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Toyota Prius



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    since I do a lot of coasting to boost gas mileage, is that you can now just touch the "gas" pedal and you can coast along without the batteries recharging, but without any consequential drag on the wheels slowing the car down. It is very effective for long stretches of coasting. I don't recall exactly, but it seems that was not easy to do in the "classic" Prius. You were either powering the wheels or they were recharging the battery pack - it was hard to hit the midpoint where neither was happening (true coasting).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Wouldn't it be much better to simply say that the Prius gets its best MPG in comparison to other non-hybrid vehicles during travel that involves lots of unavoidable, necessary, "stop and go"?

    Traveling long distances wherein one does not accelerate dramatically, rarely stop at all, nor often need to prevent overspeeding the Prius would be at a definite disadvantage.

    All the extra weight of the electric motors and batteries with no functionality.

    That's why the highway cruising mileage is so poor in comparison.
  • hans000hans000 Posts: 19
    Keep it cool...

    According to '04 Prius manual and display, when the gas pedal lifted, the motor(s) applies _some_ regenerative braking to simulate conventional car's engine braking. Nothing for free: the car decelerates noticeably as if in 3rd gear of a stick shift car. To stop such braking I have apply a little gas peddle to stop energy flow on the display: the car would cruise a long way.

    When braking, the motor(s) applies _more_ regenerative braking. Someone actually measured the current on a '91 Prius. See the link below:

    It's quite possible both electric motors do the braking. It's easy with electronics (inverter).

    The old Prius seems to use regenerative braking first and then (under heavy braking) apply the brake pads. It's said (never drove an old one personally) the transition was noticeable.

    The new one is seamless. My sales person (!) said that, in his training class, Toyota told them the brake was just applied as normal brake. That implies brake pads _in parallel with_ regerative braking.

    Now comes my question:
    when going downhill, should I use "B" or brake on '04? (I am asking fuel-economy-wise.) I don't feel ICE rev up in "B" while going down at 20MPH. Is it possible the "B" at 20MPH is just extra regenerative braking, not engine braking? On the old Prius I remember people suggested to avoid "B" for best fuel economy. Is this still true for '04?

    By the way, I highly recommend the following link for tech stuff: htm
  • hans000hans000 Posts: 19
    I wouldn't say Prius highway MPG is poor, maybe less outstanding.

    Prius has the advantage of less powerful engine: it works within/near the efficient power band in highway cruise. Check this out: ternalCombustion.htm

    Although the electric stuff adds weight, the transmission reduces the weight as a simple, fixed gear ratio one (see link below). Many thing mechanical in a conventional car is done electrically in Prius.

    One thing does hurt is that, instead of shifting gears, Prius uses a generator-motor pair to convert torque to RPM (as if in 5th gear)during highway cruise (see link below). I would guess the generator-motor pair is less efficient than a gearbox. (The plus side is that there is NO (zero, none) down shift delay. That makes the car fun to drive.) ntinuouslyVariableTransmission.htm

    ===wwest wrote:
    Traveling long distances wherein one does not accelerate dramatically, rarely stop at all, nor often need to prevent overspeeding the Prius would be at a definite disadvantage
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Cruising down the highway cannot create energy...even
    > going downhill is not creating are just
    > converting from potential to kinetic during downhill
    > motion...again NO FREE LUNCH.

    DUH! That's why it's called "RE"generating!

    I used the words "recapture" & "reclaimed" to clearly point out that the energy had already been consumed, an indication that FREE is not part of the equation. And in countless publications, it is very clearly pointed out what the percentage of recapture is. Never has 100% been mentioned. There is a cost. Recapture reduces it.

    These discussions keep becoming more and more amusing. You never know what the uninformed are going to come up with next.

    Watch the Multi-Display sometime while cruising down the highway. You'll witness how the engine flow stops and it switches to coming from the tires instead. It only lasts for a second or two. But since there isn't any such thing as an absolutely flat highway, it happens quite frequently. And every little bit makes a difference.

    > but Prius has an additional $7000 energy recovery system
    > over the cost of the ECHO.

    Ah! Starting to realize your original claim of $10000 more was off by a bit, eh? Anyway, it is still way off. If there was really that much of a price difference, how can you possibly explain why Corolla costs more than an Echo?

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Regenerative braking slows the vehicle down. If you intended
    > to stop or slow for some reason anyway that is all to the
    > good. But the use of regenerative braking while cruising
    > down the highway would simply defeat the purpose.

    Yes, completely ignoring the topic of discussion with alter its outcome. However, if I (once again) point out that using the brakes is not the only method, it may get us back on course.

    The topic was "regenerated energy".

