Free Prius to whoever figures out whats wrong with mine :(...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by goitalone, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    - 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)
    Both!


    - What fuel economy are you expecting and why?
    I always got 45-52 before problem started.


    - What are the approximate outside air temps?
    70's-90's


    - How long are your trips?
    Long and Short mix, both get strange anomilies lately.


    - 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?
    More highway than city but not by much.


    - What region/state are you in? (if you haven't set your location in your profile)
    Central Florida

    - What's the terrain like of your drives? (e.g. flat, gentle hills, steep hills, etc.)
    Mostly flat with mild ups and downs on US1


    - Is your oil overfilled? (i.e. above the full mark on the dipstick)
    Oil is right at fill line.


    How old is your 12v battery? What is the voltage reading of your 12v battery after sitting over night? (Method Here)
    Don't know age of 12v. Have not tested it after sitting overnight yet.


    Have you had your alignment checked? Any pulling or abnormal tire wear?
    I had a front end alignment done when I got my new tires, they said they couldn't adjust the rear and that I needed new shocks/struts to correct the rear. After the alignment, the car felt like the car couldn't figure out which way to pull (hard to explain) like the steering whell had less ease of motion in either direction, but the problem I have now started even before the new tires and alignment!


    - 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).
    No. I bought 4 Sumitomo Tour Plus LST 185/65/R15's


    - What are your tire pressures?
    44F/42R


    - 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.)
    ............... 1994 Honda Accord LX


    - How are you trying to drive (e.g. trying to stay in electric only?) and how hard are you braking?
    I drive like I did before the problem started, not in electric only, no. I used to go 30-40 MPH on electric sometimes rarely, but now I can't because the ICE kicks in and stays in high 30's to high 40's and stays like that without going to 99 electric mode at all. When on highway, I go 50-60 MPH.
    I cost a bit when I see a red light etc way ahead, then brake still yet a long distance til I stop at the light. I do not brake hard, tried that and nothing changes anyways.

    - Are you "warming up" the ICE (internal combustion engine) by letting it idle after powering on?
    No, when I do that I get even worse MPG...MUCH WORSE! :(

    - Are you driving using D or B mode?
    D always....last time I put it into B, it seemed to make the low MPG even worse like I had shorted something out!


    - HVAC settings? Are you using the heater, A/C, auto mode, etc.? If using auto, what temp is it set to?
    73-78 ...also, my A/C lost coldness, so I refilled it and just tonight after a few weeks, its lost it coldness again (was very warm at night at max A/C) and I think it may be somehow associated with what's wrong with my poor mileage, at least that is what it seems like to me.


    - 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?
    Nothing I can think of, no! I did change the tires, but this started happening before the tires were replaced.
     
  2. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    2,115
    694
    0
    Location:
    sterling, VA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    no idea whats wrong, but you should check your aux battery. if its bad, maybe the ice is coming on to try and charge it, but its not taking a charge and the ice keeps trying. there is a way to check it w/ the mfd.
     
    PriusCamper likes this.
  3. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I tested it today, but not overnight just sitting.

    Today it showed these 12.6/.12.3/13.9 (started up)
     
  4. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Is this true?

     
  5. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    326
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Does the ICE stop running when you come to a complete stop? You are in a hot climate, which is not good for HV battery longevity, and 8 years old is close to the end. What sort of activity do you see in the charge display as you drive? It could be nearing the end even though it is not setting DTC's yet.

    The A/C not working might indicate a few things, but in cases where, for instance, the coolant pump fails, the A/C stops working first as things heat up and the system tries to protect itself. So it might be that the charging is being limited due to age and heating. Just a guess. How about the battery cooling fan, how clean is it?
     
  6. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I asked the guy who looked at my car to check the cooling fan and he said it was clean...I don't think he even checked anything in the trunk area (batteries/fan/filters) at all because nothing looked moved around and there were a few tree leaves right where they were when I dropped it off in the back.

    ICE stops running yes. I took it in to have the guy replace the battery and even asked him if I bought one off of eBay from Re-Involt if he'd put it in, but he said nothing was wrong with the battery blocks. I thought you had to check each individual cell before making that assumption.

    It drops to red really fast even on cool nights. Takes longer than normal to reach good SOC,energy bars lit up green at strange speeds after a good long brake, and then shows I am driving on electric going 50 MPH which just happened ever at that speed for the first time today coming off of an off ramp from highway. It stayed in green for about a mile doing the 50 MPH, but engine seemed like it was still running, but I am not 100% sure if it was or not due to traffic noise and my own speed.

    How do I check the coolant again?

    Oh, I noticed today that when I brake going fairly slow, the steering wheel turns quickly to the right. Also, ever since I got a front end alignment from Tire Kindom, my steering does not seem to want to stay center (a tight center feel to it), but kinda wants to slightly pull to the right OR left depending on which way the wheel is leaning to more.

    Also, is it nornal to hear a scraping sound from the front right passenger side tire while backing up out of the driveway? Sounds like bad brakes to me, but I was told it's normal.

    Oh, and this is what my 12v showed this morning when I check it:

    11.9/11.6/14.0 (started up)
     
  7. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,811
    3,495
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The fan is the vent on the passenger side back seat. So this is plausible.

    Yes, but that can be done with a CAN reader. Did they give you a printout of what each of the cells were?

    If you have 1-2 bars on the SOC display, and stop at a stoplight with average city driving and slow braking, does it go green right away? That is a sign of a bad battery.

