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Toyota Prius



  • Hello all:

    Recieved my prius a week ago, promptly a snow storm occurred. Handled pretty good overall in snow.

    Quick question:

    Can the Traction control be disabled if you are stuck in snow? I have read the manual late at night and did not see any reference to this matter.

    thanks in advance

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Be sure and post your buying experience in the Toyota Prius: Prices Paid and Buying Experience discussion. It helps other prospective buyers with their trip to the dealership.

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Can the Traction control be disabled if you are stuck in snow?

    The purpose of TRAC is actually to protect the CVT. So disabling that control is not likely possible.

    If you find the need to routinely overspin the tires (which is never recommended since it literally scraps off the rubber), you should switch to snow tires. Those that have say it makes such a big improvement that there isn't a need for anything beyond that. Another option is to carry sand or a gripper to place under the slipping tire.

  • J:

    Already have snow tires on.

    Don't need to overspin tires often but if caught in a parking lot in a snow storm for a few hours the snow gets kinda deep from plows and thus difficult to move. Also another occasion the big snow plows block certain off-ramps. I've never been stuck but have seen others stuck.

    My Bimmer 5-series has a disabling feature for such an occurance.

    In short, TRAC is to protect the CVT? really? But your 2001 prius doesn't have TRAC no?

    Let me rephase my question:

     " Is there not a button that can temporary disable the TRAC (<1 minute) "

    Not looking to pernamently disable the system.


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You might be able to disable it by removing the ABS pump/motor fuse, or unplug the pumpmotor itself.

    On my 00 GS300 if the driven wheels slipped then the brakes were applied followed in a few hundred milliseconds by dethrottling the engine. I found that if I lifted the gas pedal the very instant Trac activated the brakes then dethrottling did not occur and then by "feathering" the gas pedal to avoid slippage I could move forward expeditously.

    Lexus said that in my particular case the dethrottling was, otherwise, to prevent over-heating of the brakes and subsequent warping of the rotors.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Toyota Sequoia has an AWD system using an open diff'l and using individual wheel(s) braking to apportion engine torque. Brake apportioned toque basically operates the same way as Trac on your FWD Prius.

    On the Sequoia when a wheel spins the brakes are applied, lightly, to that wheel to force torque to the wheel(s) with traction. If no wheels has enough traction to move forward and the driver attempts to spin the wheels to get unstuck the engine will be quickly dethrottled.

    On the Sequoia if the above condition exists for more than 45 seconds the ABS pump/motor is automatically disabled so the driver will not persist and thereby damage the brakes, rotors, or even the driveline, worse case.

    But then the Sequoia, unlike your Prius, has a backup 4WD system wherein the center diff'l is locked and Trac is disabled.

    And please remember that snowchains on a FWD vehicle can quickly become extremely hazardous.

    My answer would be to leave the Prius, or any FWD vehicle, at home in a nice safe garage if the roads outside are slippery.
  • here's the deal...I called around this morning to find out if my dealer was being truthful about the availability of Package #8 in the mid-atlantic region. Evidently it's package #8's will be in the mid-atlantic inventory. The southeastern region however, doe sell package #8. Too bad my dealership failed to mention that to me months ago when I placed my order. I could have had an order in N.C. (right over the state line) which is considered southeast. Now, I have to wait until 2005 (or so I hear) if I place a new order with the southeast region!! Aaagghhhh!! What has happened to customer service?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Traction control manages the differential, which would otherwise be open. That would mean a single wheel slipping could receive all torque.

    So the T/C basically doubles your odds of finding traction, really.

  • galootgaloot Posts: 13
    I didn't order it from a Columbia dealer. As you can probably tell, I don't trust dealers to be on the level with anyone. I wouldn't put it past them to sell a Prius to a higher bidder no matter where you are in line when they get a car. There are too many people chasing too few cars, and dealers will gouge mercilessly under those circumstances. In addition, I don't like some of what I'm hearing about the Southeast Distributor either, but, I'll be glad to tell where I got the car if and when I get it.
    Good Luck with yours.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636 sure and call Toyota corporate in the US 1-800-GO TOYOTA and tell them about your dealership experience - that they should have told you months ago they couldn't get the car/package you had put a deposit on and were basically getting ready to bait & switch you.

    Toyota needs to know what their dealers are doing. A while back in another Toyota discussion, the person did call and did get some assistance from Toyota corporate on a dealer/purchase issue.

    Good luck.
  • karkuskarkus Posts: 11
    It occurred to me that I might be getting a demo since they got me one real quick (although they said I was getting one quick because someone cancelled the order and I just happened to want that package). How do you know it's a demo? Just by the high odometer reading? Also, I would asssume they would have to disclose that it's a demo, right?

    FYI, in Colorado they sell packages 3,7, and 9. Waiting lists seem to be 3 months or more.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > But your 2001 prius doesn't have TRAC no?

    Yup, it does!

