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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report

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Comments

  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    Thanks for your comments, dmays.

    >>My gas mileage has been right around 50 with combined city/highway driving. I do notice that I take it easier on the peddle and watch the screen to see how to maximize fuel economy.>>

    I would blame the driver, except for the fact that I just did the comparison road test. The only variable was the car!


    1. Cruise control that "resumes" only about 25% of the time, requires accelerating up to previous speed and re-setting. Totally defeats purpose of cruise and "resume".

    THIS IS A TOYOTA THING. MY SIENNA DOES THE SAM THING. IT SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT IT IN THE MANUAL, BUT ONCE BELOW 25 MPH, YOU HAVE TO RESET IT AGAIN. IT WILL NOT RESUME.

    I agree with what you are describing below 25 mph. Every car I've owned for the past 30 years has had cruise control that works that way below 25-30. But...on my new Prius, this happens about 75% of the time, at well above 35 mph (45, 50, 55, 65, 70).

    2. Hatch lid that requires "slamming" to get Smart Key to lock car (10 second alarm sounds if not slammed hard enough).

    AN ADJUSTMENT MAY BE NEEDED. MINE SOMETIMES LOOKS SHUT, BUT WHEN YOU PULL ON IT, IT IS NOT FULLY SHUT. I CAN USUALLY GET IT TO SHUT WITH A THUD.

    Again, in the dealer's parking lot, the sale rep pulled up on the hatch lid himself, and both times, it WAS shut. I figured out the "slam it shut" solution after I got the car home. I was out there at midnight, trying to get the car locked for the night, and stumbled across the fix, probably because bey then I was so frustrated, I just slammed it!

    3. When stopped at light, intermittent "jerking" forward. Gas engine stays running many times at full stop.

    MINE JERKS, BUT WATCHING THE READ OUT, IT APPEARS THAT IT IS ENGINE TURNING OFF.

    It never jerks when the engine is off, or starting up. My concern is that the engine is still running at a full stop (= poorer mpg in the city), and that is when the car lurches forward. Poor mpg and a safety issue I would think!

    4. A/C never stops running, even when on Auto and temperature is set quite high (70-71 degrees). The only way to get thermostatic control is to set interior temp at 75-76 degrees or higher. Sorta defeats the purpose of A/C.

    THIS IS ANOTHER UNIQUE THING I HAVE NOTICED. YOU HAVE AUTO CLIMATE CONTROL REGARDLESS IF THE AC IS ON (CLIMATE BUTTON ON DASH AND THEN THE AC IS LIT GREEN ON THE SCREEN). EVEN IF YOU TURN THE AC OFF (GREEN LIGHT OFF), IT WILL STILL LOOK LIKE THE AC IS ON VIA THE DASHBOARD. ODD. MY ACURA HAD A SIMILAR THING. WHEN YOU TURN THE AC OFF BUT THE DASH LIGHT REMAINS LIT, THE SYSTEM IS IN AUTO MODE AND WILL TURN UP OR DOWN THE FAN BASED ON THE TEMP THAT IT IS SET TOO. IF YOU CHANGE THE FAN SPEED DIRECTLY, THE AC LIGHT ON THE DASH WILL GO OUT.

    I'll have a look at the screen next time in the car. Every car I've owned before with auto A/C, you set the temp at something reasonable (70 seems reasonable here in NC) and when the interior temp gets down to 70, the fans slows down, and the system maintains the desired temp. The only way I can get this A/C to do that is to set the temp to at least 75 degrees. That is ridiculous. My house is set at 70, I should be able to drive in my new car at 70 degrees too! My lady friend has a 2006 Avalon, and her A/C shuts down at the desired temp and she sets hers to 68. So...it's not a "Toyota thing" if they can get it right in the Camry and Avalons.

    5. Steering wheel is about 25% off to the right when driving in a straight line.

    YEP MINE TOO.

    I'd say they have a QC problem then.

    6. Battery has yet to ever be "full" even after long drive. Highest charge seems to be about 75%.

    NEVER GOTTEN MINE TO FULL CHARGE EITHER. FIGURE I WILL WHEN I CRUISE THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY DOWNHILL.

    LOL

    9. I'm presuming this is an intentional design feature, but having the low beams only light up to a height of about 3 feet is dangerous, IMHO. Last night, I just about ran over a kid on a bicycle, riding along the side of the street. Shouldn't have to drive with brights on in town, just to be safe.

    WEIRD. THE HIDS HAVE TO BE SET TO SPEC AND IF YOU ARE NEW TO THEM, THEY TAKE A BIT TO GET USE TO. YOU WILL SEE A LINE WHERE THEY ILLUMINATE AND THEN THEY DON'T. TRY DRIVING WITH YOUR FOGS ON. THEY WILL HELP. YOU CAN HAVE THE DEALER OR A LOCAL GARAGE CHECK THEM FOR YOU. SIMPLE TO ADJUST. BEWARE THAT IF YOU CHANGE THEM, AND YOU GET BRIGHTED BY CARS IN THE OPPOSITE LANE, YOU'VE SET THEM TOO HIGH!!

    I suppose I'll get used to them!

