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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a 451 from Carmax, and they shipped it to me in Chicago from Columbus.

Everything is fine, I leave Carmax with a full fuel tank, as is their policy.

After driving for an hour, I've covered 24 miles in heavy traffic. Hot day, so the AC has been running.

And then I notice that the fuel gauge has dropped three bars.

Concerned, I stop at a filling station and it takes just over 4 gallons.

I know these gauges aren't very accurate, but apparently... I burned 4 gallons of fuel going 24 miles.

OR... maybe this explains it....

It was delivered to Chicago on a car carrier. I wonder if the Smart was stored on the truck at an angle, causing the fuel sender to tell the car that it had a full tank. At Carmax, they saw the gauge and didn't add any fuel, and as I drove away, the fuel gauge had time to adjust itself to the real fuel level.

Any other ideas? I'll be watching this next tank of gas very closely.
 

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Pretty common to go a long way before the gauge drops the first bar, then the next few seem to drop off faster. The tank is much more accurate when it gets below 21/2 tank of fuel left.
 

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I think your assumption of the truck/angle thing is probably correct. Depending on driving style, the first bar goes away between 60-100 miles, every bar after is 30-50 miles. I did manage to get 199.6 miles to half a tank once... :p
 

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I wouldn't worry about it "initially".....

IF the 2nd tank doesn't do better, time for ????????

I believe Carmax has a 5 day return policy............

I'd drive a full tank out to be sure and then return it IF I had to :D
 

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I wouldn't worry too much. You have the 5-day return but also a 30-day warranty. My smart is our 7th car bought through them and I never had a problem getting things fixed (except the windshield on my smart, which I'm not sure was chipped pre or post purchase since it was a torrential downpour on the way home and back to pick up the 3rd person that was with us during this impulse buy.)


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Discussion Starter #7
Followup: after filling it up and driving about 150 miles, the gas gauge is performing as expected. So, failing any future evidence, I'm going to think it was the angle on the car carrier that caused a false reading. Which is far better than having a Smart that gets 6 miles gallon.
 
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