Feedback about not using Prime's engine

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Mooney Driver, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Mooney Driver

    Mooney Driver New Member

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    I was just curious as to other's feedback regarding heavy use of the electric motor and it's effect on the gasoline engine. I have had my Prius Prime for less than a month and am finding that the engine is only used about 10% of the time. In many cases the entire trip is using the electric motor. I can go several days without ever using the engine.

    Even when I am in hybrid mode, much of the time driving is still spent using the electric motor.

    Is this a problem and should I be concerned about not using the engine that much?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I’ll let you know. 25,000 miles so far and about 4 tanks. Maybe 5. I forget lol.
     
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  3. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    The car is designed to use electric for months at a time. I spent most of a year without using the ICE in 2020. When the car detects that the ICE should be run it just goes ahead and starts it for you. The first time that happened I was quite surprised and turned off the car immediately. LOL

    My usage pattern is pretty regular. I drive it daily for errands and such on 100% electric power. Once a month I drive it on a 1000 mile trip, using the ICE for all but the first 28 miles. I'm coming up on two years of ownership and 33K miles with zero problems.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    If you are refilling more than a half tank of gasoline per year, then you are not among the leaders in minimizing use of the gasoline engine, and probably have nothing to worry about.

    If less than a half tank per year, then you may need to start getting concerned about stale fuel.
     
    #4 fuzzy1, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  5. Mooney Driver

    Mooney Driver New Member

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    My concern is focused more on potential problems to an engine that sits "idle" for long periods of non-use. It's great that you save $ on not buying gas for months at a time but what damage could it be potentially causing to the internal engine components by not using it regularly?. I've always been told that regular "exercise" of an engine is essential to it's long term health. So the essence of my question is whether or not it is damaging to the engine by not using it in hybrid mode on a fairly regular basis?
     
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  6. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    The Prime is programmed to take care of all worries.

    Maybe we will hear about issues 5-10 years from now, maybe not.
     
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  7. Prim.e.xample

    Prim.e.xample Member

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    Honestly, just fire it up once a month and take a drive. The HV is pleasant (unless trying to pass) and you won’t catch the world on fire. I had some anxiety about the PP when I bought it and realized I was paying attention to all of the gimmicks like the acceleration bar more than the road, so I stopped using them. I still average around 100 mpg (with fake EV included) using gas on out of town trips and haven’t been happier.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    engines survive long periods od disuse far better than electrics.

    old cars that have sat for years usually just need the old gas cleaned out.

    my pip has 50,000 electric miles and 24, 000 hybrid miles (so the engine is off for much of that as well)

    and no ill effects after 9 years. i do use up the gas very 6 months, so i only keep a couple gallons on board.
    and i'm sure the prime is a much improved engine
     
  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    If you're on a 10-percent duty cycle, that's not the problem.
    That's the solution.

    I'm NOBODY's idea of a Toyota fanboy, but they do build fairly good cars.
    If your engine can't go for a few weeks between operations, then it's time to switch car companies.
     
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    PHEVs have maintenance modes in their program to 'exercise' the engine and burn off old fuel. The exercising part may not involve actually firing the cylinders, but just spinning the engine and circulating all the fluids. You might not notice it.

    Unfortunately, we won't know if Toyota got it right in the Prius Prime for several years, but past performance with the PiP and hybrids points to them doing so. I'd only give it a thought if the EV use was closer to 100%.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    If I had a Prime, and was doing a Monday through Friday commute, might consider running hybrid-mode Fridays.
     
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  12. Ovation

    Ovation Junior Member

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    My use case doesn’t make rare engine use a concern (daily commute of 320 km), but from the two years of research I did before selecting the Prime (I like to be thorough ;) ) and previous Toyota experience, the last thing I’m worried about in my Prime is the engine. No car is perfect, but Toyota engines tend to be nearly bulletproof in reliability.
     
  13. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I used to commute 220 miles a day, up to 5 hours of driving when traffic was bad. Fortunately I used a company car (a Chevette) and they paid for the gas too. It was a pain in the butt to gas up every third leg of the commute and drop it at the motor pool for an oil change and tune up once a month.

