New owner, 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Slicer89, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    Well, I'm not - but my wife is. She recently bought a 2010 Prius... It has 63k miles on it and so far we both love it, does great on the highway (And in Montana it will spend alot of time on the highway) and in the city, but I have a few questions.

    It has 62k on it, Want to know how much life we can expect to get out of the hybrid system? It gets super cold here, and I know the cold isn't good for batteries... Or any battery.

    What is the engine braking used best for? alot of long down hill grades here, and we've used it a few times but it seems like it spins the motor really fast and afraid it will damage the motor.

    Same with going uphill with the cruise set at 80mph (speed limit) seems like the motor is revving awfully high to keep the speed up, will this harm the gas or electric system?

    How does the HVAC system work? is it all electronic since the petrol motor doesn't run ALL the time? I know most car use the anti-freeze for heat, and the AC runs off the petrol engine.

    Are they good winter cars? I've had people tell me these cars are not meant for winter / snow driving at all, and are horrible at it.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome! hybrid system is designed for 150k on average. cold isn't as bad as hot, so you should be fine. you just won't get great mpg's in the cold, but better than a gasser.

    engine braking is for long downhills, so you won't need the brakes as much. just like low on an auto, or a lower gear on a manual, it uses the pistons to slow you down. won't hurt the motor, that's what it's designed for.

    long uphills at 80 mph might reduce the life of some things, but i have no concrete evidence, and someone from a mountainous area will be of more help.

    heat runs off the engine, and when the coolant needs heating the engine will run to bring it up to temp, albeit very efficiently. a/c is electric, and runs off the battery. when the battery gets low, the engine will run to charge it up.

    get some good winter tyres, and you'll be fine. as good as any other 2 wheel drive. if you need more, you need awd. all the best!(y)
     
    #2 bisco, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Life? depends on how well the car was maintained by the previous owner (and of course yourself). The hybrid system is warranted for 8 years and 100,000 miles so you have a little bit of warranty left. Taxis have run up to 500,000 miles before needing a hybrid battery replacement. It's fairly robust and failure rates are really low (otherwise, you'd see a LOT more complaints online)

    Usually long grades where you don't want to overheat the brake pads by constant braking (light or hard). It's similar to downshift in a regular car (automatic or manual). The transmission is computered controlled and you'll never hit the rev limiter like you would in a regular car because the computers won't let it. So yeah, it'll spin the engine fast but really it's less than 5,400rpm.

    Yup that's fine. Max torque from the engine is 4,400rpm so it's gonna spin at that rpm to get the most out of the engine. Max horsepower is achieved at 5,200rpm. The car is idiot-proof (no really. If you press Park or shift to reverse when you're not supposed to, it'll just beep twice and shift the car into neutral. If you tried that with a regular car, you'll be leaving pieces of the transmission all over the road and an expensive repair bill waiting for you)

    The A/C compressor is electric so it runs off the high voltage battery. In the summer, you may see your battery draining faster when you're idling or crawling in traffic because the A/C is using it (Also, don't worry about the battery charge :) ). The engine is beltless. The water pump is electrically driven, the A/C compressor is electrically driven and the steering wheel is electrically assisted. You can use ECO mode which will dial back the climate control but of course it will take longer to heat up or cool down the cabin.

    They're as good as any other FWD car. Slap on some winter tires like I did and they'll do just fine. The "horrible" part probably comes from those who experience heavy snowfall (like the East Coast). In that case, you probably want a car with higher ground clearance. If MT is anything like the Canadian prairies where heavy snowfall is rare (so the snow just accumulates throughout winter but typically less than 10" at a time), and that the snow is fine crystal, you'll be fine.
     
  4. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I can't say how well it was taken care of before she bought it, It only has one previous owner apparently and was bought in a different state.

    That's good, It really did feel like it was over-revving the engine - Good to know it isn't causing any damage.

    What about the heat? does it use the heat from the engine like a normal gas-only powered car?

    We get some pretty deep snow fall here, but generally the roads are well plowed, or driven on enough to not cause any issues.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Np! Alright, well it should be fine for the most part. As long as the car hasn't been sitting for more than 2 or 3 months without being driven.

    Yeah I mean it's not the quietest of engines and of course it's not the quietest of cars. In a regular car, the noise is segmented by the gears changing so you always have a break. In a CVT-equipped car, the transmission holds the revs.

    Heat is from the engine like a normal gas-only car so the engine will continue to run to heat up the car. You can minimise the mpg hit by doing a few things

    1. Use an engine block heater. It pre-heats the engine block so the engine can warm up faster. If the engine warms up faster, then you warm up faster (i.e. heat comes into the cabin more quickly).
    2. Block the grille. Some of us use foam pipe insulation (cut in half lengthways) to block the lower air dam. This helps keep the engine warm by reducing the amount of cold air entering the engine bay while driving. It's not recommended to block more than 50% of the top grille. The bottom, you can block 100%. Use a scangauge to monitor engine water temperature (esp. in the Spring as it warms up). My rule of thumb (and it's also posted on PC somewhere) is that I use 100% block below freezing and 50% block between freezing and 50°F outside temperature.
    3. Use ECO mode. It lowers the engine temperature threshold for engine shut off (so it'll shut off earlier) and it reduces heat output, drawing less heat from the engine so that it doesn't cool down as fast, thus allowing the engine to warm up faster.
    This is up and over what Toyota has already added for the Gen 3. Toyota added an Exhaust Heat Recirculation System that cycles engine coolant around the exhaust pipe to help heat up the coolant to warm the engine.

    Alright, then regular winter tires should do the trick.
     