    Going from low to high shows an aged battery, not necessarily dead.

    Check it for motion to make sure the pump is working. Open the cover and make sure you see turbulence of some kind.

    Your alignment is off. Depending how badly, your mileage will suffer and if the car has to work really hard, then it will overheat and use more battery.

    The Prius is silent when in optimal condition. No scraping, no squeaking. The high pitched inverter whine is the only sound and if you are older, your eyes can't hear that frequency anymore. Can you hear a CRT monitor or tube TV being turned on? If not, then you more than likely can't hear the inverter. Scraping is probably broken plastic grinding on the cement. How does it look under there?

    That 12v is way dead. Anything below 12 is dead. Like do not pass GO do collect a new battery dead. 12.4 to 12.6 is what a normal 12v battery should be at when sitting there. 13.8 to 14.4 when charging but that is a function of the inverter not the battery.
     
  8. Curiousgb

    Curiousgb New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    29
    4
    0
    Location:
    Millington TN
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Sounds like you need a new alignment shop. It is usually hit and miss depending on the tech. Sounds like they screwed up the caster.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,019
    39,233
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    start with a new 12v from optima and see what happens to your mpg's, then go from there. it's probably original. my 04 just went bad recently.
     
  10. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    No printouts of any kind. Just an invoice for oil change and diagnostics.
    The mechanic told me he used the same testing equipment Toyota uses and explained to me that he tested the 28 block modules blah, blah (not the 168 individual cells) for their voltages.

    What is a CAN reader?


    No, it only goes green after like 15-20 miles long driving, then a super good long brake (sometimes.)
    It used to go into green more often and more easily/normally when I first bought the car.

    I will go take a look after I post this.


    I see. I had a strong feeling they messed the alignment up. Wish I had opted out now :( Maybe I should have gone to Toyota for that and the tires?


    This only happens while applying brakes as I am backing up, my mothers Prius does the same thing seemingly on the same side of the car. It totally sounds like bad pads brakes eating into the rotor like in a regular car.

    My high pitched inverter sound is way louder and less high pitched sounding than my mothers, and I notice it all of the time due to that fact. Especially at drive-throughs when it bounces off the wall into my ears.


    The only reason I haven't replaced it yet is that I have read that is pretty much in the normal levels and because I keep reading about peeple replacing their 12v's and it not helping their MPG. But, okay, I'll order one now if you really think it's bad.
     
  11. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Can it be fixed back to normal if they have messed the caster up? I had a bad feeling about doing an alignment there, especially since it's a Prius, and them not being Hybrid certified techs.
     
  12. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'll order one today.

    What is a good price for one?

    I saw them as little as $177 (I think) when I was looking on eBay.
     
  13. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Anyone know if this video is true about where the oil should be in a prius?

    My oil is filled directly ON the fill line notch, not under it like shown in the video.
     
  14. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    1,311
    182
    2
    Location:
    Delawhere
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Motorcycle Batteries | Battery Store | Discount Batteries | Motorcycle Battery - BatteryMart.com sells them, and if you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get a coupon you can use right away. I ordered one for my 2010 (haven't installed yet, no time) early afternoon, and it was at my door the next morning. Of course, shipping time can vary as you probably know, but that was impressive!
     
  15. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Get this, I just called the nearest Toyota dealership and this guy in the service department gets on the phone and is, with a VERY bad tone of voice and a suck attitude for anything I ask about or say and tries to CONVINCE me, that basically nothing you guys are telling me is true.

    For example, he said that batteries have NOTHING to do with fuel economy, batteries ONLY CHARGE by braking, a car out of alignment, will not affect fuel economy, blah, blah, blah. In fact, he said nothing affects MPG except ethenol in my gasoline. He talked down to me like I was some kind of fool, so I hung up on his nice person!!
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,019
    39,233
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    this is a gen I prius (pre 2004), different in some respects to yours, so i would not concern myself with anything but oil level. as long as it is anywhere between the high and low marks, you're fine, it is not that critical.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    88,019
    39,233
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    before you install a battery, learn how to check the voltage a charge it before installing. there are some threads here detailing it including a recent one by julia2001. the thing about an 8 year old battery is that it may test okay but need frequent charging from the ice. it's not definately the proem, but you're going to need a new one sooner than later anyway. 8 years is pretty close to max life.
     
  18. goitalone

    goitalone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    189
    16
    0
    Location:
    Port St. John, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Especially in a miserably hot Florida climate.
     
  19. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    758
    341
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Most things can be fixed back to normal.

    Curiousgb is dead on. You need to find a new alignment shop.

    Let me, an ASE certified master automotive technician and Prius specialist, share a few things with you. If that alignment bozo were to place 10 different pairs of rear shocks on your car, your alignment would not change. However, if your rear alignment was out of spec. (rare unless you crashed into something), there are ways to add on adjustment shims to correct it.

    The saying "a penny wise and a pound foolish" applies to wheel alignment perfectly. I would suggest you keep that in mind while looking for a new shop to set your alignment issue straight. You might see if edthefox5 knows anyone.
     
  20. Curiousgb

    Curiousgb New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    29
    4
    0
    Location:
    Millington TN
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If I wanted a good alignment shop. I would go online and find your local SCCA forum. Get on there and ask where the local racers take their cars. Racers usually ask for out of spec, unusual alignments and can point you towards competent people. When I have my Miata aligned I give them my specs, I also make them let me sit in the drivers seat while it is done. I also make them torque the alignment bolts to spec. The manager hates me.
     
Loading...