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Dave777

Fuel tank total capacity?

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I used the Search function and saw only peripheral discussions about the tank size, but not a specific focused one. If there is one already, please point me in the right direction.

What is the total tank capacity of the 451, in liters or gallons?

I'm not interested in what the manual says, because that's the problem: the manual is so poorly written that no one seems to say with confidence what the tank size is.

Many argue (on the SCOA forum) that the tank is 8.7 gallons/33 liters. That's it, total, nothing more in the tank.

Others, myself included and at least a couple of the dealers, say the total capacity is 10 gallons/38 liters. There are a few members who have run out of fuel and put in close to 10 gallons, which to me is pretty good confirmation.

I have regularly gone to 0.1 gallon on the countdown gauge and added 8.6 gallons, but that is not confirmation of the tank size, only confirmation that the countdown gauge is accurately telling me when I will have used 8.7 gallons. At that point I believe I still have 1.3 gallons remaining.

Has anyone here run out of fuel or gone well beyond the countdown gauge 0.0 and added well over the 8.7 gallons/33 liters?

Again, I'm not interested in the wording in the manual, as that's the whole semantic problem leading to the confusion.

Edited by Dave777

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We have a zillion discussions on the 450 tank size (diesel), and still, people disagree on what can actually be filled into it... LOL (Answer: at 0.0, there is approx 2 litres remaining before you would run it dry. Under most normal applications, you can fill about 22 litres from 0.0, provided you will to the top of the filler tube. You can take advantage on inclines and/or even jack up the rear passenger side of the car, and fill almost 28 litres from bone dry if you are dedicated and very patient.)Good luck getting an answer for the 451 - but I follow the logic - at 0.0 on the gauge, there will be some gas left in the tank. 1.3 gallons worth? Probably.Just another consideration though - are you planning on running it that low regularly? Or do you just want to know how far it can go from 0.0 before running dry, just in case you have to? That would be the number I'd want to know. And BTW - one other consideration is that you shouldn't top fill a gasoline - it's not recommended to go past the point it autoclicks off...

Edited by smartzuuk

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I used the Search function and saw only peripheral discussions about the tank size, but not a specific focused one. If there is one already, please point me in the right direction.

What is the total tank capacity of the 451, in liters or gallons?

I'm not interested in what the manual says, because that's the problem: the manual is so poorly written that no one seems to say with confidence what the tank size is.

Many argue (on the SCOA forum) that the tank is 8.7 gallons/33 liters. That's it, total, nothing more in the tank.

Others, myself included and at least a couple of the dealers, say the total capacity is 10 gallons/38 liters. There are a few members who have run out of fuel and put in close to 10 gallons, which to me is pretty good confirmation.

I have regularly gone to 0.1 gallon on the countdown gauge and added 8.6 gallons, but that is not confirmation of the tank size, only confirmation that the countdown gauge is accurately telling me when I will have used 8.7 gallons. At that point I believe I still have 1.3 gallons remaining.

Has anyone here run out of fuel or gone well beyond the countdown gauge 0.0 and added well over the 8.7 gallons/33 liters?

Again, I'm not interested in the wording in the manual, as that's the whole semantic problem leading to the confusion.

The reason why you have seen two different sizes is because people are confused about the wording in the manual. Some interpret it as 33 litres including the reserve. Some interpret it as 33 litres PLUS reserve. So 8.7 gal plus reserve is 10 gal. 8.7 gal including reserve means it's 7.5 gal.

Now I have refuelled when it said 3.0 litres remaining and I added 30.xxx litres of fuel which would add up to 33 litres so I'd say, based on my experience, that it's 33 litres. However, you can pump more than 33 litres because there's also the fuel filler pipe which usually can hold a few litres, maybe more.

e.g. The Prius normally holds 45 litres of fuel. People have pumped up to 60 litres into the tank by lifting the rear left wheel (filler pipe is on the left side of the car. Now before you say 15 litres have just recirculated back into the station's pump or into the charcoal canister, these people who pumped 60 litres managed to do 2,000kms+ on the tank compared to 1,400kms done by those who pumped 45 litres the "sane" and normal way.

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Warning: Not an expert by any means.My Little Yellow 451 is just over one month owned (built in April, bought in June). When I bought it the tank was "full" according to the gas gauge. Since I'm still breaking the car in I ignore the mileage, but I drove until just a little after the gas pump icon on the left started blinking.I've only filled Little Yellow up once now. The fuel pump shut off automatically at about 8.2 gallons and I added another .2 gallons so as to make the total sale $40 (I like round dollars...). That's 8.4 gallons with a wee bit also in the tank.I'm fairly confident that the 451 gas tank is, in fact, 8.72 gallons.

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I have regularly gone to 0.1 gallon on the countdown gauge and added 8.6 gallons, but that is not confirmation of the tank size, only confirmation that the countdown gauge is accurately telling me when I will have used 8.7 gallons. At that point I believe I still have 1.3 gallons remaining.

