How empty before you fill your tank - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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How empty before you fill your tank

By comparison, my Niro gets far more mileage to a full tank. For my 45L, it tells me I can get about 850km, compaired to my old Ford Edge that you'd be happy to get 580km to a full 70L tank. I would let it get down to the 20-30km distance shown before I knew I had to fill it, but I did know that even when the car said you had zero km left, you could easily get another 30km out of it. I had never run the car dry. But you know that the price of gas in my area seem to go up and down at a certain cycle, and your far better off to fil the tank on a wednsday or thursday night after 8:30pm than on a Friday-Monday as the price seems to jump by an easy 10-13c / L.



Now I don't know about the Niro. How accurate is the distance remaining gauge? I am more curious to know how many km you really can get out of a tank of gas, so filling it at the 1/2 way mark doesn't really tell you much as I have yet to find a car that doesn't seem to use the fuel far faster in the bottom half of the tank from the top.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 05:44 PM
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I don't want to find out. The scary dashboard message about damaging the hybrid battery if I don't refuel soon has made me not want to push my luck. Yesterday I let it get down to about 10 miles remaining before I filled up, that's as far as I was willing to take it. I filled the tank with 10.5 gallons, and according to Kia it has a 11.9 gallon tank, so I could have theoretically gotten another 60 miles out of it, but I hope to never test that theory.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-10-2018, 05:49 PM
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Also, it's not "using" the fuel faster during the bottom half of the tank. The fuel gauge isn't linear. Nearly all cars are that way, for some reason. Every car I've ever owned has been that way. The first half takes forever to use, the second half goes much faster. But rest assured, it isn't because you get less fuel economy on an empty tank, it's because the gauge is configured that way for some reason. I'm sure there's a marketing reason for it. Probably because people get excited when their needle still says full after driving 150 miles. "Wow, I didn't use ANY fuel for the last 150 miles!"

You get better fuel economy on a lower tank, than a full tank. You will get worse fuel economy if you constantly keep it full, than if you kept it closer to empty, regardless of what the gauge makes you think. More fuel weight = worse gas mileage, plain and simple.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-11-2018, 12:18 AM
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Really? Your local price of gas at the pumps goes up and down by 10 cents/liter every week? Here in the US that would translate to 40 cents/gallon fluctuation every week, and if that were happening, it would be a major political crisis. While we in California pay more for gas than just about any other location in the USA, at least the fluctuation is usually slower than what you are putting up with.

I don't know how reliable the remaining mileage estimate is. Given all of the stuff we hear in the news about auto manufacturers cheating on emissions, it has occurred to me to wonder if they might also cheat on the fuel economy. A really easy way to do that might be to have the odometer report that you'd traveled a full mile or KM when you'd actually only traveled 90% of that distance. Does anyone actually check odometer accuracy? Seems to me like the manufacturer has multiple incentives to exaggerate mileage you've actually driven, and I have to wonder if anyone is looking over their shoulder in this respect.

But regardless of how accurate the odometer and the remaining mileage estimate is or isn't, I think it might be a mistake to push the envelope in this regard.

I used to live in a part of Maine where winter storms could bring local power outages that would last for days or maybe even more than a week. When that happened, not only was my house struggling to stay warm, but also I was struggling to find a gas station that had electricity to run the pumps. Now I live in southern California and I worry less about winter storms but more about earthquakes, fires, possibly evacuation orders, and how far I might be able to travel in congested traffic on short notice without having an opportunity to fill my tank. I try not to let my fuel gauge ever run lower than 1/4 of a tank because of that. When I consider how much I pay for insurance, buying gas on a day or at a place where the price is higher than I'm accustomed to still feels wrong, and I always prefer to take my business to the gas station with the best price, but paying a bit more at the pump to ensure that I am always prepared for emergencies feels cheap compared to what I pay for insurance.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-11-2018, 12:57 AM
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You will not damage your hybrid by running low on gas. The scenario Kia envisions is completely running out, and going into limp mode on battery. Yes, if you limp too far, it could shorten the life of the battery but reports of those doing it report the car going very slowly (limp mode) and then turning off completely presumably to avoid battery damage.

