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Toyota Prius



  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Short trips are very hard on MPG. Note that the EPA performs all their tests with the engine already warmed up to avoid the effects short trips have.

    Climbing hills with timid pedal pressure hurts too. You'd be surprised how much overall efficiency will improve if you climb briskly instead.

    Soft tires impairs MPG too. Make sure you are running the absolute minimum of 35 PSI front 33 PSI back. More like 42/40 is what I recommend.

  • Hello all,
    This is my first post. I did a search, but didn't find enough info about people who drive in the mountains and downshift. I live in Denver and would be routinely driving in the Rocky Mountains. Would like to hear from those who drive on real mountains and how the car responds. Does the "B" mode work adequately on 10-15% downgrades? Thanks for your responses.
  • I drove up toward the ski basin yesterday and back down just to test out B. In the steepest stretch through Hyde Memorial State Park I usually downshift to 2nd gear. (One frequently smells brake pad along about here.) B wasn't quite as good at slowing me down, but it was better than I expected. I had to brake only once or twice.

    Of course, it is no where near the fun of racing through the gear box.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___The only dB measurement I have seen of the Prius of any online review was in the Edmunds review … What is this 10 dB non-sense?

    2004 Prius:

    Db @ Idle: 53/lo
    Db @ Full Throttle: 71
    Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 74

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Db @ Idle: 53/lo

    How did they achieve that?

    The 2004 Prius rarely idles, so the value should actually be ZERO.

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___Here is a repeat of the post in the other thread for you …

    > “Since the 2004 Prius rarely idles, so the value should be ZERO!”

    ___Do you have a clue as to what you just said? No automobile could achieve 0 dB unless they weren’t running, they were traveling 0 mph, all mechanical and electrical HW was off, and you had a way of stopping the flow of blood in your veins because your heart would have had to stop while the test was performed … all in an anechoic chamber! Even then you couldn’t reach 0 dB unless you were actually dead (opposite of life) while sitting in the front seat of the 04 Prius while all the systems were completely shut down in the anechoic chamber.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    maybe the Prius could get a 1 or 2dB.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I don't remember where I read it, but just a normal speaking voice is somewhere around 30-40 decibels. I know the Prius is quiet, but not as quiet as 1 or 2db.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > No automobile could achieve 0 dB unless they weren’t running


    The point was Prius doesn't run. Hybrids shut off the engine, hence no idle.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The 03 Prius shop manuals indicate that there is an electric heating element inside the HVAC plenum but only for vehicles shipped "north".

    Doesn't bother to define just where "north" is.
  • 381d381d Posts: 5
    Appreciate the info!
  • ampedamped Posts: 13
    That would explain the quick "warm up" I posted about. I'm guessing the element could be part of the cold kit (CK), but build sheets indicate CK is TMC standard equipment for all US Prius. CK usually includes things like heavier duty starter and windshield wiper motors, larger windshield washer reservoir, higher output rear window heater, and a couple of other things I don't recall right now.

    Does the manual say the element is part of CK? Is there a separate fuse indicated, and if so, where is it located and what is the rating? Is it a higher capacity fuse than a Prius without the element? I looked at all of the stickers on my car tonight, but not the fuses, and saw no reference to CK or an element. Nor was there CK listed on the invoice or Monroney window label. Maybe we can figure out if we all have CK and the aux heating element. I'd be surprised if I didn't. Thanks in advance...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Speaking of Excel, you may find this data from my spreadsheets intriguing:

    Jan.... 40.9
    Feb.... 41.0
    Mar.... 43.2
    Apr.... 46.1
    May.... 47.1
    Jun.... 47.5
    Jul.... 47.8
    Aug.... 48.2
    Sep.... 48.6
    Oct.... 46.5
    Nov.... 44.6
    Dec.... 41.5

    Those are the 3 year (59,827 mile) monthly averages with my 2001 Prius in Minnesota.

    Notice how efficiency and warmth coincide.

  • First, thank you all, especially John1701 for the generous postings. Most informative.

    I ordered a silver with #9 package on Oct. 22. Still waiting.

    Two questions in light of your postings:

    In light of the postings on this forum, I plan to change the tires. Is there a reason the only tire mentioned has been the the Potenza RE950 195/60 HR-15 rather than say Michelin Hydroguards, X-1s, or Harmonys or GoodYear Aquatred IIIs?

