Don't do this in the carwash!...

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusRos, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. dogllama

    dogllama New Member

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    I haven't been through a drive through wash yet with my Prius, but I was wondering if there is any special care with the radio antenna. Do you have to unscrew it before you go thru?

    I messed up an antenna on my camry a whiles back and I am fearful about the prius even though it is a lot shorter.
     
  2. IraS

    IraS Member

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    The Owner's Manual says to take off the antenna before going through a car wash. I got tired of doing that with my 2004 Prius so I replaced it with the shark fin antenna. I liked the convenience of not having to remove the antenna so much that I bought one for my 2010 Prius also.
     
  3. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    I never bothered with my 2006 (it's hard for me to reach) and didn't have a problem. The antenna on the 2010 is quite a bit shorter.
     
  4. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    Message is - better safe than sorry. And some car washes would probably insist on it (liability), and may take it off for you. Actually the '10 antenna is very well made. Strong and flexible and it screws on with a rachet-like feel the last few turns which probably eliminates vibration-loosening.

    Last wash, I didn't put the antenna on right away after the wash and the radio reception worked perfectly. And XM as well - I noticed no difference.
    Same for the CD player ;)
     
  5. ramdulari

    ramdulari Member

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    Does anyone know why is the car by design such that the ICE will not charge the HV system when in Neutral? What exactly is Neutral in a hybrid car anyway? I guess there is no straightforward way to disengage the MGs and the ICE from the eCVT transmission, is that it?
    Thanks,
    Mihir
     
  6. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    Good question. I was wondering about that too.
     
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Selecting neutral switches off the connections from the inverter to MG1 and MG2. That is, while there is still a mechanical connection between the engine and the electric motors and the wheels there is no way to transfer power. Think of it as like switching off your vacuum cleaner, there is still available power at the power point but the vacuum cleaner no longer does any work.
     
  8. ramdulari

    ramdulari Member

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    So does that mean Toyota could not find a straightforward way to disengage the ICE and MGs from the wheels, while still leaving the ICE free to spin the MG (1 or 2) to charge the HV battery? Just want to clarify, indeed it may be a difficult design problem. I don't know.

     
  9. garygid

    garygid Senior Member - Blizzard Pearl

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    Neutral: basically means allow the wheels to turn, and apply no (or very, very little) torque to the wheels.

    There is no clutch or transmission, so no "real" neutral in the Prius.
    The best they can do is not drive any of the 3 "motors" (ICE, Main Electric Traction Motor, and the Generator "motor").

    Then, if the wheels turn and the ICE does not, the Traction (electric) Motor (TM) will spin, and the "Generator" (GM) will spin, usually harmlessly.

    I believe the TM is always connected (through fixed "gears") to the wheels. If the wheels are moving, the TM is turning.

    Then the ICE, TM, and GM are interconnected by a planetary gear, with the TM on the outer ring, the GM on the center "sun" gear, and the ICE moving the set of 3 "planet" gears.

    If the planets are fixed (ICE off), and the outer ring is moving, then the "sun" gear (the thus the GM) must also be rotating.

    Nominally, you would think that the ICE could run to drive the GM to charge the battery, but this would put some torque on the wheels, and tend to move the car, which is "not permitted" in "neutral".

    Also, the PTU (Power Transfer Unit) is NOT a conventional CVT, not even close. But Toyota seems to call their PTU a "eCVT", which might be misleading to most.
     
  10. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    I run mine through the car wash all the time. I have never had a problem. Put the car in neutral and turn the radio, air conditioning and any other battery draining items off and you should not have any problems. You are only in the car wash a couple of minutes.
     
  11. BigBear2010

    BigBear2010 Member

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    Happen to me 1 time, battery low and i am in a car wash. It scared me for few minutes. After that, I always keep 2/3 battery before go through any car wash with ac and radio off
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i suppose they could add a clutch, but what purpose would it serve?
     
  13. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    I now have a Gen 4 Prius and haven't encountered this problem (yet). However, with the Gen 3, on the advice of someone in this forum, I kept it in Drive while waiting in line before entering the carwash (not in Park or Neutral) and, keeping one foot on the brake pedal, stepped on the gas pedal to charge it whenever I saw the battery getting low. This worked.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    There's lot of strategies. Simplest is to avoid the type of car washes that pull your car through. There plenty where the car sits stationary, the cleaning apparatus moves around it. Eclipsing all this tho:

    Protracted use of car washes means protracted time that small dents won't be noticed and dealt with, that grunge will build up in the corners that the superfluous style cleaning of the automatic washes misses. Never use them personally, wash my car in the driveway, maybe every couple of months.

    Sadly though, I believe it's actually illegal to do this now, in the City of Vancouver. Not exactly sure why. Think I'm still ok out in the 'burbs. No one actually lives downtown anyway, nothing but BnB and empty, foreign owned condos. Maybe a few westside yuppies. :cautious:
     
  15. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Not a problem for the Plug-in Prius.
     
  16. lar.smith42

    lar.smith42 Active Member

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    Its really no problem for me as I have life time cars wash's at the Toyota dealer in Lewisville Texas and get it done every other week. also have life time oil changes.


     
  17. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    There are at least two common reasons why it's prohibited. The first is runoff; typically in a city, it would probably go to a storm sewer, where it is often directly dumped into a river, lake, or some other body of water. The detergents used in the car wash (as well as the other chemicals you apply to your car) can harm desirable creatures in the water, and help undesirable ones (like toxic algae). The second (which applies in my area) is to reduce water waste. A car wash can be required to filter and recycle their water, reducing the use of water. They're also probably required to treat their water before discharging it into the sewer.

    It has been prohibited here for about the past year or so to wash your car (as well as any hard surfaces). I think they just started allowing it again (but only with a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle at the end). I also noticed that at least a couple car washes in the area went to hand-wash only, and closed their tunnel wash. I'm guessing they didn't have the required plumbing to be able to filter and recycle their water.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Yeah I was thinking along those lines.

    I use a quick shut off, and there's only about a tablespoon of car wash concentrate in my wash pail. Maybe more importantly: I only was the car every 2~3 months.
     
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