New old Prius owner here...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Erock67, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Erock67

    Erock67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    19
    10
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, OH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    I am a former VW TDI driver. I had a 2004 Jetta diesel I bought brand new. I racked up 286k miles on it before selling it to my friend recently. It was one of my favorite cars I've ever owned. I averaged approx 46 mpg lifetime. My best tank was 51.9 mpg and 850 miles range. You can get 16.5 gallons of fuel in the 14.5 gallon tank since you don't need expansion room like you do for gasoline.

    Ok, on to the Prius. I drive 96 miles round trip to work 4 days a week. I had been driving my 2011 f150, and even though 18 mpg out of the 3.7 is good for a truck, spending $15 a day wasn't much fun. I decided it was time to get a beater car to handle the daily grind. I found a 2007 Prius base with 166k on the clock. It has a few dings and scuffs, but nothing out of the ordinary for an 11 year old car.
    I did my research as best I could, and found a youtube video for a simple test of the hybrid battery. It said get the battery charged, showing bars past the halfway mark, then from a dead stop, floor it to highway speeds. Then see how many bars you lost. I didn't lose any, and I let off the pedal at 75 mph. I don't know how good of a test that was, but I decided to take the plunge. My test drive was the first time ever behind the wheel of a Prius.

    Last weekend, I gave the car a good cleaning, and did some preventative maintenance. I replaced the spark plugs, air filter, wiper blades, transaxle fluid, front brake pads, and replaced two tires. The car had a fresh oil change from the seller. My first full tank returned 48.2 mpg, calculated by hand. I have had the hybrid battery bars in the green numerous times when coming off the highway and coasting on the offramp. I have learned how to get the car to run on just battery while driving in town, and there are times when I can maintain that for a few miles. It's only at those times that the battery bars go below the halfway mark. So far, I'm enjoying my hybrid experience. The diesel and the hybrid both have their strong points and very similar mileage. The nice thing is not having to pay the premium price for fuel. I do miss the torque of the diesel... it's addictive, lol.
    Sorry for the rambling post. Im looking forward to enjoying the forums and seeing just how long I can keep the Prius on the road.

    Eric

    SM-N950U ?
     
    jerrymildred and PriusCamper like this.
  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    3,392
    3,866
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Welcome to the group!

    I find this to be the most impressive thing I've read in days:

    I replaced the spark plugs, air filter, wiper blades, transaxle fluid, front brake pads, and replaced two tires.


    It amazes me how many people attempt to change front brake pads and have some serious struggles getting faults to clear. Seems like there's dozens of posts about it. And here, we have a guy who has never had a prius before, swaps 'em out and just rolls on like a BOSS. Well done.
     
    Erock67, jerrymildred and PriusCamper like this.
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    4,367
    1,684
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Nice... Welcome to our world... It's a common desire with newbie owners to maximize the electrical use of the engine use, but draining the batteries down actually wastes gas because the engine then has to recharge the batteries, unless of course you're going down a really steep hill for a long time, while also doing braking, then that regenerates the batteries really well.

    A couple other thoughts...

    Learn about you how to extend the life of your very old Hybrid battery via here: ProlongĀ® Battery Systems FAQ – Hybrid Automotive (Note, there's less expensive, more time consuming ways to do this if you enjoy working on cars.) And keep in mind the faster your Battery pack goes from low charge to fullest charge into green is an indication of loss of battery capacity and Toyota designed this vehicle to still function normally at 50% battery capacity. But you can restore capacity via learning more about reconditioning in link above.

    Also if you like Data and want to know what all the car's sensors are reading, there's some really cool phone apps like Hybrid Assistant and it's companion app Hybrid Reporter, as well as Dr. Prius App and some people like the Torque app. To use these apps you need a bluetooth OBD2 reader that plugs in above your gas pedal. But for me it was the hardest purchase of an electronic device ever. So many of them don't work! So use this buying guide to make sure you don't get trapped in never-ending product return land: priusapp.com/obd
     
