How do I properly drive this thing?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Jbrow327, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. Jbrow327

    Jbrow327 New Member

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    Hey guys. New member.
    I recently got a 2018 Toyota Prius and I don't know how to properly drive it. Which drive mode is the best to use? When do I use B or the EV button?
    In other words, how do you guys drive your prii most efficiently? I noticed if your too hard on the pedal and then let off, like in stop and go traffic, the engine will start and stop so many times. How could that be could for the car and starter? Imagine starting/stopping any other car 50+ times a day.
    Thanks.
     
  2. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    Just put in D and drive. Don't worry about anything - the car is quite smart and knows what to do.
     
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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Do your homework! An internet search on Pulse and Glide driving technique and a thorough review of owner's manual will get you up to speed.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!

    start with eco, then experiment. there is no right or wrong, that's why they give you a choice.

    only use b going down mountains to save your friction brakes, it's like low in a regular auto tranny.

    ev is mostly useless. good for moving your car around the yard and etc. if the engine doesn't start.

    all the best!(y)
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Is the Prius too complicated? | Page 2 | PriusChat

    :)
     
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  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Welcome and congratulations!!

    Use the one you like best. It's mostly just throttle mapping although there are also changes to HVAC behavior.
    Throttle mapping.png

    B mode: as @bisco said and as it says in the owner's manual, use it for big hills where you would be concerned about overheating your brakes.

    EV mode: almost never. Best use would be if you want to move the car just a few feet without having to start the engine.

    This!!! And definitely spend some time in the owner's manual if you want to fully enjoy this amazing car. While you're learning about it, enjoy it.
     
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I soooooo love that the gen 4 will stay in PWR mode and not revert to normal after shutting down. They listen. Sometimes.
     
  8. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Just drive it. In 4½ years, I've used "B" Mode twice, maybe 3 times.

    EV Mode - read the Owner's Manual - but generally, not much point in it unless you're "hypermiling". The reality is - it goes in and out of EV mode by itself for, on average, about 25-40% (?) of the time, depending on the type of driving and environment you're driving in. Some trips might be only 3% EV mode, but the next might be 50% - and there's not much you can do about that, but it averages out.

    upload_2020-11-7_10-14-29.png

    As you get used to driving it, you'll learn a few things which suit both your driving style and may possibly improve your economy - most of which are similar to trying to get better economy from - a V10 Viper. A gentle throttle, anticipation of traffic and red lights etc. If you're a lead-foot, driving a PRIUS tends to settle your foot down - seeing real economy at work.
     
    #8 alanclarkeau, Nov 6, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
  9. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    There is no "starter" in the conventional sense, and it is completely designed to start/stop the gas engine as often as it needs to. That said, you probably should avoid "jack rabbit" starts that require the gas engine each time. Assuming the battery has a nominal charge, the car moves off the line quite quickly in EV power alone and then blends in the gas engine as speed increases. If your gas motor is starting immediately upon releasing the brake pedal and applying throttle, you might have a weak battery...how many bars on the meter?
     
  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    It also depends on the climatic conditions - it gets excited when it's cold - and starts the engine (ICE) so it can heat the occupants with the heater. Unless you have the Climate Control OFF.
     
  11. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    You use B when you are descending long mountain grades and you want to minimize the brake pedal. This especially comes into play when you've descended long enough that the battery has reached full capacity (all bars lit). The car will not allow any more regen charging and you are riding the friction brakes entirely to maintain speed. The EV mode is essentially useless. There's not enough battery to do anything more than move the car short distances at parking lot speeds. Plus the gas motor must already be warmed up. One other driving tip is never shut off the car (power button) until the gas motor is stopped. This may require staying in Park after you are stopped before shutting off the power.
     
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Why?
     
  13. pianewman

    pianewman Active Member

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    Another: Don't sit in N with the power on for an extended time (i.e. waiting for an automated car wash). The traction battery will only recharge when in D, R, or P.

    I did this once...waited in N to roll into the car wash. The car wash was VERY SLOW, and I had to stay in N the entire time. Warning lights came on, informing me the traction battery was dangerously low and unable to recharge in N.
     