The whole point here is that the gauge is reading to an artificial zero point, not to the point where the tank is actually empty.

Today I put in 9.4 gallons. No, I didn't jack the side of the car up or do anything other than how I always fill the tank. How did I put in 9.4 gallons? Simple...I ignored the countdown gauge getting to 0.0 and drove another 30 miles on the "reserve."

Here's how I think the tank and gauge system actually works. I may be totally wrong, but so far I don't think so.

Posted Image

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Someone mentioned that at 0.0 litres, the scangauge still shows fuel. Can anyone confirm that?Dave777, methinks the tank is bigger than 33 litres. I mean, I pumped 30 litres into the tank when it said 3.0 litres left. Maybe the tank's 35 litres?

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The ScanGauge only knows what you tell it. If you program it with a 10 gallon tank size, that's what it will think is in there.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I don't think it's any mystery to us in Canada that have had the diesel, that your 451 tank has a 'hidden reserve' after 0.0I would suggest you get a small jerry can and run it dry, somewhere in the vicinity of a gas station. That'll settle the case, and you'll know how far you can go from 0.0 before you REALLY run out, and you'll know how much it can hold (Don't fill past the auto shut off in a gasser!!!!!)The Scangauge does not measure physical fuel at all. You can calibrate it to make it very accurate for your car/driving style... to the point it could be within a few tenths of a gallon accuracy on 'fuel remaining'.... or 'distance remaining'... I don't use those screen myself typically, but in my cdi today with 0.5 on the car display it says I have 2.5 litres left, which is approximately correct

Edited by smartzuuk

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Since my 08 smart Passion is still new, 2,800 miles on the clock I didn't want to run it bone dry but with 0.4 gal flashing I went to the petrol station and filled it up with exactly 8.7 gallons. I do fill it slightly more than the first auto shut off but not as much to where it is sitting in the top of the gas cap area. In my opinion it is an 8.7 gal tank including reserve with any extra in the filler pipe which looks to be about 0.4 to 0.5 gal. I suppose if a person REALLY wanted an exact quantity the best way would be to remove the fuel tank completely and manually fill it with a calibrated graduated beaker to say precisely how much the fuel tank holds.I don't think it would be good to run the car past 0.0 for ANY length of time. Just think that 0.0 is 0.0 fuel left and start looking for a petrol station when it starts flashing 1.0 gal

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The ScanGauge only knows what you tell it. If you program it with a 10 gallon tank size, that's what it will think is in there.

ohh... ok.Well then someone needs to drain the tank dry although I think the 451 has an anti-siphoning device.

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Can someone explain why anyone really cares how much the tank hold precisely? If you run it down to the pump symbol flashing, it is time to look for a service station to fill it up. At this point the amount of empty void is of no importance, nor is the capacity of the tank. If a person runs dry thinking they can drive on some mysterious phantom reserve of fuel that smart has hidden from the world in the filler pipe or tank, then they deserve to run dry. O.E.M. gauges are there for a purpose and common sense should supercede trying to out think the engineers who designed the smart.

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Sure Fred, I'll try to explain why it's of interest. Maybe not of huge importance, but out of curiosity. Imagine you own a brand x car and the manufacturer has installed a fuel gauge that reads Empty when in actual fact it still has 5 gallons left in the tank. When there's 6 gallons left in the tank the low fuel light or pump icon comes on. We're all so programmed that we instantly head for the station to fill the tank. Wouldn't you like to know that you had all that fuel still in the tank? That the tank wasn't really empty? That for some reason brand x decided to put in a gauge that works differently than every other car you've ever owned? smart is the only manufacturer I know of who puts an extra "reserve" amount of fuel in the tank that cannot be read by the gauge.

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Well, Marta has to go to the smart doctor. :( If I let her fill to auto shut off we have an overflow and gas running out under the car. This has happened at two different filling stations in two different states. Marathon in Il and BP in WI.It happend the first time and I wouldn't do the auto stop again. Three weeks later (today) with one bar left and 326 miles gone I thought I'd try it again.....Pump in all the way.....past 8, past 8.4, past 8.7 .... I'm trying hard not to grab the pump as hubby said let it go.... stopped at 9.2 and gas began to leak out under car.Not good! :angry: Amy

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Wouldn't you like to know that you had all that fuel still in the tank? That the tank wasn't really empty? That for some reason brand x decided to put in a gauge that works differently than every other car you've ever owned?

Lovin' it! :D Brand s, bro!

Check it out: this is not like any car you've ever owned!

Bil :sun:

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smart is the only manufacturer I know of who puts an extra "reserve" amount of fuel in the tank that cannot be read by the gauge.

