Possible undiscovered performance and MPG issues with Prius v (lowercase v)

Discussion in 'Prius v Fuel Economy' started by kirill626, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. kirill626

    kirill626 Junior Member

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    I have read most of the forums posts about Prius v (lowercase v for the Prius v wagon) mpg. I just want to share my experience and maybe it will be helpful for someone.
    I am car dealer from CA and selling cars overseas. Two years ago, I have received an order to purchase a couple Prius v 5 top loaded. I had to purchase them one after another and ship in sequence. I purchased two Prius v 5 2012 20K and 27K with manufacturing date 02-2012. Cars were just one year old. Both cars had weak EV output and poor 35mpg. Before I shipped them out of country, i drove about 4k miles on one car and on the second one about 1k. I figured that there is just possible design features from the plant of Prius v but I should say that I really like the car.
    Soon after, a couple more cars were purchased with manufacturing date 9-2011 64K and 01-2012 18K. Both cars drove excellent! MPG was about 45-50 and good EV acceleration. Seeing it really changed my opinion about Prius wagon. I decided to buy v for my personal use, but unfortunately i purchased car with manufacturing date 02-12 :-( The one that drive feels like I’m towing a trailer and gives only about 35-36 mpg. Later in will refer to them as “trailer” Prius.
    Maybe owners of “trailer” Priuses haven’t experienced how a good Prius v should drive!
    And they drive their cars just like moving a trailer. Yes, yes! That are the exact feelings. One car is riding freely and another one with trailer behind. Sometimes people who sold (trade) their good car are buying "trailer" Prius. And they are starting to worry about it but sadly no-one listens to them. And there are a lot of people who experienced it.
    I decided not to sell and leave "trailer" for myself hoping that I can find the cause of the mass failure. I started from the beginning: new tires and new oem rims, alignment, complete brake inspection. I switched the complete main battery from same Prius v but without “trailer” issues and with good MPG. I used megohmmeter for inspection MG1 and MG2 and didn't find any issues. I installed different power management control ecu. I changed gas pedal. Replaced inverter (bought used from eBay). Surprisingly, I changed so many things so I can't think of anything else what can be replaced (transmission?). Performance test 0-60 mph results are almost the same for both cars with “trailer” and without. It looks like it is impossible to proof that your car has an issues or has any manufacturing defects since performances 0-60 mph are the same. I am going crazy about it and still trying to resolve this problem. The most interesting is that somebody who should know about this defect is just sitting quietly and doesn't share or explaining what can be wrong.
    One more thing. Since I am a car dealer I can see that on the dealer auctions sometimes they are selling lemon cars from different makers but NEVER I had never seen the any Prius Lemon but know for sure that there are so many cars that moved to the lemon status. I think it opens up even more questions around it, don’t you think?
    Some drivers also reported similar issues and drastically varying performance between different Priuses of the same model and year.
    Has anyone experienced poor EV performance and high consumption with the Prius v?
    450.jpg
     
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  2. IMkenNY

    IMkenNY Im just being nosy

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    Did you install new low rolling resistance tires?
    New tires will hurt your fuel economy for the first 1000 miles.
    What tire pressure are you running? (I prefer 42psi in the front tires and 40 psi in the back tires)
    Are you using 0w20 oil ?
    And the most important question..... Are you towing a trailer? :)
     
    #2 IMkenNY, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    perhaps your trailer car is in eco mode?
     
  4. MatthewG

    MatthewG New Member

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    I have a Prius v (lowercase v for the Prius v wagon)2012 which I have owned for 5 months. Several friends with v's are getting 48mpg average, that is why I purchased one. Mine though averages 39 on the display, but when I calculated it on paper it is ~36. I keep it in ECO mode (which I thought was the best in mpg performance) and drive like an old lady to get the best gas mileage. But still can not get it in the 40's.

    I purchased it from a dealer with new tires, new oil, etc.

    I would love some suggestions.

    The dealer said "everything is OK". I was told to "reset" mileage data under the CAR menu, but things got worse.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Our previous Civic Hybrid came with Bridgestone Insignia SE200_02, apparently a special low rolling tire, made in Japan. When they were worn I got Bridestone Ecopia EP20. As far as I could tell the new tires are rebadged Insignia's: the tread pattern is identical, for one thing.

    Anyway: our mpg did not skip a beat. Right from the get-go the new tires delivered the same mpg. I strongly suspect this "break in" period is a tire dealer ploy. You go away, try harder, convince yourself the new tires are getting better, and so on.
     
    #5 Mendel Leisk, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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  6. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Manufactured date 8/12. ~22k miles. 41.7 MPG average with no hypermileing or P&G techniques beyond sometimes limiting acceleration on hills. I drive gently, a mix of suburban light traffic and interstate roads. Use cruise where possible. People pass me on the interstates, it doesn't bother me. Michelin tire pressures in the high 30s.

    How is the HVAC being used? Any brake drag detected?
     
  7. kirill626

    kirill626 Junior Member

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    Please do not ask me simple questions :) I tried to make it clear at the outset that I have checked all the possible causes.
    Most of the cars that I described were almost new or closed to new condition. All cars had just one driver the one that perfectly runs and the one that doesn’t - so to look for the root cause of it in oil, A/C and tires doesn’t make any sense!
    The difference between the trailer and normal Prius v (lowercase v for the Prius v wagon) is too big that you can’t be attributed on the tires or oil. Prius that was purchased in Oregon 64k 09-11 and didn’t have original tires. It had Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus 215/50R17 with OEM tire pressure 33! front and 32! rear. Car ran very nice 50 mpg! I installed that tire set on my car temporary just to validate, but it didn’t change anything :)
    One more time, the problem does not lay on top. People talk about the new cars that they recently purchased, one goes well and the other does not. I am sure most of us agree that the difference between 35 and 50 mpg is too big . We don’t know something and I'm trying to find it and just decided to share with you. I am sure there are some explanation to it, something that can and must be fixed. Hoping for someone that knows something more about this topic.
    PS for all my Prius v (lowercase v) (5-6 cars)
    tire + - 40 front rear, eco on, a/c off, 0w20 mobile1 only, newer towing a trailer :) But my cars 50/50 trailer :-(
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i'm not smart enough for complicated questions.(n)i actually can't remember anyone posting here, who was getting poor mileage, that didn't turn out to be one or multiple simple causes.
     
