Calling all Aussies and Kiwis !!

Discussion in 'International Owners' started by norman, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. norman

    norman New Member

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    I placed my order for a Merlot Red - ITech pack yesterday (That's 'Salsa' #9 for US readers).

    So far, I've only spotted one other Prius2004 around Melbourne (in a driveway) It seems that the NSW government is chewing up all the import quota. Should get mine in July if all goes well.
     
  2. ajpalm

    ajpalm New Member

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    Hi Norman,

    Well I'm in Melbourne as well, were abouts did you see the Prius in the driveway??

    Could have been ours :)

    Have you joined upto the Aussie Yahoo group yet?

    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/australian-prius/

    Thinking about doing a Prius drive some day.

    Andrew
     
  3. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    :wave:
    Hi folks,
    Received my new Prius (Silver) on 1st April after 3 month wait.
    Haven't spotted any more in Perth so far ( I am told that there are 10).
    I am working up to the 1000km free service - only done 450km so far.
    My overall driving impression can be expressed in one word - SMOOTH!
    In that short time, mainly flat terrain and freeway running, it is showing average 5L/100km (56 mpg).
    Once the first service is out of the way I will move out a bit more on to country roads.
    I notice many US owners recommend higher tyre pressures (42psi), but I am a bit wary of going away from Toyota's recommended figures, especially in hot weather - we get to >40 degrees C in summer.
    Also need to confirm that the 10W30 oil will be OK in those extremes.
    I did query Toyota on their Oz website, but they only redirected me to the local distributor - but nobody seems to know enough about it!
    Anyway, I have gleaned a lot of info from http//john1701a.com - that guy lives and breathes Prius!

    Regards,
    Kenmac
     
  4. norman

    norman New Member

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    G'day Kenmac,

    looks like Toyota's 3 month delivery estimate for me is going to be pretty accurate.

    Like I've mentioned above, I've gone for the Merlot Red (with Ivory interior). I have a full FrontEnd mask on the way from the states, and have found a generic rear bumper guard (to avoid suitcase damage out the tailgate).

    Picked up some door edge guards for $6, and I am still looking for sheepskin covers which handle the airbags (nothing is OZ by the looks of things). Might also go for some mudflaps from Canada (SuperCheap has some generic contoured ones which I won't know until the car arrives, whether they fit.)

    I'm going all out on this car. It's gonna be my obsession.

    My wife didn't know I was joking when I said I'm carpeting the garage to keep the tyres warm ;-) She has seen me obsessed on PCs and home theatre, so nothing surprises her any more.
     
  5. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    :wave:
    Hi norman,
    The wait will be worth it.
    I'm still getting to know the car of course, it will be a while before I get used to driving it - I find myself still reaching for the non-existent gear lever!
    The brakes are more sensitive than what I'm used to, but that is only a matter of training or re-calibrating the reactions.
    Haven't done my first fuel-up yet, so still to experience the much debated problems with that.
    Re the mudflaps - do you think that they will affect the airflow to any extent?
    I've noticed the buildup of "road stuff" on the body just past the wheel wells, so I was going to look at fitting flaps.
    The windscreen is very deep and I haven't found a sunscreen large enough to fit, so I might have to modify one (add to it) to fit.
    I was thinking of seatcovers - the airbags are a stumbling block though.
    I had a dash cover custom built/fitted (before delivery) plus window tint, both pretty necessary in our climate.
    The dash cover is a neat fit, following the contour, held down by velcro, and allowing for airbag release.
    I was a bit concerned as to how it would look, but it turned out to be quite good.
    I have two minor areas of concern.
    One is the problem of bright sunlight on the centre display - during my road test (on a hot day), it tended to be washed out - unreadable!
    Toyota maybe should bring out a hood acccessory for this.
    You don't really need the display to drive the car - the energy animation is impressive but really only an "extra".
    Of course the other screens are required because they contain "touch" controls for climate and radio/CD, some duplicated on the steering wheel.
    The other thing is the lack of body protection down the sides - I will be carefull where I park in shopping centres - they supply a small tin of touchup paint, probably expecting the inevitable chips, marks.
    I might see if I can find a suitable "stick-on" protection strip for this.
    Toyota don't approve of towing so a towbar is not usually fitted.
    However, with my previous car I used a towbar fitting to support a light wheelchair, for when I take my elderly mother shopping each week.
    Although the wheelchair can be stored inside the car, I would prefer it external, to free up the rear storage space.
    A bit further down the track I'll probably consult a towbar expert re the possibilty of fitting a lightweight frame, probably using the two tie-down points under the body.
    Depending on your height, the split rear window can take a bit of getting used to - I'm not sure why they did that, they must have had a good reason I suppose, but I would have preferred the full window.
    Also, the rear wiper has only 90 degree sweep, so only part of the glass is covered - what was wrong with 180 sweep?
    The "under floor" rear storage space is a great idea - I have fitted four clear plastic containers which fit neatly inside, to keep everything together and sorted.
    I will need a cargo net to use with the four tie-down rings they have provided.
    This is a classy machine, are we tending to be a bit "picky" ?
    Toyota have done such a good job in most areas that it is a surprise to find some things that seem to have been missed!

