Lousy mileage

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Bulcher, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Bulcher

    Bulcher New Member

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    Just bought a 2008 and so far am disappointed in the mileage. First tank...44mpg, second tank went down to 38. Basically same terrain and driving. Have 700 miles on the car. Can't figure out what is going on. Dealer tells me "most people are getting 50 mpg". I have adjusted the tire pressure to 39/37.
     
  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    There are a lot of things that can affect the gas mileage. In addition, I noticed a short 'break in' period for my Prius (about 1000 miles) after which the mileage improved.
    The type of driving and style of driving will also affect it. How and where do you normally drive? What is the weather like where you live/drive?
    The dealer wasn't pulling your leg. My wife gets 50mpg, I get 53mpg (summer). In winter, take about 8mpg off of that.
     
  3. Kcissem

    Kcissem New Member

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    are you using Pulse and glide techniques in the city and warp stealthing on the highway? Are anticpating traffic lights and cars ahead of you, basically pretending you have no brakes? I have a brand new prius also with about 1100 miles on it now, the dealer tank for about the first 300 miles i was only average about 44mpg but then i found priuschat and read up on some of the driving technique and by the time i had to fill up the first time my average was upt to 48.3. Now at the end of my first non dealer tank i am averaging 55.5mpg with 652 miles for the tank and still have not had the last pip start flashing. Although i am going to fill up on the way home from work as i don't want to stretch it too far since it is a guess gauge.
     
  4. Bulcher

    Bulcher New Member

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    Live in Tucson, Az. Been reading the threads about driving techniques and applying them. Yesterday after a 12 mile trip, indicator said average 40.
     
  5. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Did he tell you that before or after you bought it? :D

    But yes, many people are getting higher than the EPA estimated 45mpg. However, the Prius - unlike almost every other car - does not maintain a constant mileage from tank to tank. Like the rest of us, you will notice swings in tank average performance.

    The car will settle in a bit which will help. Most importantly - and providing the biggest mileage improvement - is that the driver will settle in. Give it time; you have years of driving habits to shed. We've all been there.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Neicy

    Neicy Member

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  7. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    You have good points, but for your question you only need to look at the information on the left of the screen, where it says he lives in Tucson. That's the most important reason PriusChat uses that field, since the weather does make an impact on how we drive.

    In Tucson I would say the A/C usage right now is the biggest factor dropping the mileage. Short trips are another big factor, and break-in period like you mentioned is a couple more percent. In Tucson the mileage probably increases in the winter, unlike our more temperate climate. (Not that most people probably consider MN/IL temperate, but compared to Tucson I would say it is).

    The reported average, on this site and others, tends to be about 48 mpg.

    For driving style, I would say pay attention to braking gently, not accelerating gently. Accelerate like normal (not hot-rodding it, obviously), don't try to use the battery on acceleration, and look ahead for slow-downs. Give it time. The Prius rewards patience.
     
  8. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Do you use "B"? Is there any mountain driving involved?

    Gliding (no arrows on the "Energy" display) is better than coasting,
    Coasting is better than braking,
    Braking is better than stopping.

    Make certain that the battery vent (on the right side of the rear seat) is never blocked.

    Check the oil level.
     
  9. HardCase

    HardCase SilverPineMica, the green one

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    These are very good points. The OP references a 12 mile trip and seemed, although I could be mistaken here, to imply that this was longer than typical for him. Short trips = poor mileage.

    AC also degrades mileage, but not as much on a long highway trip as it does around town. A short trip combine with AC at full-tilt is going to be an absolute mileage killer. If that is what is going on, the guy is lucky to be at or near 40mpg. I'd have guessed mid-30s.

    I did a 900 miler over the weekend, 98% highway, drove the speed limit, used the AC sparingly (living in Montana helps in the summer, but mileage suffers in the winter for sure), and averaged 50.7 for the trip. It would have been closer to 54 if not for a fairly brutal headwind for about 200 miles of the return trip. But when I do short around-town trips, even without the AC, I get in the low 40s.
     
  10. Tojo

    Tojo New Member

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    I have had my Prius for a year now and live in Phoenix (very similar conditions to Tucson, my neighbor to the south) and in the summer with A/C cranked to the max, I get around 46mpg. My daily commute is about 30 miles each way along surface streets. I get slightly better mileage in the winter (48/49mpg). If I employ "advanced" driving techniques, I can get up around 50, but that is pushing my limits in this terrain, etc.

