Has anyone compiled a list of must-know info...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by allidavie, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. allidavie

    allidavie New Member

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    This is such a general topic/idea that I didn't even know how to search for it, but I was wondering if anyone had compiled a list of the top/must know tips for new Prius owners (or if maybe we could start one here with links to the relevant, already-existing threads?). I just picked up my new Prius today (Silver #7) and this info gathered in one place would be so helpful... but I can't figure out what I need to know because, erm, I don't know what I need to know yet. Thanks!
     
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  2. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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  3. allidavie

    allidavie New Member

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    Y'know, when I picked my car up today I made a joke about whether someone had written Prius for Dummies yet. Thanks for the links aaf709!

    In the meantime, I found another thread here on PC that might be helpful for newbies like me... I will keep posting any new ones I find (if people think this is a worthwhile endeavor, that is).

    Info on breaking in the engine:
    http://priuschat.com/Just-got-your-Prius-t14398.html
     
  4. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    1. Read the owner's manual. (It's not as clear as it could or should have been but most of what you need is in there.)

    2. When the last gas gauge pip starts to flash it means "buy gas right now, dammit". (The fuel tank bladder varies in capacity. Therefore the driver cannot know how much gas is left in the tank by estimating from the amount put in at the last fill and the distance driven since then. Almost daily we see posts from people who got stuck somewhere with warning lights flashing becasue they assumed that they could drive another 10 or 100 miles after the gauge started to flash. Learn from their example. Don't repeat that mistake.)

    3. At an oil change put in 3.0 to 3.5 quarts of oil, *not* 3.9 quarts. (The owner's manual and apparently the shop service manual are misleading-to-wrong on this point: the system capacity is 3.9 quarts, but oil sticks to the inside of the engine and so some of it never drains out. Thus one must put in less than 3.9 quarts during an oil change.)

    4. If a salesman tells you something that disagrees with the owner's manual, the salesman is almost certainly wrong. (For example: don't leave the car in "B" all the time. "B" is for going down long steep hills, to avoid riding the brakes.)
     
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  5. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I filled up as soon as my last one started flashing.... I could only get 9.5 gallons in it... thats after letting it stop while on high flow, then the lowest flow and it stopped again.. I didnt' add any more.... that means theoretically... I still have 2.5 gallons left?
    Humm...... thats about 100 miles!
     
  6. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    It *would*, if there were not a bladder inside the fuel tank. In reality you cannot be sure how much is left by estimating. Buy gas when the gauge says to buy gas and you will never run out.
     
  7. Kiloran

    Kiloran New Member

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    Members of this site also have collected much of the best information in our Toyota_Prius_FAQ.
    Check it out.
     
  8. cgraham

    cgraham Member

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    The "must know" facts for new Prius owners are not obvious or gathered together in one place to my knowledge. I assume that by "must know" you mean a rapid orientation to what a person should know for basic operation immediately, and during the first few tanks.

    I am compiling some information for my wife as I will be turning over the car to her, won't have an opportunity to tutor her. and she is not the kind to do her own research (you should have to do research for basic operation???).

    The Prius is different enough from other cars in so many ways that a "getting started guide" is essential.

    The very minimum is the valet card intended to tell you or a parking attendant the bare minimum to start, drive and park. It will get you off the dealer's lot. As soon as possible I recommend reading the Pocket Reference Guide which you should receive with the car. I think it is the most useful short document.

    I am compiling a short "must know" supplement (based on limited Prius experience so far, including selected PriusChat info and info extracted (painfully) from the Manual which is not in the 1st 2 sources (or bears repeating). Almost every day I revise it based on something I learn, but it is short by design.

    These three sources are selected to convey essential information and nothing else.

    I do NOT recommend starting with the Manual. It is very long, totally tedious, hard to follow, and porly organized. If you read the Manual thoroughly, you would not drive the car for two days. It does, however, contain important information. It is best used as as a reference - e.g. for "How do I..."

    The OP asked only for the "top/must know tips for new Prius owners", which I interpret as "what do I need to get started?" Some valuable information or links have been posted on this thread, but while helpful, I don't think they address the question - they are either too limited, or too detailed.

    C
     
  9. Jack 06

    Jack 06 New Member

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    Congratulations on your Prius! (You may have posted "I got it! on another thread, but I haven't run into it.)
     