    Your wait is nearly over.

    Regards,
    Kenmac
     
  6. norman

    norman New Member

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    Kenmac,

    there is a product called "ding-guard" that is 2 magnetic rubber strips that you attach to the car in "iffy" car park situations. Around $45US.

    http://www.dingguard.com/


    Here's a quick list of some other items I've found...

    Rearbumper guard (generic)
    Supercheap Auto Parts

    Door edge guards (long thin strips, silver)
    Supercheap Auto Parts

    Full Frontend Mask
    www.toyotapart.com

    Headlight Protectors (they just need the measurements) www.altrex.com.au

    Mudflaps
    www.anythingtoyota.com (Supercheap has generic fit ones)

    Sheepskin Covers (still looking)



    Regards.

    norman
     
  7. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    Hi norman,
    Thamks for the info.
    Why did you go for the I-tech package?
    Seems extremely costly for what you get!
    It would have been better if the individual options were available separately I think.
    Buyers in US seem to have more choice.

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  8. norman

    norman New Member

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    kenmac,

    This is my last new car B4 I retire so I decided to go for the full kit while I could still make the payments. It's also gonna be my hobby "obsession' so I wanted the full kit to justify the attention.

    I 've never had Sat Nav before, so it was too cool and integrated to pass up. (At the time I thought it was speech activated, but I now know that the Aussie version doesn't support it. It must be our accent!!). The JBL system, BlueTooth mobile support, Smart Entry, VSC and the airbags are a bonus.


    BTW, the Mask arrived today (only took 5 days).

    I found a better deal re: 4 mudflaps set here...
    http://www.toyota-parts.ca/index.php?cPath=21

    I placed an order today.

    Happy Hybriding !!
     
  9. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    norman,
    I'm already retired a few years so I don't see the value in the I-tech of course.
    Re the Mudflaps - you ordered from Canada so what will it cost in $AU, including freight?
    Is customs duty payable?
    I checked my average L/100km today (as displayed for 700km) and it has dropped to 4.9 (57.5 mpg).
    The fuel gauge is gradually dropping and I will probably get a fuel warning soon.

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  10. norman

    norman New Member

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    I'll let you know the full cost when the mudflaps arrive. I expect it to be around $110 for the set.

    From what I've read, your mileage (which is already great) will get better as the car "learns" the scope of the HV battery.

    My Front Mask is a "Genuine Toyota" article. Very nice.

    I found some sheepskin covers at www.autoanything.com.


    I pretty much have everything covered now, in readiness for "the arrival".
     
  11. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    norman,
    Great !
    I'm checking with the local Toyota Parts people to see if they will bring in some mudflaps - waiting for a reply.

