Help!! Don't know what it all means!!

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Vanessa Chapin, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Vanessa Chapin

    Vanessa Chapin New Member

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    Hi! I just bought a used 2014 Prius Plug in Base yesterday. I get the manual on Monday or Tuesday. I have been watching videos and trying to read manuals on line, but I just don't understand it all. I am hoping one of you lovely people can help me!

    My commute to work is 15 miles. In the morning, it's pretty fast, takes about 20 minutes, mostly 40-50 mph roads, with about 5 minutes of freeway at the end. In the evening, it's rush hour, and takes longer - lots of stop and go, sitting at lights, and takes about 35 minutes.

    Right now, I have just been getting in the car, turning it on, but I have no idea what it is doing! The battery is always full. It has half a tank of gas and I have seen the gas go down one notch since I drove it home yesterday (about 90 minutes' freeway driving).

    I know only that I wanted a Prius, my friends and family all love them, but I am a single woman and I am clueless. I just want to cut down on gas usage.

    Questions!!

    Can I drive it to work using EV mode? There are no charging stations at work. Even though I drive at 40 to 60 mph depending on which roads I am on? There are no serious hills on my commute - pretty flat. Will it do those kinds of speeds on EV?

    If I drive it TO work using EV mode, will it charge back up in the evening on the commute home if I drive using whatever the mode it is that it selects automatically when I switch it on to drive (no pressing any buttons)?

    What happens if I just keep driving EV mode until the battery is flat - does it switch automatically to gas? Then I can charge when I get home, right?

    IF anybody has some kind suggestions as to how to do this to minimize gas purchase and get the best mpg I would be most grateful. Even if it's just to let the car choose. There are buttons, but I don't know when to press them (EV, ECO, PRW). I know power is if I want to go up hills and overtake - won't really need to do that often - but what mode is the car driving in if I don't choose anything?

    Thank you!!

    I appreciate it!
     
  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Welcome to Priuschat.
    Unless it’s real cold you can use EV up to about 85 mph.
    The car will not automatically charge the battery after it’s depleted but it will automatically switch the HV mode(gas).
    You can recharge the battery using the gas engine but it will cost you in fuel. Hold the EV/HV button for a few seconds to toggle Charge Mode on and off. Most don’t use this mode often as it will hurt gas mileage.
    Suggestion: Don’t over analyze things until you are comfortable with the car. Just enjoy it. (Read my signature)
    If you want you can run in HV mode when the gas engine runs most efficiently (highway) and EV mode at other times.
    When you turn the car on it’s always in EV mode regardless of which mode it was in when you turned it off.
    Based on your description of your commute assuming you do not plug in the car at work I would use HV mode for the trip TO work and EV mode for the stop and go return.
     
    #2 schja01, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  3. Vanessa Chapin

    Vanessa Chapin New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    Thank you! So, basically, just drive it and not worry about switching modes? When you say HV, you mean ECO mode? I don't have an HV mode. only EV, ECO and PWR. I haven't pressed any buttons - I press the power button, it turns on, it just drives and seems to switch from electric to gas by itself. Is that okay to do? I have a plug in, so trying to figure out which is the best way to do this all.

    Thank you! This is so weird to me!
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    she doesn't have a prime, she has a pip.

    congrats and welcome!

    1) how many miles on her?

    2) do you know the ownership and service history?

    3) are you charging every night at home?

    4) the car takes care of everything, but you'll do a little better using ev for slower speeds and hv for faster. it's easy to toggle back and forth.

    5) keep it in eco mode until you understand better and are ready to experiment. it tones down the hvac to save fuel, and makes it harder to accelerate too quickly.

    6) don't confuse ev/hv with eco/normal/power, read up on it.

    7) all the best! (y)
     
    #4 bisco, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I believe that is for the new Prime, not the older PiP that she has.
     
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  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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  7. Vanessa Chapin

    Vanessa Chapin New Member

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  8. hieronymous

    hieronymous Member

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    You're not clueless, you bought a plug-in Prius! Maybe the best car purchase you will ever make...

    If you do nothing except charge overnight then get in and drive it like any car, you will get close to best economy. When you are more familiar with the car, keeping your EV charge for lower speeds may give you a little more, as will a light foot on the gas, and a steady cruising speed.

    Your overnight charge will be used up before you get to work, if you just get in and drive. This does not flatten the battery, it uses the charge % from 85% (max) down to 23%. Below 23% is reserved for HV mode, and maintained automatically. As your EV miles come only from overnight charging, when the car switches automatically to Hybrid Vehicle (HV) mode it runs like a standard Prius.

