New owner? Want MPG help? Read this first.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by galaxee, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(flybynightprius @ Apr 22 2006, 01:52 AM) [snapback]243552[/snapback]</div>
    Actually, this is not true. The Prius' heater works, basically, just like a conventional car. Supposedly, there are some ceramic heating elements that supply heat before the ICE is completely warmed up, but they are incredibly wimpy. Basically, you don't get any (meaningful) heat in the winter until the ICE has warmed up.

    Unless this has been changed on the '06, of course. . .
     
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  2. berylrb

    berylrb Member

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    Hi everybody ... Thanks, thanks, thanks! :D

    This thread summed up every thing I needed to know with the reminder about the optimum performance after 5-10 minutes. I've been wondering why our San Francisco mileage basically sucks, see my stats below, the 5-10 minutes analysis, yep, pretty much said it all! (BTW in 2004 i was commuting 110 miles one way about twice a month, out of town business, that has steadily dropped to the point where now I've only gone on the freeway for a road trip once this year. The high of 67 was actually to San Diego from SF.)

    However, as someone eluded to the reality is that my neighbor with her Honda Civic has the same issue, the nature of living in a city that is only 6 miles on each side, LOL.

    Well, I hope to become a regular on this forum, I'll check out the SF group too.

    Thanks again, it's like a burden has been lifted.
     
  3. tadyergey

    tadyergey Junior Member

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    I just filled up my first tank and hit 47.8 mpg via the calculator and 48.1 via the MFD. Thanks for the hints and better understanding of how to maximize the mileage. I've already doubled my mileage from my old RAV and am looking forward to the first jump in efficiency!

    I have received several 100 mpg bars on the MFD during one stretch of my commute, however I received a bar of "0" during the same stretch a few days ago (5-10 mph battery only). Has anyone seen this and can anyone explain this?

    Thanks,
    Tad
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tad @ May 9 2006, 08:49 AM) [snapback]252090[/snapback]</div>
    If the ICE started up at all (you may not have even noticed) and burned a little gas during that 5 minute block it will calculate your mileage out to 0 if you don't travel very far. OTOH, if the ICE doesn't start...no gas burned, then it'll show 100mpg.

    There's an active thread about interpretting the Consumption screen...it's problematic to try to read much into it in any kind of non-steady speed conditions as it incorporates a time factor into mpg.

    For instance....Let's say you got 50mpg for the first minute of driving in a 5 minute period. Then you stopped to get a Taco at "The Bell" during the next 4 minutes. Even though distance over gallons you should show 50mpg the Consumption screen will divide that 50mpg by 5 (for the 5 minutes) and show an average mpg for that 5 minute block of 10mpg. A little odd.
     
  5. larkinmj

    larkinmj New Member

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    I'm probably in the category of folks who will never get the maximum MPG possible with a hybrid. I have a 7.5 mile commute to work, and the remainder of my driving is mostly short (under 10 mile) trips. Occasionally I drive longer trips, but so far (since 1/31/06) the longest trip I've riven has been about 40 miles. If I take the family on a long trip, we would most likely take my wife's car. I consistently average 1000 miles/month.
    My first tank, I only got 35 MPG. But it has been improving ever since. My last few tanks have been around 45 MPG, and I'm currently almost through a tank and I'm getting 47-48 MPG. So I'm happy.
     
  6. spattek

    spattek New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Jan 24 2006, 08:01 PM) [snapback]196627[/snapback]</div>

    This was a terrific article and very helpful. We just picked up our new 2006 bright red :D PRIUS last night. Trying to figure out how to best drive it to get great MPG is a lot harder than I thought. Today, I watched 12 and 15 MPG and thought what am I doing?

    So, now I know if will get better, but never great since we drive short distances to work and school.

    Also, it was good to hear that a more rapid acceleration to standard speed rather than a slow acceleartion would help.

    any other suggestions, please let me know.

    I just LOVE this car! Coming from a Lexus GS400 that is very fast and smooth, I wasn't sure what I would think, but I LOVE it!!! :)

    Sheryl1
     
  7. Dr Ed

    Dr Ed New Member

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    I'm averaging in the high 40's mpg too. That's with the A/C on. Hey, it's hot in south Texas!
     
  8. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    Brand new Prius owner here--bought the car on the 19th. Actually, there was no wait time. I'd spoken with pne dealer who promised one by end-of-month, went there, took a Prius for a test drive (overnight rental), went back to sign, and was told, "whoops, turns out minimum of two months."