    I'm curious about what criteria you used to decide on the Prime. Would you mind sharing? Was it the mileage, comfort, price or general ease of use that convinced you?
     
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    If only the Gen3 Prius engines could have met that standard ...
     
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  15. Ovation

    Ovation Junior Member

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    I’ve had long commutes for work for 16 years. I live near Montreal and often teach courses for Community College of Vermont (I’m a dual citizen). As gas prices are much lower in the US than in Canada and my commutes were usually once, occasionally twice, a week, my Xterra wasn’t too much of a burden (it served other uses—camping trips to remote areas, family hauler, etc.).

    However, a couple of years ago, I expanded my teaching to another college in Quebec, about the same distance from home as the Vermont campus but without the less expensive fuel. In addition, the schedule there called for more days on the road (classes meet twice a week for 90 minutes rather than once a week for 3 hours in Vermont). As the mileage climbed, along with gas prices, I started researching more efficient options.

    At first, I contemplated a BEV. Electricity is cheap and clean in Quebec (9 cents per kWh—over 95% hydro generation), EV subsidies are the highest in Canada at the moment (13,000$ rebate for BEV, 6500$ rebate for PHEV). But even with the rebates, all BEVs with sufficient range in winter were more than I wanted to spend (though the Bolt was close and I nearly went for it). If I were single, I might have gone with the Bolt anyway and put up with the extra hour to home commute in winter (no reliable charging option at work). But my wife was not so willing. There’s also the matter that I frequently spend time in the border region of northern NH and Vermont where fast charging options are still non-existent. So PHEV it was.

    Given my budget and goals re: fuel efficiency, only two options remained—Hyundai Ioniq PHEV or Prius Prime. Ioniq was a bit less expensive and, to be honest, more aesthetically pleasing to me, inside and out. However, aesthetics have never been an important consideration for any of my vehicle purchases. In the end, I picked the Prime primarily because its EV only mode was more like what I expected EV driving to be than the Ioniq AND it was harder to provoke the engine to fire up than in the Ioniq. Also, the ingress/egress is better for me in the Prime (I have a hip problem that makes many cars difficult for me, unfortunately). Lastly, some friends have Primes and are consistently happy with them, which matches my overall expectations of Toyota reliability.

    So I guess the short answer to your question is “all of those things”, with mileage being the top one. And as I watch gas go from 1.30$/litre the day I picked up the car in April to 1.45$/litre 3 months later (about a 0.57$/per US gallon increase), I can only smile at my miserly gas consumption.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Currently flirting with $1.70 (per liter) on west coast Canada. :(

    Best Gas Prices & Local Gas Stations in Coquitlam, BC
     
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  17. Ovation

    Ovation Junior Member

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  18. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    Great summary and decision (from another Canadian and native Quebecois;)). (y)

    The only part my opinion would differ is the aesthetics between the Ioniq and the Prime - I personally think the Prime is sharper looking (especially in blue or red) where as the Ioniq is more "ordinary" to me... however I do like the added features offered by the Hyundai (moonroof, memory seats, etc.) however overall I lean more toward the Prime overall (Toyota reliability is also a big factor and EV behaviour/heat pump...). But to each their own, overall "looks" are very subjective and everyone can choose what they prefer.(y)
     
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I consider only running it every so often, but the 38 miles one way prohibits it from being just a thought;).

    But charging up at work helps minimize the overall fuel usage:).

    I'm at over 44k miles now and have 34% HV usage. Equates to 134.5 mpg over that span. Not bad at all(y).
     
  20. Ovation

    Ovation Junior Member

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    I prefer the front end of the Prime but I’m not a fan of the rear. But I don’t buy cars to look at them and I can’t see the outside of the car while driving. I was not initially impressed with the instrument panel layout in the Prime and was worried about the offset being a distraction. However, I’ve gotten used to it (more quickly than I thought it would take), though I’ll never find it attractive.

    I am happy with the base interior (much prefer cloth seats and REALLY DIDN’T want the big radio). The ride is a bit “mid-80s Buick-like” (especially with the Power Mode throttle response) compared to my Xterra and my wife’s VW GTI, but with my current hip issues, that’s a feature, not a bug.
     
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