  10. cgraham

    cgraham Member

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    Thank you, Jack. I see you are flashing a red beauty yourself - I was meaning to ask when you got it: about the same time as mine, I suspect. hope you are happy with it. Tell me about it.

    You must have missed my (semi-vent) thread: "prep clowns". ( didn't think you missed anything, except sleep).

    I picked mine up Jan 26. I'm certainly please with mine: it has everything I need, except I was surprised a tinted windshield is not stock. (I know, assumptions, assumptions). We have some severe glare in NM.

    !st tank was 42.8 and climbing: a good sign I think. I know not to get excited about 1st tanks. But it already beats the opposition. Maybe the holy grail after a tank or two. I'm delightes with the effective use of technology, the many features, driveability, and the roominess. The brakes are great.

    The car definaely leans to the left on L curves (have not noticed it on R yet), but as I used to drive a motorcycle with side cat, which suffers from strange centrifgal forces, I can handle it. I may add a BT stiffening plate, which I read helps a lot. Maybe different tires next time around.

    I'm sufficiently impressed to have cleaned out the garage and installed a door opener: that says a LOT!

    I bought a largish barbecue last night which came in a startlingly large box. To my surprise, the great maw of a hatch swallowed it with only slight indigestion after putting the seats down: a bungee cord held the hatch down. No problems.

    I don't think I'm going to want to give this car to Flora. A '96 Corolla is going to be a bit of a come-down. :(

    Did you like the State of the Union address? I alreadk KNEW the Union is in a state, so didn't bother to listen. I was particularly amused by remarks about weaning from oil dependency, considering the source. 'Nuff said.

    Regards, Charlie
     
  11. allidavie

    allidavie New Member

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    Cgraham, thanks so much for your post! If you decide to share the doc you're writing up for your wife that would be really helpful.

    I'm glad I wasn't asking a repetitive question - I've been lurking around here ever since I put the deposit down on my new Prius and have found a lot of stuff here to be waaay over my head (erm, and trust me, I'm pretty much as overeducated as they come), seeing as I have no prior Prius experience and not much mechanics experience in general - I drove a Dodge Avenger for 7 years, for pete's sake!

    I think I've got the parking and basic driving stuff down. I've read the pocket guides to the car and the nav system and have been trying to plow through the owner's manual, but am finding it rough going - and that's coming from a lawyer, so you'd think I'd be able to muddle through it with some amount of recall. I'm mostly flipping around to the sections that seem useful and am reading the little yellow boxes, but must admit it's very hard to have any recall of what I'm reading without being able to actually look at my car...

    I'm in a weird situation in that I picked my car up in NJ, drove straight into NYC where I have an apartment, parked the Prius in a parking garage on Tuesday (I'm still hoping they haven't screwed him up) and tomorrow or Saturday I will be road-tripping down to DC, and that will be my first experience driving the Prius for longer than, oh, 15 minutes. So I'm a wee bit worried that 1) I'll mess the car up by driving too fast, or not recharging the battery enough or something like that or 2) that I'll breakdown or have an accident because I don't know what I'm doing and/or will be distracted by the pretty pretty monitor, the navigation voice, or trying to play around with my iPod.

    Seeing as my car is still in a parking garage four blocks from my apartment, it still doesn't quite feel real, which is why I haven't posted in "I got it!" yet!

    Thanks everyone for all your help.
     
  12. cgraham

    cgraham Member

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    The only way I know to share the doc I am preparing is to post it here, as I have no web site. (If someone wants to host it, that would be great.) Perhaps posting will attract some corrections, and it will morph into something helpful for all.

    PriusTipsV1 DELETED: Please see revised version 1 below. It incorporates important corrections form Galaxee and other minor rearrangement.

    Cgraham
     
  13. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    charlie-

    if you power the car down without putting it in park, it puts itself in park.
    running on battery after running out of gas can cost you a hybrid battery- might want to add that.
    oil overfills can run oil up through the PCV system into the throttle body. but that's only in a rather severe overfill conditions for the HSD system. THS was mreo sensitive.

    i'm sure i could add more if i had DH to back it up. but very nice overall.

    -g

    ps: see john1701a's prius user guide (pdf file) on his site if you haven't already.
     
