Cold Weather Performance

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Tideland Prius, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,439
    11,989
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    I don't know if I should be happy or sad that I'll be the first to post about the cold weather performance of the Gen III.

    We got our first snowfall today and currently we're sitting at -6°C/24°F.

    The car is in ECO Mode and the climate control set to 22.5°C/73°F.



    After a cold start (i.e. sitting outside for an hour and a bit while we had dinner), I can say that the heater comes on fairly quickly. I didn't time it but I'd say about 5 mins in, I can feel some warm air and by 10 mins, it's nice and warm inside. Even with the heater going at full blast (I guess it figured I want heat and I want it now, even though it's set at 22.5°C), the engine shuts down quickly. I know with below freezing temps and with the heater going in the Gen II, it'll be a while before the engine would shut off at a traffic light. With the Gen III, I can glide. I have to be extra cautious though since the Instant MPG meter tends to show 0L/100km even though the engine is running (why, Toyota, why??) but I'm sure it was off because when I passed the middle line on the HSI, I felt the engine kick in.


    Even with below freezing temps, I didn't put a dent in my mileage (about halfway through the tank). This looks promising for winter driving.
     
    8 people like this.
  2. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    7,509
    1,517
    0
    Location:
    Alaska
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Wow, where exactly are you at anyway? Have you covered your grills at all? If so what did you do?
    Its been down to the upper 20sF here but only in the mornings (clear days). The ICE does run longer I have noticed. I have dropped off by 2 to 3 mpg since it got cold/wet. Of course I also added mud guards and removed the hub caps.
    Keep us posted on the FE.

    Peter
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,439
    11,989
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Much farther south >.<. We got the cold air from you guys I guess. We'll have highs near 0/32 through this weekend. At least it'll be sunny.
     
  4. MataOrtiz

    MataOrtiz New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    49
    4
    0
    Location:
    NJ
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Are the tires all-weather or do you really have to change to snow tires for winter?
     
  5. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    680
    144
    35
    Location:
    Vernon Hills, IL
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I live north of Chicagoland and I will be installing snowtires for the winter. No amount of alphabet-soup nursemaids can create traction where there is none. And, four snow tires are typically less than an insurance deductible. ;)
     
  6. Philosophe

    Philosophe 2010 Prius owner

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    437
    71
    1
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec (Canada)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Not this cold yet here in Montreal. :)

    In my experience, when the engine is running, the instant FE indicator is at zero only when the car is not moving; as soon as you move, it appears back up; as soon as you stop it disappears.

    I'm still enjoying the fact that I can start and stop the engine with the heater on/off buttons! ;)


    My FE hasn’t changed either (still 4.3L/100km displayed; I have yet to enter my gas receipts in a DB ), but two factors may affect this:

    • I did my first oil change last week and went with Mobil 1 5W20 ([email protected]$ at Walmard unable to find 0W20 in Montreal yet). I tend to think this has improved my FE compared to Toyota semi-synthetic 0W20 from Tsutsumi…
    • My daily commute begins with a 2 km distance of “stop and go†with the ICE running and then slow crawling traffic for 4-5 km with the ICE mostly off; the rest is city driving (50km/h limit). I do prevent the ICE from running when not needed by turning the heater off during the slow traffic part (at outside temp of 5-10°C, the ICE heating period is sufficient to warm the inside air for comfort).

    I’ll see how this evolves in the next weeks.

    The block heater will also be used as soon as the timer is removed from the pool water pump! I’ll probably do some tests w/ w/o the block heater to compare.
     
  7. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    5,963
    1,939
    0
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Enjoy guys. Looks like Toyota Canada won't replace the GII coolant transfer pump that squeals. I put my grill blocks in two days ago, so Tideland, looks like the snow was my fault! ;)

    Maybe I SHOULD get a GIII just to get rid of the useless (here anyway) thermos.

    I use Nokian WR tires year round and they work VERY well. Tideland knows that, but he's too cheap to throw away the stock tires on his GIII. ;)
     
  8. Maineiac

    Maineiac Monkey Wrencher

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    71
    9
    0
    Location:
    lobsterland
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Mileage hits - sooner or later - are a given. No news there. What about traction, with or w/o snows? That is the great unknown, thus far.
     
  9. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    680
    144
    35
    Location:
    Vernon Hills, IL
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Heck, that's an easy one.

    Traction in snow with snow tires > Traction in snow without snowtires

    As far as I'm concerned, all-season tires are ok at everything and good at nothing.

    All-Season vs. Winter / Snow Tires
     
  10. jon_lin

    jon_lin New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    25
    4
    0
    Location:
    Calgary
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Snowy and windy the last few days in Calgary, AB. My mileage dropped .4L/100km for the single trip so far, although I'm not hitting anything near the advertised mileage to begin with (calculated 4.7L/100km is typical city for me). My engine only shuts off after 10 minutes of continuous driving. I also crank the heat up to HI and only lower it when it becomes super toasty.

    Did you know that if its really cold when you start your car, and your fan is set to "auto", it won't actually start circulating air in the cabin until warm air is actually coming out? Interesting, to say the least.

    I'm not a fan of the Ecopia tires that came with the Prius. Just picked up some X-Ice Tires from Costco for just under $600 CAD.