    Do you have any sense of whether in California (where, where I live, in winter, temps range from 60 to 28) and in summer from 50 to 90), how much the bladder will reduce the tank's capacity? And is it worth trying to figure out if there's a way to remove the bladder or even change the tank to a European bladderless?
  • I've ordered it in silver, but haven't seen either color. Has anyone seen the Prius in both colors. Does it look significantly better in one vs. the other? I could still change my color preference.

    I also read, on this forum that one person found that door trim strips make it look more attractive? Anyone else have the same experience?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Michelin Hydroguards, X-1s, or Harmonys or
    > GoodYear Aquatred IIIs?

    Here in the Midwest, tires designed specifically for better water performance are of little interest. I've never known anyone to by them and they aren't really advertised. My guess for the reason is that they don't do well on snow & ice.

    > how much the bladder will reduce the tank's capacity?

    You may not ever experience it. To even notice it, the temperature has to no more than 35^F at the moment of refueling AND the gasoline stored in the underground tank must be cold. (In Minnesota, the ground freezes solid and stays that way until the end of May.)

    At about 20^F, the effect becomes evident enough to notice without effort.

    The real capacity loss doesn't actually kick in until the temperature dips below 5^F.

    For you in CA, the only bladder problem you'll likely ever have is the fact that yours is smaller than the one in Prius. So you'll have to stop even though gas isn't needed. ;)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I would also be interested in owners' experiences in changing tires. It appears there have been good results with the Potenzas, but I've heard good things about the Aquatred III (not on the Prius however, but on a Camry).

    As for colors, I had made Salsa Red Pearl my first choice on the order, but then I saw another Toyota in that color and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would like a lighter color on the Prius. The Toyota site that lets you see the car colors may help, if you haven't used it yet. My favorites are Millenium Silver and Tideland Pearl, but since I don't like the grey interior that comes with Silver I changed my order to have Tideland Pearl as the top choice, with Seaside Pearl second and Silver third. A practical consideration for me with a red car is the road salt used in my area in the winter, which looks hideous on a dark car even in small quantities but not as bad on a light-colored car. I've found with other cars that silver does a good job hiding road dust, and salt spray.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I was torn between the Silver and the Red. I ultimately chose Silver. It conceals the road salt filth here better (my 2 previous vehicles were dark) and does look more futuristic. The Red is quite popular, a great choice but rather common... which is a nice benefit if you just want to blend into the crowd anyway.

    The sunset photos here show both of my Prius parked next to each other. And next to my Silver 2004 is a Salsa Red 2004.

    Sorry, you can only see part of and the lighting is close to dark. But that's better than nothing. Someday I'll be able to get better photos, and of all the colors.

  • oldfoxoldfox Posts: 29
    Although I have not actually seen the Tideland Pearl, I have read quite a few posts which indicate that the Tideland is a much darker green - more dark charcoal - and that the green only shows up in sunlight. Posts seem to like the color but it is darker than Salsa and if your looking for something lighter.....
  • ampedamped Posts: 13
    About the Potenzas, or any other tires being considered, check for test and tech data, comparison reviews, user reviews, pricing and availability. They also provide value added benefits like heat cycling and shaving, usually done only for race tires, but the heat cycling is a good idea for any tire. I do the poboy heat cycling on street-use only tires. Right after install, I'll run at freeway speed for an hour before shutdown for the night. More info about heat cycling benefits are on the tirerack site.

    I could've gone with either the Michelins or Potenzas, and have had good luck with both brands previously. I've been pleased with my choice, and surprised at their competence in snow.

    About colors, I had a MS on order, but went to a long-lead preview and saw all the colors next to each other. I switched to SRP mainly for the beige interior, but also like the look (in direct sunlight) of the four-step very expensive pearl paint process...for no additional charge. Certain German makes charge thousands extra for pearl paint. MS will hide dirt better, but I didn't care for the monotone exterior/interior combo. The darkish SRP also highlights the futuristic LED tailights, HID's and polished-look wheels better than lighter colors. It all comes down to personal preference. At least with a SRP, trust me, in ultra-green Oregon you won't blend in with a Prius. This car gets almost as much attention as my MR2 Spyder did at it's debut.
  • This is my first post as well. I have ordered a Prius (driftwood, pkg 3 ) and have been told to expect delivery in approx. 4 to 6 mos. Being in no hurry this is OK. I ordered same based on your many "constructive" questions and answers and have never driven in one. The fact that Motor Trend has chosen it as COY makes me feel more comfortable with my choice. Occasionally my wife and I take reasonably lengthy trips and she enjoys putting the back of the front seat into a reclining position sin order to nap. I haven't seen anything in these postings re: the comfort of the passenger seat. Can I assume that it reclines fully?? I will probably think of other questions as time passes, but most have already been answered.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    oldfox - Thanks for the info. If I don't like the Tideland Pearl when I see it, there's always the blue or silver. But I've seen photos of the blue and it looks fairly dark too, but a good match for the ivory interior IMO. Since my car isn't due in for a few months yet, I'll probably be able to see a Tideland Pearl car before then--maybe the dealer will let me switch the color preference yet again.

