MPG Issue and Sluggish

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Brandon Ivan, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Brandon Ivan

    Brandon Ivan New Member

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    Hello,

    I just test drove a 2010 Prius (with 90k miles) that I am thinking of purchasing. I noticed a few things and I'm wondering if they could be red flags with hybrid system or something else.

    1. Computer showed a trip of 10k miles that got 39 MPG. This pretty far below the average.
    2. Battery charge seemed seemed low, only two bars from bottom.
    3. The car seemed more sluggish in accelerating than the other 2010 Prius I drove. This was the feeling I had when briefly driving it in city and on highway.

    I'm wondering, are these symptoms related to hybrid battery or something else? Should I avoid buying this car?

    Thanks for any help!
    Brandon
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Avoid buying that car, if pressed avoid taking it for free.
     
  3. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    +1, might be signs of a bad hybrid battery. Could have been throwing codes, which an unscrupulous seller may have cleared.
     
  4. Brandon Ivan

    Brandon Ivan New Member

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    I think you are joking, but I'm not sure.
     
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If you are extraordinarily lucky, it is under warranty until 100,000 miles and you get a free battery. My bet is over $2000 for a battery. Bad luck and it is $3,500.

    Are you used to betting these amounts?
     
  6. Tariq87

    Tariq87 Member

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  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This could be an indication of the driving habits of the previous owner(s). Did you notice the average speed for those trip miles? If very high, then that MPG may be just fine, but the engine may have had a hard life.
    That could just indicate low speed city or parking lot driving (lots of EV with the ICE off) over the previous couple miles, or idling with A/C running. How well it comes back up to, and stays at, 6 bars on the highway or other conditions with the ICE (nearly) continuously running will be a better indication.

    Sluggish is a different matter, a healthy car should have felt just like the others.
     
  8. Brandon Ivan

    Brandon Ivan New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I don't remember the average speed, but it could have been highway miles. The driver did mention that he drives hard and sometimes uses "power mode." He tried to explain the low MPG as a result of his hard driving. But shouldn't the prius get better than 39 MPG even with "hard" driving.

    The car was sitting for a bit with AC on, then we took the car on highway for about 5 miles. The battery was at two bars after the short highway driving.
     
  9. Maarten28

    Maarten28 Active Member

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    I'm with wat fuzzy1 says. Keep in mind that when the HV battery is depleted, the Prius will not use the electromotor a lot to support acceleration and it will feel sluggish. So don't drive it briefly, drive it for at least half an hour and see what the battery indicator does. It should be at 6 bars during normal (non-city) drive in 5-10 minutes and then the sluggishness should be gone.
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    MPG will depend on speed. Doesn't Texas now have some 85 mph highways? The Prius cannot get even 39 at that speed:
    Updated MPG vs MPH chart | PriusChat
    Tire choice and pressure (low) and driving style can bring it down even more.

    Do note that the average speed shown with the MPG and trip meter will read lower than actual highway speed, because it includes all the time spend at slow speeds, stopped at lights, and sitting in parking lots with ignition on.

    PWR mode is really just a user interface thing, not a real change to the powertrain, but would be suggestive of a driver who tends to drive hard. And that will be rough on cars in general.
    Before hitting the highway, that would be OK. But 5 miles on the highway should have brought it up well above two bars, so now suspicions are starting to rise.
     
    #10 fuzzy1, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  11. Brandon Ivan

    Brandon Ivan New Member

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    Do you know if a Toyota dealership would be able to run a diagnostic on the hybrid system that would reveal current issues? Is it worth messing with, or should I just move on to a different car?
     
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  12. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Toyota can read On Board Diagnostic codes, (OBDII) but if an unscrupulous seller just unhooks the 12 battery, they will be erased. If you manage about a 50 mile test drive overnight, you might have all the codes re-occur. You can't trust the codes if you don't trust the owner.

    Assuming the previous owner has been maintaining the car via a Toyota Dealer and you have the VIN, then you can get all Toyota service history here: Track Your Service Records with Your Toyota Owners Account
     
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