  14. cgraham

    cgraham Member

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    PriusTips v2 ----- Gen 2

    PriusTips v2 ****** Basics for the new owner. ****** (Updated 8/22/06, and edited 4/5/10)

    It seems a long time ago that I compiled these tips for the '06 model. A lot of these cars are now changing hands - unfamiliar hands in many cases, so maybe it is useful to update it for purchasers of used Gen 2's.

    I expect most new Pri owners go through the same difficult learning curve I did with my '06, beginning in Feb. '06 :confused: . Hence this document.

    At time of initial writing I was on my 4th tank [now 45,000 miles]; the following is the result of my inquires over the initial months of ownership plus some later corrections/additions. It is intended to cover most important issues new drivers find confusing, or may be unaware of, but need to know. :cool:

    I have put extra emphasis on tracking fuel use and attaining fuel efficiency, because this is the reason most buy the Prius. However, there is much more to be found on this subject throughout the Forum.

    Your corrections/additions are very welcome (please Post, and/or PM me).

    There is an acronym index at the top of this forum.
    ********

    FIRST - READ: Quick Reference Guide and Pocket Reference Guide (PRG) which come with the car and will get you driving. [P 3: of PRG is N/A if you have keyless entry (SKS), except it does show how to remove emergency key from fob. The manual is best kept for reference, until you have gained basic familiarity with the car and have a day to study it (except for SAFETY INFORMATION which should be read before operating the vehicle).]

    INTRODUCTION:

    BREAK IN: Merely avoid excessive acceleration and speed for the first 600 hundred miles, and general driving abuse. (At the end for this post you will find a lind=k to a thread on the subject.)

    GENERAL DRIVING: Take some extra care until you get used to the different controls, vehicle dimensions and the invisible front of the hood. (It took me quite a while to get used to the very different controls and vehicle dimensions). The cowling beneath the front and rear bumpers is very low and easily damaged by higher kerbs and parking lot dividers, so don't pull in too far.

    BACKING UP: Objects seen in the display through the rear camera are MUCH closer than they appear, and it is VERY easy to impact something that you think is still a foot away, especially because the throttle is very responsive. I don't know what zero clearance looks like (I was not looking at the display at the time :eek: ) The plastic bumpers and panels are very soft and dent/deform very easily.

    The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) will start and stop unpredictably and may race suddenly on hills, which can be disconcerting: don't worry about it. It is keeping your batteries charged when stationery, and providing power in synch with the electric motor.

    IGNITION MODES: Foot ON brake, press Power: turns car to drive mode, allowing gear selection. Foot OFF brake, Power button turns vehicle to ACC, IG-ON, Off, with successive presses. If parked and you want light-duty accessories like audio, you can use ACC, which disables the engine for safety (for a few hours only, for fear of draining the small 12v battery :(: turn off A/C and lights!) Use Park for prolonged periods of heavy-duty accessory use when the car is supervised or locked, so the engine can recharge the 12v battery (but only in a well-ventilated space - CO2 poisoning risk!) IG-ON permits review of warning lights and diagnostics and can also drain your starting battery.

    THE MYSTERIOUS B MODE: Engine Braking Mode. Used for long steep descents, when generator drag is insufficient to control speed and you don't want to overheat and wear the mechanical brakes. It is the Prius equivalent of changing to a lower gear to control speed on a descent. It causes the engine to be rotated by the drive mechanism, so causing drag. I often drive in mountainous country, but seldom need it. It is great for keeping the speed down on snow and ice without using the brakes.

    WHAT YOU MUST KNOW!

    FOB: Fob is always kept on one's person. Do not leave the fob inside the car; women - don't try to lock purse (containing fob) in car. You cannot lock the car with the SKS fob in it; if you leave it there you may not notice the car does not beep & flash lights (lock indicators) as you press the door lock button and walk away.

    An adjacent cell phone or other electronic device MIGHT interfere with fob's action. You can gain entry with the mechanical key embedded in the fob.

    LOCK DOORS! Doors do not auto-lock upon entry or exit. You must use lock pad on exterior of door, rocker switch on arm rest, or fob lock button. (I recommend you always manually lock the car immediately after entry for personal security). You can not check the lock condition of the front doors with the SKS fob on your person except by examination of inside lock indicators: the car will always unlock for you! You can program the SKS to only unlock the driver's door (security for a single person) - see manual.

