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poor gas tank utilization

gas tank

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43 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   DAS_FFH

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:08 PM

I spend too much time in gas stations! My Ford Fusion Hybrid has a 13.5 gallon tank but seems to only use about 11 gallons of it. If I go past 0 miles to empty I may pump in 11 gallons of gas; normally just going to about empty I will pump in around 10 gallons. I spoke to a mechanic at my local Ford dealer and he said that you will never be able to use all of the gas in the tank.  I can see having a buffer so that you don’t run out of gas immediately when miles to empty goes to zero but a 2.5 gallon buffer seem awfully large.

 

My previous car was a 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid which had the same size gas tank but I would typically pump in at least 12 gallons when it was near empty. That car didn’t get as good a gas mileage as my Fusion and yet I would typically be able to go around 500 miles on a tank with the Camry. On my Fusion I’m lucky to get 450 miles in warm weather or 400 miles in cold weather.

 

Another annoying characteristic is that when I first full up the tank the miles to empty will be well over 500 miles; I go ten miles and it down to low 400’s. Do others see these problems with their fusion hybrids? 


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#2 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:32 PM

How many gal. does you trip gauge say you have used when your at E. Then use that info to determine when to fill up. :)

 

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#3 OFFLINE   billford

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 04:32 PM

You need the buffer for a reserve and to keep the fuel pump cool. . I would never allow mine to go below 1/4 tank.



#4 OFFLINE   jeff_h

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:09 PM

I spend too much time in gas stations! My Ford Fusion Hybrid has a 13.5 gallon tank but seems to only use about 11 gallons of it. If I go past 0 miles to empty I may pump in 11 gallons of gas; normally just going to about empty I will pump in around 10 gallons. I spoke to a mechanic at my local Ford dealer and he said that you will never be able to use all of the gas in the tank.  I can see having a buffer so that you don’t run out of gas immediately when miles to empty goes to zero but a 2.5 gallon buffer seem awfully large.

 

How many miles/tank fills are on your car?  I was able to put 13 gallons in the hybrid on several occasions and the highest was 13.2 which was cutting it a bit close.  However when the car was new the estimation was way on the conservative side since there was not an ample history built up.


Edited by jeff_h, 05 March 2014 - 05:09 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:42 AM

This is very common and there are many other threads about this subject. Most cars will say DTE = 0 miles when there is at least 1 gallon or more left in the tank. Since the hybrid has a smaller tank, the 1 gallon remaining is a higher percentage of your tank and thus appears worse than it is.


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#6 OFFLINE   kuzzi

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:48 AM

Do they include the evap expansion portion of the tank in the total tank volume as well? That's usually close to a half gallon or more as well.



#7 OFFLINE   milleron

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:11 PM

I agree with DAS_FFH that this situation is unusual.  I usually get no more than about 10.6 gallons into the tank when it's down to E.  I never expect to get 15 gallons into a 15-gallon tank or 13.5 gallons into a 13.5-gallon tank when the gauge reads "E," but this Fusion is way out of bounds compared to every other car I've driven over the last 40 years.  It's pretty standard in the industry, in my experience, to have about 1-2 gallons left in the tank when it shows "empty," and having 3 gallons left seems a standard deviation beyond the mean.  I haven't had the nerve to drive another 80 miles after reaching "E," but I'm guessing I could.

That said, it doesn't bother me much because I'm going to the gas pump less often than I did with prior cars, but I couldn't agree that this is "very common."  Here, we're not talking about the percentage that's left but the absolute amount, and it's excessive.  HOWEVER, there's not a darned thing to do about it other than risk driving 80 miles after it shows "empty" which seems out of the question to me -- no point in it.  On road trips I need rest stops way before getting to 500 miles, anyway.  Best advice:  just don't worry about it.

 

Damaging the fuel pump by letting the gauge drop to "E" is pretty controversial, and I suspect that it may fall into the category of urban legend.  Click and Clack have a lengthy thread on it if anyone's interested.


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#8 OFFLINE   KLH

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:39 PM

I try to get within 10mi of 0 before filling up. I'm usually able to put 13 gallons in - which usually gets me around 500 miles before the next fillup. (New England winter is around 480 mi.) I don't have a complaint - other than how hard it is to pump beyond the 10th gallon. Clicks galore.


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#9 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 05:38 PM

You need the buffer for a reserve and to keep the fuel pump cool. . I would never allow mine to go below 1/4 tank.

