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Toyota Prius



  • oldfoxoldfox Posts: 29
    John: Checked my integrity tires and sure enuf "standard Load" is imprinted on the tires.

    Are you saying that any P185/16 R15 tire will work on the Prius? If so, I will put on a setof Michelin's when the integritys wear out.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Are you saying that any P185/16 R15 tire will work on the Prius?


    1,102 pounds was the load requirement for the classic. XL tires provided that at 35 PSI. At 35 PSI with STANDARD tires, you'd only get 1,019 pound, but they could easily handle a greater load by simply increasing the tire pressure.

    STANDARD tires for the 2004 model, provide 1,156 pounds at 35 PSI. The switch to a larger tire size eliminated the need for XL. Without even using a higher PSI, you already have more than enough of support. So, any STANDARD tire will do on a 2004.

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101

    Have the Toyota rep publish this information for the Tire Rack folks...these tire people need to be aware of these changes formely to avoid confusion.

  • How about a Madison, WI Prius gathering Sunday 3/7/04 2pm at Red Robin Restaurant, 6522 Monona Drive at the Beltline intersection. Just an informal get-together to talk Prius and share our enthusiasm for this great car.

    I hope to see you there!

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Safely selling tires, means not exceeding the manufacturer's
    > maximum load recommendations.

    Anyone that has dealt with aftermarket parts clearly understands that automakers choose the path of least liability. And quite frankly, trusting a consumer to keep their promise that they will maintain proper PSI is a huge gamble. Having that buffer makes the lawyers very happy.

    For those of us that do diligently maintain, it's no big deal. Risk is adverted by routine verifying.

    And in the case of tires, the evidence is overwhelming. Tread wear is even across the entire width of the tire, proving the harder ride is not compromising load carrying abilities.

    Also note that the tire itself is rated for the higher PSI, so that criteria is never exceeded.

  • I did the same thing that Dean did...I contacted EVERY SINGLE DEALERSHIP in North Carolina (since they are the closest state to me that carries package #8)! Many dealers said that they wanted $500 down from me in order to get on their list. I told them that "I've been there and done that" with my dealership here in VA and was disappointed when they informed me three months later that package 8's don't even deliver to to the mid-atlantic region. So, basically I said I'd like to be on their list...but I will not pay $500. Of all the dealerships, only two wouldn't put me on their "list." That evening, a dealership called with the exact color and package that we wanted...IN STOCK! It was pending on whether another couple was going to take it or leave it. Well, they decided not to take it and now we're finally driving our Prius. We picked it up Jan. 9 and have enjoyed every bit of it!! I recommend trying to contact more than one dealer. The whole deposit thing is just to try to keep you with one dealer...but wouldn't it be more efficient if you told every dealer that you are interested...therefore, there's more of a chance of getting one when other customers turn them down. Try's worth a shot. The dealer that helped us out was Leith Toyota in Raleigh, North Carolina. They actually had another Prius (black) on the lot when we picked up ours.

    Happy hunting!

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Does anyone know if you don't order the Bluetooth technology in the Prius now (package #7)...can you upgrade to the technology later (packages 8 or 9)...Seems like this would be a plug and play module that goes in the dash????????
  • how much do you pay for extended warranty at the Toyota dealer ? What is best deal for extended warranty and what do they cover ?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    If you used to research a vehicle you bought from a
    Denver-area dealership and would like to talk about your experience on
    camera Saturday, January 31, 2004, please contact
    with your daytime contact information and the name of the dealership.
    Responses must be in by Friday, January 30, 2004 for consideration.
  • Glad to here it Jennifer. It takes a little work but it will pay off. If at first you don't succeed try and try again. The dealers will know you want one NOW. They do get their un-alloted cars in that no one will want. I hope you are enjoying yours as much I am mine. Installing XMradio this weekend in my BC. It such a nice car. I do wish the temperature would go up. Only averaging about 39 mpg now, but I do cruise at 75 mph to work and back nearly all the way. Good luck to others here. Send out your e-mail every couple of weeks to all the dealers. Get that un-allocated one.

    Smithville, MO
  • jnfrjnfr Posts: 5
    So, we filled up the tank today for the first time. We are low-mileage users as noted above, and the console was quoting 32.7 MPG for our first tank. The fillup would only take 6.5 gal, even with repeated tries. I've read the stuff upstream about the bladder in the tank, so I wasn't dismayed (52 degrees out at filling time, by the way). Calculated mileage was closer to 35 MPG, so I figure I'll just split the difference unless it starts showing more extreme differences.

    I figure we'll do much better on this second tank, as we're still learning how to drive it efficiently, and it will get better still as warm weather comes on. But we're never going to be in the top MPG bracket, I'm afraid. Most of our trips are still under 10 minutes.

    MPG isn't everything! We love driving our little Zippy, and are happy to not be adding more fumes to the air around Denver.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It's nice that it has very low emissions, but it plain to see that 32-35 MPG is outrageous when people are expecting at least 50MPG.
    There are plenty of other options available for people satisfied with 32 MPG.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > There are plenty of other options available for people
    > satisfied with 32 MPG.

    Not at sub-zero temperatures!

