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So I've had my Rav 4-1995 model for about two years now. There's this problem that's been there ever since I can remember and it really bugs me out. The fuel gauge goes down soooo low when I'm on a slope and returns up just a little bit when I'm on an uphill. Just now as I write this, the gauge was just above E and I went through a constant uphill for about 3 minutes and it went up to a 1/4. What's happening with my Rav? Is it a problem that's fixable? I'm I getting correct reading and therefore getting the most from my fuel? I have fully serviced it by the way so consumption wise, it's ok. But I'm just wondering where the fuel goes when the gauge goes down without going back up where it was. Help. Thanks!
 

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Just be glad your RAV4 generates gasoline going uphill :) and find all the hills you can drive up. :wink
My F-250s do the same thing with Diesel. In their case the fuel tanks are long and narrow and the fuel float must be toward the rear.
I don't think the RAV4 has the same shape tank but the float must be toward the rear also. The fuel simply moves toward the front away from the float on the level or downhill.
There is also a fair amount of time delay or damping in some fuel gauges such that when refueling the gauge may only read 3/4 when the nozzle clicks off and the tank is actually full. That's your 3 minute delay.
 
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As Dr Dyno already mentioned, this fuel gauge behavior is perfectly normal and caused by the unique shape of the tank and the placement of the fuel level sending unit in it. You will get used to it.
 

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Rather than fill up when the gauge gets below half as is the habit of some because of old wives' tales, my goal is to drive far enough "into" the low fuel light that when filling up I can squeeze in more gas than the tank is supposed to hold. I've only done it once (on my Accord) but talked to a lady at church who's also done it on her RAV4, so it must be okay!

(And we don't need all the overfilling lectures - been thru all that first click stuff - maybe three times already.)
 
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The fuel gauge on my RAV is reasonably accurate when the vehicle is on level ground. On hills and grades (we have plenty of them here!) the indicator will move to indicate either more or less fuel that it does when on level ground because the fuel shifts in the gas tank in relation to the fuel level measuring float.

We generally try to fill up when our gas gauges go down to the 1/2 mark as we would pump out the gasoline in the event of a catastrophe such as an earthquake which would cut our area off from the outside world and our electricity and use the gas to help fuel our emergency generator.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Rather than fill up when the gauge gets below half as is the habit of some because of old wives' tales, my goal is to drive far enough "into" the low fuel light that when filling up I can squeeze in more gas than the tank is supposed to hold. I've only done it once (on my Accord) but talked to a lady at church who's also done it on her RAV4, so it must be okay!

(And we don't need all the overfilling lectures - been thru all that first click stuff - maybe three times already.)
That sounds legit ?. I'll try it this week
 

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Sorry for posting here. But I"m also having an issue with my low fuel light. It stays on even if I have a fuel tank thats half full. On inclines it turns off...so its been flipped around or isn't reading right somehow.

Any ideas on whats going on?
 

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Sorry for posting here. But I"m also having an issue with my low fuel light. It stays on even if I have a fuel tank thats half full. On inclines it turns off...so its been flipped around or isn't reading right somehow.

Any ideas on whats going on?
The fuel gauge and the low fuel light are 2 different systems that do not talk to each other.
Both the fuel gauge sender and the low fuel level warning switch are mounted in the tank by the fuel-pump and regulator. Sounds like your switch has come loose from the mounting arm or the switch is bad. Open up the tank and check it out.
 
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