    Thanks again.
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    >>Return the car. You got a lemon!
    Call them to make sure they don't sell the Buick before you get there.>>

    stevegold,

    They've already sold it! Why not - it was in great shape, fully loaded, well-maintained, and got pretty good mpg!!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You have some concerns certainly and I also think that you were not given a proper delivery by the sales staff. Disclaimer, I sell them ( probably the first one in our region back in 2000 ) and I've been driving my own now ( in NC ) for the last 18 mo's for 45000+ miles.

    Friend has 2007 Prius, 6 months old, averages 52.5 mpg, has never had any problem with car, only service has been oil changes.

    This afternoon, I drove his car and my new car on the same route, same time of day, same weather conditions, same speeds, same driver. His car? 48.7 mpg, my car? 32.3 mpg. Really big Hmmmmmm...


    Your friend's values are almost exactly my own ( 52 mpg on the flat OBX and Hampton Roads VA region ). The difference you note between the two vehicles is unusual since I've driven about 300+ over the last 6 year and they are amazingly accurate from vehicle to vehicle IMO. There could be a setting wrong. It should be looked at. Do I understand that you're in western NC?

    Also, so far my 2 day old car has:

    1. Cruise control that "resumes" only about 25% of the time, requires accelerating up to previous speed and re-setting. Totally defeats purpose of cruise and "resume".


    This is intentional on all Toyota's. There is a 25 mph window below your set speed. When you brake and slow outside this window the system is still on it just loses the memory of your setting. I surmise that the reason is safety. If you had set it at 75 and slowed to 5 then hit resume ( by accident? ) the vehicle could go rocketing off up to 75.

    2. Hatch lid that requires "slamming" to get Smart Key to lock car (10 second alarm sounds if not slammed hard enough).

    I've never experienced this. A firm closing is needed but not a slam. By locking do you mean 'catching' rather than being ajar? BTW the SKS will not lock it until you've pressed the black button on the outside. Hope this helps.

    3. When stopped at light, intermittent "jerking" forward. Gas engine stays running many times at full stop.

    Yes occasionally the vehicle will shudder just after stopping. The design of the system is that the gas engine turns on and off depending on the relative charge on the battery. The master computer is always checking to see if the battery needs a boost. The ICE will run almost continuously for the first 5-7 min as it brings the cat converter and fluids up to operating temp. In winter it runs more often to heat the cabin as well. This is a key reason for lesser fuel economy in winter. It doesn't shut off as frequently.

    4. A/C never stops running, even when on Auto and temperature is set quite high (70-71 degrees). The only way to get thermostatic control is to set interior temp at 75-76 degrees or higher. Sorta defeats the purpose of A/C.

    Yes and No on this one. 70-71 is freezing for me so I've normally got it set at 75 or higher. When it's 90+ like now 75 is frigid and I've got to move it up to 78. You can turn off the Auto AC on the steering wheel or manually on the screen. I just move the temp up and down to do it. This is also a design of all Toyota's with auto climate control.

    5. Steering wheel is about 25% off to the right when driving in a straight line.

    It's an alignment that's needed.

    6. Battery has yet to ever be "full" even after long drive. Highest charge seems to be about 75%.

    Again this is a failure of the sales staff to explain how the HSD works. You should never reach 'full' charge and you should never be below abt 30%. This is how the HSD protects the NiMH batteries from wearing out. They just cycle back and forth between 40-80% of charge. It's how it should work.

    7. Many times, gas engine runs when in reverse. Owner's manual (yes, I read them front-to-back!) says on page 10 that "When starting or backing up, etc., the vehicle runs on electric power from hybrid battery...". Not this one!

    This goes to the question of the relative charge on the battery as noted above. It has nothing to do with driving the vehicle. Again a lack of information given to you.

    8. Car is very noisy on the road. Lots of wind noise, and sounds like grinding brakes on an old jalopy while driving down the street.

    I haven't noticed any wind noise but the tires are very very noisy on the road. The Goodyears that are OEM's are very run of the mill and are found on most Corolla's, Civics and other small/medium autos. Most owners drop them at the first opportunity. ;) Wait until you over inflate them like many do to 42/40 psi then it's like running on wooden wheels. But it does help your FE a little.

    9. I'm presuming this is an intentional design feature, but having the low beams only light up to a height of about 3 feet is dangerous, IMHO. Last night, I just about ran over a kid on a bicycle, riding along the side of the street. Shouldn't have to drive with brights on in town, just to be safe.

    With the HID's you have I think that you're correct.

    Called dealership this afternoon after the road test comparison with friend's car, and explained displeasure. His comment was "Hmmm...we have never had a complaint about a Prius before. Bring it back here and we'll take a look". Another 7-8 hour drive, plus sitting around dealership experience. Hotel stay too???

    Reasons for buying the Prius? Mileage (ha, ha), quality of build (double ha, ha), peace of mind and reliability (not so far!) of brand new car.


    If we lived closer I'd like to help but the store was right some of those things should be looked at. There are no other Toyota stores closer than 7 hours from you? There's 5 within 90 min of us on the OBX and 10 more within 3 hours...and I live 3 miles out in the middle of the Atlantic :surprise: :shades: literally
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Hope I can keep my information short here.