    PARKING: Before you exit car, deliberately hold Power button down to shut down and automatically engage Park (be careful, I have had the car try to drive off without me on a couple of occasions; therefore I recommend if you stop for any reason except traffic, firmly press Park, or Power off; I have failed to press firmly enough to disable the vehicle - also, if just holding the vehicle on the brake, it's easy to forget drive is still engaged in the silent vehicle).

    You can temporarily leave the car with engine running, by selecting Park; Park is NOT for parking in the conventional sense, because it does not power the vehicle down. Park disables the drivetrain and locks the brakes; selecting a gear disables Park so you can drive off. Also use the emergency/parking brake when stopped on grades (release by stepping on it again).

    If you power off with headlights on, they will turn off automatically. So you can leave lights always on, if you prefer to drive that way.

    STOPS WHILE DRIVING: The vehicle is designed to hold the car in place if you stop on a hill and take your foot off the brake (I'm not recommending that practice). Because of that design, if you stop with your foot lightly on the brake, the energy display may show a flow of electric power from the battery: the brake pedal has not traveled far enough to shut off power. So get in the habit of adequately depressing the brake pedal at a stop.

    GAS (unleaded); Manual says Prius requres 87 octane minimum - however 86 (at many cut-rate stations) should be OK at higher altitudes - 4000'+ (I regularly drive at this altitude or above and the car runs fine and gives good mileage). If car complains (knocking) you may have to use 87 octane. Higher octane gas has NO advantage unless the engine knocks.

    The GAS GAUGE and TANK CAPACITY are very confusing, because the gas reservoir is actually a bladder, the capacity of which varies with temperature between as much as 9 and 11.9 gal according to reports here. For this reason, range cannot be predicted with useful precision. In addition, range (mpg) is greatly reduced by a variety of adverse conditions, discussed below. So adopt the following rules to protect your car and enjoy peace of mind:

    1). IF THE GAUGE FLASHES EMPTY, GET GAS IMMEDIATELY, at any price; driving on empty (on the battery) can cause severe, costly damage!

    2). In thinly populated territory, don't let the gauge get below 2 bars (3 in adverse conditions).

    3). In town, don't drop below 1 bar.

    4) Check the gauge shows full before leaving - it lags somewhat.

    You can just accept these guidelines and skip to FLUIDS, or read the detailed explanation which follows now, later or never. Certainly later, if you are interested in performance, as most Prius owners are.

    FUEL USE
    Until you are familiar with the process, watch fuel gauge when refilling (power off, and press Power for ACC condition). The gas gauge lags, and after the pump shuts off, it should creep slowly up to Full (irrespective of the amount of bladder distention and its actual volume); further tank topping is inadvisable after the pump shuts off, unless you KNOW the tank is well below capacity.

    Recognize you probably will, without knowing it, have an incompletely full tank (less than 11.9 gal) which can seriously diminish range! The volume above the Full mark is unpredictable: in my warm climate it is enough for 100+ miles under normal conditions; yours may be different. The bars on the gauge are not a linear measure, and probably differ between cars and according to temperature in the same car, due to differences in the deformation pattern of the bladder as it empties, collapses and is refilled. All you know is the amount of gasoline you put in, plus some uncertain residual amount related to the number of remaining bars before filling. It is futile to attempt to calibrate the bars by recording the mileage and mpg as each one disappears, because this quantity cannot be relied upon to be constant.

    As a further compounding factor, driving conditions have a MAJOR influence on MPG (see below). Therefore, the desire to predict range and efficiency of a full or partially full tank with useful precision is fruitless. All you can know is the BEST to hope for, which is NOT something to rely on. Be resigned to keeping an eye on the gauge, and refilling as suggested above.

    A recent experience of mine at 70 degrees F: Last bar just started flashing; added 5 gal - gauge went to 6 bars; added 2.5 gal - gauge went to Full. Tank then accepted approximately another 4.5 gal! :noidea:

    If it's important to get a full tank in very COLD weather, and you are close to a gas station, try to fill while still garage-warm.

    FUEL ECONOMY is measured in the short or long term by the computed MFD (Multifunctional Display) reading, not by miles/tank, and in the long term by averaging consumption and mileage over multiple tanks from the MFD or your log.

    For these reasons and the other environmental conditions that can improve (or more often degrade performance), "best tank claims" are totally meaningless, and should not stir envy. Such claims are typically selective, ignore "worst tanks", and probably are driven at 30 mph. with a following gale, ending in a a 5000' descent in neutral.

