New V owner-seasick from undulation in acceleration?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Pellie, May 8, 2018.

  1. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am a long-time Toyota owner (Celica and Camry) and just purchased my first Prius - an off-lease 2016 V. I love it! However, after driving for awhile on the highway, I start to feel uneven subtle surging or undulation in the acceleration via the gas pedal. It makes me feel seasick.

    I returned to the dealer where the service manager sent two different mechanics on short test drives with me in the passenger seat. Both said the car drove fine. Of course men tend to drive a bit more aggressively on the pedal compared to my (woman) settled in long-term pace for distance driving where I tend to notice it.

    Towards the end of the second short test drive on the highway at my request, we felt a short burst of "fluttering" and the mechanic said, "Oh, we call that droning. It's how a Prius drives. You just have to change your acceleration and it will stop." Which he did and it went away. Both mechanics assured me that the 22K mile car was fine and that I was not used to how a hybrid feels. It's not that the car surges drastically, but it gives that sensation via the gas pedal. Somewhat like a slightly pitching boat. If you've ever experienced that, you'll know what I mean.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is that how a Prius drives? The car was purchased in NJ and I need to drive back to TX in a few days. Dreading the drive since it makes me feel sick. Wondering if dealer will take car back and how much money I'd lose. And, what to buy to replace it as I love the reliability of a Toyota, wanted the cargo space of the V and the visibility/gas mileage vs the Rav4 which I don't feel comfortable parking in tight spaces/beside cement poles, etc. where I often need to park. I really want to keep this car but don't know how to overcome this feeling.

    Thanks for any insights - I'm unsure what to do. I will try to drive in Power mode today and see if it helps at all. This occurred at highway speeds of 65 - 68 mph.

    Thanks so much -- Pellie
     
  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Never experienced this on our 2012 v Five.

    Does the sensation also occur with cruise control engaged?
     
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  3. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    I haven't tried cruise control yet but will give it a go and see if that helps. Thanks.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I have never felt anything in the gas pedal like you describe. The gas pedal does not actually connect directly to the engine in a traditional cable manner. It is "drive by wire" electric.

    So it is more likely the car's ride, suspension, tires or the engine surging if anything. I would wonder about tires, eg overinflated, balance, out of round, etc.

    And then the brand of tire can make a big difference as well and you probably have original factory tires. Michelins at factory door pressures are good for ride and balance.

    The car should be in warranty at least for a while until 3 years 36,000 miles expires. You should be able to buy an extended warranty if desired before the factory warranty expires.

    Best bet would be an independent hybrid mechanic or another dealer. One thing to realize is that your dealer's service advisor and mechanic may have no clue because no one else has come to them personally with the problem.

    Also, indicate your city in your profile and where you are now to get better recommendations. Some of us know specific shops that might be good.
     
    #4 rjparker, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    By the way, the Prius v also has a "pitch and bounce" control that is designed to reduce fore and aft oscillations. Bet they don't even know it exists. Somehow it uses the wheel speed sensors and the suspension to detect the motion and automatically adjusts the engine to compensate. I know my v is a good highway cruiser but it's not a Lexus or even a Camry in ride quality. What happens with SUV types of vehicles (including trucks and the v) is the suspension is designed for the maximum load possible. That's when they ride the best in almost all vehicles designed to carry cargo.

    See link for pitch and bounce control and warranty information.
    Prius v is the Family Hybrid in an Expanding Model Family
     
    #5 rjparker, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  6. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    Well, cruise control may be a good test.
    Two or more mechanics have driven and say normal operation.

    Yes, pitch & bounce system, perhaps not functioning correctly.
    I am unsure exactly how this system works and in my research this system's info was not abundant.

    Yet OP seems to find the complaint the gas pedal position.
    Leads my thoughts to hesitation issues.
    Could be a hunt & it could be very minor.
    Lots of systems to check.
    Fuel pressure, spark plug wires, air intake.
    Or it may be completely normal.
    Good luck in your hunt.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    it is possible that you are over sensitive to the engine starting and stopping.

    ask if you can drive another prius to compare.
     
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  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If it is a gas pedal effect, try Eco, Pwr, and neither, Normal. all 3 modes effect how the gas pedal behaves.
     
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  9. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    Thanks very much for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated!!
     