    #3. Vehicle wants to move and engine wants to run when stopped.

    a. The brake lamp switch may need adjusting. It senses when you want to "not move" and "pauses" the system. If you release the brake very slowly, you should see the electric "automatic creep simulation" begin - that is, you see energy on the arrows start to flow from the battery to the electric motor. If this happens when you are stopped with your foot on the brake the switch may be out of adjustment. You should be able to shut this "creep" off with the brake pedal. Try pressing a little harder once you are stopped. It's a two-stage master cylinder, first using regenerative braking, then switching to hydraulic. It has a little more travel than most people are used to.

    b. The engine (ICE) will run to keep itself and the cat warm, and sometimes to build up the state of charge (SOC).

    4. Climate control seems to run all the time.

    Be aware this is an electric A/C pump and is variable speed. It will try to run more than a mechanical one for efficiency reasons. Even though it seems to run too much it doesn't use a lot of energy. Also, cabin air is used to cool the "traction battery", so it's a good idea to keep the cabin at a reasonable temperature. Now if the temperature seems to be out of control, then you have a complaint.

    6. Battery state of charge (SOC) indication is actually 80% charged with all bars lit (green), and 40% charged with no bars lit (last few are red). Mine usually stays blue, with three empty bars at the top, but can vary. So far (just over a week) I've seen it down to 1/2 (still blue) and last night it got to only one bar not lit and green. The system is programmed to keep the SOC "in the middle" to leave some room in case you brake a lot or descend a long hill. It is also programmed to not allow the SOC to vary too much. This extends the life of the battery.

    8. Car is noisy on the road.

    Mine is quite quiet. I'm running 40 PSI front, 38 PSI rear. There have been a few reports of brakes out of adjustment (rear). Also, maybe your rear hatch IS out of adjustment, because I get almost no wind noise unless I open a window.
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    Thanks for your comments.

    You have some concerns certainly and I also think that you were not given a proper delivery by the sales staff.

    Quite possible. Bought and paid for the car over the phone since they were so hard to find in the #6 package and color I wanted. Sales rep met me the first time when I drove to Raleigh to pick up the car the next day. I was out of there in an hour, spent most of my time with the finance/warranty guy. I just wanted to write them a check and spend more time getting advice, but they seemed to be very much "production line".

    There could be a setting wrong. It should be looked at. Do I understand that you're in western NC?

    I hope they can find the setting that needs to be changed! Not western NC - west of Charlotte. The 7-8 hour drive is total drive time there and back to get them to look at it.

    Also, so far my 2 day old car has:

    1. Cruise control that "resumes" only about 25% of the time, requires accelerating up to previous speed and re-setting. Totally defeats purpose of cruise and "resume".

    This is intentional on all Toyota's. There is a 25 mph window below your set speed. When you brake and slow outside this window the system is still on it just loses the memory of your setting. I surmise that the reason is safety. If you had set it at 75 and slowed to 5 then hit resume ( by accident? ) the vehicle could go rocketing off up to 75.

    As I have said to previous posters, I understand the need for the memory to cancel below a certain level. In this case, it is at higher speeds than the minimum, and it will not resume even if the speed has dropped by only 3-4 mph. In other words, the cruise is set at, say 55 mph, I put the brakes on which cuts off the cruise, I then push the lever up to "resume" at 53 mph, and it will not resume. These parameters are well within the normal operation of the cruise control on any car. It's just that THIS car doesn't respond properly.

    2. Hatch lid that requires "slamming" to get Smart Key to lock car (10 second alarm sounds if not slammed hard enough).

    I've never experienced this. A firm closing is needed but not a slam. By locking do you mean 'catching' rather than being ajar? BTW the SKS will not lock it until you've pressed the black button on the outside. Hope this helps.

    I'll try to describe the problem better: I get out of the car with the SKS fob in my pocket, I shut the driver's door, walk to the back of the car, lift the lid to get something out of the back, close the lid to the point that pulling up on it confirms that it is closed. At that point, I press the black button to lock all of the doors, and the 10 second alarm sounds, indicating that "one of the doors is open", and the car cannot be locked. The fix is to reopen the lid, and really slam it down. At that point, the lid is closed and I can lock the car with the black button. That part of the system works fine, the problem is that you shouldn't have to slam the lid down with both hands on a new car to get the system to "see" that the lid is actually closed.


    4. A/C never stops running, even when on Auto and temperature is set quite high (70-71 degrees). The only way to get thermostatic control is to set interior temp at 75-76 degrees or higher. Sorta defeats the purpose of A/C.

    Yes and No on this one. 70-71 is freezing for me so I've normally got it set at 75 or higher. When it's 90+ like now 75 is frigid and I've got to move it up to 78. You can turn off the Auto AC on the steering wheel or manually on the screen. I just move the temp up and down to do it. This is also a design of all Toyota's with auto climate control.

    I guess my point is that the purpose of auto control is to allow the driver to set the interior temp at a certain level and then ignore it. If the temp goes up, the system kicks in, when the temp is at the desired level, the system cuts off. Mine, on auto, operates the same way as it does on manual. It does not automatically monitor and operate. I can get the fan to slow down by taking the auto off and doing it manually. But...I paid for auto A/C, and I think I'm justified in wanting auto A/C in return. If I wanted to operate it manually, why have an auto feature?


