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Discussion Starter #1
I've been noticing that after I fill my tank the fuel gauge shows full but, then drops one bar the next time I start the car. After driving for about a day then all the bars light up showing a full tank again. This happen to anyone else? I first noticed this happening last year but thought it was just not being on level ground. But it has been happening after every fill up now.

I do know that more and more newer cars have fuel gauge problems. My last new vehicle did and I won a lemon law case because of it. I hope I don't have to do the same with my Insight.
 

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Fuel Guage

My understanding is that the fuel guage is a sensor triggered by a float which moves up and down with the gas level in the tank. The sensor like most cars is not linear meaning it tends to stay near the full mark and low mark longer. My last bar rarely lights (Perhaps I'm not filling it all the way or maybe an air pocket keeps it from filling to this level). In the beginning I filled the car to full and refilled when I was down to a bar or two. As I tried to get more and more miles to a tank I would run to zero bars showing always a bit woried that I might run out of gas but when filling up I would only need 9.8 gallons or so. I have gone over 70 miles with no bars showing. I find the FCD is much more accurate than the fuel guage. As a result I now follow it when I am near the end of a tank. That is I use trib B as a tank to tank display. If the display shows 90 mpg for the tank that means I should be able to drive 900 miles before filling up (using 10 gallons). Works great, I have never run out of gas. Have fun
 

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Re: Fuel Guage

Rick Reece said:
Works great, I have never run out of gas. Have fun
do you have a 5 speed?
i have a CVT and have always gone off my "trip b: tank trip" measurements, but have still run out of gas SEVEN TIMES in the past year :lol: :shock:
 

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After filling up, my guage only drops the first bar after about 70 miles or so. But the last 4 (not including the very last bar) will drop in about 70 miles. I have never had the last bar go out and the most gas I have ever put in was 9.62 gallons.
 

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Guage

Alnighter,
Mine is a 5 speed with 65K miles. If you have run out seven times maybe you should watch the fuel guage. I track all the gas I use and the lmpg and manual calculations are always very close. Have fun
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think you all are missing the point of my post.

If I fill my tank, all bars are shown, drive a few miles home then don't drive anymore that day. The next day the fuel gauge will show one bar down from full. After driving around some for about another day, then the gauge will show full again.

The fuel gauge should be showing all bars after filling up and not drop a bar after a few miles of driving! It never used to do this.

I understand about the gauges being non linear. But a full tank should read FULL and not drop a bar then light back up to full. I could understand if I was driving on a hilly roads, but I'm not.

I expect to get what I pay for and if it's not working correctly and they can't fix it.....well Lemon Law time!
 

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Gas gauge...

I think this happened in my car. I've only filled it up once, though, so I'll have to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's now been several days since I last filled my tank and fuel gauge is showing all bars. It's the strangest thing. Like I said before, usually the day after the fill up the gauge goes down one bar, then back up after another day.
 

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Resist said:
I've been noticing that after I fill my tank the fuel gauge shows full but, then drops one bar the next time I start the car. After driving for about a day then all the bars light up showing a full tank again. This happen to anyone else? I first noticed this happening last year but thought it was just not being on level ground. But it has been happening after every fill up now.

I do know that more and more newer cars have fuel gauge problems. My last new vehicle did and I won a lemon law case because of it. I hope I don't have to do the same with my Insight.
I have the same problem. Mine will sometimes fail to light the top bar. Gauge was fine last summer, problem comes and goes on approximately 6 month cycle. Now it may light briefly, but soon goes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Then why doesn't the gauge go down at night when the gas is cooled?


That isn't the problem.
 

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Resist said:
I think you all are missing the point of my post.

If I fill my tank, all bars are shown, drive a few miles home then don't drive anymore that day. The next day the fuel gauge will show one bar down from full. After driving around some for about another day, then the gauge will show full again.

The fuel gauge should be showing all bars after filling up and not drop a bar after a few miles of driving! It never used to do this.

I understand about the gauges being non linear. But a full tank should read FULL and not drop a bar then light back up to full. I could understand if I was driving on a hilly roads, but I'm not.

I expect to get what I pay for and if it's not working correctly and they can't fix it.....well Lemon Law time!
Remember that the display may be digital, but that doesn't mean that the instrument actually measuring your gasoline is any different from the old gas guages cars have had for decades. A minor voltage level shift in the 12-volt electrical system as a whole could explain your "problem". The float may run on a hinge that has a very slight tendency to stick at the top of the stroke such that it floats a little higher or lower than usual until it gets nudged. It might have something to do with the angle the car is sitting when you park it.

One bar more or less at the top of the guage represents such a small variation in reading as to be less than the margin of error for the instrument. In the middle, it is more accurate. Meanwhile, what is the actual function of this instrument?

