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New owner? Want MPG help? Read this first.

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Fuel Economy' started by galaxee, Jan 24, 2006.

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  1. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    This is buried back in the old PC archives and I just did some searching for it to link to it in another post... and since we have so many new owners coming on to PC right now looking for MPG solutions I thought I'd link this article here too.

    So please, before freaking out and posting how there's something wrong with your car or whatever other frustration is on your mind, read through this article and take these tips to heart. If this doesn't work, THEN go ahead and post a "please help me" thread and we'll all jump up and offer suggestions :)

    "Why don't I get the EPA Mileage?" by efusco
  2. ddepriest

    ddepriest New Member

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    This is a great link. As a new Prius owner, I appreciate your posting it.

    In the article it mentions that "it is not intuitive or easy to use vented air from outside without engaging the A/C or heater"
    So how do you do it? I can't seem to figure it out.

    Also, what is that little snow-flake icon that shows up next to the outside temperature reading on cold mornings?


    Thanks for any light you can shed.
  3. maggieddd

    maggieddd Senior Member

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    the snowflake indicates that the temperature dropped to 37 degrees or below. So the roads might be icy and you should be extra careful :)
    1 person likes this.
  4. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    assuming your 06's climate screen has a similar setup to my 05, you select your fan speed and temp (moderate is always best- i use 70) and make sure the little AC button is off. most times it will automatically turn on the ac, so you have to turn on the fan, then turn off the ac.

    that's what i do anyway :)
  5. maggieddd

    maggieddd Senior Member

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    I do the same thing
  6. Rancid13

    Rancid13 Cool Chick with a Black Prius

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    Yep, the '06 setup is the same as the '05. Just make sure the A/C selection is not selected and the outside air is vented in. That's what I always use, unless it's really hot outside (it was 86 degrees in LA on Sunday), I'll put the A/C on, if only at first to cool the interior of the car to a more reasonable temp. I try to keep the A/C temp (when it's on) at 70-73, and/or the vent at 72-74.
  7. ddepriest

    ddepriest New Member

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    But if it's cold outside, will the heat automatically start? For example, if it's 55 degrees, and I want vented air, if I set the temp to 70, turn on the fan and turn off the A/C button, will the air automatically be heated to 70?
  8. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    This is how it appears to work for me! The only way to get REAL vented air with no extra power being used, is to set it on manual (whatever fan speed you like) and lower the temperature until is says "lo" then it won't heat anything... at least I think that's what's going on!
  9. mcH

    mcH New Member

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    I've been lurking reading about Prii, convinced that I need to purchase one. I just read the article about gas mileage, and now have questons: The article states that it takes 5-10 miles to get the Prius warmed up, and mileage will suffer until it warms up. I drive 6 miles to work each day, and then drive anywhere from 2-3 miles between buildings; I can drive up to a total of 10-15 miles during the day, but most trips are 2.5 miles.

    Does this mean I might be as well off in gas mileage by purchasing a high MPG gas only car?

    Can anyone comment on how "bad" the first 5-10 minutes of mpg is?

    "The article quote:
    a)Hybrids (as other cars) have their lowest MPG in the first 5-10 minutes of driving while the vehicle warms up. Thus, for those of us with only a 5-10 mile commute we're unlikely to ever get the car into it's most efficient operation condition. "

    Thanks == Sheryl
  10. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    Sheryl,
    Welcome to Priuschat. You said you've been lurking, so it's a delayed welcome, but heartfelt all the same. :)

    Believe it or not, we have made it very clear on a Pro-Prius board that the Prius is not for everyone. I think you just might fall into that catagory.

    Evan wrote that article and he knows his stuff. He also doesn't mince words. I know that when he wrote you might never get the car into its most efficiant operations during the first 5 - 10 minutes, he meant it. But what does "most efficient operation mean?"

    It means the engine will not shut off as much as you would like.
    It means that you might spend more time accelerating than coasting.
    It means that you are more inclined to see mid-40s MPG than mid-50s.