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  12. norman

    norman New Member

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    Spotted a white '02 today. Seemed to have 2 years worth of bugs splattered across the bumper and over the hood (some people have no respect), at least it shows that someone is doing a lot of highway country driving.
     
  13. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    norman,
    In our previous talk re seat covers you mentioned the problem caused by seat airbags, and I just accepted that I would have the same issue, completely forgetting that my "non I-tech" car of course doesn't have that option.
    So, now I will be looking around locally for something suitable.
    Also, I has assumed that the rear brakes were drums ( I read it somewhere I think - probably US models) but you will be pleased to know we get disks all around.
    Tyres fitted are Michelin - the "spare" is one of those "pretend spares" which are only good for limping home!
    Incidentally, I still carry the small compact 12V compressor which I used for tyre inflating on my previous car.
    It has medium "Croc" clips which normally connect direct to the battery.
    I was wondering where it would connect on the Prius - maybe via the auxilliary power socket.
    Anyway, I found that the positive lead can be simply clipped onto the "jump start" terminal that Toyota have provided.
    This is located in the fuse/relay box under the hood, under the red flip-up cover.
    The negative lead clips on to a chassis bolt/nut just above the box - it looks like it was meant to be used - it has a deep round washer fitted, making it all very easy.
    I am not sure if the "jump start" terminal has fuse protection, but my compressor has its own fuse, so there isn't a problem.
    Just noticed today - the shoulder seat-belt mounts are adjustable in height - they can be slid up/down to suit! (haven't seen that before)

    Travelling on flat freeway at 100Kph on Cruise Control - seems to settle at about 3.5L/100km.
    Average has already dropped back to 4.8L/100km.
    Fuel down to 2 bars now - waiting for alarm.

    The Cruise Control is the best I've come across - when you set the speed it locks on immediately, no hunting up/down as some do, (the advantage of full computer control I suppose), making driving a lot easier.

    I still use one word for this machine - SMOOTH!

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  14. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    norman

    Talked to local Toyota sales person today.
    Dealers are being driven nuts - plenty of orders but no supply - Perth gets 3 per month on the Toyota ship.
    He said a group of doctors have ordered some at the Nedlands branch, plus there is a small fleet order - I forget which firm.
    All of this of course makes it almost impossible for the individual prospective buyer!
    I think I was fortunate to get in before all this.
    I notice that they are no longer advertising, and two reviews ( the tests were done) have not appeared in the local press - I am guessing that Toyota have put a hold on those to prevent further embarrassment.

    kenmac
     
  15. norman

    norman New Member

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    Hey Kenmac,

    thanks for the info. That freeway mileage sounds fantastic !

    Imperial (British) Gallons
    L/100km = 282.5/mpg
    mpg = 282.5/[L/100km]

    therefore....

    282.5/3.5/100 or

    3.5l/100km = 28.57km/Ltr * 2.852 = 81mpg !!!

    Re disk brakes: It's interesting how there are subtle differences between each country. I have read that the UK version has a firmer suspension than the US version (I assume that we'll get the same as the UK in Aus).

    I don't want to alrm you, but the next time you experience a 40C day, check the temperature of your dash under the cover. My experience has been that with a cover (to protect from sunlight), the dash is actually much hotter to the touch. I am not sure which is worse, sun or heat. I guess the cover is really about reducing heat radiation into the cabin. I just hope it's not all being absorbed into the dash.

    re: delivery. Toyota themselves have quoted 3 months (starting mid-March). I do hope they're not just sticking a wet finger in the air.

    re: Jumpstart terminal. I have bought a smallish portable "jumpstarter" and a solar trickle charger incase I have to deal with 12v failure (ie: left the internal light on overnight). In my situation, 12v failure means, no can release park brake, must drag out of garage in reverse with front wheels locked. Not enough room for a towtruck... Better to keep jumpstartbattery solution nearby.

