Commute in this backwards state ruins my MPG

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by ilyPrius, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Just a preface, if you're a Hoosier, I'm sorry we live here. (n)

    Anyways, got my 2013 with ~98k mi about 2 months ago. Gonna have my 100k check up this weekend. But yes, I SWEAR the main north-south highway in this backwards state ruins my mpg. I say this later, but this dumba** highway is covered in lights!:mad: AND IT'S THE MAIN NORTH-SOUTH HIGHWAY IN INDIANA, THE CROSSROADS OF AMERICA! *eyeroll* Clearly, I'm not from this state and am ripping on it so hard b/c I really haven't seen anyone from IN in this forum lol

    But I digress. I've answered all of these to make it easier. My commute on this atrocious highway is about 18 mi with 7 lights before I reach my "exit." There's also no real on/off ramps on it either, hence all the f***** lights. NONE of the lights have sensors (because who needs that in rural IN?) & all of the yellows aren't long enough, so drivers are pretty much forced to slam on their brakes if they get the yellow. Or speed up and risk speeding thru a red light (which I've done because I'm not hurting my brakes over this & I check for cops before I do it).

    I've seen others boast a 60 mpg, which I really want. Most of the highway drive is flat (some hills), the Prius cured my lead foot so now I only go 60-65 mph, I never use the AC. I feel like I'm doing it right & I'm not sure if an mpg >50 is unattainable on this commute or if I'm doing it wrong, or another factor I haven't considered. I'm venting at this point, so here's my fuel economy info:

    I appreciate any & all input! TIA :)

    - Have you read This Thead Yet?
    Yes.

    - What fuel economy are you getting and how are you determining fuel economy? (trip computer or manual calculations)
    About 48-50 mpg with the trip computer per each tank. I refill around 1-3 blips.

    - What fuel economy are you expecting and why?
    48-50 mpg since that's the reported/expected value & my commute is half city, half highway,

    - What are the approximate outside air temps?
    Since I got it in July, ~70-90F till about recently, it's been ~60-83F.

    - How long are your trips?
    ~35-40 min & ~25 mi.

    How old is your 12v battery? What is the voltage reading of your 12v battery after sitting over night? (Method Here)
    I'm assuming 13 yrs, haven't gotten a chance to go through all the service history yet. & I have not checked this yet.

    Have you had your alignment checked? Any pulling or abnormal tire wear?
    Not yet, I will this weekend. It feels like it needs one, but it's not that bad at all. Might be my OCD but pretty sure it's just a lil bit off to the right. It doesn't happen every time I test it tho lol

    - How much of it is city vs. highway? Roughly what's the average speed in overall and and of each segment? Is there a lot of stop and go driving?
    Roughly 50/50 time wise, but probs about 18 mi highway & 7 mi "city." I say "city" because I live in a rural college town, which still has some traffic & lights, but not like a real city. There's only stop & go driving at stop signs if there's actually a line, so no not a lot of stop & go. On the highway, I try to do 60-65 mph & in town I go about 25-45 mph (sometimes 50 on good days).

    - What's the terrain like of your drives? (e.g. flat, gentle hills, steep hills, etc.)
    Highway: Flat with some very gentle hills, more like slopes lol
    City: Same. Just a bit more steeper, short hills.

    *These are VERY relative because I'm from Appalachian foothill area (SW Pennsylvania) and am currently living & working in flat land Midwest. Like Hoosiers consider where I live hilly but I consider these more slopes than hills lol

    - What are your tire pressures?
    Recently raised them to 40 front & 42 back about a week or 2 ago. Haven't really noticed THAT much of a difference. I also have the 17" tires.

    - Is your oil overfilled? (i.e. above the full mark on the dipstick)
    I don't think so, probs not. But, idk tbh.

    - Make, model, year, engine and transmission of previous car? (e.g. 08 Honda Civic Si 2.0L 4 cylinder, manual transmission) What did you actually get on the same trips/commute? (Please give us actual numbers, not EPA ratings.)
    2000 Hyundai Elantra 140-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas), ‎5-speed manual w/OD. I copy & pasted the engine and transmission info, but pretty sure they're correct. I'd say ~23-25 mpg? Hard to say since I only had 1 trip counter & I'd mostly use it for the tank measurements. It has to be about half of my Prius MPG because now I only have to fill up every 2 weeks instead of every week with my Elantra :)

    - What region/state are you in? (if you haven't set your location)
    Midwest, southern Indiana >.<

    - How are you trying to drive (e.g. trying to stay in electric only?) and how hard are you braking?
    In the city, I deffs try to use electric mostly. However, I do need the gas to get up some hills. I don't brake hard but sometimes I have to on my highway commute. Due to the nature of this piss poor, ridiculous excuse of a highway that I have to drive on everyday. This 17.5 mi stretch of a highway has 7 f***** lights, the 1st one is the midpoint of my commute, followed by the other 6 all scrunched into the 2nd half of my morning drive in. So the 2nd half, the lights are all squeezed into 8.75 f***** mi!!! The speed limit on this mostly flat highway is 55-60 mph too!

