Is this normal operation for a Prius?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by bossfrog, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. bossfrog

    bossfrog New Member

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    Okay, first time owner. Please forgive my potential ignorance here but I have a question about how my 2006 Prius is behaving on starts.

    When I take off from a complete stop, I am able to accelerate at a rate that allows it to run on battery power only (and this is with an 80% charge on the battery) but it is only with very slow acceleration that it runs this way. If I keep it at a gain of 1-2 mph/sec it only engages the battery. But any more than that and it kicks the engine on. Anything resembling normal acceleration always uses the engine. It has a brand new OEM battery installed just 800 miles ago. Is there some kind of calibration that needs done or is this normal operation?

    It only rarely drives using only the battery. Once in a while if I'm cruising through town at 35 mph it'll kick over to battery-only after a few blocks but that usually only last maybe 10 seconds before it calls the engine back into service. This seems to be somewhat contrary to what I read about other people's experiences but it could be my lack of understanding.
     
  2. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Hi and welcome to PriusChat.

    Is this normal operation for a Prius?

    Yes, I see nothing wrong with what your car is doing, from the way you have described it.

    My question would be, why? Why are you trying to run on electric only?

    The way you have phrased your questions, I get the impression you think you might get better fuel economy (FE) by doing this. If this is a correct guess, I can tell you you won't, more likely you will get worse. Furthermore you stand the chance of hastening the wearing out your brand new battery by trying to force it to use electric only.

    The prius is not an electric vehicle, it is a hybrid that uses the synergies of the the petrol engine (ICE) and electric motors. If you want to get the best from it, just drive it. When pulling way, press the pedal to engage the ICE and accelerate normally. You shouldn't drive like a bat out of hell (but you can, if the circumstance warrant it), but neither should you drive slow as a wet week.

    If you want to get good FE figures, make sure your tires are at least 35 PSI Front/33 PSI Rear and learn to "pulse and glide".

    Hope that helps.
     
    #2 dolj, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  3. bossfrog

    bossfrog New Member

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    No, I never said or implied anything like that. I merely asked if it sounded like normal behavior and nothing more. I didn't know how often, if at all, these are expected to run only on the battery. I don't have an experience-based frame of reference to compare which is why I posted the question. You could have simply answered without making assumptions and going into a long lecture that wasn't needed.
     
  4. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    What he said. :)

    With a "non-plugin" hybrid there seldom is any real advantage in trying to force it to use the charge in the battery........because replenishing that charge will come mostly from the engine later on.

    I DO wish that my C would stay in E-mode long enough to back it out of the garage......or pull it back in......which take all of maybe 10 seconds, but it won't most of the time.
     
  5. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    What you're experiencing is perfectly normal. The car uses both battery power and gas power to give you the best efficiency. As is pointed out above, trying to keep the car on electric power alone only results in the car turning on the gas engine later to charge up the battery you've been draining. Drive normally without a heavy foot and enjoy the car. All is well.
     
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  6. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Sorry, boss, it wasn't intended to be a lecture. I'm sorry you felt it was.

    Was merely trying to be informative and cover some bases.
     
    #6 dolj, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  7. bossfrog

    bossfrog New Member

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    No problem. You did answer my question. The rest just felt a little bit "preachy." It is averaging 46-47 mpg so I figured there couldn't be too much wrong with it. I just like to have an understanding of what is normal and what is not so I can recognize any potential problems early. Which reminds me of another question I had....

    How much noise is normal for these 1.5L engines? I've read a couple of places that said since they have mechanical lifters instead of hydraulic and that a bit of clacking from the lifters is normal on harder acceleration. I don't hear any lifter noise at all when cruising and only hear it quietly during normal acceleration. Is that indeed normal?
     
  8. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    For the most part, they are quiet.

    The main exception is in the first stage of warm up when the ICE is configured to run rich so as to warm the ICE up quicker. In this configuration (which lasts about 50 seconds, with the A/C off) the propulsion is almost entirely by the electric motor. This is provided you drive gently. If you mash the accelerator, there will be a micro-pause while the ECU reconfigures for power.

    Sometimes knocking (or pinking) under medium to heavy load can be observed. If this happens you just need to move up to the next octane rating. The car may even be more economical using the higher octane and I have found this. For me it is actually cheaper per mile to use the slightly higher octane 91 AKI (95 RON) vs 87 AKI (91 RON). Beyond 91 AKI, I have found no benefits. YMMV. Toyota says light knocking is not anything about which to worry, as long as it is not sustained.

    Overall the engine is described as a little clickity-clackity like a sewing machine, but less so after the first 50 seconds.

    As far as the warm up stages, you might find the link in my signature to the 5 stages of Prius warm up useful.

    Hope that helps.
     
    #8 dolj, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  9. bossfrog

    bossfrog New Member

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    It did. That pretty much sounds like a good description of what I am hearing.
     
  10. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    If the battery is low your engine will sound louder too. Driving the car and charging.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  11. kenoarto

    kenoarto Senior Member

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    Yes, your Prius sounds totally normal. Welcome to priuschat.com FYI: dolj is one our wisest contributors. I always read what he says carefully. A series of long answers ARE needed to answer questions that teach basic info on how a Prius works. dolj is NOT being preachy, he is teaching things you must learn. You will find priuschatters a mixed bag of enthusiasts: there are some wonderfully geeky techies, a few snarky folk, lots of diy'ers and plenty of lurkers who just want to keep up with all things Prius. In any case, it is best not to casually toss insults at those who are trying to help you.
     
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