    TRACKING EFFICIENCY (mpg): The '06 model MFD gas consumption screen works differently from previous years. When you add over 3 gals., the miles indicator will auto-reset to 0; however, the mpg indicator to its left does not: you must remember to press RESET whenever you want (every tank, every trip, every several tanks for an average, depending on your goal). If you keep a gas log, you can reset on every tank for maximum data, and record odometer and mpg read out as well as gals dispensed), and driving conditions (adverse or favorable that affect mpg) for the previous tank.

    (If I were starting this today, I would keep in the car an old notebook or a netbook computer with a spreadsheet set up with the calculations I wanted, including running averages over 4, 8 and 16 tanks and directly enter the data, so I could immediately see the results and spot potential problems.)

    There are a several reasons why it's best to reset the mpg gauge occasionally if you don't keep a log: 1) cumulative mpg over the life of the vehicle is not a very useful figure, except fiscally, and can be calculated if you only note odometer and mpg at intervals (monthly?). Also, 1 tank averages are seldom useful 2) It is inevitable you will eventually touch RESET by mistake, and lose the average mpg data (you can use your notes to interpolate the lost mpg since the last record adequately for fiscal analysis) 3) Trends such as improving mileage during break-in, or deteriorating performance are "diluted out" by the miles already accumulated and cannot be properly evaluated. 4) Mpg varies greatly due to a variety of mostly environmental conditions beyond one's control, and so a single tank will not be representative, whereas multiple tanks will tend to average out such variables. Mpg averaged over 3-4 tanks is ideal to give you an indication of changes in vehicle performance, and may alert you to a malfunction in the vehicle if there is an inexplicable mpg drop. 5) MPG recorded during constant conditions (part of a tank) can teach you what performance to expect in varying conditions, and how to drive for optimal efficiency; see what mpg you get driving into a 20 mph headwind, for example, at 65 vs 80 mph on a slick vs rough road surface.

    FACTORS AFFECTING MPG: Highly dependent on driving habits (especially acceleration and speed), terrain, wind velocity (moderate to strong wind not within 45 deg. of your rear center will exert severe drag; so you can expect unfavorable wind, if any, 75% of the time, assuming its direction is random), rain, snow, proper tire inflation, road surface, load, and to a lesser extent, engine break-in. These often unnoticed variables make it almost impossible to determine short-term gas efficiency meaningfully, so don't take high 1 tank mpg claims too seriously). If you want to attain 50 mpg on level highway, drive at about 65 mph (with no wind). Cruise control helps mpg by maintaining even speed, except on hills: if you feel it holding you back going downhill, turn it off, and resume at desired speed. Watching your gauges will help you attain your target efficiency.

    It bears repeating:
    DON'T RUN OUT OF GAS!!! The Prius will shut down if it runs out of gas and running it dry of gas and power can damage components, including the expensive hybrid battery :Cry: . Do NOT attempt to run on battery alone for ANY distance except getting safely off the road (thanks, Galaxee). NEVER rely on what you THINK you have left!

    Get gas IMMEDIATELY if last bar flashes! Don't get to less than 2 bars on expressway/rural drives.

    The computer requires addition of _at least 3_ gallons of gas before it will allow you to restart, IF you run out. Gas cans are usually 2.5 and 5 gal. capacity; some individuals can not lift a full 5 gal can. Take note!

    FLUIDS:

    Check oil & brake fluid every 2nd tank at least.

    ENGINE OIL: 5W-30 weight in ILSAC multigrade engine oil (if you go to a Quickie-lube, make them prove they are using the correct oil (they PROBABLY are, but you never know). Check level with engine off, warm and on level ground. If the dipstick is on 'Low" it takes 1.6 qt to bring it to "Full". (ANY grade is better than nothing if seriously low!!!)

    Capacity: with filter change: At an oil change put in 3.0 to 3.5 quarts of oil. ("The owner's manual and apparently the shop service manual are misleading-to-wrong on this point: the system capacity is 3.9 quarts, but it cannot be completely drained. If the filter is changed, MORE oil is required." Use the dip stick, and fill incrementally (it's easier to add than drain) - tell Quikie-lube people this. The current model is not damaged by _mild_ overfilling as the Classic model was (per Galaxee).

