2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test


Toyota Prius - Temperamental Fuel Gauge

November 03, 2006

Having recently turned 44,000 miles on our Prius we were not surprised when the maintenance light came on. The day it was scheduled for service at Toyota of Santa Monica we noticed a problem. The fuel gauge read (an optimistic) half-full but the car wouldn't take any gasoline.

We tried to fill it at one pump to no avail, so we pulled to the neighboring pump with similar results... Driving to another gas station altogether we tried once more but were still met with a familiar click-click-click from the pump. Nothing. We asked the dealer to look into this issue during service.

The car spent the night with the Toyota folks in order to address the accuracy of the fuel gauge. When we picked it up the next morning we paid our $195.01 bill for the service and learned that they were unable to recreate the fuel problem. All systems checked out OK.

This same situation arose at 24,000 miles at which time the dealer performed a computer re-flash (per an outstanding TSB on the fuel gauge) to remedy the inaccuracy. Our advisor suggested we keep an eye on it and return to the dealership if the problem resurfaces. The next fill-up should tell the tale: was it a fluke, or do we have a real problem on our hands?

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