We have talked about this before, fuel going through the pump cools the pump. When you run out of fuel the pump can't pump air fuel line loses pressure and injectors stop then ICE stops all within a second. I have run out on purpose once and put gas in and it started right up, no problem.  CMAX has 13.5gal tank but been able to get 13.9-14gal in it. Interesting that no one has checked to see how big their tank is. I believe it is about the same as CMAX. BTW there is a fuel filter in the system to minimize getting junk in the injectors. :)

 

I'm still curious as to what the trip gauge said how much gas was used at fill up? 

 

Paul


Edited by ptjones, 06 March 2014 - 05:48 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   Da0ne

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:42 AM


We have talked about this before, fuel going through the pump cools the pump. When you run out of fuel the pump can't pump air fuel line loses pressure and injectors stop then ICE stops all within a second. I have run out on purpose once and put gas in and it started right up, no problem.  CMAX has 13.5gal tank but been able to get 13.9-14gal in it. Interesting that no one has checked to see how big their tank is. I believe it is about the same as CMAX. BTW there is a fuel filter in the system to minimize getting junk in the injectors. :)

 

I'm still curious as to what the trip gauge said how much gas was used at fill up? 

 

Paul

 

well i tested this theory this weekend my previous fill up was 12.26 gal so to my usual expectation the car displayed 0 DTE at around 11 gal so i knew i wasnt going to do any far traveling so i went and drove the car about 100 miles when the car ran out of gas at 12.66 gal according to my trip1 display which i reset at every fill up, after getting to the gas station filled up to my surprise 13.48 gal.  


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#11 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:39 PM

There is a simpler way to find out the tank capacity.  First take a few tanks and average out the actual MPG, miles vs gallons. Now fill the tank, and multiply the MPG by 12.  Forget what your DTE displays, drive it the number of miles your MPG *12 comes to, then fill the tank. If you put in less than 12 gallons, some digit is out of place. 

 If you do this a few times, your DTE will become closer to the real tank volume and not what it currently reads for those using less than 11 gallons.

 

Now if you run out of gas before your calculated DTE is reached, you do have an issue, or you were driving it to waste gas, and not driving it like you have been.  Using 12 and not 13 is the safer method, as you are more likely to not run out of gas and have a potential issue down the line. Going to 12.5 is also an option, but I would keep it under 13 for safety.  

 

 On my car I should be able to drive 480 miles on 12 gallons, with a 60 mile buffer to dry tank.  Based on 40 MPG average this time of year. Until temps are steadily above 50*. After that I should be up around 42 MPG consistent. 


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#12 OFFLINE   Da0ne

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

I just did all my errands just to kill the gas remaining plus i was curious to actually see how much further i could go past 0 DTE to my surprise 100 miles past was pretty insane to me but i do have to factor the weather was nice here that weekend it was 75 - 80* plus i havent removed the foam inserts from the grille yet but i tell you this i wont be doing it again and like you said i stop paying attention to the DTE i go by the fill up amount. i'm aiming for a 600 mile tank i'm sure knowing that i have 13.5 gal in the tank i can achieve that


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#13 OFFLINE   milleron

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 03:56 PM

I wonder how accurate the gas gauge is.  

When I fill up the tank to the point where the nozzle automatically kicks off, I've always stopped and considered that to be a full tank.  Indeed, on every car I've previously owned since the advent of self-service pumps and the automatic nozzle, this has resulted in a fuel gauge that's AVOVE the "F" mark, and in all those cars, over the last 30+ years, I've been able to drive 30-50 miles before the needle's even down to the "F" mark.  On the FFH, however, stopping with the automatic nozzle's first shut-off, doesn't even get the gauge up to the "F."  In fact, it's usually only about 2/3 of the way from the 3/4 mark to the "F" point.

I never get more than 10.5 gallons into the tank, even when driving down to "15 miles to empty."  At first I thought that the FFH was leaving itself a huge reserve when calculating that "miles-to-empty" figure.  

Now, noting the fuel-gauge display,  I'm thinking that it's nowhere full when the auto-shut-off nozzle says it is.

 

I'm reluctant to keep filling past that point -- it's never been necessary in previous autos I've owned, and I'm fearful of damaging the evaporative emission control system.

 

It seems silly to leave the gas station with 3 gallons of empty space in the tank, but what's a safe method for working around this Ford goofiness?


