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Handling

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by gazz, Oct 17, 2007.

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  1. gazz

    gazz Member

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    Read a lot on this site about issues with handling, but today I had to take my wife’s car in for a service and so did my usual route iin her car. She has a Mercedes C180 Sport Coupe so you assume it would handle well. There a few fast downhill bends at the end I my journey which I glide in the Prius and take one corner at 50mph and one at 40mph. This is a downhill section of about 1 mile so sometimes I knock it into "N" at the top at about 30 mph and just coast up and down the hills to the end. Today I drove at a similar speed (was not coasting) and the Merc did not feel as safe in the two tight bends as in the Prius. This did surprise me, the Prius steering felt in control, the Merc defiantly felt skittish.

    Bye the way my tries are pumped up 44/42.

    Great Car
  2. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER drive the Prius in neutral! The traction battery will not recharge in neutral (so you lose all that downhill gravitational potential energy) and you have no power to the wheels, should you need to make an emergency maneuver. The ONLY reason EVER to put the Prius in neutral is if you need to pull, push, or tow the car.
  3. mamerica

    mamerica Junior Member

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    Not to be critical of anyones driving but one of the first things that was pointed out to me when I was learning to drive was that it is dangerous to drive in neutral. If you need to make a quick maneuver you can't.
  4. nwprius

    nwprius Member

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    I, too, believe the Prius handles superbly well. With 60 years of driving behind me of a total 28 autos owned, including Jaguar, Healey, Corvette, Mercedes, and many other of the best engineered vehicles. It always makes me wonder when I read others comments about supposedly bad handling of the Prius.
  5. gazz

    gazz Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(daniel @ Oct 17 2007, 08:11 AM) [snapback]526797[/snapback]</div>

    I don't want to recharge the battery I want to use the momentum to carry the hills. If I recharged I would only have to use the energy to get up the next hill, it is far more efficient to use the energy directly rather than putting it in the battery and then taking it back out.

    OutOfHere I do partly except the point on using neutral. But the car is in control and the last thing I would need to do will coasting down a hill is to go faster. All the other operations of the car remain the same. I think in using "N" you should just use some common sense.
  6. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Keep in mind qazz has a British car, with the stiffer suspension (probably the same as the touring US model). So the handling may be better than the "standard" North American model. qazz, do you have rear disk brakes?

    While I too was taught to never drive in "N", that was in the days when you could stop faster by putting your foot out the door. ;) It's braking that's impacted, not the ability to accelerate out of trouble, which rarely happens. On modern cars such as the Prius, braking is not a issue. You can stop the car on a dime and get 9 cents change at any time, "N" or not. In fact, if you slam on the brakes the Prius IS in "N" in effect. It uses friction brakes only. Add to this the ease of putting the Prius back into "D" no matter what speed you are going and it totally negates the schooling of not using "N". In the old days, if you shifted to "N", it could be difficult to get the car back into gear, especially if your speed became excessive. Not so with the Prius HSD.

    But it's good to know the internet fact police are active. ;)
  7. Winston

    Winston Member

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    The reason why "normal" cars are not to driven in neutral is due to the risk of the engine stalling. In a normal car you would loose power steering and power brakes. That could make your vehicle very difficult to maneuver. On the Prius, there is no such risk. Gazz also has a clear understanding of what happens when the battery is recharged when coasting. When coasting in neutral, there is no energy "lost". The prius is just programed to recharge the batteries a bit when coasting to make the car drive more like a "normal" car.

    There is nothing dangerous about driving the Prius in neutral.
  8. gazz

    gazz Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Beale @ Oct 17 2007, 10:19 AM) [snapback]526858[/snapback]</div>

    Yes the UK model has Discs all round. The brakes are very good.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Winston @ Oct 17 2007, 10:28 AM) [snapback]526868[/snapback]</div>

    Thanks for that.
  9. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    I've had to do a couple of high speed evasive moves on the freeway due to debris, etc., and was amazed how well the Prius hangs in there. I auto-x a Subaru Impreza, which is modded and handles very well. The Prius is my daily commuter, and every day it amazes me. I have 45,000 on the OEM Goodyears, TP about 42/40, and the BT plate. The car does feel tippy in slow speed turns, but at high speed where handling really matters, no problems so far. Maybe its the sharkfin contributing to the stability.

