'10 Prius going on a trip through the desert

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Slicer89, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    My girlfriend, myself and her cousin are going to drive from Montana, Where the temps rarely stay into the 90s during the day, and cool down at night.

    We are going to drive from here to Las Vegas, Nevada (Which is 940 miles give or take) I was checking the weather and noticed it is going to be 115 F the day we arrive! And well into the 100s while we are down there.

    The cars AC works good, Has 110k on it, been maintained well and just had an oil change. I am wondering what I should do to make sure the car doesn't overheat and can handle the heat while we are driving through the desert and in traffic in Vegas. The car has NEVER overheated, and never had any issues. We just wanna make sure it will not crack under the much more intense heat than it's used to.

    I plan on checking all fluid levels, and giving the radiator and car itself a good wash... Someone mentioned checking / cleaning the Inverter cooling fan filter? Where is that at?

    Going to carry not only water for us to drink in a cooler incase of an emergency / for traveling, but gonna carry a gallon or two of coolant just incase.

    Car has done great on the several trips out of town (100+ miles 1-3 times a week) and alot of trips to other parts of the state / out of state, but as I said it's never been in anything beyond maybe around 95F of Semi-arid desert heat (Montana)
     
  2. Markdizle

    Markdizle Member

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    I just drove from socal to Utah, through Vegas where the temps were 105. Prius handled it great! Hopefully your windows are tinted and I recommend bringing a sweatshirt or long sleeve to cover up from the sun while your driving. That windshield is huge and lets a lot of sun in! Driving through the hot desert with a sweatshirt on sounds odd but it saved my arms from a gnarly driving tan.

     
  3. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    Windows aren't tinted, sadly. Not yet atleast. We're already planning on bringing a crap ton of sunblock. Mostly worried about the car in that kind of heat.
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it, the prius won't have any issues in 115 degree heat
     
  5. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR Active Member

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    There are thousands of Prii living in that environment every day that do just fine.
     
  6. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    I'll bet they meant the traction battery cooling fan--it's located in the rear, passenger side seat. The small grate located near the rear door.

    There are two cooling systems associated with the hybrid power system, one for the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the other for the inverter. Both have reservoirs filled with pink (OEM) coolant. You mentioned bringing extra coolant, just don't buy generic. I think you need to use Toyota-specific pink fluid.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    There's a fan cooling the hybrid battery, it's nestled in right beside it. It's inlet is on the back seat back, at the passenger end. Some info on cleaning it here:

    HV Battery Fan Service? | PriusChat
     
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  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Don't bring coolant with you on the trip, you won't need it
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    With the AC I'd suggest to set cabin temp around 75F, don't aim for ice cold. Also, at stops, shut it right off, roll the windows down. Don't leave it idling with the AC on. Basically, don't look on the car as a rolling ice box: that's what could lead to overheating.
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Before you go in the trip, check your oil level and make sure it's full before you leave. If there's a history of your 2010 burning some oil, I would bring a quart on the trip
     
  11. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    All of the above replies looks great to me. I have driven our 2013 in Montana, Utah, and also the desert. No problems, no sweat. Too bad the windows are not tinted.

    Hint: Seriously consider getting a good 3M product of tint installed that will pass the local laws before you leave. The tint will keep the car much much cooler.

    I do disagree with Mendel about the tips on shutting down the A/C and rolling down the windows. The traction battery should be adequate to handle any power needs and the ICE will fire up normally when the traction battery gets down to 2 bars.

    Don't waste time hauling the extra coolant for the Prius. Just make sure the inverter pump is working properly. And make certain both of the coolant reservoirs are full to the full line of the coolant designed for Prius by Toyota.

    Have a great time in Vegas. Don't lose all of your money!

    Peace,
    Ron (dorunron)
     
  12. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Senior Member

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    In regards to windshield, which UV rays does it filter?

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I would be more concerned about evaluating the condition of the tires and windshield wiper blades. Instead of coolant, bring a gallon of windshield washer fluid to help you fend off the hundreds of bugs that will end up on your windshield.

    If you want to do some maintenance ahead of the trip, I would suggest replacing the iridium spark plugs (if they weren't previously replaced) and inspecting the engine and cabin air filters to determine whether they need to be replaced.
     
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  14. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    I live in Vegas and there are many Prii here. The AC will not seem ice cold here during this time, because the starting temps are so high.

    I'm also taking road trips out of here, through the desert. My focus is simply to make sure the fluids are all topped off. If there's a history of leaks, then bring some extra oil/coolant/fluids. Otherwise, pay attention to your tires. A flat should realistically be your biggest concern if your maintenance is up to date.
     
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  15. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Well said Patrick and Melon,

    I had meant to add to my reply in this string that the tires should be in good condition, aired up properly, wheels aligned and balanced. Also it would be a good idea to do the other basics: check all fluid levels before the trip and replenish as needed. Don't forget some good sun shades. Those are basic maintenance items that should be performed by all vehicle operators, however at times some of it can be mistakenly overlooked.

    Ron (dorunron)
     
    #15 dorunron, Jun 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  16. Yippeekyaa

    Yippeekyaa Active Member

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    In those conditions do not use eco
    Mode. Eco mode actually dials back the ac compressor some in the interest of fuel
    Economy. When the car interior is super hot, I turn eco mode off until it cools down. I've also found they with outside temps above 95 the ac never feels comfortable when on eco mode.
     
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  17. Mister Gadget

    Mister Gadget Junior Member

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    To add on; keeping the cabin cool also keeps the battery cool. So in the interest of prolonging battery life, I'd use the warmest temp that you're comfortable with. For me this is 75-78 degrees.
     
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