Long drive...

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by tucatz, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    I'm getting ready to take my 4 touring on a 1600 mile drive. Bay Area to northern Oregon and then back home. The trip will be all highway, all day, probably 75 - 80 mph average. (It's a long drive...) questions I have are 1. How often should I stop and rest the engine (and rest the driver) 2. Should I change the oil before leaving? I'm at 17000 so I'm between 15K and 20K ToyotaCare. Common sense tells me that a long drive would be hard on the engine. And 3. Suggestions for a good restaurant on the route?
     
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  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The engine should be just fine for a long drive. The single warmup cycle is easier on it than the same distance as many shorter trips with more warmup cycles. Though for other reasons I wouldn't recommend 75-80 mph outside California.

    The driver should take a rest break roughly every 2 hours, though most seem to grossly ignore that safety guideline.
     
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  3. pjm877

    pjm877 Member

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    I have done a 1,110 mile one way and the only rest the ICE got was when I needed Gas, Restroom,food, Dogs need to potty, OR I get sleepy ( I stop at a rest area and get a nap)

    I changed my oil 1,000 miles early. 3k might be a bit early, but each to their own... you will not hurt the ICE changing now or when you get back.
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Say San Francisco to Portland? That's under 650 miles: a couple of breaks along the way, one including a fill up, one for lunch, you'll be fine.

    upload_2017-10-15_15-47-2.png

    Not necessary to change oil early, if anything you want to avoid doing things immediately before taking off, avoid surprises if someone screwed up.

    Just check your tire pressures before leaving, and having a Touring, maybe look into a plug repair kit and decent air pump (even a manual bicycle pump). If you bring them you'll never need them, lol. Full tank at the outset, full washer fluid.

    Is that the posted speed limits? If you can keep the speed down a bit, it's easier on the engine, better for mpg, more relaxing. Take secondary routes, say 101?
     
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  5. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    1. Your bladder or stomach will tell you when to stop usually. Your limit will be your fuel tank.
    2. Why change the oil early? You'll be back before you need to change it with plenty to spare. Long drives or highway miles are better for engines than numerous short city miles.

    I've driven up to Vancouver from the Bay Area twice. There were only two things of note.
    1. I hate full service gas stations in Oregon. One time, the attendant stopped filling at first click and sent me on my way with half a tank of gas. I didn't realize until I was already on the road necessitating another stop.
    2. I love low Oregon fuel prices. I schedule my stops at the Oregon border to maximize this advantage. I ignored eateries on the way and concentrated on the destinations instead.
     
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  6. kevinwhite

    kevinwhite Active Member

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    It's 75 mph in Ca on highway 5 but a lot of Oregon is 55 mph.

    I did San Jose to Eugene recently in about 9 hours total with about 65mph average. My maximum speed was about 78MPH.

    I averaged 51.5 mpg over the entire trip with about 48mpg on the high-speed sections. I only had to fill up twice on the entire 1300 mile trip (including pottering around Eugene).

    With the eCVT on the Prius, the engine is only doing 1600-1800RPM for much of the time. (except for hills of course). This a lot less than many cars at the same speed.

    kevin
     
    #6 kevinwhite, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Was that maybe with a gen 2, with the bladder tank. First click on third gen or onward should be close to the top, definitely not half a tank, lol.
     
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  8. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    My 2013 Prius c had premature clicks as well. Sticking the nozzle in too far can... er, I mean... you guys know what I mean (n)

    **An unexpected pun occurred. I'll try again later**
     
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    And add two more days each way?
    They are now required by law to stop at the first click, to prevent overfills and overflows as was done to me before that law. So if your car is prone to shutting off prematurely -- mine does occasionally -- know about how much gas the fillup should be taking so that you can detect significant underfills before leaving.
     
    #9 fuzzy1, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  10. sclevine

    sclevine Member

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    I've done multiple 2000-3000 mile trips in my 2017 Prius. Definitely no need to stop and rest the engine - on my last trip on a particular day I did about 750 miles and stopped every 2-3 hours for a 15 minute bathroom/food/gas break, depending on what was needed. I'm sure you are fine on oil too. They say change it every 10,000 miles and I'm sure you can go a thousand or 2 over that without major issue, especially if you crank out 1500 on a single trip.

    I try really hard to keep speed to 65-70 MPH and been rewarded with 60+ MPG per day, especially if I have favorable wind conditions. If the highway is not busy, I just cruise control 68 in the right lane and then go up to 75-80 if it gets congested or there are trucks ahead I want to pass.
     
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  11. Yippeekyaa

    Yippeekyaa Active Member

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    I’ve done two 1k plus mile days on the gen4, engines don’t need a “rest”. You will need a rest room break, food break etc. just drive it 2 hours, take a break and repeat. Don’t worry about the oil change during the trip. A long drive at constant speed is easier on the oil than constant cooling/heating cycles it goes through running errands at home.
     
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Just drive it - stop when YOU need a rest, your car could drive non-stop with multiple drivers except for fuel stops.

    Highway running is generally easy on engines and on oil. In the past, I'd find that even engines which used a little oil around town used much less on long trips - unless flogged. And don't forget that, in a PRIUS, the engine will have a break on occasions, shutting down completely as it slows coming into towns, traffic lights, downhill grades etc.
     
