Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8 - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

Hey again everybody!

I apologize for the multiple threads, but I've just been having so many issues with my Malibu, and I wanted to keep the issues organized separately. I own a 2016 1.5L Chevy Malibu 1LT, and have been having issues filling up the tank at the gas station.

Despite stating that the Malibu 1LT has a 13 gallon tank, my On Star app has been telling me that the tank only fills up to 11.5 gallons (90%) and stops when I go to fill it up at the pump. This has happened every fill-up since I bought the car, and has been occurring at multiple locations and brands of gasoline stations.

The gas gauge also only showed 7/8 of a tank at the fill-up and caused me some alarm. I took the car to the dealership. It is supposedly a known issue. They re-programmed something in the car, and it seems to have changed my issue.

While the tank still only fills up to 11.5 gallons (according to my app and my math calculations of my miles per full tank), the gauge now does show that the tank goes to full.

However; 11.5 gallons is not 13 gallons and I was wondering if anybody has been experiencing the same issue? I would think it would at least go past 12 gallons if anything before stopping.

Any feedback or experience would be greatly welcomed! Thanks!
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post #2 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 07:02 PM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

If you drive the car until it runs out of gas, I suppose it would then take 13 gallons.
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post #3 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 07:06 PM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

Exactly same issue for me.
I was waiting for the first oil change and bring it to dealer's attention.
I've not been able to put more than 10 -10.5 gallons filling up the tank with low fuel light on.
I would have probably not bought the car, if I knew first hand it has 13 gallon tank and now it seems it might be even smaller.
With driving miss Daisy style in suburbs I hardly get 300 - 320 miles on full tank and have to gas up every 3-4 days.
That missing 1.5 gallons would give me some extra mileage between gas stops.

Last edited by 16LT; 10-23-2016 at 09:03 PM.
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post #4 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 08:17 PM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

That's not particularly abnormal. I have a 16.3 gallon gas tank. If I fill up when the indicator says low fuel, it takes just shy of 14 gallons.

The standard gen 9 tank is 13 gallons, the indicator says low fuel when you have about 2 gallons left (give or take), so filling 10.5 gallons isn't surprising. Plenty of gas pumps are more sensitive and shut off sooner than the manufacturer intends.

With that said, if your car's computer and gauge cluster shows it's not full, then the fuel level sensor is incorrect.


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post #5 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 03:50 AM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

16LT's issue (or seemingly non-issue in my opinion) is not the same as what the OP reports. The OP says his tank is only filling to 11.5 gallons, not taking 10.5 at a fillup with the light on. 10.5 + 1.5-2.0 already in the tank is 12.5 which is fine. 11.5 is actually 1-1.5 gallons short. I haven't experienced this to this degree, but I did previously only manage 12 gallon total capacity after my first couple fillups. I figured out you can't stick the nozzle all the way in. Stick the nozzle 1/2-3/4 in and I get almost 13 total capacity every time. I just filled up last night and checked my onstar app and it reports 12.9.

That said, I cannot pass on a chance to criticize the awful decision to use a 13 gallon tank in the 1.5T models. In a car with so many positives, the tiny tank is a glaring negative. Even 15.8 in the less efficient 2.0 is pitiful. Competing cars in this segment have much larger fuel range and similar EPA estimates - the Altima is 27/39 and has a 19 gallon tank. The Fusion has 17.5, Camry has 17, Legacy has 18.5, Mazda6 16.4. Why would Chevy make a choice that is so far outside the norm? The tiny tank makes it feel less "adult" of a car.
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post #6 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 05:15 AM
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My 15LT was doing the same thing. I took it to the dealer and they had to put a new sending unit in. The original was reading wrong and saying it was not full need though it was.
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post #7 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 08:04 AM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkg54321 View Post
Hey again everybody!

I apologize for the multiple threads, but I've just been having so many issues with my Malibu, and I wanted to keep the issues organized separately. I own a 2016 1.5L Chevy Malibu 1LT, and have been having issues filling up the tank at the gas station.

Despite stating that the Malibu 1LT has a 13 gallon tank, my On Star app has been telling me that the tank only fills up to 11.5 gallons (90%) and stops when I go to fill it up at the pump. This has happened every fill-up since I bought the car, and has been occurring at multiple locations and brands of gasoline stations.

The gas gauge also only showed 7/8 of a tank at the fill-up and caused me some alarm. I took the car to the dealership. It is supposedly a known issue. They re-programmed something in the car, and it seems to have changed my issue.

While the tank still only fills up to 11.5 gallons (according to my app and my math calculations of my miles per full tank), the gauge now does show that the tank goes to full.

However; 11.5 gallons is not 13 gallons and I was wondering if anybody has been experiencing the same issue? I would think it would at least go past 12 gallons if anything before stopping.

Any feedback or experience would be greatly welcomed! Thanks!
I have the same problem with my 16 Malibu. In fear of overflowing and spilling gas all over the side, I would only let the gas nozzle click once thinking it was full. After driving about 5-10 miles, the gauge would already be off the "F" mark. So what I do is after the first nozzle shut off, I release the pressure and start filling slowly until I get another nozzle shut off. If I'm brave, I repeat 1-2 times. That seems to give me more of a "Full" tank and takes longer to get off the "F" mark. I think the way the tank and filler tube is situated is what causes the filling issue.

just my .02!

Jim
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post #8 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 07:43 PM
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I was told by a mechanic two things. 1) you should stop filling after the first click and 2) for the best gas milage, you should be filling up your tank when it's half empty
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post #9 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 03:44 AM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

"For the best mileage you should fill when half empty"? How on Earth does that equate to better mileage? I doubt that tech can provide a reasonable argument to support his claim, but if you ask him, please post his response. At this point in time I can't think of any reason to fill up at half a tank other than he might run out of gas if there's a big traffic jam. The wife of a dear old friend of mine would always fill when it got to half a tank, but she was also the kind who would get in the lane she needed more than 5 miles away (on surface streets). It is the difference between how a lot of women tend to act and how a lot of men tend to act: men tend to wait until the last minute, whereas women tend to plan ahead and secure their place.

We are always hearing that to get the best mileage we should remove excess weight from the car. Letting my tank go to just above E removes weight from the car, so it is going to get better mileage than if it had to carry half a tank more than that for the same number of miles. I can go about 300 miles on a tank while I drive back and forth to work. If I were to fill up at about 150 miles, I would be carrying an additional 1/2 a tank of gas those last 150 miles. In my car 1/2 a tank is about 7 to 8 gallons. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon and gas is slightly less, but let's say it's 8 pounds. 7 gallons times 8 pounds is 56 pounds. That's not a bunch of weight but it's 56 pounds more than taking the car toward empty. How does carrying 56 more pounds for 150 of the 300 miles get me better mileage?

As you can see, I don't drink the Kool Aid that others pour out and I don't swallow the Company bull. I listen, I think for myself, and yet sometimes I'm still wrong. But I'm also willing to listen to convincing arguments and change my mind.


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post #10 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 06:52 AM
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Re: Fuel Tank Only Filling up to 7/8

Maybe I misunderstood them

The discussion came up and when I told them that I drive my car until there's only like 10 miles left on the tank and they said that's bad for the car since you will be sucking in sediments that have settled at the bottom of the tank. They then proceeded to say you should fill back up after you've reached half empty. However, that doesn't make much sense since more weight = less mpg.

Oh well...I'm done hijacking this thread
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