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Toyota Prius

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Comments

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,846
    That the Prius would get better mileage without the batteries; Toyota would have built it without the batteries if that were the case.

    The batteries take the strain off of the ICE, producing better mileage.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Note that I did not state that without the batteries the city MPG would be better. With stop and go traffic in the city the batteries get recharged for "free" during slowing and braking. And the "turbocharging", boost, provided by the batteries to get up and moving more quickly are also a definite asset.

    Driving at a "constant" 70MPH for 3 hours is an ICE only asset.

    IMMHO the Prius needs a switch to make the batteries off-line while cruising.
  • janjan Posts: 1
    I've had my 2004 Prius since December and have about 2000 miles on it. I live in Northern California where we've been having summer-like weather for the last few weeks. So, weather isn't the cause. I consistently get 36-38 MPG, which I consider very disappointing. That is combined fwy/city driving. I have read other places that some owners feel that the car has "taught" them to drive better.
    1) I don't ever see any difference in the mpg, based on doing anything I'm doing differently so where would someone get feedback from the car that helps them to drive better?
    2) I tried to use the manual to learn better how to operate the car but found it (in all aspects) almost impossible to follow/read. It's written by someone for whom English is not a first language and is filled with "caution" and other warnings. Has anyone had any luck in getting a manual written in American English?
    3) I'm unclear about the use of the 12v plugs. If I plug something in (i.e. a laptop) and keep it on while the car's engine is off, will I run the danger of depleting the battery?

    Would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions.
    Thanks
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    The "accelerate slowly" misconception gets most new Prius drivers. They assume driving conservatively will save gas. But in reality, that actually wastes it.

    When the light turns green, generously drop the pedal. (But don't floor it, obviously.) That "BRISK" acceleration will make a world of difference. And since it is the way many people drive anyway, you may not even have to change driving habits.

     
    The next serious problem new Prius owners encounter is tire pressure, they simply aren't aware of its importance.

    You need an absolute minimum of 35 PSI in front (33 PSI in back). Softer will kill efficiency, as well as the tires themselves.

    Increasing pressure (always with a 2 PSI bias in front) will both increase MPG and tire life. So it is very worthwhile to give it a try. My preference is 44/42.

     
    Another efficiency factor, that is quite often overlooked, is oil level. You'll discover dealers squirt way too much oil from the bulk barrel into your engine (despite that being warned that it could cause damage in the owner's manual). Some owners have even reported having almost a entire quart over the "Full" mark. MPG will suffer as a result. Have the excess drained out immediately!

    1/4" below the "Full" mark is the ideal level for the oil.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    This last one, may or may not be obvious...

    AVOID SHORT TRIPS!

    Since heat is needed for the emissions system, the engine must until heat is available. That means during the first 5 minutes of driving, the engine may not shut off.

    In other words, you don't really get to take advantage of the hybrid system unless your drive is longer.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    And these facts should be blatant...

    Wait for break-in to complete.

    Switch to synthetic oil.

    JOHN
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you get sample variance with any vehicle, some large SUV owners complain about 8-9 mpg even when EPA numbers are 13-16 or so.

    -juice
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    I'll buy that the MPG will be lower, but telling people to drive more to get better milage is counter productive.

    Driving 20,000+ miles a year (when it isn't necessary) at 50MPG is worse than driving 12,000 miles a year at 40MPG, right?
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    Hmm, I'd been interested in hybrids because I mostly do driving in town (traffic, lot of red lights).

    Plus my commute is 1.1 miles. So maybe this kind of distance isn't good for hybrid fuel efficiency?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    carguy: I don't think they meant take longer routes, just avoid driving short ones, maybe walk or bike to those close-by destinations.

    -juice
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I don't think they meant take longer routes,
    > just avoid driving short ones

    Or to COMBINE trips. Running several errands at once, rather than individually. (That will usually save time too.)

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > my commute is 1.1 miles. So maybe this kind of distance isn't
    > good for hybrid fuel efficiency?

    Yes, efficiency will suffer to the extreme in that case.

    1.1 miles is absolutely HORRIBLE on any type vehicle. The water vapor that builds up in the exhaust system never has an opportunity to get pushed out, so it ages at a very accelerated rate.

    Also, 1.1 miles is so short of a distance you really should be walking. I did for countless years, even in the dead of Minnesota winter. (Heck, when I go out for a short bike or rollerblade in the evening, I do at least 10 miles.)