I have filled my tank with zero estimated range three times now, and each time have filled within a tenth of a gallon of rated tank capacity (which is 11.9 gallons) and one of those times hit 11.9 gallons on the nose, 11.90 to be as precise as the pump. So it is fairly accurate close to the zero range point. At some point I will run out and know the true capacity but for now, I'm pretty confident that I have perhaps around 20 miles left at "zero range" from the extra capacity in the fill tube of just gasoline. And then at least a couple miles of battery limp mode range.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 08:08 PM
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My very crazy time... 13 km... (8 miles)... To go! and 912km (567 miles) done..
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Very impressed. I am still working towards getting an 850km to the tank. But then again, my Niro is still in the break in stages, so I am using that as an excuse.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 12:01 PM
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I ran my PHEV all the way to 0 miles yesterday, mostly because this thread made me curious. I timed it so that I pulled into the gas station exactly when it hit 0 miles remaining. The tank took 11.4 gallons.


This tells me that I had about 0.5 gallons remaining, or about 20-25 miles.


By the way, I got 560 miles on that tank, with only 1 charge - so with no charges, it would have been about 535 miles (860km), or 47mpg. Pretty impressive considering that 400 of those miles were during steep mountain driving, in freezing temperatures, at high elevation (7,000-9,000 feet)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 09:28 PM
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Your PHEV tank is only rated for 11.4 gallons. You certainly had some miles left though, I'd guess 15 to 20, at least if you top off every fill. Just filled up yesterday (at $2.11 minutes before it jumped to $2.59) at 11.87 gallons. Fourth fill now right at rated capacity. Wasn't convenient to run out, in part because I wanted the good price.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 04:15 AM
djs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasmith View Post
Really? Your local price of gas at the pumps goes up and down by 10 cents/liter every week? Here in the US that would translate to 40 cents/gallon fluctuation every week, and if that were happening, it would be a major political crisis. While we in California pay more for gas than just about any other location in the USA, at least the fluctuation is usually slower than what you are putting up with.

I don't know how reliable the remaining mileage estimate is. Given all of the stuff we hear in the news about auto manufacturers cheating on emissions, it has occurred to me to wonder if they might also cheat on the fuel economy. A really easy way to do that might be to have the odometer report that you'd traveled a full mile or KM when you'd actually only traveled 90% of that distance. Does anyone actually check odometer accuracy? Seems to me like the manufacturer has multiple incentives to exaggerate mileage you've actually driven, and I have to wonder if anyone is looking over their shoulder in this respect.

But regardless of how accurate the odometer and the remaining mileage estimate is or isn't, I think it might be a mistake to push the envelope in this regard.

I used to live in a part of Maine where winter storms could bring local power outages that would last for days or maybe even more than a week. When that happened, not only was my house struggling to stay warm, but also I was struggling to find a gas station that had electricity to run the pumps. Now I live in southern California and I worry less about winter storms but more about earthquakes, fires, possibly evacuation orders, and how far I might be able to travel in congested traffic on short notice without having an opportunity to fill my tank. I try not to let my fuel gauge ever run lower than 1/4 of a tank because of that. When I consider how much I pay for insurance, buying gas on a day or at a place where the price is higher than I'm accustomed to still feels wrong, and I always prefer to take my business to the gas station with the best price, but paying a bit more at the pump to ensure that I am always prepared for emergencies feels cheap compared to what I pay for insurance.
I agree with this 100, plus there is a possibility of water and contaminants at the bottom of the tank. Not a great idea to be bottom feeding off the bottom of the tank. As this gentlemen say's that he fills up when he reaches 1/4 tank, this is Extremely Sound Advice. Relative to natural disasters, I had gone to Yoga one morning and saw a small line at a local gas station, didn't even know the hurricane was coming, I had about 1/4 tank not knowing if I'd have to abandon my car on the side of the road. That was Sunday, Monday stations ran out of gas, then were refilled, so I got gas Monday at 9pm and evacuated Tuesday AM, got lucky. People get really stupid in a natural disaster, they hoard, they'll have 4 cases of water in their cart, one left on the shelf, they'll grab before you can walk over there.
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