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Old 06-30-2010, 12:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
Left Lane Ecodriver
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
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Prius C - '12 Toyota Prius C
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I'm pretty sure it's not broken. The engineer's intent is for the gauge to manage your perceptions and behavior. The top half of the gauge's swing might represent 2/3 of the tank. Users who fill when the tank gets to half may think their car is very efficient to get 250mi on half a tank.

The gauge's behavior at the bottom is more important for managing user behavior. I never found the bottom of my Subaru's fuel tank, but the needle would move past E for another 3/16ths of a tank indicated without running dry. That gauge was very non-linear throughout its entire range.

Similarly, my Insight's (and cell phone's) battery SoC gauge lies notoriously to manage my perceptions. As long as its lies are consistent, you learn to live with it.

And yes, your car's ability to measure its fuel level is somewhat limited. It usually relies on a float attached to the fuel pump: fuel level at a single point in the tank, and not always the center of the tank, either.
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