Cold Weather Performance

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

  1. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    I have been holding off putting the winter tires to do just that. Still hasn't snowed here yet but soon I am sure. I want to see how the car performs with the OEM tires on it so I have a comparable.
    First time I am looking forward to the snow. :)
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Well I tried it with the Ecopias on dry ground and +20°C temps lol. I haven't tried it in snow yet (but I already have winter tyres mounted so I might have to wait for more snow and/or ice to try it out). However, initial impressions are positive and I'm eager to try it out in the snow. If results are repeatable, I would think a LOT of people will be happier with the Prius' winter performance.

    What?!?!? no way. We got snow before you did :eek: This isn't right :(

    Well depends on how you want to get around. For places that get some light snow and/or slush every year (some years more than other), I would recommend something like the Nokian WR (or the Vredstein Quadra 2) which will better handle the snow than the typical all-season tyre but can run in the summer without the negative effects of dedicated winter tyres. We have the WRs mounted on our '05 cause we probably get snow a few days out of the year (it usually melts within a few days or get washed away by the rain). However, some years can be worse and, well, nobody knows how to drive in the snow here...



    WRT the EBH, it's mostly for pre-heating the engine block prior to starting the vehicle. It puts less stress and wear & tear on the engine block. Also note that if the engine's pre-heated, then it'll take less time to warm up, right?
     
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  3. jon_lin

    jon_lin New Member

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    I live in a new apartment where the builder built the incline into the underground parkade *just* enough so that a heated driveway isn't needed. Had a few close calls with my old Camry with all-seasons, so I'm not risking it this year. And hopefully the TCS makes driving less tense amongst the insane Calgarians.

    I also got the XIce tires installed this morning. Got to Costco at 7:30am, was sixth in line, and they only accepted seven cars today! The things people do to save money $40... ;) The forecast also calls for 16C/61F next week, so no first-hand reports for snow tires from me yet...
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    There should have been some snow reports from the Colorado Front Range Sept. 21-22. I arrived at Rocky Mountain National Park after nearly all of it melted, but did see several inches of left-over snow in the shade, and some light flurries that didn't stick, during hikes over the next several days. There was no shortage of Gen III Priuses in the area, so somebody did get some winter practice.

    My Prius' first accumulated snow was a week ago this morning, at Tahoe. Four inches. The ground was still warm, so it was turning to slush fast. The only 'winter tests' were a few hard braking applications to try the ABS before reaching the bare highway.

    [​IMG]

    Based on tonight's evening news pictures, we ought to be getting a bunch more winter test results from the Rocky Mountain areas in the next couple days.
     
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  5. alohabailey

    alohabailey New Member

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    Thank you to everyone who put the tech talk into laymans terms for me. Much appreciated and thank you for the recommendations on all weathers. Sorry for the double post. I thought the first one didn't go through. :)
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Too bad none of those folks are on PriusChat!
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    After the engine, transmission and tires warm-up, air drag becomes a significant performance driver especially above 45 mph / 72 kph and this is driven by density:
    Column 1 Column 2
    0 F/C % mileage hit
    1 0/-18 -15%
    2 20/-6 -11%
    3 32/0 -8%
    4 40/4 -6%
    5 50/10 -4%
    6 70/21 0%
    7 90/32 +4%
    8 100/38 +5%
    .
    Bob Wilson
     
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  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Oh great. It gets to -35°C here (40 out in the country but I'm rarely there).
     
  9. Pohaku

    Pohaku Member

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    Bob,

    Your scale doesn't go down far enough. :D

    We will spend much of the winter below freezing here (that is the highs will be below freezing), typically with a few periods in the -10F to -20F range. You know it's cold when you nudge something with your bumper and your bumper cracks.
     
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Ok an update.

    It was between -10°C and -12°C yesterday (it will continue to drop throughout the week).

    Let me say, I am very impressed at the performance of the car at these conditions (considering the old Prius was never subjected to these temps. The coldest was probably -5°C/14°F and that had the advantage of being inside the garage overnight).


    Scenario: Car is parked overnight outside with no cover. Lots of ice scraping in the morning. Overnight low was about -14°C/7°F I think. Auto A/C set at 22°C/72°F and heated seats running. Grille blocked about 50-60% (lower only). Commute is 12km/7.5mi long. "Normal" mode engaged.

    Ok so yes I managed to worsen my mpg (4.4L/100km to 4.5L/100km) but the heat came fairly quickly and the defroster worked quite well. The heated seats I must say beat the engine to it. Unfortunately, it wasn't warm enough to shut off on its own but about 5 kms in, I could turn off the heater and the engine would shut off! I was sitting at a light, in -12°C/10°F weather with the engine off. Amazing! Our old 2005 at 0°C would need at least 10km of city driving (50km/h limit) before it would think about shutting off.

    On the way back is what impressed me the most. It was sitting outside again, not plugged in (EBH outlets don't come on until it's below -15°C/5°F). Same Auto A/C settings. OAT was -10°C/14°F and ECO Mode engaged for the drive home. About ½ way home, the engine shuts off! It actually shut off without me turning off the heater! Wow! I was able to drive in EV mode and have the heater running at the same time.
     
