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Don't let your hybrid run out of gas

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Old 08-28-13, 08:07 PM   #1
fibromd
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Angry Don't let your hybrid run out of gas

This may have been posted before, but wanted to post a warning since I haven't come across it. Due to the way Toyota/Lexus designed their hybrid system, if you run out of gas the car can't be restarted even after gas is put in. The car must be taken by flat-bed to the dealer to have the system reset. So don't run out of gas in your ES300h!
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Old 08-28-13, 08:35 PM   #2
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All Toyota and Lexus systems are programmed to attempt to start the gasoline engine when the battery reaches its “recharge threshold.” If the engine does not start after three attempts, the system shuts down and requires a technician to reset a fault code before the vehicle can get moving again, even if fuel is added to the empty tank.

http://autos.aol.com/article/hybrid-run-out-of-gas/
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Old 08-28-13, 10:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm79 View Post
All Toyota and Lexus systems are programmed to attempt to start the gasoline engine when the battery reaches its “recharge threshold.” If the engine does not start after three attempts, the system shuts down and requires a technician to reset a fault code before the vehicle can get moving again, even if fuel is added to the empty tank.

http://autos.aol.com/article/hybrid-run-out-of-gas/
That sucks! I hope someone figures out how to reset it and posts on the web. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...s-battery-dies

Last edited by boe; 08-28-13 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:00 AM   #4
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Good to know....but you really shouldn't let ANY car run out of gas. Bad for the fuel pump and all other hosts of things.

And you don't want to be "that guy" who is causing a traffic delay because he forgot to put gas in his car.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbm79 View Post
All Toyota and Lexus systems are programmed to attempt to start the gasoline engine when the battery reaches its “recharge threshold.” If the engine does not start after three attempts, the system shuts down and requires a technician to reset a fault code before the vehicle can get moving again, even if fuel is added to the empty tank.

http://autos.aol.com/article/hybrid-run-out-of-gas/
Consider having to be towed to the dealer as "Here's your sign." - Jeff Foxworthy (Bill Engvall)

Stupid people should have to wear signs that say "I'm Stupid." That way you wouldn't rely on them, would you? You wouldn't ask them anything. It would be like, "Excuse me...oops, never mind. I didn't see your sign." ...

Don't run out of gas. It says this plainly in the easy and early part of the manual too.

The article also mentions that since the 2001 introduction of the Prius, no one has ever had this happen.

Last edited by atoyota; 08-29-13 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 08-30-13, 08:04 PM   #6
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As mentioned.

many cars have the fuel pump inside the tank, and the gas is used to keep the pump cool. run too low and you risk burning out the pump from high heat.
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Old 08-30-13, 09:15 PM   #7
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I guess the designers never overestimate the intelligence of the driver. They figure on the lowest common dominator that may cause catastrophic damage to the traction battery and shut them out before that happens.
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Old 09-01-13, 05:25 PM   #8
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In August 2005, I ran out of gas just outside of Memphis while driving my 2005 Prius from Seattle to DC and back. 14 miles after the fuel warning light came on! Manage to get off the freeway. Battery was dead of course, used it to crawl off the freeway. Called Toyota assistance, man showed up with three gallons of gas, car fired up first time. Drove it for another 15,000 miles before trading it.

Other people on Priuschat at the time reported this happening and I don't recall anyone flat bedding their cars.
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Old 09-01-13, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurryPot View Post
In August 2005, I ran out of gas just outside of Memphis while driving my 2005 Prius from Seattle to DC and back. 14 miles after the fuel warning light came on! Manage to get off the freeway. Battery was dead of course, used it to crawl off the freeway. Called Toyota assistance, man showed up with three gallons of gas, car fired up first time. Drove it for another 15,000 miles before trading it.

Other people on Priuschat at the time reported this happening and I don't recall anyone flat bedding their cars.
My 2 cents. From what I've read and heard, I think that the car not starting after gas is added, just because it ran out of fuel, is a rumor. However, in the manual, it addresses that the car (ES300) won't re-start unless there is as much as three gallons added, once it does run out of fuel. I suspect that this might be related to the low fuel warning light being on. I gather that since it did stop due to low fuel, the starter might not try to start the engine because there'd be no chance. Hence, the comment above, saying that they showed up with three gallons of fuel. That three gallons might be needed if not on level ground, or the calibration of the low fuel light. Reading the manual, it seems like the light should activate at around 2.6 gallons, in standard conditions. Mine was a lot less than that, the one time I decided to check it for operation. You'll notice that this light does not check during the pre-start cluster light checks. Hence my decision to check its operation.
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Old 09-03-13, 04:47 PM   #10
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Thats a pain in the butt to say the least. It should fire right up
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Old 09-03-13, 06:05 PM   #11
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It's definitely not the most ideal for owners.
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