    - What modes are you using, if any? "normal", EV, power, eco?
    I have eco on all the time, except when I'm stopped at a light on my stupid highway commute. I turn it off to get up to highway speed quicker, then turn eco back on once I reach my speed and cruise control. In the parking lots at home & work I turn on EV mode if available.

    - Are you "warming up" the ICE (internal combustion engine) by letting it idle after powering on?
    No.

    - Are you driving using D or B mode?
    I use D, but I'll switch to B when I go down a steep, short hill in town or when I have to f***** brake hard for a light on that g**d*** highway.

    - HVAC settings? Are you using the heater, AC, auto mode, etc.? If using auto, what temp is it set to?
    Morning: Heater at 82F. Warm mornings, I'd use auto, but they're gone now.
    Night: Off.
    I pretty much only use the AC or auto when my bf's in the car during the day. My heat tolerance is above average lol

    - Are you using the factory tires and wheels? If not, please indicate tire make, model and size (e.g. Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max 185/65R15).
    Yes, I believe so.

    - If reporting a mileage drop, did anything significant change on your car (e.g. accident, hit a curb or big pothole throwing off alignment, oil change/other maintenance/repairs, changed tires or wheels, etc.) or your commute?
    N/A

    Lmk if you have any more questions :X3:
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    You don't need B, and it won't help MPG at all. Because your hills are too short to fill the traction battery, B will even hurt MPG very slightly by depriving the battery of some regenerated energy.
     
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  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    It could be worse, you could be trying to get through Vancouver BC. :)
    Those folks boasting 60 mpg at 'highway speed' are getting much much longer runs between any stops and stoplights, and are not going above 60 MPH. Those getting this MPG in the city are probably averaging under 45 MPH, and having enough warning to make gentler stops at the lights. And not drag racing between lights.

    For long steady highway runs without stops, a Gen3 crude rule of that is that sum of MPH + MPG is capped at approximately 120. I.e. going 60 MPG, don't expect better than 60 MPG under the best conditions. Driving 70 MPH, don't expect better than 50 MPG. This rule roughly fits the graph in this chart: Updated MPG vs MPH chart | PriusChat

    But whatever your speed, you don't have the best conditions due to that high density of stoplights. Instead, you have something closer to city conditions, but driven at highway speeds, combining the worst of both worlds.

    Ouch. Part of the Persona package? That will cost you several MPG compared to 15" wheels with narrower tread.
     
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  4. grid

    grid Senior Member

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    12v batt is 13 years old? Double check it on batt sticker.
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    2018 - 2013 = 13 years old
     
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  6. cnc97

    cnc97 Active Member

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    First things first. Get the plugs changed, if they haven’t been done already. I know they say that it’s not required until 120k or more, but go ahead and take care of it now. Make sure the tire pressure is at least the pressure on the door sticker. Second, find a gas station near you that sells ethanol free gasoline. Third, don’t blame the stop lights on your poor(relatively speaking) economy. Southern Indiana resident myself, and they don’t cause me an issue.

    Yes you will pay more for the ethanol free gasoline, but before I changed the engine in mine, I went from the mid forties in mileage to the low fifties. Its $25-30 per fill up, and I’m getting 500 miles per tank with ease, or nearly three weeks of driving.

    If your HSI is hanging out to the right of mid-range, take your foot off the accelerator slowly until the gas motor shuts off, then reapply as needed to maintain desired speed.

    Try my tips. Don’t be afraid to reach out to me here if I can help.
     
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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Evening math coupled with fruit of the vine can lead to some non standard results:oops:.
     
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  8. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    If only I could get conditions that favorable. Several times a week, I have a drive that's 17.5 miles each way with speed limits ranging from 45-60 mph. There are 18 traffic lights in that route with two more just installed and about to go active. The timing was set by a team representing the local brake repair shops along with the oil companies. It KILLS gas mileage and I can't begin to imagine what it does to stupid utility vehicles.

    That's backwards unless you have stuff in the back that's heavier than the engine. I run mine 42 front and 40 rear. But I agree that there isn't much gain from that.

    Maximum acceleration is exactly the same in all modes. They just remap the throttle. See the picture in post #20 here. I mostly run mine in ECO since it uses a little less power for the air conditioning. If I have a passenger or if it's screaming hot, I'll take it out of ECO. I have no use for PWR mode. Too twitchy.

    As @fuzzy1 said, don't bother with B unless you're going down a great big steep hill. I don't think there are any hills at all in IN that would call for using B. It's purpose is to delay the use of engine braking when the traction battery fills up.

    A common mistake. Keep the battery cool. It'll last longer.

    I get frustrated, too, by idiot traffic engineers. That's when I stop and remind myself how thankful I am that I'm not in one of those primitive vehicles that burns gas while not going anywhere and doesn't recover any of the kinetic energy lost when decelerating. Those vehicles take a way bigger hit than we do.
     
