Maintenance tips for MPG? (new prius owner)

Discussion in 'Prius v Fuel Economy' started by dgwise, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. dgwise

    dgwise New Member

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    Hello, just got my first ever prius, a certified pre-owned 2012 Prius V Five with 54k miles. Seems just in the first few days of driving like it's averaging around 30-35 mpg (according to dashboard) in a mix of driving condtions around the LA area; short trips, long trips, uphill, downhill, highway, city, etc. I know this is hardly scientific data, and I know I can try to adjust my driving habits to benefit my mileage, but just wondering if there are any quick things I can check with a new (to me) car to ensure I'm giving myself the best shot. I'm coming from a 2008 CR-V where I'd been averaging around 20 MPG driving from Glendale to downtown LA every day, so either way it's an improvement.

    I've seen some things about tire pressure so that's the first thing I'll check, tinkering with different psi depending on tires/roads/etc. Anything else to check on maintenance/wise that the dealer may have missed?
     
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  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Tire pressures around 42psi front, 40 psi rear. Alignment within specs, if not a bit more neutral toe-in. New tires (if they are new) will punish mpg by up to 5 mpg for 500 or so miles.
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I assume you have reset the MPG display so that you are seeing current data ?

    Having driven "in the LA area" a couple of times, it might be hard to get really good mileage.
    Freeway speeds are too high.......and non-freeway often has too many stops.
    That is true of a lot of big cities.

    The best gas mileage is obtained with a steady speed around 45-50 MPH and no stops.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!

    check/clean/change the air and cabin filters, make sure the engine oil is between the min and max marks,
    and test the 12 volt battery health. check the tire make and model, someone might have put on non low rolling resistance tires.
    drive a few tanks and calculate at the pump. keep us informed of your progress, all the best!(y)
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Try a fuel injector cleaner, the pour in the tank kind. Research which are highly rated.
     
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  6. litesong

    litesong Member

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    Stopped at stop lights, as they turn green, watch the front of your car out of the corner of your eye, as you apply throttle. If your front end, first rises on the shocks before moving forward, you are already wasting gasoline (or electricity). Control your throttle foot, so the first motion of your car is forward, instead of up.
     
  7. dgwise

    dgwise New Member

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    Thanks for the tips so far!
    I've definitely noticed the best mileage when cruising around 45 mph, maybe about 50 mpg, but that's a rare occurance 'round here unfortunately. Is there a way to check the battery health, other than with a bluetooth computer interface? Been meaning to get one of those anyway. Or taking it to a shop I guess, which I want to do anyway just to get a third-party inspection to see if anyone missed anything. Regarding air filters, is there one you mean other than the cabin air filter, the one in the glove compartment? Already checked that and it was clean.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the engine air filter is in the engine compartment. a black square about 12 x 12 with clips on the side
     
  9. dgwise

    dgwise New Member

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    So my car has a set of Cinturato P7 all season plus Eco Impact on it, but I checked them and they were only filled to around 28 front/30 rear, which is even below the door panel recommendation (33/32 or something if I remember correctly?). So I filled em up around 42/40 (though I need to get a digital guage to be more precise), and after one drive to work today, seems very promising.....although I took a slightly different route than yesterday due to traffic, I got 46 mpg coming here instead of the 34 or 35 I got yesterday. So hopefully that's indicative of a trend, we'll see!
    Checked the engine air filter, super clean. I'll do the fuel injector cleaner too on my next tank of gas (assuming you pour it on top of a full tank?), because why not.
     
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  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Read the directions on the can/bottle.
    Some products come in cans with enough to treat TWICE the tank capacity of a Prius.

    Techron comes highly recommended.
     
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  11. dgwise

    dgwise New Member

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    Well, one full tank of gas later (+ techron), this is what I'm seeing:
    - Drove the tank down til 2 miles range remaining
    - 308.5 miles driven since refill
    - gas refill stopped after 9.6 gal
    I'm assuming this means I used 9.6 gallons to drive the 308.5 miles, which would be 32.1 MPG, lower than the dashboard trip calculation of 33.5.
    It's pretty confusing with the inaccuracy and variability of the amount of gas the tank actually holds (11.9) vs how much is left when it says empty, how full it actually is when the pump stops, etc.....
    Anyway, I've been able to get much better mileage (45-50) on a couple individual city driving trips where the traffic perfectly matched maximum driving efficiency, but I think that's only happened driving from home to work, where there's also a net altitude drop of about 300 ft over 10 miles. Seems like coming home from work, driving mostly uphill, partly on the highway, pushing the engine to keep up with traffic, I get about 30 at the most.

    So at this point I'm thinking the main factors are my driving habits and the overall hilly terrain. I don't drive crazy, but I also don't like to leave big gaps in front of me when cars accelerate from a stop, which is about a million times per drive, so I spend a lot of time with the meter in the "power" range.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you are on to something. i wonder what your mpg would be in any other similar size car
     
  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    To get a good picture of your actual fuel mileage, you need to keep a record over several tank fills.

    The onboard computers always seem to be a little "optimistic" on fuel mileage calculations so your numbers probably are very close.

    That last part is called "tailgaiting". It is dangerous and illegal and is a BAD habit that you really need to try and break.
    Someday......the line of traffic will take off at a brisk pace.....and then STOP DEAD.
    At that point, you will wish that you HAD left more gap.......as you watch the wrecker pull your car down off of the trunk in front of you.
    Seriously.
     
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  14. Usle

    Usle Member

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    Pick up a 12 volt trickle charger and once a month trickle charge the 12v to keep it from using gas to charge itself, if your tires were low chances are the 12v wasn't ever charged.
    Cycle the emergency brake on and off to make sure it's not dragging, don't be in a hurry in traffic, don't fill the gaps, just drive from point a to point b, a scangauge2 in the obd2 port is fun to play with, a Carista obd2 dongle allows custom settings, enjoy.
     
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