    Most traditional vehicles dream of achieving 20 MPG during the warm-up phase when it's that cold.

    Remember, the minimum EPA testing temperature is 68 F. That isn't even remotely close to what you actually experience during the winter.

    > when people are expecting at least 50MPG.

    In the warmer states, owners are currently reporting MPG in the upper 50's. So that expectation is quite valid.

  • driving on pch in malibu and saw a beautiful new prius with a bike rack on top of the car with two large racing bikes attached. i didn't think that a prius could carry bikes, great! at my office today i spoke to a woman sitting in a 2004 prius and asked her how she liked it. she said it was just a rental while her car was being fixed! i am on one of those waiting lists to buy one and she gets to drive one "accidentally". she said it was a great car.
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101

    On the 04 Prius...what do you think plays a major factor in getting optimium gas mileage???...I've read you tips on your sight (excellant) do you drive to achieve better than 45 MPG regardless of temperature?


  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > what do you think plays a major factor in getting
    > optimium gas mileage???

    Cold air is more dense, making it harder to push through, which lowers efficiency.

    Winter-Formula gas holds less energy, so it is naturally less efficient.

    Warm-up takes longer, that process consumes a lot of gas. Outside temperature has a significant influence on this efficiency loss.

    - - - - - - -

    Anywho, those 3 factors above are totally out of your control. But unfortunately, they all exist throughout the entire cold season. So getting above 45 MPG is quite difficult.

    It's speeds above 65 MPH and heavy Stop & Slow traffic that you do actually have control over. And in the summer, you'll find those are the major efficiency killer, since air-density & winter-formula no longer apply and warm-up time is significantly reduce. So you can achieve close to 50 MPG with very little effort.

    To achieve optimum performance, that's 55 MPG or better, the majority of your driving needs to fall within the "Suburb" type. The ideal is 35 to 50 MPH cruising for at least 20 minutes with only minimal stop signs/lights.

  • "If you have to please reread what the person with a Ph.D. in chemistry says about it and what can be done about it:

    The information in that article is simply incorrect. I have a Ph.D. in electroanalytical chemistry. The reason that cold temperature affects batteries is the Nernst equation, which simply states that as the temperature goes down, the VOLTAGE goes down. Typical currents from batteries are not limited by reaction rates.

    Lower voltage means more current for the same power. An inverter takes DC to AC. 500 volts allows lighter wiring (less current for same power so smaller power) and a smaller motor for same torque or more torque from same size motor.
  • I've got over 11,000 miles on my Prius now including long periods at 80 mph and days at temperatures near zero although I live in SoCal.

    The top bar on the gauge clearly indicates more gallons than any other bar. Odd, but not a problem.

    The last bar begins blinking when a fill-up takes about 7-8 gallons.

    The real question is not how the gauge works, but how much gas really is in the tank. I read one post about driving the Prius until the ICE quit because of no gas. The fill-up required about 9 gallons.

    I expect a reserve (when bar blinking) of 1-1.5 gals. There seems to be two gallons missing. Is this on purpose or is it a 10-gallon tank?

    This question is significant because when driving long distances, gas stations can be very far apart. The gauge and tank capacity must be known quantities to be efficient in driving and still not run out of gas.

    I hope someone has a definitive answer to this continuing question.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I have to jump in here at this point - I've been following this discussion from the beginning, and have been frustrated by both "sides" - those who defend the Prius, no matter what, and those who criticize, no matter what. Here's my perspective:

    -EPA mileage vs the real world: EVERYONE who knows anything about the new Prius knows that the EPA estimates are mostly unachieveable in actual driving. Toyota says so; magazine testers say so; owners say so. Why does this continue to be such a big deal? No, you are not likely to get 50 mpg. For all of the seemingly endless variable reasons noted in this thread, your mileage will vary, and will vary on the lower end of the spectrum. Toyota has even asserted it would like to use a more realistic figure, but for a lot of legal reasons, feels constrained not to. Get over it.

    -Having said that, it is very difficult for me to find a realistic alternative to this car because of the COMBINATION of low fuel consumption, low emissions, and high utility. It is this latter point that seems to get lost in all of the comparisons to Echo, Corolla, ad nauseum. Look, we owned a new-gen Corolla - it's a fine car, but it is NOT a hatchback with near-Camry room inside. Name me another car in this price range [or any price range] that combines 35mpg real world fuel consumption with MID-SIZE room and station wagon utility. Certainly not an Echo, and not the Matrix/Vibe either, though they come closer. The Mazda3 hatch is not bad, but again its interior room will not really compare. The new diesel Passat, if offered here in wagon form, will be the ONLY real competitor. Everything else is smaller inside, with nowhere near the usable people and cargo space. And the TDI Passat will be at the high end of the emissions spectrum, at least until the 2006 fuel regulations finally get most of the sulfur out of the crap we call diesel fuel in this country.

    So IF you want a truly roomy car that achieves 30-40 mpg in the real world, I see only two choices: the Prius and the '04.5 Passat TDI. If you are a fanatic about emissions, then there may only be one choice. And I don't see how the difference between 30-35 mpg and 40-45 mpg changes this conclusion. What am I missing, besides the "outrage" of not getting what the EPA testing cycle spits out as a number?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I mean total emissions, including CO2. And I will not get drawn into another nit-picking debate with any member of this forum - it's what makes sifting through all the verbiage to find the real nuggets so frustrating.