  6. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    Slicer: Maybe my post will help you "feel better" about your 2010. Our 2010 is our second Prius (first was a 2005). The one we have now has 130,000 miles on it and STILL going strong (with the original hybrid battery, etc.) We sold the 2005 when it had 180,000 miles on it, and it still was on the original hybrid battery. The technology in these cars is pretty impressive. This is my best testament to them: When people ask me what I think of the Prius, this is my response --- "If I knew how well these cars were made, I would have bought one when they first came out".......
     
  7. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    A friend of mine is a courier He has over 400,000 and counting on his 2006 two. Struts, brakes and a couple of wheel bearings and of course oil changes and tires. Loves his Prius!
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I took the liberty of adding numbers to your questions, and my responses:

    1. I don't know that cold is hard on a battery. A 12 volt battery is most likely to fail in the winter, but it's more so the heat that causes deterioration. The hybrid battery warms up, year 'round, fwiw.

    2. Assuming you mean the "B" position on the shifter: I would reserve that for extremely long downhill runs ONLY. Don't use it for short hills, or lieu of braking when rolling to a stop. It's main need is when the hybrid battery is likely to get so fully charged that the car will switch over to conventional brakes only, and you STILL have a long downhill stretch in front of you.

    3. Can you stay in the right lane and drop your speed a bit, maybe get behind a truck? And maybe cancel the cruise, let speed rise/fall a bit with grade transitions. That IS the toughest condition for an engine.

    4. There's nothing to out-of-the-ordinary about the AC. I believe the compressor is electrically powered, so the AC will run while the car's shut down at stops.

    5. Get some snow tires, there's a 15" corolla steel rims that works, and the block heater, a couple of hours or a bit more in the dead of winter. With decent snows you'll be ok up to 6" of snow, as long as you've got snow tires. Some where between 6" and 10", depending on moisture content, the car will hang up, due to ground clearance.

    The traction control on 3rd gen is supposedly pretty good. I've yet to have a good opportunity to test it, with our climate.

    BTW, like you I've got the 17" OEM size tires, but switch to 15" stock size for the snows.
     
  9. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    On long down hill runs after the traction battery is fully charged the engine will spin up to use the excess.

    My grill is fully blocked almost all the time. The engine & the inverter aren't going to get "too hot" especially in the winter. A ScanGauge or similar product is useful for monitoring various temperatures.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I've heard it's risky to block the upper grill any more than 50%, due to the inverter radiator being in that zone.
     
  11. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    The car doesn't have 17'' wheels, It has 15''s. The tyre size is 195/65/R15.

    And In Montana, We have alot of long downhill runs, So it will come in handy.

    We probably could, But the steeper hills, Semis are going less than 40mph and that's abit too slow... It doesn't rev to high, it just sounds like it is - Another user said it will never red line.

    What about Good all-seasons? The issue with snow tires is, We either have to get them swapped over on OEM rims, Or get an extra set of wheels for it and swap over, Not to mention the main roads / freeway rarely have snow on them for more than 2-3 days... After that, They are dry - Which is bad for snow / ice tires, It wears them quicker. We had a good set of All-seasons on our Van and they did great on all conditions.

    I have only hit the traction control once, and I backed off the throttle at that point - I searched YT and quite a few people were complaining that it will basically stall the car and it won't move.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    The 2010 V comes with 215/45R17, so I just assumed. Maybe they were swapped out, or it's not a V? Are they aftermarket rims, or Toyota?

    A few more clues as to it being a V: it'll have the fog lights, LED low beams, headlight washers, JBL stereo.

    Just to give an example, the ONLY time I use B is coming down our local ski mountain, a sustained 20~30 minute downhill run.

    Our snow tires are X-Ice2. They roll very nicely on bare roads, and are on our car now for the 6th winter, with remaining tread depth around 8/32". Full disclosure, our odometer reads a bit over 58,000 km's, very low mileage. I put the snows early in November, take them off maybe mid-March. I may run them one more winter, once they near 6/32" they become dubious as snows.

    My preference, and I think it's pretty much the norm, is to get separate rims. I used Corolla steel rims, they were $70 apiece new, through dealership that also sold me the snow tires.

    Anytime temps are below 7C (maybe 45F?) the snow tire is grippier, due to rubber that stays more flexible as temperature drops. And the aggressive tread and sipes do the rest.
     
  13. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    It has Projection Halogen low beam, No fog lights - Does have the JBL Stereo, and leather seats.

    Here is the car. These are the rims that came on it when we bought it.
     

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  14. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    If it has Halogen headlights, and not LED, it is not a 2010 Prius V. As long as the seats are stock leather and weren't done aftermarket on a lower model, it's a IV.
     
  15. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    It is a 2010 Prius, Just not sure what trim. It has Halogen headlights.
     
  16. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    I realize that, I'm saying if it has halogen headlights, that immediately rules out it being a V, or even a Five for 2011 on.

    Sounds like, to me, it's a IV since it has the leather. It's going back a while but I 'think' JBL could have been had on a III but leather only came IV and V in 2010, that's why I say it is a IV.
     
  17. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    I'm pretty sure they are halogen, Judging by the colour temp of the lights and what not.. Is there any sure fire way to find out if it's Halogen or LED?
     
  18. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    If it is only one projector, it is halogen. The LED for 2010 had two projector beams and one flood light on top of the two projector beams.

    Also, you have the 15" rims. They came II thru IV. Only the V came with 17" rims.
     
  19. Slicer89

    Slicer89 Junior Member

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    It has one, and a reflector based high beam - It still has a little light above both the lights though. I thought it was kind of DRL, But it's only on when the lights are on. Looks like a tiny halogen light at the top of both headlight housings.
     
  20. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    LED

    [​IMG]




    Halogen

    [​IMG]

    Sounds like you have halogen and you are talking about the parking light.
     
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