In cold temps, ICE turns on at the begining of a trip when I have plenty EV. Why?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Jimbo69ny, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Jimbo69ny

    Jimbo69ny Active Member

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    I have a 2012 PIP with about 28k on it.

    I have noticed that when the temperature is below 60 F the ICE usually engages at the begining of a trip. Its annoying because on most of my daily trips I have enough EV range to make my round trip. Most of my daily driving can be done on EV only.

    I have read that the ICE has to kick on every 200 miles or something but thats not what this is. Like clockwork, every time I get in my car to take a quick trip the ICE kicks on. When that happens I usually pull over, turn off the car, start it again, and continue on my way. This usually solves it and the ICE stays off the rest of the trip but yesterday morning the ICE turned back on after restarting. It wasnt even that cold out, maybe 45 degrees.

    My heat is definetely off and I am definetely not going into the red zone. Why is this happening and how can I stop it?
     
  2. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    yup, same here 45 degrees or below the ICE will kick in, it's because the amperage required to accelerate in warm weather 50 degrees or above is sufficient so ICE stays off, in cooler weather there is not enough battery amperage capacity to drive in EV so ICE will kick in. :cry:

    When this happens to me, I drive on the side streets that has a 25 MPH speed limit, ICE stays off for me there.:D
     
  3. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    I have noticed that when around 40 degrees f or colder If I'm at a stop light and Esp. if up hill if I accelerate moderately fast, even if I do not get to the power zone, and if I go about 52mph or faster sometimes not often, ICE will turn on. I think maybe the battery takes to much draw and maybe heats up to fast and the ICE starts. Just my guess I do not really know, just sounds good to me! :unsure:
     
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Huh?

    I ran a bunch of errands this morning with the temperature at 39°F. The engine never started. I have video footage from last winter of me driving the entire capacity, with some of the drive sustained at 50 mph, using only electricity... despite it being -2°F. No engine.

    There is likely a "too cold" threshold, perhaps for a battery that hadn't been used or charged for many hours. But ordinary fall conditions aren't cold enough. Some other bit of info is missing.

    Once a housekeeping cycle begins, I'm pretty sure the only option available is to postpone... which would mean every time you restart the system, it will attempt to resume.

    That could be what you're experiencing. Let it finish (full warm-up). Then let us know if EV is available the next time. I bet it will be.
     
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  5. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    This happened to me when I first got the PIP and drove it in the fall weather 45 degrees outside, ICE kicks in when normally at 50 degrees or above ICE stays off, so I decided to test out theory of driving down the side streets at 25 MPH and found that ICE stays off.
     
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I certainly haven't seen that behavior. Mine stays off.

    Is your grille blocked ?
     
  7. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    nope

    are you driving on a flat surface? or is your terrain hilly? Mine's mostly flat
     
  8. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    I do not really know John, but I could not see any other reason for the ICE to start. The ICE has started 2 or 3 times in the last 1000 miles for no reason I know of and this was always kind of the same time of day early morning, 15-30 degrees f from a stop light, average hill from stop maybe 1/4-1/2 mile long, when ICE starts I look down and I'm doing around 52 mph and Midway on HSI screen no where near power zone. It was just my guess.

    Blocked lower half!
     
  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Sometimes, I drive along the valley bottom. Other times, I climb up the steep residential hill. The engine stays off for both.

    The commute taking the river route is a mix of both, with several starts from stop too. No engine then either.
     
  10. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    I have always told my friends it has a mind of it's own!
    That's what I live with! :)
     
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  11. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    This could be the reason in my case because I charge my car up at night, then drive my car in the morning to work.
     
  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    We'll have more data to work with in the next few weeks. Now that the temperature is dropping below freezing, I've been building a new video-capture setup. With it, I'll be able to film data from the Torque app along with outside scenery as I drive. We'll be able to see SOC, Coolant temp, Speed, and the RPM of Engine, MG2, MG1 all at once. That may reveal what's happening or not happening.

    Testing it, I've been watching the Engine RPM at zero...
     
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  13. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    I remember you telling me you charge, then go, so your battery is warmed up, mine's not.
     
  14. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It's best to have recharging finish shortly before you are ready to leave (hence the timer). That's best for battery longevity, since the chemicals within benefit from resting. The bonus is waiting also leaves a small amount of residual heat.

    For me at work, timing like that is harder. But even 2 to 3 hours of sitting is better than overnight.

    Warmth makes a difference. That's why Tesla has a battery-warming feature built into its design.

    Remember, electrical resistance within the battery itself is higher when cold. That means you'll be getting less range from the recharge simply by starting without any residual warmth available.
     
  15. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    What is your set temp compared to ambient temp?
    I have not tried it in real cold yet, but could it be that the engine starts (for heating) whenever the set temp is above ambient even if the fan is off?
     
  16. priuskitty

    priuskitty PIP FAN

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    I keep mine at the lowest setting possible with fan off.
     
  17. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I always start with LO and the fan off. If the temperature is pleasant (for a proper dressed Minnesota native), I'll crack a front & back window to keep the windows from fogging. If not, I'll start the fan, keeping temp on LO. Sometimes, I'll turn on the heated-seat too. As long as draw doesn't climb into the power zone, engine stays off.

    Well below freezing, there is some speed/battery-temp threshold. But last year, I wasn't ever able to nail it down, since the heater was needed at that point anyway. I know that GM has set their system to operate battery-only until dipping below 15°F. Toyota may have something similar.
     
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  18. Michael33

    Michael33 Member

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    This is almost certainly a case of the car starting to provide heat because the climate control isn't really off. Rather than selecting "Low" for the temp, leave the temp where it is and use "Off" to turn it off. Use the fan 'up' button to restart the climate control. If you do it right, the car shouldn't start at any reasonable temperature.
     
  19. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    I have started the car totally cold soaked down to about 35 with no ICE startup. Haven't had a chance to try lower yet.
     
  20. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    What was the max speed you drove? If the temp vs speed theory is suspect, we need both data to figure it out.
     
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