    Mileage in the 30's does not sound quite right. Does your car pull to one side or feel like it breaks unevenly? Tires out of balance or alignment can cause a decrease in mileage and are a relatively easy fix.

    I hope you are able to resolve your issue.
     
  11. Bulcher

    Bulcher New Member

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    To all who responded, thanks for the tips and advice.
     
  12. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    To be clear, for better fuel economy you should *not* use "B". It's only there to avoid riding the brakes on long down grades.
     
  13. autoxic

    autoxic Commuter

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    I hope Bulcher, the OP, give us an update after a few more tanks of gas.

    I usually get 47-50 MPG. Last month, during some brutally hot days, I got an MFD indicated 38MPG for about 200 miles of driving. Did I do something wrong? No. My wife and I used A/C on high for most of the trips, we took some short trips, and we were in NJ traffic on NJ roads (gas-brake-gas unavoidable).

    Long-term, most people will see 40-50 MPG.
     
  14. 9G-man

    9G-man Senior Member

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    I have 4 questions, that will answer your low gas mileage questions.

    1.How many different people drive your Prius
    2. How far are your routine travel distances?
    3. Your car can travel on no gas at all. Are you aware of the methods of consciously putting your Prius into these modes with your right foot?
    4.What screen do you keep your MFD on?
     
  15. Spectra

    Spectra Amphi-Prius

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    Yikes, you're living quite dangerously for a new Prius owner!
    If accurate, this would indicate that you've used 11.75 gallons out of your 11.9 gallon tank!

    This summer, I've been getting 63-65 MPG, but I get nervous at 1 pip & haven't gone beyond 515 mi. on a tank. Even so, it only fills with 8-ish gal.
     
  16. Spectra

    Spectra Amphi-Prius

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    Hey don't give us a bad rap, or rep --

    If, in traffic, you manage the Pulse & Glide right, find the right secondary rds, and drive at a sane velocity on highways, one can still max-out the mpg's here !
     
  17. toddbrat

    toddbrat New Member

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    :D I live in the PHX area( Elev. 1200ft) and made my first roadtrip to Flagstaff AZ (Elev 7000 ft). Had myself and 3 other passengers and luggage, and averaged almost 38 mpg uphill. After coming back down the computer stated that I had an average mpg of 42.3. Not too bad for the load and the rise in elevation. Still on first tank of gas (480 miles) and have one bar on gas gauge.
    That is with the AC on all the time except for the long steep hills going up. :)
     
  18. isisdave

    isisdave Junior Member

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    We got only about 38 mph on the first tank, but these factors were involved:

    Short trips, mostly under 10 miles
    Moderately hilly terrain
    Roads often require speeds in the 40-45 range, but yet frequent traffic lights
    Temperatures in the 90s requiring constant A/C
    .....and most importantly
    teenage son sitting in the car in the driveway but with A/C running, pushing all the buttons

    We're only a little into the second tank and up to 42 already; all factors except the last are about the same.
     
  19. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    I'm pretty much a newbie, and admit to not having checked my tire pressure yet, but aren't those figures lower than the high mileage guys have in theirs?

    I've now put on 2030 miles on the Prius. The lifetime average is running at 53.2 right now. I use the A/C a lot, and most trips are around 15 miles in length, with a fair amount of 40-50 mph. That's where the mileage seems best, although on the level, at 65 mph I've seen a 5 minute increment at about 70 mpg. My secret... probably that I learned to drive with a guy who hated to spend money. Starting back in the early 1970s I started doing things like never braking if I could coast (my mechanic says at the current rate, my 01 Blazer's brakes should last until I hit about 160K- like I could afford to put that other 67K on it!), stopping far enough from the guy in front of me that I can let the brake off just before the green light so I'm rolling when I put on the gas, keep the speed steady but let it creep down uphill. On my 90 Cadillac DeVille too, it had a instant and trip gas mileage display. That gave me a leg up with the Prius, having driven the Caddy for about 6 years and routinely getting 18 mpg in town, 25 hwy.

    The biggest thing that helps me is to stick with the consumption screen. I spend more time watching the MFD than I do the speedometer (not surprisingly watching your consumption keeps you at or under the speed limit pretty well!). It's kind of like an addiction. Yes, I do watch the road, but in keeping with the above, I'm not a tailgater anyway.
     
  20. Prius 07

    Prius 07 Member

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