    6. Battery has yet to ever be "full" even after long drive. Highest charge seems to be about 75%.

    Again this is a failure of the sales staff to explain how the HSD works. You should never reach 'full' charge and you should never be below abt 30%. This is how the HSD protects the NiMH batteries from wearing out. They just cycle back and forth between 40-80% of charge. It's how it should work.

    Thanks for the advice. My concern was that the battery indicator very quickly drops to one bar after I start driving. The one thing the sales rep made sure I understood (told me 3 times, and asked each time if I understood - thought I was going to have to sign an affidavit to that effect!) was that I had to be very careful to not deplete the batteries, as it was a $5000 fix, not covered by the warranty or the extended warranty. So...I'm watching the indicator carefully, and notice that the batteries deplete rapidly while underway. My understanding of the system is that it charges while driving, either through braking or the gas engine kicking in. This does not seem to happen. At most, I get three bars after driving for an hour or so.


    8. Car is very noisy on the road. Lots of wind noise, and sounds like grinding brakes on an old jalopy while driving down the street.

    I haven't noticed any wind noise but the tires are very very noisy on the road. The Goodyears that are OEM's are very run of the mill and are found on most Corolla's, Civics and other small/medium autos. Most owners drop them at the first opportunity. Wait until you over inflate them like many do to 42/40 psi then it's like running on wooden wheels. But it does help your FE a little.

    There is significant tire noise, but there is also a noise like "grinding brakes" while I'm driving. By the way, speaking of tires, do you really have to take the car to a Toyota dealer to get new tires? The owner's manual is quite specific about this, due to the tire pressure sensors.

    Called dealership this afternoon after the road test comparison with friend's car, and explained displeasure. His comment was "Hmmm...we have never had a complaint about a Prius before. Bring it back here and we'll take a look". Another 7-8 hour drive, plus sitting around dealership experience. Hotel stay too???

    If we lived closer I'd like to help but the store was right some of those things should be looked at. There are no other Toyota stores closer than 7 hours from you?

    There are 4 in the Charlotte area, and one in the town I live in (with a very poor reputation for both sales and service), with three more withi
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    I won't get into all your points here except to note...

    First, MPG -- sorry, but I gotta ask since no one else has: are you absolutely sure that you're not accidentally putting the car in "B" with the transmission? Of course you're not, sorry I mentioned it. As with most folks, now that the weather has warmed, we're getting in the low 50s.

    #1, I noticed this as well on our recent, first road trip and concluded that if you brake at any point during your "cancel" of cruise control you've killed your previous setting; however, if you release your cruise control and coast, then hit "resume" you will, in fact, resume. I've never had a car since the implementation of cruise control (Accord, Grand Cherokee, Volvo, Civic, Prius) that resumed below 25mph.

    #2, Smart Key is great -- it went from the "I don't really care" package item to "I gotta have this on every car I get in the future". There's obviously something that needs adjustment in yours.

    #4, Have you owned another vehicle with modern climate control? Just because the AC light is on doesn't mean the compressor is running. Besides, unlike most cars it doesn't draw power directly from the ICE when it does run, as it does on the previous generation of Prius.

    #7, An excellent article how about what happens and when with the engine(s):

    http://prius.ecrostech.com/original/Understanding/WhatsGoingOnAsIDrive.htm

    #8, Again, you've got problems. Ours is as quiet as our Volvo sedan -- which is church-like.

    Good luck with resolving your issues. As far as I'm concerned we'd have two Priuses if it didn't snow 240 inches a year where live.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Please explain how to preserve the cruise control speed setting when slowing down? How do you "release" the cruise control without braking? I loose my setting almost all the time because I usually do step on the brake pedal to come to a stop.

    Your explanation of the battery charge indicator was excellent.
    Just drive normally and it takes care of itself. Even when full (green bars) the battery represents less than 5 minutes of driving. Except when in reverse, almost all the power comes from the ICE. The battery is there to provide a quick, big power boost, to pull away from a traffic light, enter a highway, pass another car on the highway, climb a short hill etc. I think it works perfectly (as designed) except on a very long, straight, steep climb when the battery boost simply runs out. The ICE will then do the job alone but your speed is limited to 60-65mph. A bigger battery would take up more space and cost too much to drag around the other 98% of the time. I think they got it just right for 98% of the drivers. (A turbo would help with this problem without a big penalty when not needed.)
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    First, MPG -- sorry, but I gotta ask since no one else has: are you absolutely sure that you're not accidentally putting the car in "B" with the transmission? Of course you're not, sorry I mentioned it. As with most folks, now that the weather has warmed, we're getting in the low 50s.

    LOL, yes, I'm sure I have it in "D". I actually check that every time, since I'm sure in "B" there is some degradation of mpg.

    #1, I noticed this as well on our recent, first road trip and concluded that if you brake at any point during your "cancel" of cruise control you've killed your previous setting; however, if you release your cruise control and coast, then hit "resume" you will, in fact, resume. I've never had a car since the implementation of cruise control (Accord, Grand Cherokee, Volvo, Civic, Prius) that resumed below 25mph.

    There's "cancel" and there's "resume". I've had cruise control in every car since 1970, and they all operate the same way, regardless of manufacturer, except this particular car.