    This occurs by the spinning of MG1 without using the engine. Prius has this ability. One way is by using the brakes. Another is slowing down by easing up on the throttle. Yet another is encountering a decline, which doesn't have to be a hill and will not cause deceleration.

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Let's not duh! our way around the conversation...agree to disagree with civility.
  • I am enjoying the seemingly elevated sensitivity of the Prius owners' MPG discussions. I am still waiting to take delivery of my backordered Prius, and look forward to getting even the "underperformance" of a high-30s mpg over the 12-17 I routinely get with my SUV!
  • Looking for feedback on this. It's got me worried.

    I went to start my 16-days-old 2004 Prius after a day out in the near-zero, wind-whipped open parking garage last night in Watertown, Mass. Foot on the brake, gas in the tank (3 bars), press start and power button turns solid amber. Lights on dash light up as usual, all in the usual places, except no Ready Light. Gave it 5 minutes - let is sit like that - with foot on brake. Then, I tried to push the power button to turn it off. It would not turn off.

    After about 10 minutes or so, I called Toyota 24x7 roadside assistance. Operator couldn't help but put on the phone with a dealer in San Diego. Ran through the process a few more times and nothing. Held the brake pedal down and the power button for 20 seconds a few times and nothing.
    Dealer in Calif. said he thought I was stuck in a "neutral state."

    Now about 30 minutes, with the light still amber and car won't shut off or start, or go into any gear (still on "P") and no Ready lite. No noise coming from anywhere except for a grinding noise when I press on the brake (sometimes.) And, the headlights worked, so did fan or radio etc. (which I had off when trying to start the car.) With the dealer, I kept running through the START processes over and over, but nothing.

    Then, more out of frustration than anything (now at the 45 minute mark), I quickly pressed the green Park button off & on, did same to the Amber Power button all while pressing the foot brake on and off. And -- the car started!

    The dealer in Calif said he was not sure what freed it up. It it was a something frozen or a malfunction or something just stuck somewhere.

    Good thing it started. I didn't fancy leaving the car in "amber" while waiting for a tow truck. And once the tow truck showed up... actually what would it do???

    I drove it home without incident -- although there is no green light on the Power button. I thought that this green light was always on when the car was running. It didnt light again today while running. Is this normal?

    Anyway I have three questons before I head off to the dealer Monday a.m. with my story. (When I spoke to them today and they said they had a few calls about the cold and Prius '04s not starting quickly, but nothing like this.)

    Anyway, my questions before I hit the dealer on Monday to ask them to check codes or whatever they do:

    1. Any thoughts on the cause of the above -- and what is the proper cure next time?

    2. After all this, and only a couple of weeks with the car, I'm confused as to thinking that the power button was always green while driving? Or is there NO light on the power button while driving the car?

    3. If I could not have gotten the car to start... how would I have gotten it out of "amber"? I feared that it would remain that way until the battery just drained.

    Thanks for your help!

    Don, '04 Salsa BC, in chilly New England
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    I believe the preheated thermos can hold heat for three days and is used to warm the engine for starting...but if exposed to severe subtemps over days then you could easily loose the pre-heat function...not sure what effect this has on starting... but I would think this would be a concern?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > but I would think this would be a concern?

    The Classic Prius clearly proved there is absolutely no need to be concerned.

    I drove my 2001 through 3 Minnesota Winters without any trouble whatsoever. After sitting outside for the whole day in sub-zero temperatures while I was at work, the engine fired up every time. And unfortunately, I had lots of opportunities to try that. (The walk to the Prius sure was cold.)

    It didn't have the thermos. All the thermos does is provide heat for the catalytic-converter and warming you sooner. That's it.

    Having a 201.6 volt battery-pack, capable of powering the car for several miles, makes starting in the cold a whole lot easier than vehicles with only a small 12-volt battery.

  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    hybriddriver- Where in Northern Ca do you drive? (me-SF Bay Area)

    Hans000- 800 ft elevation difference in San Jose? Do you commute from Hwy 17/Hwy 9? Where would you find such an elevation in the valley? Mt. Hamilton?
  • To bbridgewater and others having ordered their Prius prior to December and the MTCOY award:

    I am getting pretty tired of playing the waiting game. I ordered my MSilver Package 4 on October 18 from Superior Toyota in Johnson County (suburb of KC), Kansas. At the time, a senior salesman said I was about 17th on "the list" and could expect delivery between the end of the year and early January. That was fine with me.

    Subsequently, I have checked back in with Superior 3 or 4 times - alternating my questions between clarification of the dealer's allocation practices and Toyota's provided information about the Prius and its allocation practices (I have used advice from this forum, including trying to get a port arrival date/VIN number, asking for regional inventory/scheduled delivery, etc.) no avail. They seem to know nothing and be willing to say even less.

    My Prius is now supposed to be here "end of January - we hope".