    JOHN
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    > bike, or walk, etc

    Maybe you don't have families. Parents take kids to school and pick them up. You drive to sports practice. You do the middle of the night urgent care runs and then to the all night pharmacy to gets meds when kids are sick.

    If you are saying the Prius isn't a family car, that's one thing, but I don't know very many parents that get by in life without having to make short trips a good part of the time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try some other ideas - like carpooling with other kids in school, which is what we do. Or I'll drop them off on the way to work.

    Nice thing you'll find is that you end up with a lot more free time!

    I wish DC would make Rock Creek Park and Clara Barton Parkway both HOV only. Maybe allow PZEV vehicles as well (the state of VA already does this).

    More real incentives like these would get more people to conserve.

    -juice
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I don't know very many parents that get by in life without
    > having to make short trips a good part of the time.

    And I know just as many parents that are forced to run a bunch of errands all at once. What is your point?

    My point is to reduce, not eliminate. And if you absolutely positively can't, just be thankful you have such a reliable car to support you lifestyle.

    JOHN
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    > And I know just as many parents that are forced to run a bunch of errands all at once. What is your point?

    A bunch of errands all at once? Yes, but you still need to go to a bunch of places that may take short trips to get to, even if you do them consecutively.

    I car pool, but have yet to see a Prius drive by with a passenger (granted I don't see very many of them around here).
  • gmusic7gmusic7 Posts: 42
    i test drove the prius last month. entering the dealer parking lot at the end of the test drive, the front of the car sraped. What was more interesting was that just before the back tires went up the driveway, i heard scraping again. i did enter the driveway straight instead of at an angle. maybe the driveway was a little high. or is the car really low? there were 4 in the car including myself. anyone have this problem with higher driveways or with speed bumps?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > but you still need to go to a bunch of places
    > that may take short trips to get to

    A short trip is one where the engine is COLD even at the conclusion of the drive.

    Since the engine doesn't cool off right away and the fluid in the thermos remains HOT for several hours, you can shut off the car in between and it will still count as a single trip.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Either the bump was rather unusual or the car simply wasn't prepped properly (there's a lot of plastic that gets added to the car after delivery to the dealer).

    JOHN
  • gmusic7gmusic7 Posts: 42
    i test drove the prius last month. entering the dealer parking lot at the end of the test drive, the front of the car sraped. What was more interesting was that just before the back tires went up the driveway, i heard scraping again. i did enter the driveway straight instead of at an angle. maybe the driveway was a little high. or is the car really low? there were 4 in the car including myself. anyone have this problem with higher driveways or with speed bumps?
  • quasar4quasar4 Posts: 110
    I've had my 2004 Prius since December and have about 2000 miles on it. I live in Northern California where we've been having summer-like weather for the last few weeks. So, weather isn't the cause. I consistently get 36-38 MPG, which I consider very disappointing. That is combined fwy/city driving. I have read other places that some owners feel that the car has "taught" them to drive better.
    1) I don't ever see any difference in the mpg, based on doing anything I'm doing differently so where would someone get feedback from the car that helps them to drive better?
    2) I tried to use the manual to learn better how to operate the car but found it (in all aspects) almost impossible to follow/read. It's written by someone for whom English is not a first language and is filled with "caution" and other warnings. Has anyone had any luck in getting a manual written in American English?


    I agree with the comment about the owner's manual. You'd think Toyota could have "splurged" on hiring a competent native English speaker to edit the book.

    As for the lousy gas mileage, did you read the part in the manual on how to disengage the parking brake? :)
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    Hi gang,
        I've had my Prius (Driftwood #9) since Feb 6 and now have 2,356 mi on it. I've taken a some long trips in addition to local driving. My last fillup was at 2168 mi with 48.56 total gals overall. This averages 44.64 mpg. I live in the SF Bay Area where temps are very mild by some standards and I know my car is still breaking in. I can't complain at all about the mileage. I sold my '84 Corvette which got 15 city (around 10 with an energetic right foot) and 21 highway...at best. I know John1701a is the gas mileage guru and his advice has helped me greatly. Sometimes I can't squeeze much gas in during fillups whereas in other times I can fit in 8-9 gals. I don't think it's necessary to push my luck and run on fumes. The car doesn't look that easy to push... I use reasonable judgement, when I get down to 1 bar I go gas hunting. Like John said the fuel gauge is not linear so take it with a grain of salt. If I feel like putting gas in, I do. I'm very excited to have the Prius, it's a real treat to get behind the wheel every day. How ironic is it that just after I sold the Vette, gas jumps to $2.25 and I get a Prius that'll get 45 mpg?
    Today I pulled up to stop light next to an H2 (Hummer). I had to chuckle at his 9 mpg and my 45.
       Does using the "B" position hurt mpg very much? It sure saves brakes....I have 3/4 mi downhill right away and the mpg bar skyrockets!! Also is there any use for it UPHILL? As I approach the 3K odo miles, I'm considering synthetic oil. Should I change it myself or get it done by someone for warranty documentation? What is a good brand of syn oil?
    Thanks
    Rich
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    Is there some easy way to quote posts?

