New Car + Winter + short trip = low MPG?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Roger T, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    Just bought my new prius 2014 a week ago. Drove it twice to get groceries like 6 miles away. First time had 28 mpg. Second time had 32 mpg... It was really cold outside, like 25 degree Fahrenheit.

    Anyone with similar experiences? ;)
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat, congrats on the new wheels! nah, you're just not measuring correctly. drive the full tank, then divide your miles driven by gallons pumped. after a few tanks, you'll start to get a feel for your average mpg's. in the meantime, pump your tyres upto 40/38 front/back. all the best!(y)
     
  3. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    True MPG is calculated over a full tank / numerous full tanks. Check out Fuelly.com to assist with that

    Good luck with the new motor!
     
  4. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    Thanks for your replies!

    The tank of oil was filled by the dealer. Will reset the trip stats once I get a new tank! ;)
     
  5. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    The computer is pretty accurate, though. Its completely normal for you mileage to be terrible for short trips, especially in the cold, even more so if you're using the heater.
     
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  6. c4

    c4 Active Member

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    If the engine is cold, the system is programmed to run to keep it warm.. Running the engine obvious requires gas, which reduces your fuel economy.. Many factors can result in engine heat loss, including obviously, the outside temperature, the demand for cabin heat, etc..

    You can improve your winter fuel economy by reducing the engine heat loss in various manners: Blocking the grill with pipe foam or other material to prevent cold air from entering the engine compartment will do a huge amount to help the engine stay warm; I additionally have a double-layer of "aluminum foiled bubble wrap" insulation (kits available at Home Depot or Lowes or other hardware store for garage door and hot water tank insulating) on top of the engine itself (not on the inverter/converter box as the electronics need to be cooled, not heated). Inside the cabin, I also tend to turn *off* the cabin heat during the initial period when the car is just warming up after start and while waiting at intersections.. I avoid fogged windows by keeping the fan going and cracking the window open a slit to get outside air while the heat is turned off, and I've got a heated seat cushion for personal comfort (these are surprisingly effective and really should be standard equipment) while the cabin heat is turned off.. Once the engine warms up to at least 40C in the Gen3 models, you can use the cabin heat at low settings with a slower fan speed and the vehicle will have access to EV mode and will stop the engine at lights, etc, resulting in improved winter fuel economy.. My winter fuel consumption at the moment with all these measures is about 52mpg, and that includes many short trips (1-2mi only), which is absolutely phenomenal.. On my old 2001 Classic even doing these things (grill blocking, using cabin heat sparingly, etc), I could never do better than about 40 MPG in the winter, which is still pretty darned good, but nowhere as good as the new system is giving me..
     
  7. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    Thanks for all your advice!

    I will look into the grill blocking. My cousin has a 2013 prius. She did the same trip as mine to grocery stores and her computer MPG is 32 too! Same as mine.
     
  8. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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    My first drive of the day is always worse mpg and especially if it's cold. If I drive again, to come back home or whatever, that trip's mpg is then higher.
     
  9. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    One little trick: If you have to or three errands, go to the one that is farthest from home and work your way back, that way you give the engine a chance to warm up first.
     
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  10. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    Thanks for your tips!

    Just had a trip to the mall... 40 computer mpg! Highest since i bought the car.
     
  11. ryano7700

    ryano7700 Junior Member

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    I test drove a new 2009 Prius and the computer showed something like 35 mpg. I expected 45-50 mpg just like the sticker on the window said. It may have been about 50 degrees outside. The short of the story is I did not buy the car because of the mpg on this short (10 mile) test drive

    I wanted a Prius badly so a couple of years later I bought the 2011 Prius that I now have. I can't believe that Toyota doesn't train their salespeople any better. They should tell you don't expect to see that mileage right off the bat.

    To get that mileage on the window sticker, there has to be many factors taken into account:

    1) How long the trip you take.
    2)Temp. outside
    3) Heater or A/C used
    4) The speed you drive
    5) Fuel type (ethanol or not)
    6) Acceleration rate

    One might say those factors affect any vehicle you drive but with a Prius, those factors are more important.

    The weather in Kentucky been colder than usual (temps dipping under zero for extended periods) and my mileage has been horrible. I got the lowest I ever recorded for a tank, 41.3 mpg.

    I can't wait until summer and those 50+ mpg tanks!!!
     
  12. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    Mpgs also rise with experience! A Prius drives like no other car
     
  13. VicVinegar

    VicVinegar Member

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    I'm down about 7 mpg from summer. Your cold weather, short trip experience echoes mine. Just the reality I think unless you do some of the methods mentioned in an earlier post. I'm also not driving for efficiency most of the time.
     
  14. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    From 10to 30 degrees Fahrenheit(no snow/ice/rain) - with overinflated tires (44/40 psi) , 100% grill blocking, and hypermiling - my fuel efficiency in this winter for my morning commute as measured by my ScangaugeII OBDII fuel efficiency meter burning 10% ethanol regular gas look sort of like this.... - < 1 mile/3 minutes (about 17 mpg), 2-3 miles/5 minutes (about 23 mpg), 4-5 miles/8 minutes(about 30 mpg), 6-9 miles/ 15 minutes (about 35 mpg), 10 to 12 miles/ 30 minutes (45 mpg) , 12-16 miles/about 60 minutes (about 50 mpg) -when I have to use the defroster or heater minus 2 to 5 mpg.

    Last summer my best tank was 68 mpg and occasionally for my morning commute I got +70 mpg last summer. My best tank is 71 mpg. This winter my last few tanks have been hovering around 50 mpg --a drop of 18 mpg or 26% decrease in fuel efficiency from last summer. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    In short trips of mine, i mostly got about 40mpg. No grill blocking yet, heat at 70 degree. Have yet to try longer trips.
     
  16. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    aaand this is why I bought the PiP. My current tank of almost 500 miles is ~80% trips of between 1-3 miles, through the coldest spell we've had in recent memory (maybe one day above freezing in the past 6 weeks or so) and I'm still at 65mpg. Nothing compared to my summer mileage, but pretty good for these conditions when the ICE is firing constantly.
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I would say, not as much more important, but more visible. Coming from cars that lacked MPG displays, all that stuff was hidden. It became visible when I added an aftermarket engine/MPG monitor to a non-hybrid, a year before acquiring my Prius.
     
  18. Roger T

    Roger T Member

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    Today I went on the longest trip (50 miles round trip)since i got my car. The computer mpg is 51.3 (I resetted the trip stats at the beginning of the trip), without grill blocking with heat at low. The temperature is about 30 fahrenheit and it is windy today. I am happy with the result!
     
  19. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Nice!
    Enjoy your new car! :)
     
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