    BTW, on the issue of no parkbrake release without power, there just has to be some kind of hot jumper point to disengage the prawl manually, yet there is no mentiuon in the Emergency Attendence doco. (you know, kinda like arcing across the starter solanoid with a screwdriver, that used to work on my Falcon when the solanoid usstuck on a hot day.)
     
  16. ajpalm

    ajpalm New Member

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    This isn't the sun its the screen. Even on cold days, after driving for a while the screen is warm to touch and the dash around it and ontop is warm to the touch.

    This is the reason why there is a option on the touch screen to turn the display off on those long trips.

    Loving the prius, nearly 5k on him average is between 4.8 to 5.2 with A/C or heater on, and driving normally!

    getting 900kms roughly per tank. and taking about the 42-44ltrs to fill.

    Andrew
     
  17. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    norman,
    re the dash mat.
    I think that the original use was to prevent those old vinyl covered dashes from splitting open in the direct sunlight.
    The current dash is of harder material, but we don't know how it reacts under continuous harsh conditions.
    The one fitted on mine is same colour as dash (charcoal) so it probably won't prevent the heat being absorbed - just no direct sunlight.
    Might just have to switch off the display on really hot days.
    Once the 1000km service is done I'm just going to enjoy the car, without becoming obsessed with mileage checks, but I intend keeping a record of fuel costs.

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  18. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    Hi norman and others,
    1st tank dropped to 1 bar on the gauge and I decided to refuel at that point - not flashing yet.
    Went 858km @ displayed ave. = 4.8L/100.
    Tank took 41.98L, so calculated use = 4.89L/100, same as display!
    On 2nd tank so far 172km, temp 25 to 30C, flat terrain, max. 100kph, displayed average = 4.3L/100.
    That would give 1000km per tank in those conditions.
    Going in for free service this week, after which I will start to move further out of the City.

    Regards,
    kenmac
     
  19. norman

    norman New Member

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    Thanks for the info kenmac,

    Those fuel average figures sound great and equate to 66mpg. They can only get better as the ECU "learns" the HV battery dynamics.

    My Mudflaps arrived.

    Total cost = $91 Aud delivered.

    I'm investigating whether canada air charged surface freight cost, but still delivered via airmail (postage was only $10.70cn)

    Seat covers are on the way.

    Nearly all prepped. Now I just "NEED MY CAR!!"

    Still 8 weeks to go and I'm running out of bits to buy in anticipation!!
     
  20. kenmac

    kenmac New Member

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    Hi norman,
    The wait will be worth it.
    I learnt a couple more things this week.
    After refueling (full tank) I found that the displayed "average L/100" had automatically reset.
    First I thought that it had reset when I cleared the TripA reading, but eventually was told (forum) that it occurs automatically.
    I haven't noticed it mentioned in the Owners Manual
    The car is in for free service today.
    This is the first chance to speak to anyone that really knows anything about the car (serviceman).
    In discussing the engine oil situation, I discovered that they use a form of "running in" oil for the first 6 months/10,000km.
    I am trying to find out if I can use 20W50 oil (GTX2) in lieu of 10W30.
    The reason is that I still have plenty of GTX2 left - I did my own oil changes on the Celica.
    There isn't a warranty problem - just maybe a small fuel economy penalty, but not sure.
    The 10W30 covers the really low range of temperatures which we don't experience, in Perth anyway.
    I'm still waiting for an answer from local Toyota re importing mudflaps and will probably do the same as you if they cannot supply.
    I bought a set of seat covers yesterday from Super Cheap - not sheepskin, but OK to protect the seats.
    One thing has puzzled me about the design of this car - the rear wiper is located on the LHS and only sweeps a 90 degree arc to the centre of glass.
    I think that they must have just left it where it is installed for LHD versions, and didn't bother to move it for RHD.
    It should have been in the centre anyway. with full sweep of the glass.


    Regards,
    kenmac
     
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