    Erock67 likes this.
  4. Erock67

    Erock67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    19
    10
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, OH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    Thanks for the welcome. I didn't realize the was snuggy issues changing out the pads. My car had no codes before or after. I just changed pads because the rotors were fine. It was a very simple brake job, and I have done brakes on many different cars.
    As for running on full electric, I tend not to go further than 1 bar below the half way mark. The lowest the battery level has ever been since I've driven it is 2 bars, and they were blue. It has only been that low a couple of times. The green bars usually show up after cruising on the highway and coasting from 70-75 mph to a roundabout, where I'm doing about 25mph. I also use B mode when I'm going down steep hills, or have a decent amount of warning that I'm going to get caught by a red light. The hybrid battery has always been my main concern about getting a Prius, so I watch it's performance carefully. It doesn't seem to charge or discharge rapidly, and from what I've read, it seems to be performing as it should.
    Next Saturday, I will be taking a roadtrip that is 400 miles one way, so I'm really interested to see how the car does. I keep up with traffic, and just try to be smooth and easy with throttle input. I was driving to work the other day, and was running about 80, and my mileage readout increased from 45 to 47mpg. I normally keep the car between 70-75mph, but we all have those days we're pressed for time, lol. It's nice to know the car has no problem handling the demands when needed. I also enjoy the looks I get at times when I pass someone. I usually just run with the flow of traffic, and despise rolling roadblocks that are running in any lane besides the right lane.
    I do have a Scangauge II, that I have hooked up right now. I also have a bluetooth obd2 plug, which I haven't tried out yet. I still have to figure out which program I want to download.
    At some point, I want to clean the battery cooling fan just to make sure it continues to operate as it should. Next spring, I plan on tackling the front struts. The car has brand new rear struts and springs that the seller had installed. The front struts seem to perform ok, but the boots are partially gone, but there isn't any leaks squeaks or clunks, so I will run them thru the winter.

    SM-N950U ?
     
  5. Erock67

    Erock67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    19
    10
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, OH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    Oh, here is a pic. 18mpg on the left, 48mpg on the right. If the Prius doesn't have any major issues, it will pay for itself in 2 years from fuel savings alone. 20180920_124454.jpeg 20180922_181135.jpeg

    SM-N950U ?
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    8,373
    10,230
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Welcome Erock. Looks like you got a fine machine. Looks like you're a good wrench, too. +1 to what @TMR-JWAP said. (y)
     
    Erock67 likes this.
  7. Fredsimm

    Fredsimm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    186
    114
    0
    Location:
    Tupelo MS
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    My thoughts exactly. Like a Boss! This new member will be an asset to all of us. Welcome.
     
    Erock67 and PriusCamper like this.
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    4,367
    1,684
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Do some googling on pulse and glide driving technique for best MPG. Pulse and glide works similarly on slight downhill at freeway speeds too.

    As for Battery pack, the more data you can get the better regarding your HV battery via scangauge, or better yet a way more sophisticated phone app via bluetooth OBD2 reader that I mentioned in previous comment.
     
    Erock67 likes this.
  9. Erock67

    Erock67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    19
    10
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, OH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    I accelerate normally, then back off the throttle, then back on with just enough pressure to maintain my speed. I applied a similar technique when I had my Jetta. That technique works on every car I've tried it on to increase my mileage.
    I plan on getting Torque Pro. I have torque lite right now, but my OBD bluetooth plug that I've had for a couple years isn't completing the connection. If you have any good leads on a decent plug, that would be most helpful.
    Oh, I never mentioned that I put some Chevron fuel injector cleaner in the tank last week. I noticed a little valve chatter on acceleration, and it helped quiet it down. I will probably run another bottle thru it on my roadtrip this coming Saturday. I'm guessing it was just some carbon buildup on the valves. I am also keeping close tabs on the oil level, and after 800 miles, there hasn't been any change in the level.

    SM-N950U ?
     
  10. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,763
    2,230
    13
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    The second Generation Prius has issues in the winter with the gas tank bladder. There are plenty of old posts here on the subject so by winter you will be up to speed with some of the quirks that a Prius has.

    By the way, welcome to Prius Chat.
     
    Erock67 likes this.
  11. Erock67

    Erock67 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2018
    19
    10
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, OH
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    Well, time to revive this post. I changed my rear brake shoes and drums. Everything seemed fine for a few days, then the front tires slipped a little in some gravel as I was braking. BOOM! ABS and Brake light showing on the dash. I find out about the paper clip in the OBD port to reset the lights. Again, it is fine until I activate the ABS by hitting a slight bump in the road while braking. (These cars are very sensitive to that low traction light, huh?) So, I review my brake job, and watch a few videos, and read a few posts, and here is the fix... (PUT YOUR KEYS IN THE HOUSE AFTER STEP 2)
    1. Reset the light using a paper clip, or small piece of wire.
    2. Disconnect the 12v battery
    3. AFTER taking key inside house, jack up the car and remove the rear tires and brake drums.
    4. Adjust the star wheel out, then slip the drum back on. Spin the drum. You should hear a Very Light friction between the shoes and the drum, and it should be even, not just from one spot.
    5. Adjust the other side the same, then hook up the battery, reinstall the wheels, lower the car, grab your key, and reset your radio stations, clock and
    Your auto up, auto down driver window. (Roll window all the way down, then all the way up and hold up on the button for 15 seconds)

    I think my issue was, I didn't adjust the shoes out enough. Something I saw mentioned disconnecting the battery, but logic tells me that leaving your key in the house will achieve the same result.
    After adjusting, the brakes work better, and the ABS and Brake lights remain off. I have put around 15k miles on this car since last September. Winter mileage averaged about 35 mpg. It is starting to average 40 mpg for a tank now that the temperature is warming. Those skinny tires cut thru deep snow nicely.

    SM-N950U ?
     
Loading...