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Old 14 Jun 2010, 01:06 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default Prius...why?

I am having trouble filling my Prius with gas. At first it doesn't doesn't want to take the gas, and then it won't automatically kick off the pump so the when I take out the spout gas spews from the tank. What is going on?!?

The pump clicks off the first time after only putting in 1 or 2 gallons, so its not full... whats up with that?!?
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 01:09 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Research that issue on You will find the answer. But the short answer is quit fueling when the pump clicks off the first time. I have never had a problem.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 01:12 pm   #3 (permalink)
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go to toyota and tell them what is happening. any thing else they could help you out.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 01:15 pm   #4 (permalink)
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I would advise to go to the dealership, as this is something that should (if you have it) be covered under your warranty.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 01:22 pm   #5 (permalink)
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People are creatures of habit. I used to go to the exact same gas station pump at the same station all the time to fill my 2001 Prius. I used to get frustrated that it would only pump 1-2 gallons at a time before shutting off (if that much)...

One day when my usual gas pump was in use, I grudgingly used another pump at that station. Guess what - it filled to the expected 8-9 gallons I needed for the fill, and then stopped. So the next week I tried that pump again, same expected fillup. The following week, out of habit I went to my old love-hate pump, and back to the constant auto-stop... I eventually caught myself on future trips, and tried most of the pumps at that station, and 2 out of the 8 or so did that constant stop thing.

It seems that some gas pumps with the emissions recapture handles are just a little over-sensitive and like to shut off too early on many Prius owners.

If the pump doesn't automatically shut off, that is both an emissions and a fire hazard, and you should not only notify the station attendant, but the local regulatory source (usually the local fire department). Perhaps you are incorrectly not inserting the pump nozzle all the way in to avoid the emission controls in the pump prematurely stopping the fill, but without those controls the nozzle doesn't know when to automatically stop either. Or are you just holding the pump trigger so that it doesn't trip off early?

Typically you should just stop filling at the first click, assuming that you have put in closely to the amount of gasoline that you were expecting to fill based on previous fillups. (If you get a premature 1-2 gallon pump, then maybe the 2nd or 3rd click.)

and yes, the bladder fuel tank in North American Prius can briefly hold more gasoline than intended, but when the stopper of the fuel nozzle is removed the bladder contracts back to its proper size and will "spew" out/upchuck the extra gasoline.

What I'm more concerned with is your statement that "gas spews from the tank"... One should never top-off their gasoline tank, and especially

not to the over-flowing point. Not only would overflowing gasoline ruin the paint on your car (and hands and shoes), and be smelly, but it produces a lot of hydrocarbon emissions that shouldn't have happened. That, and you cannot figure your MPG as you don't know how much gasoline actually went into your car vs. overflowed out of the tank. Plus, you probably filled the charcoal vapor recovery canister that is part of the fuel line, temporarily poisoning it, so your Prius would be unable to recapture any gasoline vapors (and therefore no longer the PZEV it was as it is no longer able to catch evaporative emissions).

According to a Toyota handout I have:

"Driving a Prius 24,000 miles produces fewer smog-forming emissions than spilling 1 cup of unleaded gasoline"

But, topping off a gas tank is a bad idea in any car.

It's far too easy when topping off to get fuel into the vapor recovery lines, poisoning their effectiveness and causing the fuel to escape as opposed to the cleaner option of burning it.

Often the extra fuel from topping off is just stuck in the pump's vapor recovery, to spill on you or the next customer, leading to another emissions problem and you also overpaying for unused fuel.

Some articles:

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