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Camry Hybrid Discussion area for the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving Americas favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 01-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tank Size? and Low Fuel Light - can't be right

When my low fuel light comes on, it tells me I have 20 miles left or so to drive. However, when I fill it up, it only takes 14 gallons. But the tank is supposed to be 17.5 right?

So, which is right? Do I really only have 20 miles left to drive when the low fuel light comes on, or is there still 3.5 gallons left which should be at least 100 miles to go?
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I get the same thing and am glad you asked this question. Wondering that myself!
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Toyota gives you about a 2 to 2.5 gal reserve.

Since the TCH should never be run to a true 'out of gas' situation, when you hit 0 miles left, it is definitely time to fill up.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The tank is 14 (or whatever) gallons. The reserve is not in addition to the listed capacity, but rather a part of the listed tank capacity.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The tank capacity is 17.5 gal. (RTFM)

The reserve is not a physical reserve as it was ~60 years ago, but rather the car tells you you're out of gas while in reality it still has a couple of gallons left.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting... When my light comes on, it says there are zero miles left. So I reset my B trip odometer, and knowing that I once hit 83 miles after the light came on, I allow myself 50 miles to drive before fillup. Also, I fill my car so that I can *see* the fuel in the neck of the fill nozzle. I have squeezed 18.2 gallons into that tank (oh - and wasn't out of gas). The main reason I fill it so full is so that I know it is filling to the same point each time, and my mileage calculations are 100% accurate.

Yeah.... There's my OCD side showing itself.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schaack View Post
When my low fuel light comes on, it tells me I have 20 miles left or so to drive. However, when I fill it up, it only takes 14 gallons. But the tank is supposed to be 17.5 right?

So, which is right? Do I really only have 20 miles left to drive when the low fuel light comes on, or is there still 3.5 gallons left which should be at least 100 miles to go?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When the low fuel light comes on and the miles to empty shows a number.....add aprox 100 miles to that number. Toyota does this intentionally. Running out of gas with a hybrid is not a good thing.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If gas is just as cheap where you are when the low fuel light comes on, get it there. If it is cheaper in the next town or you want to go to your favorite place, I'd go 50 miles on "empty" but running out of gas could definitely be a disaster in a TCH.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is one of the more annoying parts about owning this car.

When the fuel light comes on, I totally ignore it because the fuel light come on with 4 gallons left in the tank. When I hit zero miles on the cruising range, then I make a mental note of the ODO. When I hit ZERO, I really have another 3.4 gallons in my tank (I measured it once by siphoning it out). Since Since I get about 37 MPG, I drive another 100 miles, then fill up. Even driving this much over I still have another 25-40 miles before I am really out of gas.

Sometimes with this car, I really wish it was not my nagging mother, telling me to fuel up 150 miles before I actually need to. You would think that Toyota might be able to make a car with a fuel gauge that actually told you how much fuel you REALLY have in the tank! I do not want to know when my nervous mother wants me to fill up, I want to know how much frickin' fuel is in the tank.

This is my problem with this car, it wants to tell me how to maintain it. It should present me with the data and allow me to decide, kinda' like every other car that I have ever owned.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Being new TCH owners ourselves, the wife called me while driving home the other night saying the fuel gauge was on "E" and the miles remaining was dropping off quicker than the actual miles driven. Needless to say she was panicking and kept me on the phone till she made it to the gas station. I had read this thread a couple weeks ago and assured her that she should be fine. She ended up topping off just 13.8 gallons! It is a bit frustrating to have the gauge on empty and close to zero miles left showing on the dash. And I'd hate to chance driving further without fueling up, you don't know if that one time the gauge is actually correct and you end up on the side of the road.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdn_tch View Post
The tank capacity is 17.5 gal. (RTFM)

The reserve is not a physical reserve as it was ~60 years ago, but rather the car tells you you're out of gas while in reality it still has a couple of gallons left.

this is correct and should have put further discussion to the end. there is no reward for running the most miles after it shows "0 miles left". none. there is a lot of issues if you run empty.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have the same issue and I think it is a blessing in disguise. My 08 TCH tank takes only 50 Liters at the refuel light, although the tank capacity is supposed to be 65 Liters.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Is there a fuel pump in the gas tank that is cooled by the gasoline? That was good buisness when we ran a service station a while back. We knew who was going to need a new fuel pump because they ran around with $2 in the tank.

I tend to fill up after 2 weeks of driving of when I am passing my station after the light comes on.

It does have a rather large reserve. But, then again, you do not want to run out of fuel in this car.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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3.5 gallons of reserve on a car with very high MPGs is silly. On a normal I4 camry I couls see this, but here we are talking about 112 to 143.5 miles remaining AFTER the countdown reaches zero. The low fuel light comes on at about 1/8 tank. This amounts to about 200-225 miles of driving. For most people this is several days of driving.

I am not saying that it should be a race to see how far you can go past zero, but if you fill when the light comes on, you are wasting your time in frequent trips to the petrol station.

I generally fill up when about 100 miles after zero. I usually have at leasdt 1.5-2.0 gallons left when I fill up, more than enough of a safety margin considering that amounts to 60-80 miles.

The warning probably makes sense for the I4 engine, in this model 3.5 gallons can be as little as 66 miles in city driving. The difference between 66 miles and 150+ is a huge gap. If Toyota were smart, they would adjust the trigger point, considering that this hybrid model goes farther on a gallon of fuel.
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