Seems to me that the gauge reads the fuel in the tank perfectly well. As a bonus feature it starts a count down by .5 litres. or 1/10th gal. Any problem appears to be how some interperate the readings. Those, and I assume that includes you, are used to the North American gauges that run down to the Big E and you ignore and continue to drive because "You KNOW there is still more gas in the tank" and that the gauge is presumed to be inaccurate.Now that you own a smart, you can put all that logic behind you. Once you get used to the fine engineering that went into the smart, all will be well and you will eventually appreciate, trust and learn how to read the smart fuel gauge.

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...which is all very nice, but we do know that the cdi will run as much as 50 km on 0.0. I haven't done it, but Eddie did several times. I've only gone 10 km on 0.0. A member of our forum from Austria advised us years ago that there is a 2.0 L "hidden reserve" in the cdi, to prevent common rail high pressure pump damage. It is always best to fill up well before 0.0.

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I believe Eddie^3 told me he ran 83km past 0.0But don't try this at home!

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Any problem appears to be how some interperate the readings. Those, and I assume that includes you, are used to the North American gauges that run down to the Big E and you ignore and continue to drive because "You KNOW there is still more gas in the tank" and that the gauge is presumed to be inaccurate.

You are "assuming" completely wrong about me. I'm used to gauges that read Empty or 0.0 when they are empty. It seems that smart is dumbing down the car by telling us the tank is empty when it isn't. In my driving life and my professional life I've never run out of gas, and have always known how much is in the tank to start with whether that's been a Toyota or a Boeing. Doesn't seem too much for smart to simply say, "The total capacity of the tank is...." and give us a gauge that reads 0.0 when it really is empty.An interesting unintended consequence of all this is that every reviewer and every government agency including the US Government thinks the car has a shorter range than actual. Every other car on the market the range is calculated off the total capacity of the tank. The smart's range by comparison seems inordinately short because they use the tank capacity without including the extra 1.3 gallons/5litres.

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Sure Fred, I'll try to explain why it's of interest. Maybe not of huge importance, but out of curiosity. Imagine you own a brand x car and the manufacturer has installed a fuel gauge that reads Empty when in actual fact it still has 5 gallons left in the tank. When there's 6 gallons left in the tank the low fuel light or pump icon comes on. We're all so programmed that we instantly head for the station to fill the tank. Wouldn't you like to know that you had all that fuel still in the tank? That the tank wasn't really empty? That for some reason brand x decided to put in a gauge that works differently than every other car you've ever owned? smart is the only manufacturer I know of who puts an extra "reserve" amount of fuel in the tank that cannot be read by the gauge.

Every car has a reserve. Most do not display the countdown. E.g. Toyota gives 10 litres left in the tank when the low fuel light comes on. Of course how many litres are there after 0.0 litres is anyone's guess except the engineers I suppose.

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The fuel left in the tank of a smart becomes important if one is in Montana or Alberta, and the name on the map turns out to be just that, a name on a map. Believe me I have been there. If your gauge reads 2.5 LITERS (left) and the the crossroads has NO fuel station (or the motel you were expecting). Priciple is, when you see a fuel station and the gauge shows half, FILL UP !!Of course I can always hail a trucker and be a "hoser" (mine is a CDi)

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I know this thread was started about the 451, but since we've wandered a bit back to 450 territory, remember that with the CDi, if you get absolutely desperately low and there is no filling station in sight, you can always stop at a grocery store and buy some triple-virgin olive oil, or pure canola oil etc, and throw it in the tank to get you confidently to the next filling station!B :sun:

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I know this thread was started about the 451, but since we've wandered a bit back to 450 territory, remember that with the CDi, if you get absolutely desperately low and there is no filling station in sight, you can always stop at a grocery store and buy some triple-virgin olive oil, or pure canola oil etc, and throw it in the tank to get you confidently to the next filling station!B :sun:

And maybe cheaper than diesel? It seems this thread hasn't yet found anyone who can definitively and authoritatively answer the original question of what the total tank capacity is. Too bad.

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Seriously, I think YOU HAVE ANSWERED THE QUESTION. I don't doubt it holds some fuel beyond 0.0; no one here doubts that. 1.3 gallons seems fine.The question *I think* is relevant, is this: 'How far can you drive on 0.0 before running dry?' That's the only practical application I can see for answering the question. We KNOW in a cdi that 40-50 kms is safe, but that you should not make it a habit to do this. Eddie did indeed go about 80 kms. We can determine from his fuel economy and fills, that 2 litres approximately remain in the fuel system from 0.0You could take a jerry can with you and have a gallon of gas ready to dump in when you run your car dry, then be within a few blocks of a gas station, and continue 'the fill' - at the autoshutoff, stop fueling. Add the jerry can volume and the pump volume, and there's your definitive answer. If you need it more precise, then you need to order a spare gas tank and get out the beaker.To those at the 'other' forums who dispute the car holds more than 8.7 gallons in the entire fuel system, who cares... they can believe you or not. I accept your number of 1.3 gallons additional as being reasonable...It perplexes me as to how this issue can be so crucial we've filled a whole page, and are soon to start a second....:)

Edited by smartzuuk

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