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Engine Strain 200k city vs highway

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by mark54321, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. mark54321

    mark54321 New Member

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    I am considering purchasing a Prius II

    I have 300k on my acura now and drive about 600-700 miles per week....Almost all highway.

    I know some people have high mileage on their Priuses...I know that the electrical system takes strain off the engine. But if I do all higway miles do you think the wear and tear on the engine itself will build up faster than the aveage driver who does mixed or city driving mostly?

    I need to plan on 300k + on the car. I'm considering the Prius vs the VW Golf Diesel. I know the maint. on the Diesel will be a little more.

    Thank you

    Mark C
  2. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    Forget the VW.

    At highway speeds the gas engine in the Prius is running most of the time. Your mileage will not be quite as good as people who drive a combination, but it will still be very good.

    I think the big question is: When will you need to replace the batteries?

    Someone who has gone 300K in a Prius will have to chime in.
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  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I travel at 61 MPH almost exclusively, the computers keep the RPMs as low as possible while still providing enough omph to go 61. With no wind this is often 1750 RPMs, but with enough wind I see 2200 RPMs even on level ground. (it is all level ground here) With a tail wind I may see 1600 RPMs.

    The power split device allows the car to 'tune' the amount of engine effort to just match conditions. The Gen III engine has more low end, so the numbers may vary. Few parts of the world are as flat, so most drivers see more variation in RPMs than I do.
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  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    No worries.
    Check out the 299,999+ mileage thread in this forum. A couple of people who use the Prius in courier work drive highway 8 hours a day and rack up miles.

    In your shoes I would buy a Prius, but fwiw nowadays you do have more than a couple choices in 40+ highway MPG cars. I don't know anything about diesel maintenance, but reliability in VW cars is suspect, and if money is a consideration take into account the cost of the fuel itself compared to petrol. In my state diesel is about 15% more per gallon.
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  5. mark54321

    mark54321 New Member

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    Jim,

    My driving is much like yours... 61 mph and all flat... What mpg do you see on your Prius under average conditions? I just hope the engine can hang on for 300k!

    Mark
  6. mark54321

    mark54321 New Member

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    Thanks Jim:

    The fact that the engine will be running most of the time is the reason for my concern. Diesels are made to last 300k +. It's comforting to hear people reporting in w/ 200k on the Prius w/ good reliability. In general, my understanding is that gas engines are not built be as tough or last as long as diesels.

    Mark
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    JimboPalmer lives in MS -- temps below 80F are called "winter." :)

    For NJ expect about 55 mpg in temperate weather, high 40's mpg in cold winter/rain/snow.

    Nowadays transmissions crap out way before engines. In that regard the Prius reigns supreme; we have heard of about 5 failures so far out of 2 million Prius. Compare that to the couple *percent* failure rate within 5 years in conventional cars. I vaguely remember transmissions being a weak spot in VWs, but that would have to be checked for accuracy.

    Addendum: Transmission failure discussion at TDIclub forum. The Golf TDI only has one year of survey data in Consumer Reports, but already has a black mark in the fuel category. That is bad.

    Addendum #2: CR reliability report of the Jetta TDI:[​IMG]

    Attached Files:

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  8. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    There would be no problem with the engine. Toyota engines last on average at least that long. The battery would also be a long life-er as you wouldn't be constantly taking a lot of charge from it and replacing it.

    As far as lasting compared to a diesel, diesel engines are built stronger than gasoline engines due to the extreme compression ratio, so they have a reputation of lasting a long time. BUT diesel engines have a very expensive Achilles heel. The fuel injectors DON'T last as long as the rest of the engine and are expensive to have serviced.
    -Perhaps- when gasoline engines routinely use direct injection (into the combustion chamber) we will see this maintenance effect in them, but we're not there yet. Prius injects into the intake port just above the valve, for example.

    Maintain your Prius as per the manual and you should see long and reliable service. Highway driving, while not yielding quite as high mileage as city driving, will lengthen the life mileage wise of even the Prius. This is because the engine will almost always reach full operating temperature, will clean out the oil due to this (of water and acids), and the rest of the car will not be assaulted by the other life shortening effects of city driving, such as constant stopping, starting off, short trips etc.
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  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    That may have been true 20 years ago before stricter emissions controls when diesel engines were basic. You might want to google high pressure diesel pumps problems - both here in Europe but also in the USA.