    There are a few other determinants, though. As you read, one is location. Another would be the definition of a high-mileage gas-only car. It makes me wonder if the "Priustoric" vehicle succumbs to the same warm-up issues as the Prius.

    I'm not the person to answer your question, that's for sure. But I'm sure that others will chime in and provide more information. They won't be able to answer your question either, though. I'm afraid that one's up to you alone. Keep lurking and reading; I'm sure you'll find the information you need to help you make the best decision for your situation.
    cheekyyumyum and SocioSam like this.
  11. feemia99

    feemia99 Junior Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you are Sheryl. I love my car, but I feel a little misled. I have two jobs, both of which are about a 5 minute drive from my home and I don't really go anywhere else (with two jobs, who has time?). I'm averaging about 30 mpg.

    I've read here that there's a break in period, and I've only had the car a few days, but I'm already tired of answering the question "So what kind of gas mileage do you get?" :(

    But hey, it's red. Red always makes me happy. :)
  12. ghostofjk

    ghostofjk New Member

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    Hi, Sheryl, and welcome.

    Why beat around the bush? You're a candidate to get only in the bottom 10% of MPG among all Prius owners---depending, primarily, on what OTHER (non-work) driving you do and variables such as outside temp, terrain and AC use.

    I'd guess the overall average MPG for the first 5 min. for most of us is 25 (others can chime in---I'm in a somewhat-warmer-than-average climate). I've gotten as low as 15 when it's cold and I've had to drive faster than I wanted. The second five min. I usually get around 40; after that it can be anywhere 45-60.

    Do the math. If you get 25, then 40, then, say, 49---but stop driving after 15 min.---you've averaged about 38 MPG.

    MPG-wise, I think you're better off with a gas-powered Civic or Corolla (or even the soon-to-come Yaris). But that depends on the relative importance you place on other factors you want in a car.

    The Prius will always extract its "pound of flesh" in the first 5-10 min. as it strives to achieve maximum emissions efficiency.
    1 person likes this.
  13. mcH

    mcH New Member

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    Ughh! But thanks for the candid feedback. My commute to work can take longer, depending on how much traffic I want to wade through, and whether I leave 10 minutes late to avoid traffic. I do driver further than 6 miles from my house.... occaisional weekly trips that are 25 miles one way, or the weekend adventure into Atlanta [45 miles one way]. So my mpg wouldn't be that low... just on a daily basis I drive 6 miles one way [usually about 15 minutes at speeds up to 45 -50 mph], then short hops between buildings. I like the idea of using a more energy friendly car than a plain gas, car but if my MPG is lower than a gas car, I'm not sure I'm helping the environment that much.

    I'm still thinking about a Prius, and also considering a VW Beetle TDI 5 spd.... Yes I know the VW is more polution than a Prius[but according to fueleconomy.gov, it's less than the 1999 Honda CR-V I just sold and gets much better MPG.

    I've also considered driving a TDI for a couple years until the Prius is less pricey [as it appears to be headed now], or more Hybrids become available. http://priuschat.com/style_images/1/folder...icons/icon9.gif
  14. dennyE

    dennyE New Member

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    Thanks for the link to that site. Although we have only had ours a week, I was a little worried when we didn't get the big numbers that I kept hearing about. We are still beating our old mileage by over 20 mpg's, so that is a great help.
    No matter what tho, it is still a great car to drive. We like it a lot, and tell everybody how much fun it is to drive.
  15. 0206Prius

    0206Prius New Member

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    :) Hello . I purchase a 2002 used Prius about eight months ago and really like the car. The overall quality and comfort along with the miliage is great. I liked it so much I sold a 2004 Eddie Bauer Explorer to purchase a new 2006 Priuz last week. Both my wife and myself really are enjoying all the added acessories and refinements on the 2006. This car in unbelievable and to think it helps with the environment is an added feature. So if it is worth it to your to help keep the earth enjoyable for ourselves and our children than consider but one of the great cars. d[font=Arial Black<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dennyE @ Mar 27 2006, 04:50 PM) [snapback]231026[/snapback]</div>

  16. micheal

    micheal I feel pretty, oh so pretty.