  11. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    With my '04 Prius and Michelin Harmony "all season" tires, the ramp to the upper deck parkade at Polo Park mall, I made it about halfway up and the car came to a complete stop. No tire spin, no nothing

    The old rusted, used up s***box rear wheel drive car ahead of me, with studded tires, putted up with no drama whatsoever

    Studless winter tires helped, but I had the biggest traction gain by going to Canadian Tire and getting their studded Goodyear Nordic winter tires. This is the same as the Goodyear Ultra Grip 500 sold in Europe

    The Trac in my '04 was far too sensitive, and caused more problems than it helped. The 2009 I test drove had a far more sane Trac. The Trac on my FJ actually applies the brake to the spinning wheel, before it limits engine torque

    Yes, I run studded tires on my FJ too. Factory studded Nokian's

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV

    Now that we have snow and ice on the roads again, am very satisfied with them. Although you can readily hear the studs on dry pavement, on snow and ice they are very quiet. I never shift into 4H on public roads

    As far as the debate over winter tires and safety, this informational site sponsored by the Automobile Protection Association, Rubber Association of Canada, Government of Canada,

    Be Tire Smart – Play Your P.A.R.T. - Videos

    covers all the scenarios
     
  12. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    When I lived in Colorado, hearing the first set of studded snow tires go down the road signalled the beginning of winter. I know they're hard on roads, but I miss being able to use studded snows. There's just something so "winter warrior" about them.
     
  13. Acre

    Acre New Member

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    I can't find a thread on this. Has it been confirmed yet that 5/20 is OK and you don't really need 0/20? I have a case of Castrol 5/20 left from the 02 Civic HX I traded in and I'd love to use it.
     
  14. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    The manual says you can use it if 0/20 is not available. However you must use 0/20 the next time. So I would say your OK to use it.
     
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  15. Philosophe

    Philosophe 2010 Prius owner

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    Depends on your country. This is according to the manuals:

    US: You should use 0W20. It is OK to use 5W20 but the next oil change should be 0W20.

    Canada: You can use either 0W20 or 5W20.
     
  16. Acre

    Acre New Member

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    Why the difference I wonder? Climate?
    Maybe it's only a problem in hottest parts of the US?
     
  17. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    If climate was the issue, 0/20 would be better up North. But apparently that is not the case (as other noted) and has to do with CARB.
    [edit] I meant [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy"]CAFE [/ame](CAFE) not CARB. Thanks tumbleweed.
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The Scandinavian designed factory studded tires, like the Nokians I'm running this winter

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV

    have made road wear a non-issue. Dumping salt on roads also causes wear, especially on concrete surfaces with rebar inside

    I have a sealed/coated garage floor. I was leery of running at first my Prius, now my FJ, on that floor with studded tires. No evidence whatsoever of damage

    Agreed. I wonder if they'll refill with 0W-20 or 5W-20 in the EU?
     
  19. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    No unfortunately it has nothing to do with the weather or the engine itself. 0W20 is required in the US because Toyota might have gotten a couple of extra tenths of a MPG on their EPA fuel mileage estimate that way, and those tenths add up if you do enough different stuff to get enough tenths. It helps with the CAFE and in the case of the Prius it helped get them the coveted 50 MPG rating to advertise.

    The car will do just fine on 5W20, after all it's warmer here than in Canada. In fact I would think it might do just fine on 5W30 just as the Gen2 did. I don't want to put words in his mouth but if I remember correctly Jayman posted that he ran his Gen2 on 15W40 for a while with no problems.
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The EPA is actually a lot more convoluted than that. There is a formula that allows you to apply a multiplier to those tenths of a MPG, it really adds up

    The first summer I had my '04, I had just serviced the HD equipment at my hobby farm. I had around 3.5 litres of Esso XD-3 15W-40 left over. Since that oil not only carries the usual HD diesel equipment standards, but also SL, I figured it wouldn't hurt to run it in summer when the temps were hot

    With lows in the 50's and highs in the upper 90's, I ran the oil 4 months and put on around 11,000 km. Can't recall if I ever posted a UOA on that oil on this forum.

    Overall, the oil gave very good results, with an ending TBN of 8. In a hot climate, say Florida, Arizona, Nevada, California, etc, it would be appropriate year round

    My fuel economy was either unchanged compared to a 5W-30 or 0W-20, or perhaps it declined 2 MPG. All depends on the driving.

    Frequent city driving in temps in the 50's to 60's, perhaps 2 mpg less than a 5W-30 or 0W-20. On the highway, no difference

    Of course, a 15W-40 should never be used in winter, it's unsuitable in temps <-29 C. Page 3 of this document

    http://www.esso.ca/Canada-English/Files/Products_Lubes/IOCAENCVLESEsso_Xd-3_extra.pdf

    states the low temp cutoff for safe winter performance, of the various XD-3 multigrade oils. Really a shame why Mobil 1 can't publish these specs, what are they, top secret??
     
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