    Going to Edmonton this weekend, will fill up and do an oil change too (sidenote: apparently Gateway put the 5W-20 when they prepped my car, and an synthetic 0W-20 oil change is typically $80 CAD!). We'll see how well the car handles on the highway with my Ecopia tires with a bit of snow.
     
  11. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    7,509
    1,517
    0
    Location:
    Alaska
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Let us know how the x-ice tires do. The tire guy @ our Costco actually talked me out of them for my Prius. He said they do OK on lighter cars but much better on the heavier ones. So I am sticking with studs.
     
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,439
    11,989
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Hmm, mine squealed for a while but now I just learn to live with it.


    Actually, I'm running Nokian Rs right now. Had them swapped last Monday.

    Hmm.... I wonder why they don't have it showing > 10L/100km when stopped and only when moving?


    After leaving it outside today at work, it shut off on its own after about 7-8 mins (according to the min. Cons. bar). By then, the heater's already running

    all-season and no they're not "all-season". It's recommended that you switch because you do get superior traction. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of the switch over twice a year, get the Nokia WRG2. That's a "true" "all-weather" tyre meaning it'll give you decent grip in the winter (btwn all-seasons and dedicated winters) but you can run them in the summer without experiencin the negativities of runninf dedicated winters in the summer (poor traction, increased tyre wear, tyre noise etc)


    Hmm.. you can just leave it at a set temperature. It'll automatically adjust the heat and fan speed.


    Yup. That's why it's called automatic climate control. It's smart enough not to blow cold air at your feet at initial start up. I'm running on Nokian WRs right now. The X-ice should be just as good.

    $80 is fairly reasonable when you consider the regular scheduled oil change is about $40ish. So twice the cost and twice the interval means it's not costing you any more. Of course, we need to wait for TCI to switch the maintenance schedule otherwise we're forced to take 6mth/8,000km if we want to keep the warranty (or should something come up and we need a warranty claim)
     
  13. brianric

    brianric Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    31
    1
    0
    Location:
    Pennsville, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Considering I live in sw New Jersey (5 miles from Delaware Memorial Bridge) and may see only 3 inches snow each year, all-season tires will do just fine. :D
     
  14. Philosophe

    Philosophe 2010 Prius owner

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    437
    71
    1
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec (Canada)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Take a look at ConsumerSearch.com. They do literature reviews (reviews of reviews). For winter tires, then amalgamate info from US, Canada and Sweden.

    The tire dealer warned me that it won't have the same capacity as the Nokian to evacuate snow.

    The Xi2 also provides low rolling resistance similar to the Nokian Hakkapelitta R (which suffers from hydroplaning and poor braking on wet roads, and costs more).

    I went with the Xi2. CAN$830 (tires, steel wheels, nuts, balancing and taxes). I'll be able to report about its durability in a few winters!
     
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,439
    11,989
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Oh and to add to this, ECO mode does affect heater output. I can hear the fans speed up/slow down as I toggle ECO mode.

    Also see my thread on SKS locking with gloves on that's also in this subforum
     
  16. alohabailey

    alohabailey New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    88
    4
    0
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Hi Everyone, I am a bit confused by all the snow tire and engine heater talk. Can someone explain to me? I live in NY. We get some snow, some years are worse than others. I never got snow tires for my old Sentra. Do we need the engine heater- or is it only for milage purposes. Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  17. alohabailey

    alohabailey New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    88
    4
    0
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Hello,
    I am very confused by all the cold weather talk. I live in NY and we get snow but some years are worse than others. We have never gotten snow tires for our old car. I am worried about space. I don't have a garage to put 4 extra tires. Also is the engine heater necessary or is it for milage purposes? Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  18. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    11,780
    4,513
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    The "cold weather" talk is just those of us that seek simple ways of improving performance, not necessary... but nice if you live in a hostile environment.

    In my case, with my Iconic model (2004), I upgraded to high-traction all-season tires and blocked the grille. Both were very easy to do and neither was needed. I drove without for years. But being so easy to do, why not?

    The tires lastest far longer and improved grip all year long under all driving conditions. The blocking provided additional heat for those dead-cold days in January and better MPG in certain conditions.

    For my 2010, all I'm doing is blocking the lower-grille. 20 minutes effort and $2 for the foam insulation goes a heck of a long way.
    .
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    7,509
    1,517
    0
    Location:
    Alaska
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II

    With the new Traction Control System (TCS) in the 2010, we will likely not need special tires in many cases. But I have always had studded snows for my other vehicles even my F150 4x4. I like the extra traction when I need it. If you gotten away without them, you will likely not need them with the Prius.
    The block heater is more for mileage purposes. Although if you park outside in the cold I would highly recommend one. Not so much if garaged. I plan to order one soon because I want to reduce warmup time for better mileage.
    Just my 2 cents,
    Peter
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Maineiac

    Maineiac Monkey Wrencher

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    71
    9
    0
    Location:
    lobsterland
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Sorry. I was speaking not of tires, about which any of us in northern climes should know plenty, but of the traction control system, with which nobody, to my knowledge, has yet reported real-world experience. (Correct me if I've missed something.) I'd have thought the first thing anybody would want to do once some white stuff was in evidence, is to find a safe open space and play spin the tires. What about it, Tideland?

     
Loading...