    For now, for excellent economy, just leave the Eco button on - when you start in morning you should see the Eco light and EV light side-by-side on the dash, no other button lights. Eco helps avoid excessive acceleration, and reduces A/C a little.

    If you deliberately select HV mode by pressing the HV/EV console button, the EV light will go out, and any EV charge (from overnight) is protected until you change back, or restart the car.

    Enjoy!
     
    #8 hieronymous, Feb 16, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  9. SuperFun

    SuperFun New Member

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    Congrats. I just bought a plug in to replace our old Prius.

    The manual won’t describe how to drive to maximize mpg. This is the place to learn that.

    Plug it in as much as possible. Electricity will be half the cost of gas or less and the more you charge the more your average mpg will go up. Hopefully they included the cord that comes with it to plug in in a regular 110V outlet. It takes about 3.5 hours to charge on 110V.

    Once charged it should read about 7.0 to 11.0 miles of EV range near the battery image. Depending on whose been driving it (the computer calculates it based on driving habits) When you have EV miles available the battery image with show partway filled with a solid color. That’s EV range. Once that drains down and there’s no more EV miles the battery will show full again but with lines across it, that’s HV battery. The HV battery will go up and down in charge and be charged by the gas engine automatically. You’ll plug in to recharge the EV part of the battery.

    In general Use EV for surface streets and go to HV for highway.

    I agree with the above. Use the EV/HV switch to choose HV in the morning and save the EV for the slow stop and go and surface streets in the way home. Use up all your EV range on the way home.
     
    #9 SuperFun, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    You can’t drive to work in ev until you can plug in, the car doesn’t charge the battery enough.
    You have an ev/hv button, but it will tell you battery too low go ev until you can plug in.
    You have eco/power button, and when you double press it, there’s normal mode in between. That button just changes the throttle position and affects hvac. Not a big deal, but experiment with it.
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    No, it won't do this automatically, you'd have to force it. And there is no fuel economy advantage to doing so, it defeats the real purpose of plug-in-electric cars, which is to avoid using that gas in the first place. (Force charging on the road will consume extra gas, completely using up the hoped-for fuel savings.)

    The car doesn't need to be inside that filled-up garage in order to be charged. Can the car be parked so that the charger cord reaches an outlet? If not, then can you reach it with an extension cored? (Use the shortest heavy-gauge cord available that can reach.)

    Run the cord under the garage door, with boards right next to it, thick enough that the door puts no pressure on the cord, just on the boards.
    HV is the EV button on "not-EV", not a separate button.
     
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  12. Vanessa Chapin

    Vanessa Chapin New Member

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    Thank you! I got the manual, I read all your notes, plus a few more I found on this site. I learned a lot today!!!
     
  13. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Welcome to PriusChat! I hope you enjoy your Prius as much as I have mine!

    As you see, everyone wants to be helpful, and yet each of our experience differs. If one post says this and another say that, they may just have different experiences.

    As a general rule, the Prius will never deliberately hurt itself, so you don't have to do anything special to avoid breaking it. (Gen 2 would continue driving once you ran out of gas, potentially destroying the battery. Newer Prius watch for that)

    I would do the maintenance Toyota calls for. Some try to do more, some try to do less, but Toyota is not 'wrong'.
    Two items that Toyota never mentions:
    About every 100,000 miles you should drain and fill the ATF WS in the transaxle. (About $50 DIY, about $100 at a mechanic)

    Brake fluid slowly absorbs water, which corrodes the system and lowers the boiling point. (Boiling brakes just sounds bad) It is hard to give a fixed time frame, as parts of the world have different humidity, Say every 3 years, there are tests to be sure you need new Brake Fluid. Even if you are a DIYer, I recommend you get an experienced mechanic to bleed your brakes, the Prius system in complex.

    For DIY, NutzAboutBolts has great videos on how to do routine tasks:

    Toyota "How-To" videos - YouTube

    Toyota has resources for owners including all the manuals:
    Welcome to Toyota Owners
    If you sign up with your VIN number it will tell you all the Toyota maintenance done to your Prius.

    Here is the maintenance schedule for your Prius:
    https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-14PriusPHV/pdf/2014_Toyota_Prius%20Plugin%20Hybrid_WMG_lr.pdf

    Should you become fascinated by HOW it all works, Professor John Kelly at Weber State has a wide range of videos on whats going on inside:

    Toyota - YouTube
     
    #13 JimboPalmer, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  14. Vanessa Chapin

    Vanessa Chapin New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    Thank you - - this is getting printed to go with my "service stuff." :)
     
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