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Back of the owners manual says 15.9gal. However, in my last two fill ups when I drove it down until the light came on, I was only able to pump in about 12 gallons. Averaging 21-24mpg at 270-290 miles per tank...
 

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The last 4 gallons are in the tank. Last thing Toyota wants is people running out of gas and complaining about it. Most cars have a cushion of a few gallons left when the light comes on and/or the gauge shows empty. Some sporting people continue to drive with the light on to see how far they can go before filling up. The owners manual has some additional information about how much gas remains after the light comes on.
 

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I also understand that you fuel pump that is inside your tank need gas to keep from overheating. They want to make sure that you fill up before your fuel pump in running in a dry environment. Plus if the SHTF, you don't want to be setting on empty wondering where you are going to get gas.
 

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Did you expect the light to come on and then immediately run out of gas? That would be a "too late" light not a warning light.

Also you can't figure miles per gallon by the tank unless you run it completely dry. It's miles driven divided by gallons used.
 

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If the warning light were to come on when one has driven the gas tank dry the driver wouldn't need a warning light - the engine would stop and that would be enough of a warning . . . if the light were to come on with only, for example, one gallon remaining that might not be adequate fuel to reach the next gas station, especially where we are, where stations can be much more than a gallon's worth in a RAV apart.
 

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If the warning light were to come on when one has driven the gas tank dry the driver wouldn't need a warning light - the engine would stop and that would be enough of a warning
My Volkswagen doesn't even have a gas gauge. When it runs out, the engine just stops. But ...
 

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Most cars have the fuel pump in a canister to keep it submerged in fuel when the tank is very low. Once the tank is dry, the canister quickly empties, stopping the engine without the pump running long without fuel around it for cooling.
 

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My Volkswagen doesn't even have a gas gauge. When it runs out, the engine just stops. But ...

The VW bug I helped to drive from Nebraska to California back in the dark ages had a reserve supply. We never had to use it, but I seem to remember that when the main tank ran out one switched to the reserve by activating some sort of valve.:smile
 

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The VW bug I helped to drive from Nebraska to California back in the dark ages had a reserve supply. We never had to use it, but I seem to remember that when the main tank ran out one switched to the reserve by activating some sort of valve.:smile
As I recall it was a lever on the floor that you kicked over to engage the reserve fuel. Might be wrong that was a long time ago...........
 

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The VW bug I helped to drive from Nebraska to California back in the dark ages had a reserve supply. We never had to use it, but I seem to remember that when the main tank ran out one switched to the reserve by activating some sort of valve.:smile
Yes. the reserve switch is on the firewall, under the dash. It works as motorcycle reserves do.
 

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From what I understand, your tank will never run dry. There will be a gallon or 2 left when the engine dies. This keeps the pump from burning up.
 

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When I see the low fuel warning light I then switch to range on the display. Once that gets to 0 I actually think about filling the tank. In the summer I'll go 20 to 30 miles before filling up an 10 to 20 in the winter (winter tires drop the mpg). By doing this I usually put in about 14 gallons of gas. The furthest I've pushed it was just over 15 gallons.

If you don't mind experimenting try it. Fill up when the range is 0, see how much fuel it takes. Then figure your mpg and how much should be left in the tank. I would split the difference. If you are getting 28mpg and have 2 1/2 gallons left then 70 miles would be pushing your luck. But 35 should be doable. Do 15 more miles once the range hits 0 and fill it up. For me I'll have about 2 gallons left. Then go another 1/2 gallon further on the next tank.

You will have to factor in things that reduce your mpg. But it almost becomes second nature. I'm just wondering how different it will be if I get a rav4 hybrid next year. Might require a little more though than now.
 

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From what I understand, your tank will never run dry. There will be a gallon or 2 left when the engine dies. This keeps the pump from burning up.
There is typically 3-4 gallons left in a Toyota when the light comes on.
When the gauge is on "E" there is typically about 2 gallons left.

There is only about 1/2 gallon of "unusable" fuel in the tank (about a quart for motorcycles)

My '08 Tacoma (21.1 gallon tank) and the '15 Rav are nearly identical with respect to the amount of fuel remaining when the warning light comes on.
It was a bit of an annoyance the first time I refueled the Rav on a long road trip and found that with the light on and gauge around 1/8, I still had a full quarter tank left.


The fuel pump thing is, for the most part, a myth.
There were a number of GM vehicles that reportedly had issues with the pump overheating when the tank was run below 1/4 frequently, but GM in-tank pumps were notorious for failing anyways, so I'm not sure how much could be blamed on the fuel level being low... it was likely actually FUD spread by dealers when customers would complain about their pumps failing.

I've been driving Toyota vehicles since 1996 (nearly 700,000 miles), and regularly run them to "E".
I've never replaced one Toyota fuel pump.
 

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When I see the low fuel warning light I then switch to range on the display. Once that gets to 0 I actually think about filling the tank. In the summer I'll go 20 to 30 miles before filling up an 10 to 20 in the winter (winter tires drop the mpg). By doing this I usually put in about 14 gallons of gas. The furthest I've pushed it was just over 15 gallons.
Road trips screw with that.
The range is calculated based on the average of the last couple of tanks.
I've driven a few road trips where "range" has been at zero before the low fuel light has come on.
 
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