    Anyways, I can't always walk to work because I often go elsewhere during the day.

    You wonder though if the advantage of hybrids is city driving, what is the typical excursion in the city? Sure you might make several stops but you might be driving a mile or two, stopping for 30 minutes or so, then going another couple of miles, stopping off somewhere else for awhile and so on.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I just finishing crunching the numbers for March. With the temperature only in the 40's, I was very curious how high the efficiency would be able to climb. The average for the month calculated to 48.1 MPG. Yeah!

    That's 4.9 MPG higher than the 3-year average for my Classic Prius.

    So based on this obvious trend of improved MPG, the 2004 should easily climb into the low 50's once the warmer weather finally arrives.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Does using the "B" position hurt mpg very much?

    No, but it does put unnecessary wear on the engine. Brakes are much less expensive to replace. It's best to use "B" sparingly.

     
    > I'm considering synthetic oil. Should I change it myself or
    > get it done by someone for warranty documentation?

    No one really knows about the warranty documentation question. But we do know that damage potential exists from overfilling, and an easy way to prevent that is just doing it yourself.

     
    > What is a good brand of syn oil?

    I used Castrol Syntec in the past. It worked great. Now I'm using Mobil 1. It works great too.

    JOHN
  • m4priusm4prius Posts: 31
    I read an article on Mobil 1's performance which stated we change oil too frequently...they were using an oil analysis to determine when the oil's performance degraded to a certain level of TBN. Total Base Number (TBN) is the measurement of a lubricant’s reserve alkalinity. The higher a motor oil’s TBN, the more effective it is in handling contaminants and reducing the corrosive effects of acids for an extended period of time.
    Since the Prius engine may run at reduced time intervals...oil breakdown may be much much less and oil change intervals could be greatly increased??? It would be neat for someone to perform an oil analysis using the Prius HSD system to determine if lubrication breakdown is greatly reduced...just think if Toyota could market 15,000 to 20,000 mile oil change intervals...talk about great for the environment and reducing oil dependency!!!

    Amsoil is formulated for 25,000 mile drain interval....

    http://www.1st-in-synthetics.com/articles123.htm

    Something to think about...again it would be nice if Toyota would back with warranty, especially if you use an approved synthetic lube. Just think if they could market a oil change when you change your plugs!

    Mike
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    The dealers have us so spooked about oil changes and mostly because the service department is their big money maker and everyone thinks oil only lasts 5k miles!

    I'm on my third GM car with an oil life monitor and I've never had it dip below 10% before 8k miles. Once I even went a little over 11k ('03 Chevy Tahoe). When I took it into the dealer I had him take a look at the oil before it was drained and he said it looked spent but definitely not overly so.

    One of the things we can do to conserve is to not drain our oil before it needs it. Think of all of that semi-used oil that we have to dispose of and the crude that it takes to keep changing our oil so often.

    On the other hand, I always do the first two oil changes at 1k and 3k because of the debris from the engine when it is new.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    "I'm on my third GM car with an oil life monitor and I've never had it dip below 10% before 8k miles."

    Can you give more info on the oil life monitor?
    How does it do what it does?
    Easy to use?

    "One of the things we can do to conserve is to not drain our oil before it needs it. Think of all of that semi-used oil that we have to dispose of and the crude that it takes to keep changing our oil so often."
    Agreed.

    Thanks.

    - ss4
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I understand from reading on another board that the Prius scored very well.

    5 stars for frontal for driver 4 stars for passenger as well as side impact. These results will be published very soon on the government's website.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Results not posted yet. Do you know if those results were with or w/o the SABs and side curtains?
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