs Member Posts: 138
    When low-gas warning light comes on, approx. 3 gallons to go...When it reaches 'E', approx. 1 gallon to go.

    If the tank is dry, you'll burn out the pump.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,208
    How can you run the engine to burn out the pump if the tank is empty? You won't burn out the pump by running out of gas... maybe if you do it once or twice a week.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,805
    How can you run the engine to burn out the pump if the tank is empty?

    The fuel is a cooling medium for the pump. If it isn't submersed in fuel, it can overheat. Do it enough and you will burn it out.
  • ducksdad007ducksdad007 Member Posts: 18
    The 2007 Odyssey has a 27 gallon tank. Great idea.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    Ah, don't believe that is correct - what's the source of your information?
  • odymommaodymomma Member Posts: 6
    The 2007 Ody has an approx 21 gallon tank. Where did you get 27 from? :confuse:
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    Owner handbook said 21 gal tank for 2007
  • ducksdad007ducksdad007 Member Posts: 18
    From the new car sticker on window and the owners manual
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    You might want to take another look - as others have said, the fuel capacity is, in fact, 21.
  • ducksdad007ducksdad007 Member Posts: 18
    OK looked again, still 27
  • odymommaodymomma Member Posts: 6
    You must have a special Odyssey then because the rest of us all have a 21 gallon tank.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    Page 424

    Fuel tank
    21 US gal (80 Liters)

    You can view this online at honda's web site plus can download as pdf format on top right corner.
  • akt01akt01 Member Posts: 3
    Of course, they can write anything they want in the owner's manual. Just like the odometer can say anything. The question is, is it true? How can we verify what its saying? There are only two ways I can think of:

    (1) Remove the gas tank and determine the exact amount of gas that it will hold.
    (2) Run the car til its completely empty, and then see how much gas you can add.

    I haven't done #1, but I have done #2. It seems no one else has. Based on my empirical research, the tank holds only 16 gallons.

    If in fact the tank needs another 5 gallons to cool the engine or whatever, and is therefore inaccessible, and cannot be used to power the vehicle, then the manual is misleading and should be corrected.

    Unfortunately I am not sure how to calculate damages so I can file my class action lawsuit. I would just like Honda to admit that it is wrong
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    When my '05 fuel gauge nears "empty," there is an audible warning and a low fuel indicator comes on the MID. If I fill it up right then, it will take slightly more than 17 gallons. IIRC, the most it's ever taken has been about 18.5 gallons.

    There's nothing at all misleading about the manual and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why having a built-in reserve cushion would bother anybody.
  • esteezeesteeze Member Posts: 102
    "...I cannot, for the life of me, understand why having a built-in reserve cushion would bother anybody."

    I agree; I like having the extra capacity for those circumstances on a trip where a gas station may not be found in time.
  • floridaodysseyfloridaodyssey Member Posts: 5
    My light came on and I kept driven for about 30 more miles on the HWY. When I was filling up the van the pump finally turned off around 17 gallons. I was curious because I was on a long road trip and the gas price was the cheapest around and decided to add some more gas very, very slow. The pump probably clicked about twenty times till the van was totally full. WOW 17 gallons plus an additional 4 gallons = 21gallons. The needle stayed on F for the first 100 miles. I was able to accumulate 535 miles on one tank of gas. I have done this at least a dozen times on long road trips and plan out my gas stops by suing……… good luck!!!
  • qs84qs84 Member Posts: 10
    This is great, but be aware of the dangers of topping off you tank that way, it is not advised to practice this.
  • wleeperwleeper Member Posts: 1
    My wife just put in 18.8 gallons in our 2000 Odyssey. Which brought me here. Many things affect when you "run out" of gas. It could be a pressure problem in the pump, or you were on an incline and the gas moved to the back of the tank (or front), many things.

    Much bigger things to worry about.
  • surfsalterpathsurfsalterpath Member Posts: 20
    what are the dangers of 'topping' off your tank?
    I always top mine off and I get about 2.5 gals extra.
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,805
    what are the dangers of 'topping' off your tank?

    Topping off your tank can allow fuel to enter the vehicle's vapor recovery system (that filters the gas fumes for emissions purposes) and damage it. Further, it can overflow the filler neck and drip down the side of the vehicle and release gas vapors into the air which adds to air pollution.
  • jaotejaote Member Posts: 1
    We recently purchased a 2001 Odyssey. When the gas gauge gets close to E and we fill it up we only get 13 - 14 gallons in. I called a Honda dealer for the specs and I was told it is a 20 gallon tank. Question: Is it possible that the gauge is off? Is this an inherent characteristic of these vans? Is it actually a 20 gallon capacity tank?
  • yumricexpyumricexp Member Posts: 1
    Just ran out of gas on the highway on my 03 Odyssey. I put in a little over 20 gal. Around 1.5 gal carried on my very scenic walk down the highway & 18.461 gal at the pump. Fml
Sign In or Register to comment.