    #2, Smart Key is great -- it went from the "I don't really care" package item to "I gotta have this on every car I get in the future". There's obviously something that needs adjustment in yours.

    It is nice, and I like it a lot. The problem actually seems to be with the hatch lid. Perhaps there is a sensor that needs to be adjusted.

    #4, Have you owned another vehicle with modern climate control? Just because the AC light is on doesn't mean the compressor is running. Besides, unlike most cars it doesn't draw power directly from the ICE when it does run, as it does on the previous generation of Prius.

    Like cruise control, every car I have owned since the mid-70's has had "modern" A/C with the auto feature. Again, I don't believe after thirty years, and at least 15 cars with this feature, I have suddenly forgotten how to use it. :>)) It is something with just this car.

    I'm convinced that I just got a lemon car. Too many gremlins with features that should be no-brainers, and features with which I am very familiar. The real acid test came with the "road test comparison" with my friend's Prius where the only variable was the car. I used to be a test pilot, so I am very familiar with using and maintaining parameters in a situation, and keeping very good records of performance against those criteria.

    The unfortunate part of this is that Toyota is selling the Prius as fast as they can build them, so giving Prius customers satisfaction is probably way down on their list.

    Yesterday, the local Toyota dealer offered to take my 315 mile Prius, fully loaded, in trade for a demo Camry hybrid without the Nav package, and cloth seats. They only wanted my $31K Prius and almost $3000. Very nice of them! Pretty expensive three days of driving!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    To release the cruise control without loosing the setting just pull up on the cruise stalk. It "cancels" cruise gracefully, without loosing the setting. Toyota cruise systems have always reset to no set speed if you press the brake first. Safety item. You are in a "panic" situation so cruise should be fully canceled.

    The dealer who told you that fully discharging the battery and damaging it needs to be better informed. The "traction battery" has a 100,000 mi replacement warranty (more in some states). NO MATTER WHAT! This is because you can not control the charge/discharge of that battery. You can influence it somewhat, but you really can't control it. Now, if you start modifying the system the warranty may be voided. Perhaps the dealer was talking about the 12V battery and wasn't clear enough about that - but it's "only" $250 to replace.

    I just occurred to me, you -are- turning off the system when you park, aren't you? The sequence goes:
    1. Park the car.

    2. With foot on brake pedal, press down the e-brake pedal. You should see the parking brake symbol light up on the dash.

    3. Press the "P" button to place the HSD system in "park". You should see the transmission select indicator go to "P".

    4. Press the "On/Off" button on the dash. All lights on the dash should extinguish. Transmission select indicator is usually last to go out. Eventually the red light will begin flashing to indicate the immobilizer is functioning. This may not happen if the FOB is in the car. Also, if the FOB is seen by the car (inside only I think) the two green LEDs on the FOB slot in the dash will be illuminated.

    All interior lights MUST go out after about 30 sec. This is very important. If they do not go out you could fully discharge the 12V battery overnight. You would then be unable to start the car, as it is necessary to power up the electronics.
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    To release the cruise control without loosing the setting just pull up on the cruise stalk. It "cancels" cruise gracefully, without loosing the setting. Toyota cruise systems have always reset to no set speed if you press the brake first. Safety item. You are in a "panic" situation so cruise should be fully canceled.

    I would like the cruise control to work as it should i.e. set the cruise at 55 mph, put the brakes on to slow for traffic, slow down to 53 mph, push the wand up to "resume", and have the cruise automatically bring the speed back up to 55. That is how it is supposed to work, and I don't think it's asking too much to have it work properly in a car three days old.

    I just occurred to me, you -are- turning off the system when you park, aren't you? The sequence goes:
    1. Park the car.

    2. With foot on brake pedal, press down the e-brake pedal. You should see the parking brake symbol light up on the dash.

    3. Press the "P" button to place the HSD system in "park". You should see the transmission select indicator go to "P".

    4. Press the "On/Off" button on the dash. All interior lights MUST go out after about 30 sec. This is very important. If they do not go out you could fully discharge the 12V battery overnight. You would then be unable to start the car, as it is necessary to power up the electronics.

    Yes, I am putting the car in "park" with the "P" button, all lights go off. The owner's manual (I always read them cover to cover) states on page 13 "When parking, be sure to put the hybrid transaxle in "P"...". The issue is not with the 12V battery, it is that the big batteries discharge after I start driving. Nothing to do with powering up the electronics.

    Appreciate your comments!
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    I appreciate everyone's comments about the problems with my new Prius. I'm sure that most of the problems can be resolved in the service department (ticks me off that I already have to have the car in for service after only three days old...).

    However, the primary reason I bought this Prius was to achieve the mpg figures quoted by friends who already own one. The "leadfoot" of that group gets only an average mpg of 48.7, while the rest enjoy 51+ mpg. I am getting 34.5 as of this morning, but when i drive my friend's Prius, I can easily get 48-49.

    The car I traded was a beautiful ride (better than the Prius in many ways)and got 31-32 mpg. There was no need to switch to a new car, other than the mpg increase and to a great extent, the "green" aspect of the hybrid.