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mcH @ Mar 19 2006, 09:28 PM) [snapback]227032[/snapback]</div>

    As others have said, the Prius will not approach the 55mpg combined on short trips. However, I honestly don't think that it is unique to the Prius or hybrid cars. My wife has a short (1 mile-5 minute commute) in which she gets pretty low mileage. With a couple of trips around time added in, she would probably be between 40 and 45 mpg. Two days a week I drive the Prius and she drives our other car, a Ford Taurus. So the Taurus really only does the short trips to work 99% of the time (it doesn't benefit from the longer trips that I do or the longer trips around town). The mileage on the Taurus has been in the low teens 12-13, compared to the 35-40 she gets with the same trips with the Prius.

    Bottom line, I think you will still probably get at least double of what a comparable car gets under those conditions. I could be wrong though, what did the Honda CR-V get on that commute?

    I would think that the TDI would suffer even more, as from what I have read is that they are most efficient at highway speeds (they do have the typical lower ratings for city). I would recommend TDI Club as they have a fuel economy forum like here at PC and users do post their mileage and such. They would have an idea of what you would expect with that commute I would bet.
  17. djkarrels

    djkarrels beermandave

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    Galaxee, thanks for the link.

    Evan, thanks for the info. Very insightful.

    Not even a tank in and already playing the game of trying to keep it above 50 mpg.

    Drive smart all, and drive with the flow of traffic. :D

    Avoid the prius haters! :(

    3 pips to go, and I'll post the mileage on the first tank in Suburban Milwaukee.

    Pointers always welcome!
  18. flybynightprius

    flybynightprius New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mcH @ Mar 17 2006, 08:22 PM) [snapback]226243[/snapback]</div>

    The warmup period is a period of low efficiency for any internal-combustion engine, such as gas, deisel, or ethanol. After the engine warms to its operating temperature the combustion process wastes much less fuel-- the mixture is "lean" in a warmed-up engine but must be "rich" when the engine is first started (engine at ambient temperature). Today's fuel-injection engines are more efficient in this regard than the old carburetor engines, but until the engine is up to operating temperature it will not perform at maximum efficiency.

    It's also interesting to note that until a catalytic converter reaches a temperature of about 1500 degrees it does not perform efficiently either, though many vehicles don't use just the exhaust from the engine to warm up the converters-- they use other means such as electric elements.

    Bottom line I don't think this is an issue at all for you, since any car you buy will have to "warm up". In most ways the Prius is exactly like any other comparably-sized ICE car, since it faces the same issues with a warm-up period, though maybe less so since the Prius has the advantage of a supplemental electric motor.

    Letting a conventionally powered car warm up in your garage certainly isn't the answer either-- that is absolutely the best way to use gas without getting any mileage benefit from it. As long as the oil pressure is at a nominal value when you drive the car, there is little need to warm it up further if you drive normally-- and that only takes a few seconds.

    One last thing-- Prius owners don't need the car to run for a while to warm up the heater-- it's all electric anyway.
  19. BVISAILMAN

    BVISAILMAN Junior Member

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    Yes when it is colder outside the temp setting will determine whether you get cool or warm air. To test it simply turn the AC off the fan on low coming out the vents on the dash so you can feel it and move the temp setting on the steering wheel up and down You will feel the airflow get warmer and cooler depending on the temp setting.
  20. tadyergey

    tadyergey Junior Member

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    Hey all... I just bought a Prius Friday, 28 April. Put about 140 miles over 3 trips and have averaged about 48MPG so far.

    I googled Prius, strategy, driving and found this post.

    The opening read was awesome. I can't wait to try out some of the suggestions. I have about a 60 mile commute and am already hooked on the "energy screen" just what an engineer needs to keep him occupied in rush hour.

    But even if I only average 44 mph, I've still doubled my old RAV's 22 MPG.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Tad
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