    Mindful of the fed. tax credit, I walked out, called up another dealer, and asked if they could do better. Drove over there, was told they had one on the lot (story told: ordered, but buyer's credit fell through), so I ended up driving off the lot with an '06 Driftwood Pearl with Option package 8.

    Three days later, about 160 miles on the car, averaging about 50mpg
     
  9. MechaJohn

    MechaJohn New Member

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    I just ordered my Prius. I am hoping to get decent mileage, but only have a 3.5 mile commute. It's barely enough to warm up the engine from what I have been reading. I have to admit, reading about the issue of short trips gave me pause, but in the end, I decided Prius is the right choice for me (lower gasoline consumption, low emissions, space age features, roomy interior, etc.). Even at the low end of the scale, I should get about 3X what I get now in my 4Runner (14MPG). Of course, I plan to implement all the other suggestions.

    I can't wait for my Prius to arrive! Silver Pine Mica, Beige/Taupe Interior, Package 4

    BTW, this is a great forum, full of helpful info. This article is great. Also, I would like to give a shout out to John1701, for your terrific website. I learned a great deal about the Prius from your site and it helped me make the decision.

    Thanks to all!
     
  10. ivfarmboy

    ivfarmboy New Member

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    I don't know about everyone else but some of the main reasons I bought the Prius was the Safety features and roominess. I love the fact that it gets great mileage but for what I paid for my slightly used one I could not get a similar equipped competitor for anywhere near the price. I live in a very very hot California desert and so run the AC all the time. I also have to travel over very long steep grades on the freeway and I get around 43 or so, I am tickled pink...

    I guess I just think it is an awesome car and that it is not just a High MPG car, that is underselling it. I am 6'4" large guy and I fit nicely into it. I think the console adds some awesome functionality and is not just a gadget. Oh well I just think that if you are only buying a car because of MPG than your missing the Prius point. The Prius is a heck of a car that gets awesome MPG, not the other way around. Way to go Toyota, just sad that one of the big three didn't go with it...

    I also want to thank this website and contributors. This is a very helpful website so keep up the great work....

    Thanks
     
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  11. Dr._Feign

    Dr._Feign New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Jan 24 2006, 07:01 PM) [snapback]196627[/snapback]</div>
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am unfamiliar with these chats. But I want to make a comment about fuel eficiency and maintenance.

    When I first bought my prius, the fuel efficiency was a large factor. Not so much to save money - I don't expect to get back the difference between the price I paid and what I'd have paid for another car - but I like to be able to cruise more than 400 miles without having to make a stop for gasoline.

    My big complaint is that the fuel efficiency keeps decreasing regularly the longer I drive the car. I make many 300+ mile round trips to the same place over the same higghways. When the car was new, I was averaging between 48 and 50 mpg, depending on the wind. A year and a hal later I am down to 41 to 42 mpg on the same trips. This jhas been decreasing regularly. When I complain about this to my dealer, he keeps putting me off with various excuses. He says that the instruments he uses say that nothing is wrong and I shouldn't expect the published mileage. I don't. But I do expect consistency. The only consistency I get is the rate of decreas in the mileage from 48-50 t0 41-42.

    I tried contacting Toyota in Japan but got no help orther than to see my deaer. He keeps repeating the same matra but offers no help. How do I get a mechanic who knows what he is doing anddoesn't just read a meter.

    I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and know that there are many thins that can cause a gradually decreasing efficiency but the dealer evidently doesn't know that.

    Any suggestions from anyone?
     
  12. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Dr._Feign @ Aug 7 2006, 02:27 PM) [snapback]299194[/snapback]</div>
    We need to know a bit more about you and your route and your car...how many miles on it and how long have you had it? It says you're from Boca Raton, FL, is that accurate and is that where you do most of your driving. What kind of 300+ mile commute do you do...freeway at 85, hwy. at 60, stop and go through small towns and rural roads? What have you done, besides complain to the dealer, to improve and resolve the problems?

    Have you checked your tire pressure and what are they at? I strongly urge you to increase tire pressure to 42f/40r. You should see an almost immediate impact.

    Check your oil level now and after each oil change. 4 quarts is too much and will put you over the 'max' mark on the dip stick. I bring my own Mobil 1 to the dealer, but only 3.5 quarts...I top off, if necessary (hasn't been necessary yet) , after I get home. Overfilling the oil will have a negative impact on FE. Consider a switch to synthetic oil, and in FL, using a lighter weight oil such as 0W20 is a reasonable consideration as well...though that won't endeer you to the dealer should there be warranty issues.