    So...putting all of the other service/malfunction issues to one side for now, does anyone on this list have personal knowledge of purchasing a Prius that did not achieve very good mileage, but the service people were able to do something to the car to get the mpg up where it should be? I would feel a lot better about getting a lemon in other aspects, if I could at least get the great mileage everyone else attests to. Please, someone, give me hope!!

    Thanks.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    2).. Hatch

    I just went out and tried to duplicate your explanation and found it happened as well. I opened the hatch and just let it drop closed with no pressure...then tried to lock it. It's the same as you described. The I opened it and gave it a little push with two fingers and it closed tight.

    It doesn't have an electronic lock like the 4Runner hatch or GM trunks ( Buick? ). It's a mechanical lock.

    4 Auto climate..

    Again I think this is a characdteristic of Toyota's systems. When the temp becomes comfortable I just turn down the fan manually say the 2nd setting and it just keeps the air flowing.

    6 Battery.

    Yes they were smart to warn you about driving just on the traction battery alone. However it's very hard to do this. Very hard. Just about the only way you can do it is by running your gas tank to dry - then running on battery/electric alone. If there is a risk of running on battery only you'll know about it right away. All the warning lights come on like it was Christmas and the vehicle goes to reduced power.

    Having only 3 bars after an hour's driving is very very weird. It does fluctuate up and down but normally after 30 min or so I've got 7-8 bars.

    The batteries charge 3 ways actually.
    ..Regen braking; ( the little Prius icons on the screen )
    ..the ICE splits its output while cruising, half the output going to drive the wheels and half going to charge the battery
    ..when you let your foot off the pedal you'll see the arrows go to GREEN and reverse from the wheels through the motor/generator to charge the battery. The front wheels are capturing the stored kinetic energy of the vehicle as it decelerates driving the generator.

    Tires...

    No you don't have to take your vehicle to a Toyota store to have the tires changed. However you should go to a knowledgeable place that understands the new technology in the tire sensors. One area that is a problem is changing the wheels. From our experience the new rims never seat the sensors as well as the OEM rims. This sets off the warning lights all the time. The tires themselves shouldn't matter.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ..try these.

    1) don't crawl up to speed from a dead stop trying to conserve gas by driving on the e-motor. This uses a lot of battery power and keeps the relative charge low. Accelerate normally, even quickly, up to the legal speed or speed of traffic and then let up. ( No one ever gets off a stop light faster than I do in this Prius ).

    When up to cruising speed let off the pedal and glide. If you are below 41 mph you will induce the ICE to turn off completely. If you are at 41 mph and faster the ICE will go to 'idle' at about 950 rpms.

    When cruising keep a light constant 'feathery' touch on the pedal to maintain speed.

    Anticipate. This is a huge benefit because when you can see that you have to slow down or stop up ahead letting off the pedal as early as possible turns the ICE off and you glide not using any fuel....sometimes for a loooonnngg time.

    Avoid short trips if possible. This is the single biggest killer of FE other than towing something. You can lose up to 20% of your 'normal' fuel economy if your trips are less than 10 min long.
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    Bob (kdhspyder),

    Thanks for all of the advice. I'll try some of your techniques, especially on the pulling away from a light bit. Guess I'll have to be sure that no one beats me away either!

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm sure a lot of the problems with my car can be addressed at the service dept. However, I'm not very hopeful that I can gain 20 mpg more by slightly altering my driving style in town. But, I'll give it the old college try!

    I really like the car in most respects, but I HAVE to see somewhere closer to other folks in the mileage department before I'll be a happy camper.

    Thanks again.

    John
  • malaanmalaan Posts: 15
    excellent tips, tried and tested and oh so very true....

    I just got back from a road trip to Norman OK. I averaged 53mpg for the entire trip there and back, nearly 700 miles.

    Some points....

    1. Cruise control.... seems to be very efficient at maintaining road speed, however at the cost of mpg.. It did not seem to drop tone on the CVT. I flipped it of and was able to maintain road-speed 70mph quite comfortably... again it is a feather touch on the "gas" that is needed.

    2. Seats.... quite comfotable, but had to readjust posture several times... (I think it's called numb bum syndrome).

    3. Navigation system.... seems very accurate, found everywhere I wanted to go (just remember to changed the map zone, if going out of your current map zone).

    4. Audio System... 6 disc changer fantastic.... I stuffed mine with MP3's on CD....

    5. A/C.... again excellent job at getting the cooling done.... but after a while had to make a manual adjustment, just so I didn't feel I was in a freezer..... It does get very cold...

    All in all a good trip... first real long one out of town...

    I would thoroughly recommend taking a long trip to anyone.. you will be pleasently suprised.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Why do you need to manually change the map zone? Most modern nav systems will route you cross country without manual intervention to set "zones" for it.
    Do you need to replace discs when you drive across the border of a zone or something?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No it's different 'tracks' on the DVD.

    The Toyota/Lexus ( and maybe Honda/Acura ) system divides N America into different geographical zones. The vehicle will always be triangulated but if you want addresses then you have to choose the zone where that address is located.