    Car diesel engines are now quite complicated with many expensive parts that can and do fail. Diesels are popular here because of the mpg benefits and high cost of fuel but there is a growing number of petrol cabs in my taxi company due to diesel problems.

    If you do many highway miles at a constant speed then a manual transmission diesel car might be the one for you. Just don't add gas to the diesel in winter or try and use bio diesel in a modern common rail diesel car or you'll end up with expensive repair costs.
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  10. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Unfortunately, VW's are a disaster for quality and maintenance, they're really nice cars too. They ride well, handle well, get decent mileage, and have some of the best interior materials on the market. I just can't get past the quality and reliability issues.

    REV
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  11. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I weigh 360 pounds and I carry over 400 pounds of gear typically.
    http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/22437_1348787722119_1304125006_985752_4829746_n.jpg
    I get 40 MPG in the winter, (and we have mild winters in MS, below 20 above is rare) 47 MPG in fall and spring, and 42 MPG in summer (I am not from MS and not used to the heat) It averages 45 MPG. You will see seasonal variations as well.


    But I am not FROM MS, so I call them spring and fall.

    My last Toyota was purchased in May 1989, has 230k on it, and is still on the road. I see no reason my current Toyota should be different.
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  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Those are about the easiest miles for a car. The engines on either should show little strain. The prius engine and battery should do fine. Drive both they are very different. The hybrid drive train won't really do much in your driving mode, but it is a very efficient engine.
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  13. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    Golf Diesel vs Prius, there's another interesting compare.

    The Golf Diesel beats the Prius in highway mpg. From the DOE long term testing reports, all hybrids suffered a slow decline in mpg over the course of the 4 years, unlike ICE whose mpg tends to flatten out, which can only mean the batteries are deteriorating slowly.
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  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Mark54321, meet our resident troll tpfun.
    Here is the EPA fuel economy for the 2011 Golf Diesel:
    [​IMG]

    Prius highway MPG by the EPA is 48.

    As for the other statement, provide a reference. Consumer Reports, by the way, begs to differ:

    From [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius"]wikipedia[/ame], based on Consumer Reports.

    Attached Files:

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  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    By the way Mark54321, your history of driving an Acura makes we wonder if you are not a potential customer for the low-end luxury hybrid market. Two other hybrids to consider are the Ford Fusion hybrid and the Toyota CT200 hybrid. The CT just hit US shores.
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  16. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    Here's the DOE long term testing chart
    (P.S. This is OT... but I've already said before I, unlike many others here, have no vested personal or financial interests in the Prius, Volt, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM and any entities associated with them, except , of course, that we all own part of GM whether you want to or not.)
    [​IMG]
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Thanks for the laugh, tpfun.
    No chance the 0.5 mpg "trend" over 3 years is noise ?
    Seasonal variation ?
    Different drivers ?
    Notice that the mpg peaks and troughs are the same ?
    How the last two years are identical ?

    Come on, tell the truth: Did the authors write *anything* that might be construed as believing this graph shows progressive loss of fuel economy? ROFL.
  18. mikewithaprius

    mikewithaprius New Member

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    With most of the miles being highway miles, you can expect easily 10% better and likely 20+% better fuel economy versus the Volkswagen. On flat road in good temps, a Gen II Prius got average 67.6 mpg at 50 mph cruise control over a mile, and average 60.7 mpg in same test at 60 mph. In reality there are hills, etc., but the newer Prii are slightly better on the highway mileage wise than the Gen II, so 50 mpg is a reasonable average to shoot for with "normal" driving, abnormal topography and leadfeet notwithstanding.

    A cursory look at Prius versus Golf on fuelly.com shows this from users' real world results:

    Browse All Toyota Priuses | Fuelly
    Browse All Volkswagen Golfs | Fuelly

    source for first set of cruise control figures:
    Beating the EPA - The Why’s and How to Hypermile - CleanMPG Forums
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  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I'm not buying anything, so I'm enjoying the virtual shopping ;)
    I'm surprised to be typing this, but given OP's context Hyundai might actually be a leader of the pack of cars to consider. Both the Sonata and Elantra are rated 40 mpg highway; I gather reliability is actually worthy of compliment, and the car company has a well deserved reputation for amenities at low cost compared to other vendors.

    Times change. I didn't think I would ever write the above.
  20. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    Here's the long term chart for the Insight. The trend is clearly down.
    [​IMG]

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