Fuel tanks.

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Fuel tanks.

Postby Van Yeti [OP] » April 4th 2011, 1:35am

I have a 27 gallon fuel tank. Using my odometer to calculate my gas mileage I am getting around 9 miles per gallon all city driving using calculations from my fuel tank size at 27 gallons

When I first got my van it had a bit over a quarter of a tank in it, I drove it until a quarter of a tank then filled it up, 14 gallons. Assuming my fuel tank is 27 gallons then that means each quarter of a tank is 6.75 gallons. That means I only had 20 gallons in my tank unless my fuel gauge is way off or a vehicles gas tank doesn't ever fill up 100%.

Earlier today my tank was at 1/2 so I filled up, 11 gallons. Which means if I use the notion that a tank never fills up all the way or my odometer is off then I used 9 gallons of gas to get 117 miles and I am getting 13 miles per gallon. Which makes much more sense.

So what's the deal?
-Kyle
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby 'cudapaul » April 4th 2011, 2:05am

YMMV: I have several vans, I find that each quarter guage mark is about five gallons, and that I can (patiently) put five more gallons above the full mark before it overflows.

If you don't fill until it is close to overflowing then it is difficult to get an accurate amount of fuel measure to calculate the gas mileage.

If you have an overhead console with the DIC, the gas mileage is pretty accurate.
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby Van Yeti [OP] » April 4th 2011, 3:32am

That adds up perfectly with the latter math I did. 20 gallons or so completely full without topping off. Thanks!
-Kyle
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby 96Blastro » April 4th 2011, 10:42am

Good info. I had the same problem. Now I can see how much gas mileage I get after my tuneup. Seems to be using less
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby ihatemybike » April 4th 2011, 12:10pm

Actually, the gas gauges in these van have proven to be rough estimates of what's left in the tank. I wouldn't worry about it to much, unless the gauge fails to work all together. Most of these vans do have a true 27 gallon tanks* and seem to have a bit of reserve when the needle is on E. I wouldn't rely on it though and recommend filling the tank before it gets below 1/8. I have driven Green deep into E trying to see how many miles I can milk out of a tank, even then by the time I'm scared there is still usually over 2 g left in the tank.

To properly calculate mileage divide gallons to full by miles driven and always fill up the same way. I pump on the fastest catch till click off, then on the slowest to click off, finishing by bringing the dollar amount to the next dime. I use http://www.fuelly.com to record my fill ups, mostly because of the ability to send a text msg to the site to record the fill up information and not have to think about it later.


*97-99 being the weirdos with 25, and some of the 4 banger vans had 17
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby wot » April 4th 2011, 2:40pm

My 2005 Astro gauge read about 1/8, took 19.3 gallons to fill.
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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby icebrrg3rd » April 4th 2011, 3:31pm

Even if you don't top it off every time, if you keep a running total you can get a pretty good estimate. I have a log book of every fill-up since I got it, except for what was in the tank originally. I could figure out my average fairly easy. If I go for a long run, I'll top it off, do the run, then top it off again and do a rough calculation of my mpg. I do not use my gauge for anything other than a reminder to fill up or about how far I can go. They are not accurate enough to do a mpg calculation. Just sitting on a incline will throw it off 1/8-1/4 tank. Use your odometer/gallons fron the pump over MANY fill-ups to get an accurate reading on your mileage.

And 13 mpg around town isn't too bad, depends on your town. Is it slow speeds (25mph) and lots of stop signs/lights, or a rural town with 35-45 mph speeds and little stopping? 13 in the first case is marginally ok, in the second example is more towards poor. Changes to your driving habits and doing tune-ups, that number can improve. Also, if you're planning on camping with the van and will have it loaded down, the mileage will decrease, especially if you do mountain driving.

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Re: Fuel tanks.

Postby Van Yeti [OP] » April 5th 2011, 5:26pm

It's all city driving, still to terrified too drive on California highways. Lots of stop go, averages below 35mpg, long stop lights and lots of stop signs. So it makes sense I am getting what I'm getting.

I'll start logging what I get out of each tank. I let my tank get down to 1/4 before filling, so I will log what I get from there.
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