    There's a Van Ness Ave in San Francisco and one in Pompton Lakes, NJ. In choosing a destination I always suggest going from the 'macro' to the 'micro'. Start with the Zone, Enter City, Enter Street, Enter Number.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Maybe they can make it smarter in the future. It should be give you addresses within a certain range of your location since it knows your location anyway.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,906
    I think you have a brake problem. It sounds like a defective caliper or a brake pad that is dragging. That would cause poor mileage and extra noise on the highway.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    People expect the world on a stick when they get a Toyota, neverless a Prius.

    I think you and the car will definitely need more than 3 days to get on the same page. I thought you had the car a couple of months the way you were carrying on. :confuse:

    Maybe some conversations with your friends who have mastered a Prius would be in order, before damning the machine as inferior to your last ride.

    It's not a light switch. You will have to be more lenient to get big numbers. It may take a couple of weeks, but you will find it's "Happy Places", and will drive accordingly.

    So Love it, and it will love you back. Just ask someone who owns one! Good luck. ;)

    DrFill
  • jeg607jeg607 Posts: 10
    drfill,

    Thanks for your comments.


    I think you and the car will definitely need more than 3 days to get on the same page. I thought you had the car a couple of months the way you were carrying on.

    Not sure if you have had a chance to read all of my posts, but my original post concerned a number of defects that should not arise in a car one day old. Any car manufacturer (even Toyota) can have a bad day and produce a lemon or two. I was trying to find out from other Prius owners if they had similar problems, or if it could be operator error. I do not think that my expectations were too high. It is not too much to ask for a good quality vehicle in return for writing a check for said vehicle. I think it's called good faith. Indeed, if I HAD owned the car a few months, I could probably expect a few service problems, but in a brand new car??

    Also, the last thing I wanted to do was blame the manufacturer for what could be operator error/inexperience, so I went to the pool of owners. Many gave me good ideas and advice about the differences between the Prius and other vehicles.


    Maybe some conversations with your friends who have mastered a Prius would be in order, before damning the machine as inferior to your last ride.

    Again, following ALL of my posts would reveal that I have had many conversations with many Prius owners, both prior to, and after buying mine. Their experiences were much more pleasant than mine, from a quality of build (NO service problems in up to 18 months) to high mpg right from the beginning (even allowing for a learning curve with the new technology).

    It's not a light switch. You will have to be more lenient to get big numbers. It may take a couple of weeks, but you will find it's "Happy Places", and will drive accordingly.

    I agree that it is not a light switch. But...(and herein lies the problem), as far as my most important reason for making the switch to the Prius (high mpg), in one of my previous posts, I related that I did a "road test comparison" with a friend's Prius specifically to determine if it was ME and not the car. Identical conditions with the only variable being the car I was driving, mine vs. my friend's. While I would probably be able to improve the mpg in his car even further with more experience and driver seat time, I was able to instantly go from 32-34 mpg in my new car to 48+ mpg in his Prius. It didn't take a couple of weeks, actually a couple of minutes to get out of my car and into his! He routinely gets 52+ average, and I would hope that, with more experience with the technology, I could get over 50 mpg in HIS car too.

    Today, I'm going to do a reverse test, something I had not considered earlier. I'm going to repeat the road test comparison, but HE will be driving MY car. I really, really hope he can instantly achieve close to 50 mpg with my car, since he has been driving his for over 6 months. I want the problem to be my inexperience with the technology.

    So, drfill, I hope that you can see that I am trying my best to give credit to Toyota and the Prius and take as much of the blame myself for the service problems and the poor mpg. The last thing I want to do is admit that I made a mistake getting this car. In fact in post #321, I asked anyone to give me hope that I made a good decision. Cross your fingers for me, please!

    Thanks again for your comments.
  • subjectivesubjective Posts: 62
    It is common for Toyota dealers to overfill oil in this engine because of the odd capacity and carelessness. They do this on my Scion xb which uses the same ice which reduces my mpg 2-3 mpg. I have confirmed this at least four times and have to take it back to drain some oil out so to not have an overfill condition. In fact this happened to me today! I hope this might help someone. Always check the oil after a change and when you purchase it new.
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    Revenge for those gouged with sticker premium on their Prius. Our dealer, recognized as the big-boy in Denver and the Rockies with a negative reputation with other dealers as far away as Albuqueque for poaching inventory, were disagreeable to the point where we almost chose the Civic hybrid over the Pruis just because of their poor "human factors engineering"...

    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/06/25/toyota-set-to-rectify-the-poor-dealer-experience/
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A reporter would like to talk to Toyota Prius owners who purchased the vehicle with the environment in mind. Please respond to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than June 29, 2007 with your daytime contact information

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • markneupsmarkneups Posts: 2
    Last Aug. we purchased our fully loaded Camry Hybrid.This car is by far the best auto we have ever owned. Everything about this car is top quality and the mpg is fantastic. We drove 1200 miles to Florida--Filled up before we left and once on the way--that was it until the return home. 75-80 all the way--can't beat that. We have been so happy with the Camry Hybrid we traded in the wifes all wheel drive Ford Freestyle limited and bought a Prius--LOVE IT--would you believe that it has as much room for cargo as the Ford--well not quite--but close. 14 mpg with the Ford and 42 mpg "so far" with the Prius. When is the American public going to wake up and understand that true mpg is not HIGHWAY in total. Most people drive CITY. The American auto indrustry is giving the public a bum steer and people are buying it so far---come on people THINK---what are you going to do with your new Ford,Chevy or Chrysler that gets 15 mpg "yes that is true mpg--"when the price of petro goes up to $4-5 per gal. I think you can tell I'm sold or Hybrids. Buy one you won't be sorry
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, it's been five weeks. No "problems", no "hiccups", just fun with a Prius. I got a Canadian pkg "B" - everything but nav. and backup camera (leather not offered in Canada). So far I'm just over 4000 km. Took the car to the coast for a few weeks, and took the route over highway 99 in BC. The Prius handled the "Duffey Lake" portion without any problems. I was impressed. This section of road is very rugged, with 18% grades and 10 km/hr corners. The Prius never ran out of power, cornered well, and even handled the rough pavement well.

