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Honda Odyssey - Gas Tank Capacity

akt01akt01 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, KentuckyPosts: 5,444
    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.
  • dsrtrat2dsrtrat2 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 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.
  • 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 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 BostonPosts: 8,863
    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 Posts: 223
    You are correct. Good point.
  • jchan2jchan2 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 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 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 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, KentuckyPosts: 5,444
    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.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    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.
  • The 2007 Odyssey has a 27 gallon tank. Great idea.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Ah, don't believe that is correct - what's the source of your information?
  • The 2007 Ody has an approx 21 gallon tank. Where did you get 27 from? :confuse:
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Owner handbook said 21 gal tank for 2007
  • From the new car sticker on window and the owners manual
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    You might want to take another look - as others have said, the fuel capacity is, in fact, 21.
  • OK looked again, still 27
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