    COOLANT: Prius uses a special coolant (from Toyota); use ordinary coolant only in emergency and drain and replace ASAP.

    BRAKE FLUID: SAE J1703 or FMVSS No. 166 Dot 3 (in auto parts shops).

    There are no transmission or power steering fluids.

    TIRE pressure: 40 psi front, 38 rear, cold; check often. (Not factory recommendation; preferred by PriusChatters for better mileage). Check religiously. Note: You should pressurize tires when they are reasonably cool. If you repressurize when hot you will under-pressurize them because air expands with heat (very bad on mileage and tire wear). When you repressurize tires, or change a wheel, press reset switch under steering wheel when tires are cold (tire icon shows on instrument panel). This resets the low tire pressure detector.

    VENT (often ;) ): Do not allow passengers or gear to block Vent near RR seatback! It cools the main battery!

    PROBLEMS:

    FAILURE TO START: (Assuming you have gone through the starting sequence correctly: foot firmly on brake!)

    If vehicle does not power up, check starting battery with voltmeter - it should show over 12.5v. If it does, you have a system failure. If not, charge it (see precautions elsewhere). If you don't have a voltmeter charge it anyway.

    If the vehicle powers up, but does not start, check headlights: if dim, charge starting (12v) battery.

    If the battery is charged but won't start, put vehicle in park. Try cycling (resetting) the computer: power Off for 5 seconds then On several times. If it still won't start, turn off power and walk away from the car far enough that the fob won't lock the car (press Lock: no beep & lights don't flash), and wait a few minutes for computer to recycle before attempting to start.

    Try placing the fob into the slot under the dash, in case its battery is bad. Try the other fob. If this fails, call Toyota for help.

    TOWING: Front wheels MUST be off ground - e.g. on a dolly, or raised, or better, on a flatbed recovery truck.

    If you need an emergency tow for a SHORT distance by another vehicle from the front (e.g. out of a ditch, off the road), install the towing eyelet in trunk through the plugged hole in the driver's side front bumper (manual, p 373). Do not allow anyone to attach a hook to the front axle (serious mechanical damage) or frame (bumper damage). I do not know of a rear attachment point.

    CHANGING WHEEL: Manual, p 364. Buy & use a small star brace, in preference to the tool provided by Toyota (safer, much easier, especially when lug nuts are getting set in their ways). Ignore text to Manual illustration on p 365 - it is incorrect: loosen nuts anticlockways 1 turn, pulling one arm of the star brace with one or two hands and pushing with hand or foot on the other arm, before jacking up the wheel and completely removing the nuts.

    LOST FOB: is a serious problem :doh: : plan for the eventuality. No ordinary expert can gain entry to your car and no one can make it drivable without the fob. Have a copy of the fob key made and hide it in a magnetic box among the struts at the rear of the car. You cannot drive the car with emergency key: it is only useful to recover resources inside the car (deactivated spare fob, cell phone, purse, water, shelter).

    At Walmart, have them put new batteries in the fob - lifetime 2-3 years.

    Always know where the spare fob is. Near home, you may be able to count on someone bringing you the spare. On a trip, put one fob in a pocket, the other in a purse or different pocket to minimize chance of loss & so that it leaves vehicle with you, or let a companion carry it. When you arrive at your destination, leave one fob attached visibly to your luggage (caribiner) so you remember to return it to your pocket when checking out.

    If you prefer, you can remove the battery from the spare fob, and hide them separately in the car: just be sure you always have access to an extra entry key. This is probably the most fool-proof option.

    If you don't have access to a fob, Toyota has to program one (~$260, and slow if no spare is in stock.) - you must give them the key number so note it somewhere accessible - (it was on a ticket attached to one of the fobs when delivered.) I don't know if the dealer has a record of it.

    FLAT BATTERY: If the 12v starting battery goes flat, the SKS system will not work and you will need to use the fob key to get in (Thanks, Oxo). For this reason keep lightweight jumper cables and a flashlight under a front seat, not in the almost inaccessible rear storage area (no rear key access).

