New to Prius, help

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by JCox, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. JCox

    JCox New Member

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    I am to take ownership of my 05 prius next week. With the upcoming winter months, I can't help but wonder, how do I "start" the car up to let it warm up so that I have heat from the heater?

    I asked my salesman the other day while test driving one and he answered me but to be honest with you, I don't have a clue as to what he was saying or meant.

    Can I have some help here to help me undersand this concept and to answer my question. Please don't tell me I have to drive it to warm it up. If so, I'll be going down the road with 6 inches of snow on my car and a very cold interior.
     
  2. LaughingMan

    LaughingMan Active Member

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    My Prius is still fairly new, so I haven't been through my first winter yet, but I can tell you that even though when you first start the car, the engine isn't started, within 30 seconds, the car goes into a warm up cycle where the ICE is turned on, even if you're currently parked, to warm itself and the cataytic converter up.

    If you're parked, it does this for a minute or so, and sends the energy to the battery. After a minute at park, it shuts off. My suggestion would be to let it do this warm up thing before starting the heater.

    Also, the car will keep the engine running no matter what if you use the A/C (or heater in this case) on highest setting...

    Anyway, someone who has more experience in the winter can probably chime in and correct me where I'm wrong.
     
  3. jeepien

    jeepien Member

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    Well, you don't have to drive it to warm it up, but you certainly can, and you'll find that it warms up faster than any other car you've ever owned, most likely.

    But if you absolutely must have a toasty warm interior, and you don't mind wasting all that energy <tsk, tsk> then just go outside, power it on, set the heater and then go back inside without powering it off. If nobody steals it while you're gone, it will be warm when you get back, two minutes later.

    There's no secret trick. I wonder what the heck your dealer was talking about.


    By the way, driving your car with six inches of snow on it is stupid, dangerous, and illegal in most states (although hardly ever enforced, more's the pity).

    Once your car warms up and creates a little layer of nearly frictionless water beneath the snow, and then you step on the brakes, the heavy layer of snow will slip seamlessly down over your windshield, and unless it's very light powder, your wipers will be hopelessly overpowered. You are now traveling completely blind, at high speed. Good luck.

    If you don't manage to kill yourself by the method above, you still have a chance to kill the guy in back of you when your roof-mounted lethal missile lets go at highway speeds and crashes into his windshield.

    ALWAYS clean off the roof before driving, in a Prius, or any vehicle.
     
  4. IndyDoug

    IndyDoug New Member

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    I keep a bottle of tequilla underneath the driver's seat when I want to warm up on cold mornings.
     
  5. mikepaul

    mikepaul Senior Member

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    I get heat relatively quickly. Unlike the first few months I owned the car, it now spends nights under a carport, which eliminates most frost and dew issues. A decent jacket works until January around here, when the heavier stuff including gloves comes out of the closet. Back when I first got it, I was thawing the car out quite a while some days, including the annual ice storm. I'd watch the MPGs drop as the ice on the windshield got soft enough to chip away. I'm glad I sprung for the carported house: no chipping required.

    Now, it was running a little rough yesterday morning when it was only 54 outside, sputtering a little when I came to a stop about 1/2 mile from home, so I'm thinking I may not get that $2.19 gas anymore. Or I'll have to use more of that Techron stuff than I want to.

    Wait. $2.15 today? Hmmmm....
     
  6. BrianTheDog

    BrianTheDog New Member

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    You're asking how to warm up the interior of the car, right? The Prius has almost instant heat. The A/C and heater are electric, so you don't need to "warm up" the engine before you get heat. You'll have heat as soon as you power on the car and set your climate control.
     
  7. BrianTheDog

    BrianTheDog New Member

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    mikepaul,

    Mine does that, too, usually when the outside temp is low and the car is cold. Others have complained about it in other posts. Senior members on this board say it's normal, though. So it's probably not your gas.

    It is a little disconcerting when it happens, though.
     
  8. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    There's some discussion on Yahoo 2G that suggest that it may be necessary to get the auxillary electric heaters to work that you must have the heat set to "MAX"...it may come on when you activate defrost as well.

    Anyway, if you must warm up before starting out just turn on max heat & defrost and it will pretty much force the ICE to run continuously.

    You might find that your tolerance of cold improves with the Prius as you start to see the hit in gas mileage that a warm-up cycle like that will give you.
     
  9. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    One other thing, see the thread in the Peformance Mods forum about an Engine Block heater you can install that will pre-warm the ICE to about 138 degrees which costs very little energy (comparatively), will give you basicly instant heat and will improve your cold-start fuel economy.

    If you don't have the car yet you could order the EBH and ask the dealership to install it for you at/before delivery--you wouldn't even need to get your hands dirty!
     
  10. JCox

    JCox New Member

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    Brian,
    You hit the nail on the head. I was not clear on my question. I just didn't understand how the INSIDE of the vehicle would heat up. If it's instant, I'm good to go. Just have that ALL GAS vehicle concept still in my head. Sorry for making it harder than it is.

    John
     
  11. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Doug, I like the way you think!!
    Don't forget that with a 6-disc CD player you can fit the entire Jimmy Buffett "Beaches Bars Ballads and Boats" box set. And if a snort of tequilla and "Fins" doesn't put a tingle in your toes, nothing will.

    (the above combination actually is my approach to shovelling snow)
     
  12. BrianTheDog

    BrianTheDog New Member

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    No problem. I thought I understood your question right away, but then, I just switched from "all gas" a couple of weeks ago. One of the first things I noticed was the instant heat. (Mind you, it was only 55-deg outside, so it didn't take long to get nice and toasty in the car.)

    Congratulations! I'm sure you're anxious to get your new car. If you haven't done so already, read the Knowledge Base articles for some really great tips. You'll get the best out of your car from the beginning. I'm glad I did.....
     
  13. JCox

    JCox New Member

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    Thanks so much for the help. BTW, Tequilla makes me fight so I stick with Screwdrivers.
     
  14. mikepaul

    mikepaul Senior Member

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    This morning, I had to shut off the front defroster to let the ICE stop, and the temp was only set for 70. I was trying to counteract the fog's attempts to white-out my windshield, and then when I hit stop-and-go traffic I noticed the ICE kept going.

    "Just drive it" doesn't quite cut it sometimes until all the switches are set right...
     
  15. Maytrix

    Maytrix New Member

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    In a car as low as the Prius, there is no excuse for not cleaning it off fully!
     
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