It tells you when you need to go get more gas. If the top bar is lit or not, you still know that you don't need to go get more gas. The instrument is working.

As for getting what you pay for, remember that with the Insight, you already got more than you paid for. Honda loses money on each Insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. Honda set the price for the car, that doesn't mean I'm getting what I pay for. I've tested my fuel gauge with a full tank on different road levels...no change. How hard is it to get a reading of a full tank....with a full tank?

Like I said before, I'm hearing more and more problems with newer car fuel gauges. Why....well that is the question.
 

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When Honda brought out the Insight, they wanted it to be more successful than the Civic VX. The main problem with the VX was that it cost too much and was less fun to drive than other models of the Civic.

They made the Insight more fun to drive and they kept the cost artificially low. What other car manufacturer would sell such a low-production vehicle in the US for less than $20,000?

You can place whatever importance you like on the top bar of the fuel guage, but it's really not fair to use such a minor issue to accuse Honda of not delivering sufficient value for the price. They've worked hard and made a financial sacrifice to keep the cost low while keeping the quality high. This is remarkable technology for the money.

Consider that if they gave you an old analog fuel guage, you would not be making this complaint. You'd be unaware that there was a problem because the difference between the needle pointing straight up and pointing almost straight up is not a big deal. One bar, more or less, is also not a big deal. It's just more obvious. Things can be obvious without being significant.
 

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Will - Thanks for talking some sense!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Will M said:
Consider that if they gave you an old analog fuel guage, you would not be making this complaint.
Uh, yes I would. In fact I won a Lemon Law case against Nissan for this very same issue. They bought my 3 year old truck back, (that's how I got the money for my Insight), because after numerous attempts they could not fix it. I'd fill the tank and the gauge only went to 3/4 of a tank. They admitted there was problem but were unable to find a fix that worked.

So all I'm saying is that Honda take a closer look at theirs. I'm not going to do another Lemon Law case, I like my Insight. But I don't care how much money went into the building of this car. What matters to me is I get a car that does what Honda says it's suppose to do. I care about the quality of a car, the small details matter to me.

Just as I don't expect a dented fender, torn interior, faulty radio or speedometer upon my acceptance, a full tank of gas should indicate full on the fuel gauge....PERIOD.
 

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This is not intended to be a continuation of the argument about the significance of the top bar of the gas guage. I just need to comment about one of those marvels of engineering that has always baffled me.

Looking at the gas tank in most "exploded" views of most cars, the tanks tend to be wide, flat, tilted and irregularly shaped to fit among the other parts of the car. I've always thought it was amazing that anyone could pretend to accurately measure how much gas is in the tank without weighing it or blowing across the filler like a flute and testing the frequency of the note to judge the air volume in the tank.

It's not like they are nice, neat, vertical cyllinders. They look like hardened, wrinkled bags, and they are baffled inside to minimize sloshing. Add that they are sealed, so there can be no mechanical links to a float between the inside and outside. The guage has to be electrical, with no possible sparks.

I've always been impressed by gas guages.
 

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Will M said:
They made the Insight more fun to drive and they kept the cost artificially low. What other car manufacturer would sell such a low-production vehicle in the US for less than $20,000?
This is a fair thing to point out, but keep in mind that Honda isn't doing this completely out of generosity. The fact that they take a loss on each insight is balanced out by a few factors:

1) Every Insight owner is basically a moving bill board, providing free advertising for Hybrid cars. The Insight is there to raise the profile of hybrid electric cars. Meanwhile the Civic Hybrid is there to show that they can look just like every other car (not sure why that's a bonus, but eh...).

2) The Insight gets the best gas mileage of any car on the market, so Honda can use that for PR purposes (makers of the "efficient" hybrid drive system). It also increase their "green" image (although I notice they have plenty of SUVs for sale too, but I guess they do have to make money).

3) Insights also allow Honda to field test their hybrid technology and work out any of the bugs, as well as improve on it and reduce the price for when they're ready to move the technology into the mainstream. Yes, we're guinea pigs, but at least with Honda it's a more or less cruelty-free testing facility, unlike what you'd experience with Ford or GMC. ;)

4) The Insight also demonstrates just how far behind the times the American and European car manufacturers are (5 years+ years?) and prevents them from trying to attempt a PR cover-up. Since the Insight and Prisu have been on the market for 4 years now (longer in Japan), they can't claim the technology is "too difficult" or "unproven".

Will M said:
I've always been impressed by gas guages.
As long as I don't run out of gas, I'm impressed. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I only posted this problem because my gauge never used to do this. I completely understand that fuel gauges are not exact instruments, just pointing out a potential problem that may not be effecting only me.
 

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Fuel Meter

I slam my tank full of fuel every two weeks. I have noticed that my meter does not read full. In fact my meter drops two lines after I fill up.
Michael
 
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