    I agree with john1701a on the "futuristic" aspect of Millenium Silver--how many red starships do you see? 8-)

    sharke - I got to spend some time in the front passenger seat while my wife was at the wheel, and IMO the passenger seat felt even more comfortable than the driver's seat. The thigh support was good and the lumbar support was great. I didn't recline it (my kids were behind me).
  • Thanks for your comments on red vs silver. Because I'm a pig (rarely wash my car), I better stay with the silver.

    And John, in addition to your authoritative advice, a sense of humor: "In California, with the Prius's long cruising range, worry more about your bladder than the car's." Brilliant!

    Re tires, has (to continue the genital allusions) orgasms over the Michelin Harmony and X-1. And its treadwear is longer than the Potenza. Any reason not to prefer to Michelin or Aquatred (which isn't just for rain.)?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Can I assume that it reclines fully??

    HA! That's an understatement!!

    It reclines so far back that you can actually get it COMPLETELY FLAT.

    That allows the back seat to fold down on top of it, which provides over storage room of 8 FEET.

    So yes, it reclines "fully".

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The earths temperature below the 'frost line' is generally 54 - 57 degrees. Frost lines are 2 - 4 feet in most of U.S. Tanks are usually far below that.

    I would think that most of the gas pumped in the U.S. is the same temperature most of the time when it comes from the tank to the pump and then begins expanding or contracting depending on surface temeperatures.

    How does that affect the thinking about bladders etc.
  • Thanks for your comments on red vs silver. Because I'm a pig (rarely wash my car), I better stay with the silver.

    And John, in addition to your authoritative advice, a sense of humor: "In California, with the Prius's long cruising range, worry more about your bladder than the car's." Brilliant!

    Re tires, has (to continue the genital allusions) orgasms over the Michelin Harmony and X-1. And its treadwear is longer than the Potenza. Any reason not to prefer to Michelin or Aquatred (which isn't just for rain.)?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > How does that affect the thinking about bladders

    Capacity measurements have been performed in the past without documenting the temperature. So I just wanted to point out that pump source is important, like using room temperature gas inside a service garage. After all, that is what makes direct contact with the bladder.

  • Regarding post 1624 --If you want to know what your Prius will look like do this;
    Go to the Toyota site, Find PRIUS, Click on pictures and then colors. You will see a picture of the Prius with all the colors that are available in small boxes below it. Click on a color and the car picture will change to that color. A cute way to do it. Remember that the accuracy of the color depends to a great extent on the quality of your computer.
    Can anyone tell me what the "vehicle stability system" does and how it works?
    I am supposed to get my car at the end of this month. Very exciting. I need a new toy.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > tell me what the "vehicle stability system"
    > does and how it works?

    VSC is similar to ABS in concept, except it activates while driving rather than while braking.

    If you take a slippery corner too hard, it will automatically detect that and counter the slipping by applying the brakes for you (even though you are touching the brake pedal) and only the side that needs it.

    It's a assistance response, just enough to help prevent you from slipping into a dangerous skid.

    So far this winter, I have actually only triggered it once. It was on a hard right turn up hill with heavy traffic behind me, a corner that is difficult even when the road is completely clean & dry. A light came on and there was a beep. I couldn't even feel what the computer had done for me.

    It works so well I actually worry a little bit about people abusing it by intentionally taking risks they normally wouldn't.

  • boxfanboxfan Posts: 180
    "The Red is quite popular, a great choice but rather common... "

    You mean on the Prius, or in general? I actually think silver is a lot more common than red. It's understandable, since it hides dirt, but to me silver is the color that blends in with the crowd. Do you have any data on the most common colors of the Prius?
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