    I was hoping that anyone in the same situation might come forward and share their experiences with information gathering, dealer promises (or lack thereof) and any tips on gaining visibility to the allocation practices of Toyota in general, and Midwest dealerships in specific.

    I noticed someone ordered a Prius in O'Fallon, IL in November and took possession before the new year. The details of your transaction are VERY interesting to me. As are those of others being kept in the dark.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I ordered my Prius with package 3 in mid-November from a dealer in the Twin Cities. At the time, the sales rep said it would be 4-5 months and told me exactly where I was on the list--he even showed me the list. That was fine with me because the lease on my Grand Caravan isn't up until the end of May. He recommended that I be flexible on color choices, and I gave him 3 choices, in priority order, which he put on my order. He also said that I could move up on the list depending on what colors and packages they receive--the dealers don't have control over that. He did tell me that at the time I ordered, they were getting about 55% package 3's but he also said the package mix could change. Now, this dealer is the 5th largest in the Chicago region and get around 10 Priuses per month. From what I've read here, some dealers get only 2-3 per month. I believe that the sales rep (and also his partner) have been very up front with me throughout the whole process. I stopped in during the holidays to check on where I was on the list, and the sales rep's partner showed me the list and said that I might get my car as early as February but more likely March-April. April would be best for me. I'd rather get it after the snow season anyway--a little less salt on my new baby.

    BTW, I saw a Prius parked at the supermarket last night--blue. Looked like it had been washed recently. Very pretty color in the lighted lot--can't wait to see it in daylight (it's my #2 choice after Tideland Pearl).
  • cat42cat42 Posts: 2
    Just wanted to thank those who took the time to respond to message #2153 on the Prius vs Forester (kayak, bikes) topic (talleyid, john, little_pogi, juice). I appreciated your perspectives.

    I opted for the kindest-to-the environment option and ordered the Prius, as I believe my conscience will rest easier driving it. As John indicated, carrying a bike in the cargo area isn't a problem. And both Yakima and Thule say they anticipate developing a roof rack (it would help if they receive additional requests if there are others who anticipate occasional need for a rack!). The majority of my driving will be without a kayak atop, and I expect that the Prius will do fine for those occasional boat transports.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I expect that the Prius will do fine for those occasional
    > boat transports.

    2004 is likely the year I finally get a light-weight canoe. I've been wanting a really good one forever. So once the Prius is finally paid off, I'll probably be able to get it.

    Anywho, it will be riding on top of my Prius... I'm just not sure how yet. It looks as though I may be able to get away with just using the foam holders. I can't confirm that until the temperature warms up quite a bit... like 70 more degrees! It's -3 F right now.

  • Backy - the part I left out of my dealer story was they called one night in late December and "offered me the chance" to take a Tideland Pearl w/ Pkg 7 that someone backed out on. We went in and saw the car in showroom lights (they had it parked in their hot-special-car-must-see area). It was a nice color, rather light in the spotlight - and we liked the exterior a lot. The problem for us was the interior ivory. We have a dog who loves to get muddy and a kid we take out on weekends who also loves to spill things! Also the #7 (side air bags and VSC) was something I didn't want to pay another $1200 for.

    Anyway, my dealer HAS been good about calling when something like this comes up. I didn't mean to make it sound all bad. Just wish there was more visibility to the process...
  • Thanks for posting your experiences, finestack and backy. My dealership, Jim Norton Toyota in Tulsa OK, seems to be helpless and unable to get much information. In fact, my salesperson suggested I might consider buying a different car - Corolla or Camry - from him if I can't wait. That just made me mad. I liked hearing that you went in to see exactly where you are on the list - I'll try that this week.

    I've considered looking for a Prius in a bigger market, perhaps the Dallas or Houston areas, since they would be relatively easy to get to on a one-way plane from Tulsa. Is there anyone out there who has experience with Toyota dealerships/Prius buying in those areas who might recommend a dealership?

    Anyway, tomorrow a gracious friend is driving me to my parents' (3 hours away)so I can borrow a vehicle until my Prius arrives, or until my folks want it back, whichever comes first.
  • geogirlgeogirl Posts: 24
    Please see my reply to you in Toyota Prius 2004 forum.
  • geogirlgeogirl Posts: 24
    Have you seen the gray interior? I, too, thought that I would get the gray interior because of kid spills and dog, but the gray is just as light as the ivory. I ended up with the ivory and now have ordered custom seat covers that are being made. They should be done next week and are suppose to accomodate the side air bags by having a flap where the air bags come out the side of the seats. They cost about $130 for both front seats and headrest and $120 for the rear seats, armrest, and headrest. This includes shipping. The name of the company is Great Covers - they have a website. As they are local, I am having them install mine next week. I'll let you know how I like them.
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