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Teaching the Mrs. to drive - am I wrong?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by zm15, Mar 26, 2012.

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  1. zm15

    zm15 Junior Member

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    So we just got a used 2010 Prius III, 37000 miles, and am finding that as I'm teaching my wife what all the information on the display means, I'm actually not 100% sure myself. I'm understanding what the basic readouts mean, but am unsure about the engine 'performance' as I don't have a Scangauge just yet.

    The other night she was driving it and was consistently running it well over and filling the RED PWR indicator on the right side of the HSI when she was accelerating from a stop, and I told her that's not good on the car....without actually knowing if that was true or not. She was just driving it like she would normally accelerate in our '04 Accord, non-lead foot, normal acceleration for her.

    So do I need to stand corrected that it's not actually bad, or 'redline-ing' the engine RPM wise? Or just that when it's in that peak position, you're just not getting ideal MPG? Curious about long term effects of accelerating/driving like that....

    Thanks for the help, I know my wife will enjoy a little less passenger seat driving when I'm with her :)
  2. ghosteh

    ghosteh Member

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    its not a redline, but a "red zone" for fuel mileage.

    Just let her drive normally without worrying about all the dozen different ways to read fuel mileage in the Prius. She'll be a much better and more attentive driver if her focus is on the road.
  3. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    It doesn't even have to be that bad for fuel mileage, provided you stop accelerating and learn to glide longer and brake less. But I agree, let her drive normal. She can get better mpg if/when she chooses to, but won't hurt the car.
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? At this point just let her drive. She can't hurt the car, unless she hits something.

    Tom
    almypal26 likes this.
  5. zm15

    zm15 Junior Member

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    haha indeed, a happy wife is a happy home!! I don't mind being wrong, but i just better be sure that I'm either right or wrong in the first place :)

    I agree with everyone that posted. Just wasn't sure if it was the equivalent of running a 5 speed to the redline every single time you accelerate.
  6. milkman44

    milkman44 Member

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    Let her drive, don't have to be married long to realize that hill ain't worth dying on.;)
  7. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

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    My wife gets only mid forties MPG when she drives vs my mid fifties and once she overheated HV battery badly.
    I didnt have a nerve to talk about it to her.
  8. dalspot

    dalspot One foot off the grid

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    Too funny. I get on my hubby all the time because he has never gotten as much fuel mileage out of our vehicles as I do. One was a tractor trailer ;)
    1 person likes this.
  9. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    No way the Prius would allow that to happen so what exactly did she do? Block the battery vent?
  10. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    I'd say the wisest thing to do is let the car teach you both to drive. :)
  11. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    You don't teach her to drive any other cars so why should the Prius be any different?

    Just three things to keep in mind: 1) It's low so careful with the curbs!, 2) shifting into reverse may not be intuitive and 3) don't do anything stupid like leave it on or block the battery vent.
  12. sooperedd

    sooperedd Junior Member

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    I consistently get better MPGs than my wife, but I'm smart enough to keep my mouth shut when it comes to her driving.

    I just wish she would do the same :D
  13. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

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    the last 1 mile before my home is down hill, but curvy and hilly. I do it in in one nice glide with no ICE by light brake use and quick turns. she must have braked hard down and accelerated hard up, filled the HV to the max and then parked the car in the sun and turned it off before the HV had any chance to cool down. She is used to a car with V6 and drove the prius demanding the same performance.

    As you know, the battery fan is off with car off.

    When I started the car an hr or two later, the fan was full blast for the next 30 minutes or so and the car was running 100% on ICE with no battery assist whatsoever.

    At least the battery survived.
  14. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    I seriously doubt the battery overheated or was harmed in any way.
  15. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    Nobody's mentioned it yet, but you can't really redline a Prius - the RPMs are capped at about 5,000 by the computer. It won't let you rev the engine past where the computer considers it to be safe.

    You can get to 5,000 RPMs by, for example, filling the battery on a long descent, and then using engine braking (B mode) at reasonably high speeds (I don't think it can get that high unless you're going at least 40 mph or so). B mode without a full battery won't rev that high.
  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    "Flooring the fuel pedal will not hurt the car, but fuel economy drops." For better fuel economy, accelerate so that the power needle is just a little into the 'POWER' zone.
  17. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    The HSI meter isn't a tachometer, so going into the red area isn't "redlining", not at all. It measures how much torque you're applying to the drivetrain via the gas pedal. The gauge is split in half. If you're applying only enough gas to stay below the halfway point, the car may use only electric power (if the battery charge is above two bars), or it may use a combination of gas and battery. If you press hard enough on the gas, you go above the halfway point, and the internal combustion engine will kick in. but you can drive a Prius into and well beyond the red PWR zone.
  18. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    It's impossible to drive this car never hitting the PWR zone unless you either hate your own life of the lives of those around you; it's just too slow especially accelerating up hills, you'll be the victim of road rage.

    Accelerating gently and braking early to maximize recharge and ideals--you should try it, but don't fret over it too much. I've given up telling my wife to change her driving style. It could even introduce safety problems if too much attention is paid. I feel I get slightly better mileage when I drive it, but her mileage is still good. The car is maximized by driving technique but does not require it to still get very solid mileage.

    Seems like most guys here are the same: Their approach gets better miles but they don't press the matter :)
  19. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    She sure will!
    If it were ME, I'd just have her read the manual and let her drive the car as she sees fit. Some rental car companies have Priuses in their fleets. It's not all that hard.
    When I'm in the co-pilot seat, I usually take a STFU attitude, unless my dear wife asks me to check right. It's easier on the marriage, and it's a helluva lot easier to drive any car from the left seat than it is to try and to do so from the right.
    Just sayin... ;)
  20. krazypriuslady

    krazypriuslady Member

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    Any question that starts with "Should I teach the Mrs.." is going to end badly for the Mr. :)
    MJFrog likes this.
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