    As for "neutral driving" why would you ever do that? Every car manual in the world recommends against flat towing any car with automatic trans, including Toyota. How is neutral coasting different from flat towing in neutral? I don't see any reason to do it, and can't imagine why anybody would want to.
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(gazz @ Oct 17 2007, 07:49 AM) [snapback]526835[/snapback]</div>

    True, you do want to carry as much momentum. You can also do that by feathering the throttle. That way, you're still in D.
  11. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(subarutoo @ Oct 17 2007, 01:31 PM) [snapback]527025[/snapback]</div>

    The "flat towing in Neutral" is a different issue. It's not a good idea because standard automatic transmissions don't get properly lubricated when in "N". Manual transmission vehicles would be exempt from this warning. With the Prius, I don't think it's very easy to get the car in "N" when it's off. Most people wouldn't know how to engage "N" with the car turned off, including tow truck operators (it was posted here somewhere in the last year, but I forget the details). So it's front wheels off the ground for towing a Prius.

    The Prius "transmission" isn't really a shifting gear type transmission. Most of the "knowledge" we have doesn't apply to it. Neutral, in the Prius, is a computer controlled state of operation, not a "gear not engaged" physical state. Just like the other three functions. It -may- not be a good idea to coast in "N" for long distances, again, for lubrication reasons (I've seen this issue discussed on forums), but if you are just coasting down a hill for a mile or two, I wouldn't expect a lubrication issue to arise. At any rate, if you wanted to coast down a very long hill, you'd probably engage "B" anyway, to avoid extreme speeds. ;)
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(David Beale @ Oct 17 2007, 12:52 PM) [snapback]527041[/snapback]</div>

    and make it sound like a small plane coming in for landing :p
  13. gazz

    gazz Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Oct 17 2007, 02:47 PM) [snapback]527037[/snapback]</div>

    I agree with feathering in "D" but you are dragging the engine around if you are above 40mph. "N" is pure coast.

    Just to clarify I am avoiding high speeds during this around 55 mph max, and I only hit these speeds for max 20 seconds, and it is only done twice on a 16 mile trip. What it does allow me to do is nearly a 2 mile coast which without it I would have to pulse or drop to a speed which would be unexceptable.
  14. PA Prius

    PA Prius Member

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    gazz, I agree with your perception and practice of N.

    Maybe you should get a set of Goodyear Integrities for the Mercedes, then you could scream around the corners with it as well. ;)

    PA P
  15. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    If you drive the Prius in neutral over 42MPH you will overspeed MG1 and you may cause damage. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it wont. At 42MPH the MG1 is spinning at maximum revs if the ICE isn't turning, the HSD computer alters the valve timing so the engine spins freely then loads MG1 enough to spin the ICE to 880RPM which allows the car to run up to about 65MPH without overspeeding the MG1. Over 65MPH the ICE needs to spin faster than 880RPM
    Have a look here: - http://eahart.com/prius/psd/

    My Prius handles very well, I can take corners as fast in the Prius as in any other car I have owned, including a Mini, reputed to handle well. (and they do)
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(gazz @ Oct 18 2007, 05:11 AM) [snapback]527253[/snapback]</div>

    True but above 42mph, the engine must spin to prevent the electric motor from overspinning. It's not using any fuel anyway (just pumping the cylinders a la engine compression braking). In N, the engine will still come on and it'll be using fuel.
  17. gazz

    gazz Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Oct 18 2007, 10:13 AM) [snapback]527315[/snapback]</div>

    Can you clarify what you mean by in N the engine will still come on? On the Scangauge if you go into N when the rpm is Zero it stays at zero no matter what. I would assume with the advanced technology that if anything was going to cause probable damage the onboard systems would just re-engage D, as it does not say in the manual to not use N while moving (although I may have just not see it).
  18. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(gazz @ Oct 19 2007, 05:37 PM) [snapback]527651[/snapback]</div>

    You would be a rare person to have read the Prius handbook from cover to cover.
    I'd rather use D if I'm over 42mph to be safe.
  19. gazz

    gazz Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(patsparks @ Oct 19 2007, 03:14 AM) [snapback]527652[/snapback]</div>

    I do only do this a little, and I'm not going much over 42 and if it goes near 50 it is only for a few seconds. Its just on a few long slight inclines it makes a big difference.
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