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#14 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:11 PM

Accept it. It's still taking you 400 - 500 miles. That's about 7 hours of turnpike driving which is longer than most vehicles. More fuel is more weight which is less mpg. Many of the original 18-20 hour non-stop flights of 15-20 years ago now have a stop as it's cheaper not to carry all that fuel the first half of the flight.


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#15 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:52 PM

I wonder how accurate the gas gauge is.  

When I fill up the tank to the point where the nozzle automatically kicks off, I've always stopped and considered that to be a full tank.  Indeed, on every car I've previously owned since the advent of self-service pumps and the automatic nozzle, this has resulted in a fuel gauge that's AVOVE the "F" mark, and in all those cars, over the last 30+ years, I've been able to drive 30-50 miles before the needle's even down to the "F" mark.  On the FFH, however, stopping with the automatic nozzle's first shut-off, doesn't even get the gauge up to the "F."  In fact, it's usually only about 2/3 of the way from the 3/4 mark to the "F" point.

I never get more than 10.5 gallons into the tank, even when driving down to "15 miles to empty."  At first I thought that the FFH was leaving itself a huge reserve when calculating that "miles-to-empty" figure.  

Now, noting the fuel-gauge display,  I'm thinking that it's nowhere full when the auto-shut-off nozzle says it is.

 

I'm reluctant to keep filling past that point -- it's never been necessary in previous autos I've owned, and I'm fearful of damaging the evaporative emission control system.

 

It seems silly to leave the gas station with 3 gallons of empty space in the tank, but what's a safe method for working around this Ford goofiness?

I reset one of my trip meters with each tank. When I stop at the gas station I take a pic of the trip meter with my phone to log the miles, etc with Fuelly. When I'm pumping gas I make sure that I put in at a minimum what the car shows I used. Usually this takes 3 or 4 clicks. I've also found that the longer you wait before turning the pump back on the longer it will run again before clicking off. If I'm busy emptying the garbage or something when it clicks off the first time and I wait 15+ seconds before turning it back on it will get all the way full (at least as many gallons as the car says it used) before it shuts off again. I believe that something in the design of the FFH tank/filler neck causes gas pumps to shut off prematurely. C-Max Hybrid owners have no such issues with their cars. If you read their comments you'll see that they regularly get 13+ gallons in the tank when going down near 0 DTE. My parents can likewise get 13+ gallons when going down near 0 DTE in their C-Max Energi. And it doesn't take a bunch of clicks to get it full. Usually the first click off is right about what the car shows for gallons used. Usually one more click off gets the car completely full.


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#16 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:25 PM

Accept it. It's still taking you 400 - 500 miles. That's about 7 hours of turnpike driving which is longer than most vehicles.

... and longer than my bladder can hold out anyway.  I accept it!  :)  


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#17 OFFLINE   Easy Rider

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

 

It seems silly to leave the gas station with 3 gallons of empty space in the tank, but what's a safe method for working around this Ford goofiness?

 

Fill it to the SECOND click.

 

And then just resign yourself to the fact that the gas gauge isn't going to work the way you want it to.

 

It's very likely that the tank IS full.......and that the "distance to empty" calculation is WAY off.

 

You can test those theories if you want but you might want to have a gas can in the trunk when you do.  :)



#18 OFFLINE   hermans

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 05:19 AM

The miles to empty isn't accurate. It's all depended on how you drive on the tank of gas you are using. I tested this out while driving on the Ohio Turnpike. I was down to 100 miles to empty andslowed down about 10 milea an hour. After about 20 miles my miles to empty had increased. I speed up 15 miles an in 20 miles my miles to empty decreased significantly.

 

When filling up, after a trip, my MTE has shown over 500 miles, but my driving for that tank was short trips and I barely got 400 miles on that tank. I will again test my theory in a week as I'm headed out for a 2000 mile trip.


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#19 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:30 AM

Car companies are on a huge campaign to lower vehicle weight because it affects mpg. The Gen 1 FFH went 600-700 miles on it's 17.5 gal tank. That's far more than a mid-size family sedan is expected to go. They've saved probably 30 lbs. in the Gen 2 with the smaller tank for almost zero cost. That's the Ford goofiness.


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#20 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

My Mustang GT convertible has a 15.5 gal tank, highway mpg's are a little over 20, giving it a 300+ mile range (depending on driving habits). 

The Ford Expedition I sold when I bought the FFH got 14mph highway, with it's 29 gallon tank it would go 400 miles, maybe.

My FFH is a lot more practical for simple, comfortable travel.


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