    And no, there isn't a button available on either the 2001 or 2004.

  • This is a followup to my post #1602.
    I took my car back to the dealer for the following problems:
    Gas tank- Blinker signaled for gas at 232.1 miles. I filled tank with 6.83 gallons. Second fillup occurred when blinker signaled 270 miles, and I filled with 8.something gallons. I live in L.A. The dealer told me that someone else came in with the same problem. He said Toyota told the dealers that this is a cold weather problem, and they were working on it. Folks, cold weather in L.A.? The service guy told me that while in his shirtsleeves! That's laughable. What are the folks in Minnesota, Boston and other really cold weather places experiencing? ALSO, HE WARNED THAT THE GAUGE IS AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF WHAT'S IN THE TANK--IF IT IS BLINKING, GET GAS A.S.A.P!
    Mileage-- very poor mileage. On the freeway I get 48 mpg, which is very satisfactory. However, in the city, I get 37 mpg, which is almost half the EPA estimate.
    Dealer took my car on a drive, mixture of city and freeway, and told me he was getting 45 mpg combination. He said I don't drive enough per trip to get the great mileage EPA estimates. I do short trips up and down hills, but I did the same in my 1991 Infinity G20 and got within 2 miles of the EPA estimate. Would love to hear from others on this, especially L.A. residents. I am not a happy camper!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    midnightcowboy, y'all come up to Minnesota and talk to a dealer up here. All the dealers I've talked with about the Prius in the Twin Cities have been up-front, professional, and courteous (even while some were telling me, "Sorry, but with the high demand we're selling them for MSRP."). Then you can hone your high-mpg skills on the drive back home.

    Re demos, if it has more than 10 miles I'd strongly suspect it's been used as a demo. Ask the dealer. Another possibility though is that it could have been driven from another dealer in a swap.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > in the city, I get 37 mpg

    A common problem many new owners have is that they are under the impression that conservative driving will yield high efficiency. In reality, just the opposite occurs. Accelerating slows hurts MPG.

    Brisk acceleration (quick, but not jack rabbit) provides impressive numbers.

    Also, don't be afraid to let the engine start back up just for a moment of extra thrust. That helps overall too. Since the stored electricity supply is limite, you want to get the most from it. That means using it for sustaining speed, speeding up while cruising.

    By the way, I've never seen MPG that low under normal driving conditions. That would shock me too. Mid 40's is what you should expect in the short-term. Later, your average should hover around 50 MPG.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Toyota Hybrid concept has limitations.

    1. Regenerative braking is used to recover energy that would otherwise be lost. If you are in stop and go traffic a lot this can be a BIG advantage.

    2. If it's COLD outside or you set the heater temperature fairly high the engine will be operating continously just to generate the HEAT.

    3. If you select the mode that uses engine braking then there will be less opportunity for regenerative charging of the batteries.
  • oldfoxoldfox Posts: 29
    Just want to say again that no dealers in the SE Region can order a specific car with a specific pkg (Prius, that is) They are allocated so many prius per month from the Distributor in Jacksonville. When the car comes in the customer has the opportunity to play or pass. Remember they can seel the car in a few minutes on the phone. I know this is not the case in other regions just those of us lucky enu to live in the SE Region. Having said that I wouldn't leave these beautiful mountains of Western NC for anything even a Prius.
    I was informed, when I picked up my Prius last evening, that they are not even putting ;people on the waiting/allocation list anymore - lists are too long for the number of cars they expect to receive in all of 2004.
  • I received my 2004 Prius on Nov. 30, and have driven about 300. I am very disappointed at the mileage. On the first tank (refilled at 175 miles), the car averaged 35 miles per gallon. About 90 of the first 175 miles was highway miles. The second tank has been all local driving, and after 125 miles, I am averaging just about 30 mpg. I have tried driving very conservatively, and also somewhat faster acceleration, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. It has been a little cold here in Pennsylvania, about 30 - 45 degrees, but I never expected it to affect mileage so much. I could be getting better mileage on a much less expensive Corolla!!! Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Turn off the heater and put on a good winter coat. The ICE is pretty inefficient at just being used to heat water.

    Shame they didn't make that electrically powered A/C compressor reversible.
  • harhirharhir Posts: 29
    I am not a Prius Owner but I saw an interesting article in the Dallas Morning News this weekend about the Prius.
    They stated that about 1800 new Prius are planned for deliverey in 2004 for Texas. But they also said that the current demand already exceeds this number and that most (if not all) of the local dealers do not accept any new contracts any more. They have been ordered so from Toyota Headquarters.
    And that the recent delivery times are supposed to exceed 6 months for the ones that just got ordered.

    On one side I am amazed about this demand in truck country. Economy really seem to pick up.
    On the other side the stories about the sales practices are really bad.
    I am not sure if I would to to buy one right now in regards to the behavior of Toyota and the dealers or if I would go for another vehicle like the Golf or Jetta Wagon TDI.
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