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Today the low fuel warning light came on. By the time I got to a station and got it filled, it was saying that I only had fuel for 3 more miles. I filled the tank and I could only stuff in 11.7 gallons, which means I had 3 more gallons and could have gone 100 more miles. Is this what others are experiencing?
 

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If you would list your year & model in your signature folks wouldn't have to dig for it and you'd likely get more responses quicker.
 

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I've driven about 30 miles after the low fuel warning came on, well past zero miles remaining (Refuel=0) which is what it changes to or something to that effect, still only got 12.1 US gallons at the first click off at the pump, I never top off after it clicks off.
 

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The most fuel I've ever put in my Rav was 13.985 gallons, after I drove 50-55 miles after the low fuel indication.
(I didn't have much of a choice. It was late and most of the stations I passed were closed.)
 

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Today the low fuel warning light came on. By the time I got to a station and got it filled, it was saying that I only had fuel for 3 more miles. I filled the tank and I could only stuff in 11.7 gallons, which means I had 3 more gallons and could have gone 100 more miles. Is this what others are experiencing?
What's the problem? Your fuel level actually was "low", just not your definition of low? What if you were 50 miles from a gas station?

FWIW, the estimated range in miles has less to do with the amount of gas left and more to do with the current average MPG. Ignore the estimated range and just go by the fuel gauge. When the needle hits the bottom line you better be looking for gas.
 

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I've gotten the low fuel light twice in the last three weeks,

Since this is not my first hybrid and given how accurate the fillup is (when the pump stops, I stop), if the low fuel light comes on, I just switch the information panel to display miles to empty and gas up when it gets close to zero, depending on where I am.

Last night I had 8 miles to empty when it took 11.2 US gals.

FWIW, I would develop the habit of filling up when the light comes on or close to it unless you just can't.

You can really run out of gas doing this and I have had the experience of running out of gas and having no other choice but to roll into the station on battery alone.
 

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Your fuel was low and you should fill asap. The range estimate is a guide to plan your trips. At this point in time you should not be driving anywhere, you should re-fuel because your fuel level was low.


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Discussion Starter #8
I agree that it is best to ignore the estimated range, as it was way off. The fuel gauge pointed at the first line, which indicates empty, and if I could have gotten gas when the light turned on, I would have. Based on the feedback here, I think the gauge is set to show empty at around 3 or so gallons left in the tank, or a “safety stock” ( to use an old inventory control term or reordering point) of 3 gallons. The calculation of range must not be based on what is in the tank, but rather what the needle says; otherwise, it would have said I had 100-mile range. My current AVG was 35.2. By the way, I like that it shows empty at the 3-gallon level.
 

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Not sure why it would matter, but I have a 2016 Limited Hybrid
Obviously there's no fuel gauge standardization among brands of cars and very likely RAV4 models so what one member experiences may not relate to another.
My wife gasses up the RAV4 whenever she wants (probably at 1/8) but I routinely take my Accord down 'till the light comes on, then reset Odometer B and drive another 50 miles or so. Interestingly tonight I'll be loaning it to a lady who's been brought up to never let the gauge go below half. Will have to assure her it'll make the 6 miles she has to drive it!
 

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Not sure why it would matter, but I have a 2016 Limited Hybrid
It makes a little bit of difference since the gas model and hybrid have different capacity fuel tanks, 14.8 US gal for the hybrid and 15.9 US gal for the gas, even tho you did post in the Hybrid/EV forum. :wink
 

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This has been discussed before....It's very conservative when the light comes on - you can go a while. But don't ever run out of gas with the Hybrid (do a search to find previous threads on this).
 

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This has been discussed before....It's very conservative when the light comes on - you can go a while. But don't ever run out of gas with the Hybrid (do a search to find previous threads on this).
So what happens if you run out of gas with a hybrid? Can't you continue for a few miles on the battery?
 

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"Don't drive your Toyota hybrid for too long on empty, or you'll eventually need to get towed to the dealer. Toyota gave us some more information about how its hybrids function once they've run out of gas after we'd published this story. It turns out we were lucky we didn't deplete the battery of our Lexus HS 250h any more than we did when we drove it with an empty fuel tank. All Toyota and Lexus systems are programmed to attempt to start the gasoline engine when the battery reaches its "recharge threshold." If the engine does not start after three attempts, the system shuts down and requires a technician to reset a fault code before the vehicle can get moving again, even if fuel is added to the empty tank. There is no way for a driver to know when the battery charge gets low enough that this automatic shut-down occurs, but it's a necessary precaution to protect the battery pack from harm."
From: http://www.autoblog.com/2010/11/11/hybrid-run-out-of-gas/

So what happens if you run out of gas with a hybrid? Can't you continue for a few miles on the battery?
 

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Yes, I've never found a need to push the empty tank thing. If it gets down to 1/4 tank, a fill up is a priority.
 

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I have gotten down to almost empty, but that was my own fault as I did not stop for fuel even though the sign stated last chance for gas for another 23 miles. 23 miles later the light still did not come on even though the needle was close to the bottom. Regardless of that one instance, I like to fill up around 1/4 tank remaining anyway like I have done with all of my cars just out of habit.
 
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