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  14. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    If you are very low on the hybrid SoC, don't go through these. But I've gone through many a carwash in my Two Eco without it draining the battery to the point where that message would come up.

    B mode will still recharge the hybrid battery, just not as fast as D mode.

    The Prius' engine was designed to start and stop. This doesn't affect its longevity. This is actually where most of its fuel savings comes from: not running the motor in stop and go traffic. On regular cars with just a motor, this would wear out other components faster: starter, alternator, power steering pump, belts, ignition.

    Best way to drive the Prius is to learn to use the pulse and glide method.
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Why indeed?

    One thing to keep in mind for car wash situations is just to cut the electrical load to a minimum. Turn off the headlights, seat heaters, window defoggers, if any of that stuff is on. Air conditioning—especially the air conditioning. That's electrical in a Prius (other than Gen 1), and a guzzler of electricity.
     
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  16. pianewman

    pianewman Active Member

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    HAHAHA! Easy for YOU to say, in Indiana, USA! When it's 107f out, the AC stays on.

    (Actually, when it's THAT hot, no way I'd spray the car down with cool water...)
     
  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, the air conditioning is also not just on-off. You have the option of dialing it back ... say, for the duration of your trip through the nice water-sprayed shady tunnel, move the temp setpoint up as warm as it goes, and dial back the fan. You'll survive. And the compressor can slow itself down to 250 watts or less, in contrast to more like ten times that when it's running flat out.
     
  18. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    I don't think this will reduce the AC compressor activation frequency. All it will do is add engine heat to warm the cooled air. The AC compressor will still activate per the normal schedule. Just put your car in Park with the AC on and step outside to hear the regular activation of the AC compressor, the whirring sound will stop/start on a regular schedule. The frequency of its activation is fixed.
     
  19. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    This was a "thing" in the Gen 3. Shutting off with the gas motor still running was thought to cause severe, loud banging on subsequent cold starts of the gas motor. Something to do with leaving unburnt fuel/air in the intake section of the engine. Maybe it was fixed in the Gen 4 because you don't see many complaints of rough, engine banging anymore.
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I should have been more specific. If Gen 4 is at all like 3, the range of temperature setpoints is from 65℉ to 85℉. If it is 107℉ and you set the target to 85℉, the highest you can, you will still have air conditioning, and the blend door will still be solidly shut against adding any engine heat to the air. It will simply keep the A/C demand as low as possible.

    Now, what I left out was that there is also a setpoint below 65 that shows as LO (this is again describing Gen 3), and one above 85 that shows as HI. Those two settings ignore the temperature completely and just give you A/C or heat, respectively, until you say uncle. So use the highest temperature setpoint; don't go beyond that to HI. Or yes, you will be getting engine heat mixed in if you set for HI.

    You're kind of disregarding the variable-speed nature of the compressor here. If you connect a scan tool and watch the watts consumed by the compressor, you will see that its power consumption can be from two or three thousand watts when running flat out (when it sounds like a distant Cessna buzzing your car), down to about 250 watts or so at lowest power, when you pretty much have to park the car and step outside to hear it. It doesn't start on-off cycling until even its lowest power is more cooling than you need, and in that case it will cycle periodically between off and running at very low power. There is nothing 'fixed' about the cycle period in that case; it goes according to demand, and ends up with the proportion of time it's running being about equal to the proportion of cooling actually needed to the cooling provided when running at minimum power.

    As I recall, the recommendation was to avoid shutting the engine off when it has only just started and not reached operating temperature, such as just starting the car to move it down the driveway and turning it off. The suspected mechanism was condensed water in the EGR piping, getting slurped into the engine on the next start through the little passages in the intake manifold, causing a moment of misfiring. In that case, the advice was to wait for that initial engine run to stop on its own, then turn off the car.

    If you're returning from an actual drive and the engine has warmed up, there was never a recommendation based on this issue to do anything special when pushing the off button.
     
    #20 ChapmanF, Nov 9, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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