poor mpg when starting trips

Discussion in 'Prius c Fuel Economy' started by libby, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. libby

    libby New Member

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    I just bought a new 2013 prius C and have noticed that the displayed MPG is very low when first starting to drive (like 1-3 mpg). It gradually increases as I drive but doesn't get above about the mid 30s by the time I make it to work, about 3 miles. It did get up to around 50 MPG when I drove it home from the dealership a few days ago, about 15 miles. So far I haven't driven it anywhere else. Has anyone else had this issue? I'm thinking it's not displaying correctly at the beginning because I can't imagine I'm truly getting single digit mileage... Thanks!
     
  2. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Short trips are killer to mileage for any ICE vehicle - especially in cold weather. The computer intentionally injects extra fuel during the warm-up cycle which lowers emissions during this period, so your fuel consumption will be relatively high. This is specifically why I purchased the Plug-in model with most of my city driving being between 1-3 miles. In the winter when the ICE fires I often see trip mileage of between 20-30mpg for those short trips.
     
  3. Brad K

    Brad K Member

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    my commute is 6 miles, on cold mornings it can sometimes only get 38 mpgs. Conversely, I drove 2.8 miles today to get pizza. It was sunny, dry and 42 degrees at that time. It got about 42 mpg on the way there. On the way back I got 60 mpg since the car was already warmed up.
     
  4. drysider

    drysider Active Member

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    If the C calculates segment mileage, it will always start low and increase, since you are starting with 0 mpg. As you accumulate miles, the mileage will increase as the mpg's add up. The ScanGauge does the same thing. It is really a lot more useful than the instantaneous mileage indicator.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the best thing you can do is fill up at a station near the top of a long gradual hill with ice already warm. then when you leave, your mpg's will go start at 999 and slowly come down as you use the ice. this produces much better average over the life of the tank than starting at zero and trying to get it up.
     
  6. drysider

    drysider Active Member

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    Hmmmmm...
     
  7. mahout

    mahout Active Member

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  8. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    MPG is not directly proportional to emissions. The extra fuel is injected to heat up the emission control equipment faster so that it may better do its job.

    Another example are the 'tuning' chips available for many cars that increase MPG but also increase the amount of NOx emitted contributing to a net environmental loss.
     
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Yes. both my gen 2 and my v start each day with this green curve:

    [​IMG]

    I would expect a c driven at a fixed speed on an absolutely level surface to have the same curve.
     
  10. Runswithdog

    Runswithdog Junior Member

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    I understand an engine block heater can really increase the initial performance as the engine would start up already warm. It is sold on this site for $60. If I lived in a colder climate, I might would purchase one. But generally my car starts out above 70 degrees F most of the year.
     
    Brad K likes this.
  11. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    My commute is 4.9 miles. I start with cold engine, cold coolant, cold oil, cold tires, cold heater core, cold vents, cold wheel bearing grease, cold trans fluid. Ten strikes against you before you even back out of the driveway.

    It gets better with everything warmed up, and with warmer temps outside.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Don't you love it when pretty much all your preconceptions are wrong, lol.

    Seriously, a cold engine is the worst situation for mpg.
     
  13. NewYorkan

    NewYorkan Junior Member

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    I got about 25 mpg for first 5 miles. The rest of the commute distance bring average up to 45mpg. So 30 mpg is pretty good for your 3 miles commute. Prius is a wrong car if you use for 3 miles commute. Corolla or yaris is a better choice. mpg will come very close for them in the 1st 3 miles. I would turn off the heat in the winter. I found more EV mode kick in cold weather if the heat is off. The heat will not warm up if you go only 3 miles anyway.
     
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  14. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    The "warm-up cycle" just does that. You're using almost all battery to move the car until the warm-up cycle is over, which is why I am usually very light on the pedal (high-throttle on the battery means very low efficiency), plus you have to re-charge the battery thereafter and that takes a lot of gas.
    Most of my commutes are also short like yours.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    perhaps libby traded in her prius...
     
  16. ztanos

    ztanos All-around Geek!

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    Every car is wrong for their commute except for a pure EV. Get a Nissan LEAF. Depending on your state it can be bought for cheaper than a P.C. after the credits.
     
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