Plug-in Prius Hard/Stiff Suspension

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Robyn923b, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Robyn923b

    Robyn923b Junior Member

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    I have been driving my 2013 Prius for 2 and a half months. Coming from a 2006 Hyundai Elantra that got me 21MPG on average, I love the car's ability to regenerate energy and get such high MPGs. I am satisfied with the car in general. I wish the EV range would be longer, but having this car make me decide on buying a 100% electric car in 3-5 years from now.

    Now, when I drive, I notice that very small bumps or imperfections on the road hit VERY hard on the car, as if it has a very stiff suspension. It almost seems as if the front end is going to come off and I find myself braking suddenly to avoid the impacts. As a result, some of the plastic parts inside have begun to rattle. I'm wondering if anybody has experienced this issue in the front or rear ends (or both) and what their solution was?

    I understand the Plug-in needs stiffer suspension on the rear to handle the large battery, but my car feels like a low rider and passengers on the rear of the car feel it too. I have thought about lowering the tire pressure and I'm also changing the tires soon, but I doubt the tires are the problem. Maybe I need new struts/shocks? But the car only has 34k miles? Please advise! Thank you.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    have you driven another pri to compare? i came from a 2008 and didn't notice any difference.

    could the previous owner have done any modifications?

    plastic rattles are the norm, and not a reflection of the suspension, although it maybe stiffer than sedan.

    lastly, what tyres and pressures?
     
  3. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    All four of the Prii I've had have been WAY smoother than the 4X4 diesel truck I was driving in Honduras. Especially since the roads here are less likely to swallow your vehicle whole! ;)

    Kidding aside, I think Bisco has a good idea in comparing to another Prius if you can. Lowering tire pressure, if they are pumped up hard, will help with the little bumps. And depending on what tires you have, a different brand might help. You might want to peruse the tire threads here for some background research.
     
  4. Pluggo

    Pluggo Active Member

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    Start by checking the tire pressure all around. You may be surprised to find out the previous driver kept them over-inflated for better EV range and more MPG.
     
  5. AKCoffee

    AKCoffee Junior Member

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    Are you sure you're not coming form Fleetwood or Eldorado :D.

    My PIP with way overinflated tires (cureently @ 54 psi and heading higher this spring) does not feel much harsher than our v @ 45psi and is less harsh than our Civic Hybrid when I drove it @ 58psi... Slightly smoother than the Civic at its current 45psi and +185k miles.
     
  6. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    What wheels does it have?

    There are a few modifications available to improve handling, e.g. strut brace, chassis brace and rear sway bar - these will result in a harsher ride, so maybe check if any are installed (you'll need to look underneath for the latter two). I think the chassis brace in particular has an adverse effect on ride quality.

    I went from a French car (Peugeot 406) which was renowned for its smooth ride to a Prius - the suspension is certainly harder but I don't think it's particularly bad. I wouldn't expect as big a difference coming from a Hyundai, but suspension setups could be different on US spec cars anyway (generally softer than what we get here). The interior rattles less than my previous car (French + diesel = not great in that respect) :)
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    good point. if you look at her other two posts, she mentions scion and fore runner wheels.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah need more info. I keep picturing the OP's vehicle, with it's 18" ultra-low profile wheels, lowered with aftermarket shocks/springs.
     
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