    To John in Minnesota, thanks for your shared knowledge. Your enthusiasm sometimes carries you away, but I'll take that in exchange for the wealth of real-world experience.

    To Mid-Cow in particular, and some others in general: your point of view is well known. Repetition does not add to the level of knowledge.

    Our moderator has had to step in a couple of times to calm this down. Every post does not automatically require, as the French would say, a "reposte". Taking my own advice, I'll now fade back into the background and go back in listen-only mode...
  • Drscientific-

    "The top bar on the gauge clearly indicates more gallons than any other bar. Odd, but not a problem."

    I'm not sure what you mean here. All cars I have ever filled with gas have worked this way. It takes awhile before the arm leaves "full." Have you had different experiences?

    The big picture: It's not linear (see post 2139) but the lack of linearity matters little. As for the issue of tank range/capacity, this may be an important factor for some. Frankly, I love spending less than 10 dollars to fill up!

    Also, how have things progressed with your transaxle problem? Juliaj, if you are still following, what about yours? I am VERY interested since my VIN falls in between yours. So far, 3300 miles and no problems.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Toyota has increased the target for Year - 2004 from 76,000 to 130,000. 6

    This is more than the Prius sold between 1997-2003. Its really a takeoff year.
    Pretty soon, the extra cost needed to make a hybrid will come down drastically.
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    My Question to Tire Rack..." You cannot order a Tire for the 2004 Prius, why?

    Mike, I apologize for the error on the site, we are correcting and should have it fixed by the end of the coming week...every P-Metric Standard Load tire of the 185/65-15 tire size has a Load Index of 86 and carrying capacity of 1168 lbs at 35 PSI. Every Eurometric Standard Load tire of the 185/65-15 tire size has a Load Index 88 and a carrying capacity of 1250 llbs at 36 psi. P-Metric tires' Max Load is calculated at 35 psi, Eurometric tires' Max Load is calculated at 36 psi.
    Bottom any tire with a Load Index of 86 or higher has sufficient carrying capacity.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    It was good for Tire Rack to admit their mistake and clear this Prius tire misunderstanding up. Lesser companies may not have admitted their mistake.

    Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go look out the patio door at our bird/squirrel feeder--I think I just saw some crows eating heartily there.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    We are looking at trading our Matrix 4WD in for a Prius. Sat in one today. What a beautiful car. It was like sitting a luxury vehicle. Fit and finish was excellent (better than I expected). Can someone please explain the difference(s) between the Prius' traction control and the Matrix 4WD system. The 4WD has been beneficial in providing additionnal traction during the last few weeks (ice and snow covered roads have been the order of the day). I may be pursuaded to purchase a Prius if the traction control can be proven to be just as good under these types of conditions. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I always thought it was a great advantage to have 4WD. I have had a few Audis and they've been wonderful snow cars with the right tires. One time I had my summer tires on my Audi A4 and EVEN with AWD it could NOT get out of its way! I put some good aftermarket tires on my '04 Prius and have not had ANY problems with traction. Only time you will is if you are ascending a very steep snowy hill. If you shod the car with Blizzaks in combination with traction control and stability control (assuming you opt for that package) you'll be quite pleased. We just had 12 inches here in Nassau County Long Island and I drove my Prius on fresh powder/slush (roads were not plowed!). I left the Jeep at home!
  • juliajjuliaj Posts: 8
    problems since the initial one in December and we've had a very wet, snowy winter in SW Michigan so far. I still make sure that I have my cell phone with me when I'm driving in wet weather. I'm not sure where the M5 connector is, much less the transaxle but does anyone know if it is easily accessible so that it could be dabbed with dielectric grease when I get oil changes?
      As far as traction control goes, I have VSC and this car is by far the best winter car that I've ever had for driving on snowy, icy roads. Much better handling on the ice than my 4WD RAV4.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > It is good to know that the Prius can use standard
    > normal wear tires.

    With the debut so close to the cold season, I was worried that word wouldn't get out and those desiring snow-tires would be up-a-creek.

    Instead, the concern was put to rest rather quickly.


  • Juliaj- thanks for the update. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

    Judging by your VIN, the following may be of interest to you.

    I was searching the toyota tech site ( today and found a new "Special Service Campaign" Number 40A. The specified glitch is as follows: If the ECU detects a system error, the master warning light (or hybrid system warning light) may light up. Apparently, the vehicle then enters a "fail-safe" mode from which, if restarted, a secondary error may occur and cause the vehicle transmission to "not operate smoothly."

    Per Toyota, the owners of the affected vehicles will be notified in late January. Approximately 3500 2004 Prius' are involved. The affected vehicles are VDS KB20U with VIN range 40001009-40012242 and VDS KB22U 40001142-40012271. HOWEVER, "not all vehicles in the VIN ranges are involved in this SSC." The fix apparently takes 1 hour and, of course, is free.

    Anyone get a letter yet?
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