Help me with CPO Tires, Winter, Driving Technique and Fuel Efficiency

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by PentaTetraContaMiler, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. PentaTetraContaMiler

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    Hi all, I recently purchased a 2010 Prius III CPO, low mileage (only 25k), and from what I can gather the previous owner used this Prius around New York City in stop & go traffic, doing only about 5k miles a year.

    I'm currently a bit disappointed in the fuel efficiency with this particular car (latest tank calculated at 43.5mpg, display showed 46.9mpg), as I was really hoping to reach the 48mpg I saw as the EPA highway rating for this car. I also get significantly worse gas mileage in town than 51mpg rating for city driving (maybe I'm not understanding what qualifies as city driving), somewhere closer to 35mpg. My decision to sell my 2010 Civic, which I was getting about 30mpg with, was heavily influenced by the possibility of getting 20+ more mpg. In reality I'm only seeing an improvement of about 13-15 mpg, which is something, but with the continuing decline in gas prices, puts a big dent into my cost/benefit of buying the Prius.

    Having said that, I do live near Philadelphia, and lately it's been around 30 or 40 degrees F at the times when I'm driving, and I have not tried any grill blocking as of yet.

    I also noticed that the tires were not the original OEM tires which seem to be either Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max or Bridgestone Ecopia EP20 tires for the 15" wheels. Mine came with Goodyear Integrity tires which seem to be just regular tires.

    While I did start out the first couple of tanks with a higher need for speed (~80mph on the highway) coming from my peppy Civic, the past couple of tanks I have toned things down (~55-70mph on the highway) and have been working on my pulse and glide technique. Other than the higher speeds on the highways, I have always erred on the more defensive driving side: keeping a large buffer from traffic in front of me, rolling to stops, gentle acceleration from a stop.

    On to the questions running through my mind: Did the previous owner deteriorate the car so it can no longer easily reach the rated 50mpg? Do I need to replace the tires with LRR tires that are closer to stock or better? Do I need to keep learning new driving tricks? Do I need to start removing parts from the car? :)

    Sorry for the long winded post, but any help would be appreciated. I would love to at least be in the 500 mile club! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    integrity is also an oem tyre. might be worthwhile checking your 12 volt health.
     
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  3. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Winter and colder temps, as well as winter formulated fuel do create a hit on the MPG of all vehicles, including The Prius.

    I'd say if you are getting 43-47 mpg you're doing fine.
    In cold temps, my Prius returns in the mid 40's...sometimes less if I'm doing a lot of stop and go, and short trips, and I've never considered this a problem.

    Longer road trips, and with the approach of Spring and warmer temps, and you should see a gradual improvement.

    As with any new ( to me) vehicle, I'd check tire pressure, Oil Level...it shouldn't be over filled.

    But my overall advice is don't judge The Prius by immediate MPG, given immediate tanks. You should see seasonal improvement, and that 50 mpg mark is much more realistic as a "yearly" average.
    In 40 degree weather, without any grill blocking or much experience driving The Prius, I wouldn't expect too much better than you are getting.
     
  4. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    Penta: I will also suggest that you "don't give up yet" on the mileage. The cold weather DOES hurt the mpg. We have a 2010 with about 128,000 miles on it. Our typical mpg is around 50-55 in the warmer weather (70-90). It takes a hit in our Winter months when the temps are -10 to +40. It will be in the 40 - 45 mpg range. One thing that will also help the mpg is to increase your tire pressure in the Summer. Maybe run 40 front -38 rear. It WILL stiffen your rideability a bit.
     
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  5. PentaTetraContaMiler

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    Thanks, I think I have a multimeter somewhere, or will have to go visit my buddy.
     
  6. PentaTetraContaMiler

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    Thank you, it does give me a bit of peace of mind regarding the drop in the winter. As a life-long gamer, the new experience of having a couple MPG meters in my face has led me to want to keep getting the number higher and I suppose I could be getting a bit ahead of myself.

    I already have my tires up to 37front, 35back. When the warmer weather comes around I'll be a bit braver and and go to maybe 40/38 :)
     
  7. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Active Member

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    The winter blend of gas also isn't the best for good mileage either.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    have you tried grille blocking?
     
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  9. B. Roberts

    B. Roberts Hypah Milah! Ayuh.

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    It's a 2010, so one more task... check to see if the air filter has been changed, and that the air induction plenum is clear. A dirty air filter can lower MPGs.

    If there's no snow on the road, you can safely put 40 psi in the front tires and 38 in the rears during the Winter. Remember that on average, you lose about 1 psi for every 10 degree F drop in ambient temperatures. The opposite is true as well... tire pressure will go up about 1 psi for every 10 degree F increase in temperature. Also, tires generally lose about 1 psi per month on average. It's not a bad thing to check them often.

    Do you know what oil was used the last time it was changed on your Prius? Should be 0w20 synthetic. Oil weight can affect MPG.

    One thing I try to remind everyone who's concerned about getting the best MPG from their cars... don't carry around stuff you don't frequently use in the car. I see a lot of drivers out there that use their car for storage. Every added pound of weight, costs a bit of fuel to accelerate each time you start moving from a stop. Running lighter is always better for fuel economy.

    Post once in a while and let us know how your car's MPG performance evolves. A 50 mpg average is possible with every 3rd Gen Prius.
     
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  10. trip1027

    trip1027 Member

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    Depending on the environment and traffic conditions

    SM-N920V ?
     
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