  9. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    :ROFLMAO: It's been a long week & I was so used to having a 2000 car lol TGIF!
     
  10. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Do you know if Kroger sells that gasoline? I still wanna use my fuel points :( The lights have pissed me off ever since I've moved out here. We have turnpikes in PA :rolleyes:

    & I do already drive like that! This morning I got 55 MPG since I started the trip after the ICE already warmed up. I already do the whole depressing the gas pedal, getting up to speed, then taking my feet off to turn the battery on or I just coast. I already try not keep the HSI in the upper range.

    How low do you wait to fill your tank up? I'll try the ethanol free gas tho, thanks for that tip.
     
  11. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Yeah, I'm afraid to see how my MPG will be when I eventually move to Pittsburgh. I thought that 60 mpg could be attainable going max 60 mph, but I still haven't gotten that even when I do drive at 60 mph or less. Ooohh I see. I've skimmed that thread and must've missed that equation. I KNEW the lights had SOME factor in my low mileage. Thanks for confirming my speculation lol

    And yes, it was one of the lowest mileage Prii I could find at the time. I've also read that too, one thread said the difference is about 1-2 mpg? I just accepted that I guess I'm fine with sacrificing mpg for a bit cooler looking Prius :D
     
    #11 ilyPrius, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2018
  12. cnc97

    cnc97 Active Member

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    I wait until the last pip flashes, or in the case of my 600 mile club post, 120+mile beyond flashing pip. 11.808 gallons to fuel up.
     
  13. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    Oh it's going to get ugly with all our hills and so many idiots on the roads. You can look forward to fuel mileage in the mid forties as being normal. Turnpike? No one I know drives on the Turnpike due to the outrageous toll rates. .14 per mile cash .10 EZ Pass.
     
    #13 ALS, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Note also that 17" wheels come with a lower recommended pressure on the door label than 15" wheels. Thus, your 42-40 pressure will make for a particularly harsh ride. You should be able to reduce the pressure to something not so high above that label, regaining some ride comfort without losing much of the mpg benefit.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Best excuse I've heard in some time. Well worth a pardon.
     
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  16. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    This was my initial thought, too.

    When I think of places that I have visited for extended stays that would result in the best mpg, I think of my time in Indiana. Sure there are some lights, but far fewer than I've experienced elsewhere. And there were mostly 50-55 mph speed limits in the flat highways that I drove, which resulted in very good fuel economy. And compared to California, you didn't have nearly as many tailgaters riding your rear.
     
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  17. Threej

    Threej New Member

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    I'm not sure what all the debby-downers are here telling you to do better. Honestly, 48-50 mpg sounds about exactly right for the driving conditions you have.

    1. As others have said, at 60 mph, the absolute best you'll get is 60 mpg. If you're pushing on 65 mph, that's 55 mpg.

    2. The acceleration from a stop to 60 mpg is the death null for a prius's mpg. It takes either A) about 10 miles of driving to average back out the gas you spent or B) A nice long glide where you can recover that lost energy for free without someone behind you (such as with a long exit ramp)

    If you're having to accelerate 0 to 60 in a half mile, drive 2 miles, and then sudden break for a stop light, and repeat 7 times, your mpg is about as good as its gonna get.

    The only solution here is to instead accelerate to 45, cruise control for 2 miles, and then glide the last half mile to the inevitable stop light. You'll bump your mpg up to 65, at the expense of ticking off everyone around you.
     
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  18. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Weren't you afraid you weren't gonna make it to a gas station in time when you were testing it?
    Also, does the ethanol free gas pop up on Google Maps? I searched it & when I check the gas stations they all list Diesel, Regular, Midgrade, and Premium. I found this Indiana Ethanol Free Gas Stations which looks more like I expected, and the closest one is really out of the way/where I never drive through. Do ethanol free gas prices vary like normal gas prices? Like how gas will be cheaper the more rural you are?
     
  19. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Yeah, Yinzers are aggressive, tailgating, lead foot speeders and I can deffs see that making economical driving frustrating. Then Hoosiers drive super slow without using turn signals, and the slow driving makes it hard to drive the slopes out here economically. There's just idiots everywhere :cry:

    Even with my 18 yo Elantra I saw a huge difference in my mileage as soon as we moved out here. But I bet your Prius does great with all the congestion in the city, right? Even with the hills?

    I never use the turnpike either lol I just brought it up since that's a main highway that goes across the state, much like the one I use on my current commute... Only it's been under construction since I moved out here (2.5 yrs) and has lights all across it :unsure:
     
  20. ilyPrius

    ilyPrius New Member

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    Meh, the harsh ride isn't noticeable to me because it's still smoother than my Elantra ever was lol I feel like I don't feel anything in the Prius! As long as the higher pressure isn't damaging to my tires, I'm fine with it. And I'm not sure if my door label lists the recommended pressure, it only lists the recommended pressure for cold weather...
     
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