    #9 Pellie, May 8, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2018
  10. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Not normal in my '12 v. I do probably 60-70% of my miles at 65-70 MPH in 50 mile stretches where I have cruise control on when traffic allows and I've never felt what you describe and no passenger has commented on it. Is there an unevenness as it shifts from battery to ice and back again? A tiny bit but in 45k miles I've gotten totally used to it so I don't hear or feel a thing. See if there is any correlation between when you feel it and the instantaneous MPG readout available as one of the display option via a switch on your steering wheel labeled Disp.
     
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  11. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    @rjparker thank you for all of your help and suggestions. I tried to reply to you but got an error message that I was trying to post a link and I'm not permitted to yet. So I couldn't figure out how to reply on your post. You and the others have been helpful and encouraging.

    I drove quite a bit yesterday and did not feel that sensation again. Perhaps I just needed to adjust to the way the Prius drives? I'm not sure but I'm going to Texas in the next few days so that will be a good long-distance drive from New Jersey and for sure I will see how it does.

    That leads me to another question if you don't mind. Normally when I drive I leave my car locked and running at rest stops so my dog can have air conditioning. It is too hot and dangerous not to.

    I can't figure out how to do that in the Prius. Is there a way?
     
  12. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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  13. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    Thanks for your help. The tires are worn even with low mileage so I will replace them when I get to Texas wonder if that might help some with the way it drives.
     
  14. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    That's a good idea and I will see how I do on long drive coming up. Thank you. You all are so kind to offer suggestions. Much appreciated.
     
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  15. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    I think that might be part of what i was feeling and might be getting used to it. No trouble yesterday with a bit of driving. Thank you.
     
  16. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    In order to leave it locked and running, you have to take the small key out of the wireless key fob and use it in the door with the car "running" in "ready" mode. The fob has a little latch to allow the key to come out the back. Press on the round dot on the fob latch and pull the keychain attachment piece which is actually the mechanical key. Then insert the rectangular mechanical key in the driver's door keyhole and turn ccw. The doors should lock. Turn cw to unlock. When locked like this the keyfob's unlock button may not work.

    I would test in your driveway with the driver's window open to get the idea. Now, a caution. Even if the engine is not actually running at the time and is just in "ready" with the ac running, it will start occasionally. If you left it "on", locked or unlocked, in an attached garage you will get carbon monoxide in the house.

    Second, when you get back to the car and mechanically unlock the door, the car will drive and go anywhere as long as you don't push the stop/start button on the dash. When you do stop it, say at a gas station or some other location, it will not restart without the fob. The key will not start the car. So don't leave the fob somewhere by accident when you do the key trick.

    The real purpose of the mechanical key is to allow access if the car's 12vdc battery is dead. Under those conditions, you mechanically open the door, pop the hood open and jump the car from the driver's side fuse box power points. You will not be able to access the back hatch without power. Knowing how to properly jump start the car (without actually doing it unnecessarily) is important as most helpful people would not know. It's in the manual.
     
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  17. Erik Owens

    Erik Owens Member

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    Some of our other vehicles have an Engine Computer reflash for a ricking back and forth during cruise. The only way to really compare is to find another model of your make with the miles and check that out which the dealer should have done.
     
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  18. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Another purpose of the mechanical key is to access the car if the keyfob watch battery goes dead. In this case, we will assume the car 12v battery is ok but just the keyfob internal battery is old. After entering the car, you hold the "dead" fob up to the start button and the car will recognize it's presence and allow a start.

    By the way, be sure to keep both factory fobs working.
     
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  19. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Look for a thread in Prius v Accessories titled "wife gets sick". Any vehicle has its peculiar movement characteristics and some few are going to be sensitive to that exact frequency/amplitude/motion.

    Or use the search function at the top of the page with the search argument "motion sickness".
     
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  20. Pellie

    Pellie New Member

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    And I hope I don't ask too many questions. But I have one other one. The speed limit most of the way back to Texas at 75 miles per hour. Would you drive with PWR the whole way or do you only use that when you're trying to accelerate quickly? It wasn't clear from the manuel. Or another mode?
    Thank you SO much for explaining the key to my problem (sorry, had to) which so thoroughly explained everything needed to keep my pup happy and safe.
    Have you ever thoight about writing manuals for Ikea? :)
     
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