Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Zero miles remaining

I drove to work this morning with my car running mostly on fumes. I think my “miles you can drive before you have to call your wife to come bring gas because you’re stranded like an ass on the side of the highway” were around nine when I stopped to put two gallons of gas into my tank… plenty to get me home to the gas station where I could get a huge discount (and pay only $1.29 per gallon).

After work, I hopped back in my car, expecting my “miles left” estimate to be somewhere around fifty but, to my surprise, it was at nine.


Didn’t I add two gallons this morning… about a mile from the office? I started to doubt that the morning’s brief fuel pump stop had actually occurred, but then realized that yes… yes, it had. The fuel gauge needle looked suspiciously higher than it would if the “nine” was justified.

So I started to drive to the gas station near my home (about thirty miles away), secure (somewhat) in the knowledge that I had put enough gas in the car to get me home. To my amusement, the mileage estimator counted down dutifully from nine… to zero… while I was driving. Sadly, it didn’t go negative.

So here’s a chronological series of photographic evidence, proving beyond doubt that my car, having sat in the cold, office parking lot for eight hours, had somehow found the time to partake in some form of computer-system-altering chemicals of a dubious nature.

First, the early warning sign when I started the car.

Fuel Level Low - Oh no!

My car, through its obviously distorted view of reality, estimates that I can go zero miles before running out of gas. Note the odometer reads 75585.

Down to zero... but I'm still moving!

When I got to the gas station… five miles later… the estimate still read zero. It was actually at zero for longer than five miles, but I didn’t want to take a picture of my dashboard while driving sevent… umm… within the legal speed limit down the highway.

Still zero... five miles later

After the fill-up, the estimate seemed to be more in line with reality. Hooray!

Ah! That's better!

Let’s not speak of the lamb.


  1. Buzz says:


  2. Jay says:

    My Prius has a dud 12-volt battery that I need to replace. it works most of the time, but occasionally the computer reboots right while the car is starting because there is not enough juice (once the car is on, 12 volt power is converted down from the 500v battery) so it hasn’t been a big deal, but recently it told me the exterior temp was negative 20 degrees F. It was like 45 degrees outside. I don’t worry about it, but then as I was driving I realized that the AC was using that mis calibrated sensor to determine how much it should warm up the exterior air before blowing it into the cabin. which meant it thought keeping a cabin temp of 70 degrees required a lot of heating up that it really didn’t need. I drove with the windows down for a bit until I got a chance to stop and restart the car, resetting the temp sensor calibration.

    Cars are getting more and more like computers. “try closing all the windows and restarting it”

    1. Dan says:

      LOL! Negative 20!!!

      I did “reboot” my car, but only about 3 minutes after starting it the first time. It’s possible that if I had done it later, I might have been successful in resetting it. If it happens again, I’ll try that. 🙂

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