    Have the alignment checked...tell the dealer it's pulling, the steering wheel is crooked, or just tell him that your FE is low... if you're in the first 12mo/12k mi they should do that for free. Many of us found that we had some significant toe in when we had the alignment done, that could have an impact, esp. on hwy. driving.

    Keep the AC on Auto at about 78 degrees...or even warmer if it doesn't bother you...the lower the setting the less drain on your FE.

    Finally...and it probably should have been first, read my article on FE in the articles section, many people find the main issue for their FE issues after reading it.
    http://priuschat.com/index.php?autocom=art...howarticle&id=3
     
  13. SDpnoy

    SDpnoy New Member

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    Wow! Great forum and info. I'm considering purchasing a 2006 prius. I have a 16mile one way trip every morning, and I'm assuming this car will benifit me. Currently I'm driving a 2001 CRV(Trading this in) and 2005 Scion XB.

    Thanks for the great info everyone.
     
  14. SDpnoy

    SDpnoy New Member

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    Great info. Thx.
     
  15. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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  16. tmgrl3

    tmgrl3 Member

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    I wasa a bit disappointed with my first thank at 30 mpg....My Camry got 20 mpg in same locale.

    However, my second tank, using all the tips here (except oil levels..need to check that)...was 42 mpg and on third tank, I am running 41.3 so far...

    That being said...the Prius is for me! I understand that where I live, (very hilly) and my kind of driving (lots of short trips) affect my overall mpg...and I am maximizing that as much as possible...

    I bought the Prius because of my belief in the concept of a car that is environmentally friendly...so just by driving it, I get loads of questions...and am proud to tell others that I love the car....

    terri
     
  17. philster

    philster Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I'm new here, i'm appreciating all of the great information. I live in the South San Francisco Bay Area. I do not own a Prius yet but I've test driven one and I've met a few owners.

    Can I ask a question? I appologize if this question has already been addressed. It sounds like the car runs the best after it's warmed up. With most cars you can just turn them on and let them idle for 5-10 minutes. If I remember correctly, the Prius is in electric mode once you turn it on until you accelerate. In other words there's no warming up for the gas engine after you simply turn the car on. How can you warm the engine up while it's sitting without driving it?

    Thanks in Advance,

    Phil
     
  18. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(philster @ Aug 29 2006, 11:53 PM) [snapback]311470[/snapback]</div>
    While the ICE is most efficient once warmed up it makes no sense to allow it to idle (even if it would) when not driving it. You get ZERO MPG when it's not moving and idling and ultimately that'll make a significant negative impact on your fuel economy...not to mention the increased unnecessary emissions.

    The car actually warms up almost completely within the first 5-10 minutes of driving even in quite cold weather. So it's best to just get in, start up and drive once you're ready to go.

    And you're partially correct. Once you start the car and it goes into 'READY' mode the ICE won't start for about 7 seconds. Then it will run and 'idle' (faster than a regular idle, but not much) for a varying period of time depending upon the outside temp, accessories running, etc. Usually around 30 sec. to one minute. Then it'll shut off. If the battery charge gets low the ICE will come on to recharge it a bit, but otherwise will stay off.
     
  19. philster

    philster Junior Member

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    ok, i see.. better to just start driving. thanks for the post.
     
  20. obtuseangler

    obtuseangler New Member

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    I couldn't access the link to high mileage tips. but wanted to share our experience. We are rookie Prius owners. I was looking for a new Corolla to replace my wife's 2000 model. I crunched the numbers and it made sense to buy the Prius, instead. I read reviews written by some people who complained about low mileage, and many posts by people who went to great lengths to get high mileage. We have had our car for about three weeks

    Anyway, my wife drives about 37 miles daily. She pays no attention whatsoever to the energy consumption screens. She just loves the way the car looks and drives, and her main passion is the stereo. She drives the Prius just like she drove the Corolla. She is consistently averaging 50 mpg and the car is not broken in. I've put gas in the Pruis twice, five gallons each time.

    For comparison, I'm driving the Corolla now and parked the Sienna in the garage. Yes, we own three Toyotas. The EPA estimate on the Corolla was something like 30/38. The car is in perfect mechanical condition. I'm driving very carfully, but averaging 30 mpg in the Corolla.

    If the EPA estimate on the Prius is 61/50 and we are getting 50 I'm happy. Our gas savings more than make up for the added cost of the Prius.
     
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