    Oh, and the trip cost me 1/3 as much as the anti-Prius (my previous 2001 Pathfinder). I'm currently at an overall average of 4.9 l/100 km, or 56 MPG imperial, or 48 MPG US. I don't pulse and glide, I just drive, carefully, at or slightly above the speed limit.

    What really sold me on the Prius was the efficient body design. I carried just as much stuff as I used to with the Pathfinder. The Prius has a little less room, but it's more adaptable, and easier to reconfigure the space.

    Love the "Smart Key System", the built in Bluetooth, and the technology in the car. I added my amateur radio, and will probably add a Garmin Nuvi 650 soon.

    I really love the nimbleness of this car - coming home from the airport in Edmonton, there was a serious accident just inside the city. Main road in was blocked, and I was in the third lane from the right (of five). I was able to turn right in one car length, squeeze through the cars to the curb lane and turn right off the blocked road to take another route. Couldn't do that with the Pathfinder!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Has anyone come up with a good fix since the seat height and angle are not adjustable?

    Maybe something like a wedge shaped cushion on the seat bottom?

    image

    image

    Then I suppose you could get a forearm/elbow pad to provide comfort and protection from the concrete-hard center armrest that will otherwise leave you sore and bruised on an extended road trip.
    image

    Maybe a sheepskin cover would be enough padding for the center armrest, but it looks like it would get filthy pretty fast.

    image
  • oldsargoldsarg Posts: 21
    I've had my Prius less than 2 months and have driven it about 2200 miles. I drove about 180 miles to a job site early one morning when the temperature was about 72 degrees and the humidity about 90%. For the first 100 miles I had the air conditioner on and was getting about 50 MPG driving at 65 mph. I filled up with gas and turned the air conditioning off for the rest of the trip. When I got off the interstate for the last 20 miles, I was careful to coast as much as possible. The gas mileage jumped to 58 MPG! I really see this as a problem for those that are trying to get as much gas mileage as possible. I have noticed that Prius owners are generally in the right lane doing less than than the posted speed limit. This is a serious problem as truckers generally try to pass them. If in heavy traffic, this causes serious bottle-necks. I suggest that all Prius owners consider driving normal speeds except when there is not much traffic on the road.

    I have to take issue with Toyota about local gas mileage being 60 MPG in the city. If you only make short trips where the engine temperature is not getting up to operating temperatures (the first 10-15 miles) and especially in heavy traffic, the gas mileage is about 40 MPG. The only reasonable way to get 60 MPG is in light traffic where one quickly speeds up and coasts most of the time.

    As far as comfort is concerned, my Lexus RX330 is much, much more comfortable, contrary to what many Prius owners tout. The seats in the Prius leave a lot to be desired, as compared to my Lexus. Comparing a Prius to a SUV or a truck is like comparing apples to oranges anyway. The Prius is made for great gas mileage. A SUV or truck is made for hauling/towing and country/off-road driving (except for city-slickers who buy for a "status-symbol"). I dare one to put a trailer hitch on a Prius and haul a 2000 pound bull. It may happen but it won't be pretty. I only bought the Prius for great gas mileage, nothing else. We will still will take our vacations and haul our four grand-children around in my Lexus. I'm glad I got option 6 with the leather seats, navigation control, and JBL stereo system. It brings the creature comforts up a little.

    I am fully supportive of those that buy the Prius to save money on gas; however, those that buy it for environmental concerns do not get my sympathy. Considering that 40,000 people are killed each year in car accidents, the Prius is not the safest vehicle in a serious accident. My suggestion is let the oil companies go tax free and drill as much oil as possible so the public can have cheap gas. Then they can demand and buy larger and safer vehicles, like ones with turbine engines, and we can build bigger and better interstate roadways. I mean, really, the safest vehicle on the road is a semi with a turbo-diesel engine. Everyone should get one.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I don't know how you formed your opinion of the Prius safety, but it gets one of the best ratings of "mid-sized" cars. I'd say it's very safe. We've seen the results of several serious accidents and the car has performed very well.

    As far as blaming Toyota for the mileage rating, again, people are sure uninformed about this. It's an EPA mandated test, using EPA methods, and is required that manufacturers do it the way it's specified and report the results they get. So blame your government, not Toyota. BTW, the revamped test procedures result in a rating of 48 MPG overall for the Prius, more in line with what people are getting. These results are to be used/reported starting with the 2008 model year. While it would be more "honest" if Toyota reported the new numbers now, it would be against the law.
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