Any possible issue of ICE problems due to insufficiently frequent use

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by GT4Prius, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. GT4Prius

    GT4Prius Active Member

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    Most of our regular journeys would probably be within the battery only range of the Prime.
    Do folk think it might cause any possible problems to the ICE over time to be used perhaps only once a month?
    Does the Prime have any technology to address that possibility, or to log the amount of actual ICE use, for servicing purposes?



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  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It will likely have a maintenance mode like the Volt, that will fire up the ICE after some time of EV only driving.

    Tracking engine hours or use would nice, but I think Toyota's maintenance timer is still miles driven.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    none that i can think of. as tb ^ said, it will fire the engine every so many miles, but the manual also says not to let gas get more than 6 months old, so you need to stay on top of that. maybe you can use gas treatment.
    and you'll want to change the oil once a year, even if you don't hit 10k.
     
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  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The engine will automatically run every 200 miles.
     
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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That sounds low.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    pip is 124, so they've almost doubled it. i hope they added a warning, i hate when i'm gunning it in ev up an on ramp or something and the engine fires.
     
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  7. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    The biggest problem is the engine will outlast the car! -Then- what do you do! ;)
     
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  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    No problem with engine...the gasoline with 10% ethanol has some tendency to pick up moisture and separate, but probably OK in a Prius gaso tank. Products like Stabil say they inhibit that.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The PiP is more hybrid than EV. Regular use that leads to needing a maintenance cycle is rare.

    Someone with a 20 mile commute, and can charge at work, will have their ICE fire up every week with a Prime/PHV. It seems the Volt will go six weeks before firing up the engine for maintenance mode. Using time versus distance for this timing makes more sense; oil draining off the parts is a factor of them sitting still over time.

    91% rubbing alcohol will help with phase separation. I wouldn't worry about it though. Excessive moisture shouldn't be getting into a sealed car tank. A sealed tank also slows down the degradation of gasoline from oxidation and evaporation.

    It can be a year before the Volt goes into a fuel maintenance cycle to burn off old gas. GM was being cautious when it came to gas becoming bad in the tank. It is why the gen1 required premium. With 5 years of data, they now feel safe using regular in the gen2.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you're trying to define driving habits, that's impossible. i'll grant that the more ev available, the more likely not to use the engine. but that would only call for more regular ice exercise by the computer not less.
    i'll trust the toyota's engineers over your theory, i have no idea myself.
     
  11. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    Very good question by the OP. Being a first-time Prius owner, I was thinking the same thing. Should I "exercise" the gas engine? (Especially being retired, and not driving as much.)

    A simple way for me, is it helps to be in the PWR mode and I can control when and how long my engine comes on. And, my MPG has improved. :D I'm also going to take it on the freeway once a week for exercise.

    (I remember the service manager telling me, that my Camry is not driven enough, or long enough, too many short trips and not warmed up... and it's 8 yrs old, and the gaskets/seals have become brittle. So an oil leak (supposedly) developed. My dad had the same problem with a '97 Camry that he kept in the garage, and only trotted out about 6 times a year.)
     
  12. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes. Plug-in's have been around for years with many obtaining very high EV to gas usage ratios. Manufacturers program in time constraints to periodically use fuel; typically one tank of gas per year. This also helps with oil longevity.
     
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    And I'm saying they are being overly cautious and wasteful of fuel.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    understood, but they are overly cautious as a general rule, where other companies throw caution to the wind for short term sales and marketing purposes.
     
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  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    appears bisco isn't the only one

    The 200 miles is probably based upon typical Japanese driving, and could be several weeks there.
    Oil coming off parts, and water getting into it, is a factor of time, not how far the car has gone between firing up the ICE.
     
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  16. NHCLCR

    NHCLCR Junior Member

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    I have been wondering the same thing, especially for the break in period. For my 2010, it seemed that the engine settled around 10,000 miles. The MPGs kept rising during this period, and I have found other posts that talk about this amount of miles.

    If the average speed is 30mph, then to get 10,000 miles the engine would be in operation for around 330-some hours. At 40mph, around 250 hours. For me, this took around 9 or 10 months. For others, it would probably be longer.

    Now, for the question. Gas engines don't do well if not run regularly. Toyota does run the engine periodically if running on electricity, but what is expected time period expected by the Toyota engineers to break in the engine? If you ran solely on electricity, then to get 200-350 hours of time would take a long time. Somehow my gut feeling is that the engine should be broken in maybe in a year or so, assuming the 10,000 mile example. Does anyone have more concrete information on this? Thanks!
     
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  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Kit car! lol
     
  18. Bluegrassman

    Bluegrassman Active Member

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    Exactly! It is Toyota's penchant to err on the side of caution in certain areas that has allowed them to produce such bulletproof cars.


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  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Engines really don't need a break in period these days, thanks to better manufacturing and design. Not saying there wasn't a break in period that you experienced, just that I don't think it was because of the engine.

    I suspect some of it is the driver getting familiar with a new car, but wear in is also a part. There are more moving parts than the engine, and these will be moving regards of of drive mode.

    The important one here is the tires. The rolling resistance will be at its worse on a brand new tire because of the mold release compounds. Even when those are worn off, which will take at least a few hundred to a thousand miles, the tire's rolling resistance will still improve with wear. Though a tiny bit of the improved fuel efficiency seen is because the tires are getting smaller. For the EPA tests, the tires on the cars can't have more than 4000 miles on them.
     
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  20. NHCLCR

    NHCLCR Junior Member

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    Some good thoughts I have also had. When I was researching this for my 2010 Prius, the seating of the piston rings came up quite a bit. That doesn't take 10,000 miles to wear in, would it still be good to get that part of the engine wear done soon and with the engine run at various RPMs?

    Thanks for the rolling resistance part, didn't know why this happened.


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