    A flat battery can be jump started - there is a positive terminal for this purpose in the fuse box under the hood, L side of car: ground the negative terminal on unpainted frame. (see manual p 414). Make sure you practice this ahead of time, and don't let anyone else do it (even if you are a not-so-helpless woman faced by an insistent male know-it all). Connect the cables wrongly (reversed polarity) and fry $5000 worth of electronics! :fear:

    If you have to use a battery charger, use the low power setting ~ 2 amps (with care - polarity);'

    EQUIPMENT: Plus the usual personal stuff, I keep the following supplies in the vehicle: In spare wheel well: assorted tools, baling wire, electrical tape, tow strap, brake fluid, 1 qt oil, 4" funnel for adding oil, brake fluid, gloves, tie-down cords, bungee cords (can hold hatchback down if it can't close over load), rag, nylon tarp. In under-floor bin: 1 gal. water (I live in desert), folding shovel, 1st aid kit (inc. tape, bandages, gauze, etc for a serious injury). Under seat: small star brace, powerful flashlight, jumper cables under seat; tire gauge in console. A can of tire sealant/inflator would be a good addition. So I'm paranoid! :unsure:
    ************************************************** *****

    OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES: (In my opinion rather more advanced or specialized - but most valuable):

    John's Stuff - Toyota Prius User-Guide (updated for 2005; The best of the bunch).
    http://priuschat.com/Just-got-your-Prius-t14398.html (Engine break-in)
    Toyota Prius - how to articles from wikiHow
    PriusChat Toyota_Prius_FAQ
    http://priuschat.com/forums/files/multi5.pdf (Advanced: Customized electronics alternatives)

    I hope some Prions find this helpful in getting a quick start on their new prize. Please post or PM with corrections or short and verified additions to this document. Thanks to those who have already done so.

    Enjoy your "new" Series II Prius Hybrid! :car:

    Cgraham

    DISCLAIMER: Each owner/driver is responsible for the necessary safety measures, proper care and operation of the vehicle, and for checking the accuracy of the above information. The information here provided is as accurate as the writer could determine at the time, but he will not be held responsible for the consequences of any failure of the owner/driver to verify it, or for any personal injury or property loss arising from use or misuse of the information, or for lack of information not included here. Please note that this article is about basic operation of the vehicle, is not intended to be complete, and does not address safety issues, which should be studied in the User Manual before vehicle operation.

    The author does not claim to be an authority on the Toyota Prius: the advisory notes above are based on his experience, technical sources such as the User's Manual, and Prius Chat discussions.
     
    pdforever, Danny3xd, Moua and 12 others like this.
  15. allidavie

    allidavie New Member

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    Charlie, I know you are already spoken for, but may I profess my love nonetheless? :unsure: I'll be printing this out and keeping it in my glove compartment - thank you so much!
     
  16. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central Texas
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV

    Me too.. thanks for the effort, I copied and pasted to a txt file to print too.
     
  17. cgraham

    cgraham Member

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    Thank you for the nice compliments. It was my pleasure to do the project for my wife and for any fellow Prions who find it useful. So many here have been helpful to me.

    Thursday morning I made some edits in the second copy I posted, and may yet make others. I wil incude edited date in future, or a new version # if things get sufficiently radical. I ought to include links to the other documents that were suggested when I have time. That will be v2.

    Have fun with your new cars! Actually, it's guaranteed.

    (May I suggest not quoting my original post, as it is so long. I will delete the 1st one.)

    Cgraham
     
  18. Oxo

    Oxo New Member

    Joined:
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    Oxfordshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Very useful document. I'll print a copy and keep it in the car.

    My comment on the above: to jump start the car you do not need to find the battery at the back (And if the battery is flat you can't easily open the back anyway) To jump start open the front (you call it a hood? The bonnet to me) and look for the fuse box on the right (i.e. the left side of the car), Take the top off (difficult: try it now before you need to!) and remove the red plastic cover over a positive terminal. Your red jump lead goes on this and the neg lead on the body of the car.
    (Don't store your jump leads at the back because of the difficulty of opening it when battery is flat. I suppose the glove box is the best place if you really must carry jump leads.)
     
  19. Motorway

    Motorway New Member

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    Great job! I've copied the information into a Prius folder on the computer for easy reference. Thanks a lot.
     
  20. cgraham

    cgraham Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New Mexico
    I have updated PriusTips for New Owners to Version 2: plee see Post # 14.

    Edits include new information on '06 model changes to the way the mpg consumption screen works, several other "upgrades", clarifications, and addition of links to other relevant documents.

    All thread suggestions were incorporated (thanks for the suggestions).

    C.
     
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