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  13. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I can't quite comprehend even the concept of resting an engine as way to prolong its service life, no more than the idea of resting a light bulb. As far as I know an engine, like a light bulb, stabilizes at its operating temperature pretty quickly and can in theory run indefinitely with no harm if you can somehow keep it fueled. With of course brief stops every few thousand miles to change oil and other routine maintenance (for arguments sake let's assume that you have a way to monitor fluid levels while the engine is operating).

    If for example you put two identical engines on a dynamometer and ran them at a load equal to driving at say 65mph, for 150 hours which would be equal to just under 10,000 miles. One engine runs continuously for the entire 150 hours, the other engine is stopped every eight hours for two-hour rest periods.

    Assuming that all things about the test are equal other than the rest periods for the one engine, I would expect that both engines would experience identical wear. Although in theory the engine that is rested every few hours would experience a tiny bit more engine wear due to the few additional minutes of cold engine operation. But with only twenty or so cold starts the additional wear would be nearly imperceptible.

    Now a separate topic would be whether it's a good idea to run an engine at a fixed speed of 65mph for 10,000 miles. I know in the past that was to be avoided for new engines during break in, but other than that I am not aware of that being a problem. But even if it was that would be solved by modulating speed, not by giving the engine rest breaks. And of course a hybrid ICE won't be running continuously during an actual 10,000 mile drive, but again that's a variable that would be generally unaffected by engine rest breaks every few hours.

    I'm not trying to shoot the idea down I'm just thinking the question through to make sure that I am not making any wrong assumptions.
     
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  14. kevinwhite

    kevinwhite Active Member

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    The usual reason for not running an engine at constant speed is that it will build up a ridge of wear and deposits on the cylinder wall at the end o the piston travel. The actual stretching of the piston and con-rod will vary with engine speed as well as there being variations with temperature. This results in the top of the piston travel to vary slightly and so spreading out the wear ridge.

    Once a sharp ridge has built up, any attempt to go past that ridge when the engine goes at a different speed can cause the piston rings to hit the ridge and have extra wear or even get broken.

    In general this is not an issue with the Prius because the engine speed is varying constantly as the road load changes - hills, road slope etc - it is almost impossible to keep it at constant speed if you are attempting to.

    kevin
     
    #14 kevinwhite, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    OP is likely driving on I-5. It has plenty of hills and slope variations that will naturally modulate a Prius or other HSD-system's engine speed quite often. No intentional variation is necessary.
     
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  16. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Even a non-hybrid's engine speed will vary with the terrain, although perhaps not as much as a hybrid which has an electric motor providing continuously changing amounts of power. For both types I would think the issue would be say driving on I-10 or I-15 on those long flat stretches in the desert. But even then for a one-time trip, would driving those few hundred miles at a steady speed cause enough engine wear to worry about? Or would it only be a problem for someone who lived in those flat areas and commuted daily say 100 miles round trip on a flat interstate.
     
  17. kevinwhite

    kevinwhite Active Member

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    Only if a the transmission changed gear due to the load. When driving the flat sections of I5 in my Mazda 3 with cruse control the engine speed could remain constant for an hour or more. With the Prius the engine speed changes by a couple of hundred RPM every second or two.

    In the Prius the output power of the engine is changed by altering the engine RPM, not by changing the throttle significantly. Although MG2 can help for short periods the average power from the battery has to remain at close to zero or it will discharge (or charge).

    In a conventional car moderate changes of power are performed by just changing the throttle setting - the RPM will remain the same unless there is insufficient power in which case the transmission will downshift.

    Anyway I wouldn't worry about it in an engine that already has a few thousand miles on it.

    kevin
     
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  18. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Taxis here (the ones I know about were FORD Falcon, a large local inline 6 cyl Sedan or Wagon) are often run around the clock - swap drivers after shift end, car doesn't shut down other than to fuel. Most ran on LPG (Propane, I think you call it in USA?). When waiting between passengers, they usually would idle so the A/C or heater worked.

    Engines would last the life of the car (5 year statutory life), maybe 750,000+kms - though it might go through several gearboxes etc. Many would have their oil analysed between changes, and consequently extend oil life.
     
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  19. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I remember about thirty years ago reading about a study of taxis in New York which had the surprising (at the time) finding that the engines had less wear than passenger cars with similar mileage. This was attributed to the constant running of the engines. Especially back then when oil lubrication at startup was pretty poor, I have heard that modern cars are much improved in that regard. Also engine tolerances weren't as good back then so during the warm up period there was a lot of engine wear. I used to hear that most of your engine wear occurred in the first mile. Which was another reason to combine trips, to reduce the number of times that you drove on a cold engine. As far as I know that is all much improved now, although still worth thinking about.

    Speaking of oil lubrication at startup, back then it was common wisdom to wait 15-30 seconds after starting your car before driving off, to get some oil pressure before putting a load on the engine. When I got my first Prius it was liberating to suddenly realize that I could start moving immediately since I would be on battery power for the first few seconds anyway. In fact each morning when I back out of my garage the engine doesn't come on until I am in the driveway and almost to the street. It always reminds me of an airplane being pushed back from the gate then starting its engines during push back.
     
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  20. Deogratias

    Deogratias Member

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    It's a car. Just drive it. Stop when you feel like stopping. Or don't stop if you don't feel like it.

    I'm amazed at how much people overthink this. Sometimes I drive my car a half mile down the street to run an errand. Sometimes I use all 650+ miles of range without stopping until it needs gas. It's a car, not a puppy. It doesn't have feelings.
     
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