Just why does the Outside Temperature indicator flash at 37*F (2.77*C)

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by JStrenk, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. JStrenk

    JStrenk Member

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    I just noticed my Outside Temperature indicator was flashing this morning.at 37*F.
    Is this telling me the car is going into some cold weather operation?

    Manual just says it starts to flash and then stops without giving any indication as why it flashes.

    "Outside temperature Displays the outside temperature within the range of -40°F (-40°C) to 122°F (50°C). The temperature display flashes for approximately 10 seconds when the outside temperature drops to approximately 3°C (37°F) or less, and then stops flashing"​

    Scanning the manual I also found the Hybrid System may not start if:
    "When the ambient temperature is low, such as during winter driving conditions
    ●When starting the hybrid system, the flashing time of the “READY” indicator
    may be long. Leave the vehicle as it is until the “READY” indicator is steady
    on, as steady means the vehicle is able to move.
    ●When the hybrid battery (traction battery) is extremely cold (below approximately -22°F [-30°C]) under the influence of the outside temperature, it may
    not be possible to start the hybrid system. In this case, try to start the hybrid
    system again after the temperature of the hybrid battery increases due to
    the outside temperature increase
    etc.
    Really? if it's -22*F it may take several months for the outside temperature to warm up....

    ■Situations in which EV drive mode cannot be turned on
    The temperature of the hybrid system is low.
    The vehicle has been left in temperatures lower than about 68°F (20°C) for
    a long period of time etc.

    Fortunately, I seldom use the EV mode and probably can't for the next several months. :)
     
  2. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    It flashes to warn you that conditions could be icy.
     
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  3. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    Yeah, I think all generations did that. At least in my gen 2 did it too.
     
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  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    It is worth noting that all the AWD Prius have the older NiMH battery, which handles cold better than LiIon batteries.
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Basically it’s a low temp warning for the possibility of black ice. Black I’ve can still be present just above freezing so that’s all that the 3°C temperature warning is telling you.

    As for the other, it’s if the hybrid system is -30°C not ambient temp. It’ll take a couple of days for the system to cold soak and reach those temps.
     
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  6. JStrenk

    JStrenk Member

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    I've always found the traction control light to be a better warning for icy conditions, not to mention some 50 years of driving experience.
    I was kinda hoping it was doing something 'cool' when it got that cold...
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    erm… that’s more like a confirmation of icy conditions.

    The thermometer is useful for warnings, I find.
     
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That is the same temperature where my Subaru warns of possibly icy road conditions. And if temperatures are fluctuating, it warns every time the observed temperature drops from 38 to 37. I don't know if a new Prius does the same.
     
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  9. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Yes, I just found that:
    upload_2019-10-16_15-10-47.png
     
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  10. JStrenk

    JStrenk Member

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    Toyota should come up with a way to use the cruise radar to detect actual ice on the roads surface and superimpose it on a forward facing camera view. I mean if NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper can detect ice on the moon in orbit 125 miles above the lunar surface, why can't Toyota come up with a way to detect ice on the surface of the road a few meters in front of the car?? :)
     
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  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I can't see that for at least a couple of generations - and remember that Gen 4 PRIUS is a 2015 design. RADAR Cruise just doesn't do that in any car that I know of - Mercedes more-or-less led the charge about 20 years ago.

    I remember reading not too long ago about Self-Driving cars not being able to detect it - unless it's appeared since.
     
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  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, mine was flashing this morning. Needed to defrost the ICE off the windshield. Start of ICE is really start of ICE. Run HV coming to work.

    IMG_20191016_064235.jpg
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Total non-sequitur.

    Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M^3) was an imaging spectrometer, not a radar. Completely different hardware and operating bands.

    M^3 used reflected sunlight. Road ice is worst in shadows and at night, where and when illuminating sunlight is not available.

    M^3 used post-processed data viewed and reviewed and adjusted by experts. The output maps likely took days to produce, not a fraction of a second.

    Most consumers can't afford multi-million-dollar options.
     
  14. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    fuzzy1, now you are distracting him with facts! The right answer to black ice is flying cars.

    The problem with flying cars is the lack of flying drivers. The death toll will be phenomenal.
     
  15. blane

    blane Carmudgeon

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    If it were rainy or snowy and near the freezing point, the front radar device or forward facing camera could easily ice over. That would cause faulty images or information to be displayed. Think about how raindrops or splashes on your car's rear view camera lens make it difficult to see when you are backing up.
     
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  16. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    In torrential rain, DRCC loses touch with the car in front - whether it's the RADAR or the forward camera, I'm not sure.
     
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  17. JStrenk

    JStrenk Member

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    Love these replies.

    This looks promising:
    [​IMG]

    Link: Black Ice Detection Technology | Intelligent Vision Systems

    Just tweak the camera a little to get the right resolution.... and Bazinga! :D
    Just move the camera to the rear view mirror. If you can't see you shouldn't be driving anyway.

    Who wants to buy one?

    Can you imagine having the suspected icy areas projected onto the windshield when driving !!!
     
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  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    *shrug* it’s not like it’ll let me drive as if there’s no ice on the road…

    The thermometer is a pretty good warning to start opening up following distances and isolate speed changes from direction changes, has kept me out of the ditch for decades.

    Don’t get me wrong, it would be entertaining to watch… Some people want to watch the fire, others just want to be warm.
     
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  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    No point, here in Minnesota... where "black" ice has a different meaning. For us, it is the ice from exhaust drippings. Being so much colder, that's normal for the extreme cold.
     
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  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Buy what? I don't see a product being offered for sale, just a laboratory demonstration of a proposed technology. You still need to turn it into an actual working consumer product.
     
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