Changes in Altitude

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Solar1953, May 23, 2010.

  1. Solar1953

    Solar1953 Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    17
    1
    0
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Could anyone shed some light on this particular question? In driving from relatively low altitude (around 700 feet above sea level) to much higher altitude (say, Colorado with varying heights up to and over 10000 feet), what sort of performance changes should I expect? And how well does the Prius handle mountainous terrain?
     
  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,987
    3,786
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I don't know if my Prius is just more spunky or what, but I have absolutely no problems. I live in Colorado, and routinely drive the I-70W corridore up the mountain passes through the Eisenhower Tunnel (11,000ft+), through Vail Pass (7% + grades). My Prius has had absolutely no trouble. I maintain speeds of 70mph to 85mph. Yes it is pedal to the metal but it does it.

    In my Honda Civic, I do start to loose speed on the 10mile stretch of 6% uphill but I can start at 85mph and crest the top around 70mph or so.

    It handles just fine in the mountains. I recently drove the stretch through horrible blizzards in the Prius and it was just fine. I mean horrible where there were many jackknifed semi-trucks scattered about the passes. Driving in the middle of the road and/or shoulder to get around stuck vehicles where people cant drive. Police cars in the ditches. No snow plows, nothing. The entire interstate was closed in 3 sections hours after I went through. So snow & ice & heavy grades + prius = just fine.

    You have nothing to worry about unless you are a horrible driver.
     
  3. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    2,704
    487
    63
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Were you doing 70~85 MPH in the blizzard? What tires do you have on the Prius? Thanks!
     
  4. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,987
    3,786
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three

    Oh hell no! 70-85 is on the road in everything other than heavy rain or more than light snow.

    In the blizzard it was everything from 5mph to around 40mph. 40mph was sort of pushing it. I almost crapped my pants driving through vail pass. I was going around 30-ish, and a big pickup truck passed me going probably 40 maybe 45. Lift kit, loud exhaust, and a PNP HID kit in the 8000k+ range. This was just before one of those 'S' curves where the road turned left and almost immediately turned right afterwards. Well the truck went left, the right, then 180 spin now going backwards down the highway, then it spun around a bit and went at a 90degree angle for a few hundred feet playing bumper cars with the guard rail over a cliff on the right and the rock face on the left (divided highway at this point). Of course him/her going out of control meant I was on the path to then hit the idiot, so I had to brake and of course it was really slipperly so when I realized I wasnt going to brake in time, I floored it and went around when I saw the chance.

    Biggest danger in driving is the other idiots on the road. I slowed down after that for a bit, but then sped up a bit as we do. :)

    My tires say "Tiger" on them, not sure what they are I havent really checked. They suck big time though, but tires make virtually no difference in most of my driving. I put a good set of winter tires on my civic, but my other cars are basic all-season. Technique rules over tires.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    614
    113
    33
    Location:
    Colorado and Arizona
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Limited
  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    17,522
    6,802
    54
    Location:
    South OC So Cal & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    +1
    We've crossed the contenental divide (traveling I.15) going from MT to CA or visa vers in the winter. A couple times is was snowing HARD. The prius is no SUV when it comes to ground clearance, but all things considered, it'll do. I prefer to find a big rig, then tuck in tight behind it. They act as a snow plow for me. ;) Snow or sun, I've never noticed much of a difference in performance at altitude ... and MT DOES have altitude. In fact, the lowest point in the state is STILL above 2,000 feet.
     
  7. sl7vk

    sl7vk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    518
    22
    0
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Is this for real?
    I go over Parleys at 75 and pass just about everyone.... Parleys is at 7300 feet, Salt Lake is 4500 feet, and I've never had the least amount of problems. I think it shouild actually do better than normal cars being that it has the electric engine and battery that can't be starved by a lack of oxygen....
     
  8. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,987
    3,786
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Well once the battery is depleted you are in the same boat as everyone else. I think people are just scared to floor the car.
     
  9. sl7vk

    sl7vk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    518
    22
    0
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Hmmm.... If the Prius isn't screaming at me while going up the canyon, then I'm not trying.

    Any Japanese 4 banger is meant for high revving....

    Learning how to not deplete the battery and build it back up a bit in the flattish parts of any climb helps as well.
     
  10. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,987
    3,786
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Doesnt work so well in the Colorado rockies as it is 2-10 miles straight up then back down again. :)
     
  11. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    614
    113
    33
    Location:
    Colorado and Arizona
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Limited
    There is no uniform meaning to the terms "mountain pass" and "the continental divide." In some places, the continental divide isn't even noticeable (like on I-40 in NM). Some mountain passes are just short jogs while others are marathons.

    If you intend to regularly drive over Loveland Pass in Colorado (or are heading East over Independence Pass, Monarch Pass, Wolf Creek Pass or Cameron Pass) and if you want to maintain 65 mph or more, then you'd better start with a fully green battery. For some reason these passes are more steep if you're heading East and, as a general rule, there are no spots (on the way up the Pass) flat enough to allow the batteries to recharge. Or just plan on going 55 mph at the top as that is as fast as the ICE will propel the car at 11,000 + feet elevation.
     
  12. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    1,016
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    They shouldn't be. The computers prevent it from redlining.
     
Loading...