    #8 bisco, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2015
  9. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    I guess if you're a car dealer you are not to be questioned at all!
    Some folks might suggest the opposite could be true. A statistical sample of 2 used cars is certainly compelling evidence of a "mass failure".
    :LOL:
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    definitely, the ones i've dealt with.:whistle:
     
  11. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Odd too that you say you easily got 45-50MPG in two of the cars as that is not the typical mileage reported by Prius v owners...more like 42 unless they use special driving techniques. Not saying it can't be done, just not without a lot of hybrid driving experience or special circumstances.

    What was the weather like when the tests were conducted? Rain? Temperatures? Wind?

    The only time I've averaged 35-38 MPG was with a gas tank filler shut off that obviously malfunctioned on my previous tank fill because that tank was 53+. So over how many tanks were the bad MPGs calculated? Hope you didn't use the dash readout as it isn't the most reliable indicator.
     
  12. kirill626

    kirill626 Junior Member

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    My findings are based not just on two cars but at least on 3 "trailer" cars not to mention that one i still own. I am surprised the reaction i have received but I really did expect it. I think some of you don't have a chance to compare your own car with same Prius but with different performance. I guess you still can force the ‘trailer” Prius to give you 40-42MPG by controlling the way you drive ALL the time. BUT normal Prius will give you 45MPG absolutely without any special control by just enjoying car and driving forgetting all the details. This is important since I experienced it by myself and was surprised!
    Anyway, if this subject isn't interesting for you guys i dont see the point to continue the discussions.
    P.S. I am export dealer (wholesale), basically i am not any different than any other person just a hold a DL license.
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you're right. most of us don't have the opportunity to experience multiple cars on a regular basis. it certainly would be interesting if you hooked up with the local club for a demo. might help you deduce the possible electro mechanical difference. we have some pretty bright members out there in so cal. also, do you have the tyres pumped up? how is the 12 volt health? some have reported early carbonizing on the pistons.
     
  14. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Here is a possibility. Something is blocking a fan that cools some critical part of the battery system so the car is forced to run ICE (the "normal" motor) all the time.

    Is there anything you put behind or around the rear seat? Trash, a blanket, some rags ... anything?

    Another, did you buy all the "trailers" from the same place? Could someone be swapping in bad hybrid batteries? (Yea, it happens. I've seen similar things on another brand.)

    Could the 12v battery be marginal from prior lack of use and the hybrid be overused in charging it?

    Could the oil be overfilled?

    Lastly, dumb question but it happened to me the other day. You are running in "D" and not leaving it in "B", right?

    (krill, it is kind of hard to help you when we don't have more information on the test conditions nor access to instrument the car. All we can do is cite some things that have affected other folks mileage. I don't sample multiple cars but I do know at least from parking lot discussions 10 local people who have '12 v's and none reports anything like what you have experienced. I think there have been a very few forum reports of unusually low mileage.)
     
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  15. schmuly

    schmuly Member

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    Also have you checked the speedometers for accuracy? i have seen some cars out by 10%. We always a gps and usually put a larger diameter tire on the car to correct the speedo. They always read faster than what you are really going, so your warranty is over faster it should be.
     
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  16. kirill626

    kirill626 Junior Member

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    Short story. Tire + - 40 all battery (main and AUX) checked and swapped
    all cars like new and very clean
    EGR done :) speedometers fine. tire size oem. oil, coolant and all available visible I already checked. no. something hidden from view. non-standard.


    Trailer #1 02-12 20k bought from Manheim Milwaukee auction 12-2012
    Trailer #2 02-12 27k bought from Manheim Atlanta auction 01-2013
    Without trailer #1 01-12 18k bought from Manheim Fredericksburg auction 02-2013
    Without trailer #2 09-11 64k bought from Mountain States Toyota Denver, CO 06-2014

    I forget to mention that on the Trailer 1 and 2 photos with MPG shows not real figures, to get them I needed to drive from the hill for a long time :) real average for 1 and 2 37mpg
     
    #16 kirill626, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
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  17. Rehm94

    Rehm94 Junior Member

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    Good stuff here fellas.
    We have an 11 car, and have experienced a slight mpg drop from 48 to 43ish in the at year.
    Was wondering about the 12v health thing, and also if the hybrid batt loses virility so I started poking around in here.

    Anyways, the tire thing.. .. New tires will absolutely get less mpg than when they have some miles on them.
    More tread=higher rolling resistance, no matter the model tire.
     
  18. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    Are your brake calipers dragging possibly? I do believe another member here had that issue and saw instant mpg increase after rectifying the problem!
     
  19. alekska

    alekska Active Member

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    Hi Kiril, nice to see you here ! (I have read all threads about "Trailers" on priusforum.ru some time ago).

    Here is an idea: measure the car(s) roll-out on the same stretch of road from the same GPS speed, in no-wind conditions and same temperature. Cars should be fully warmed-up. Compare "Trailer" and non-trailer roll-out.

    It could be slight (still within factory specs) misalignment or brake drag effect. Therefore 0-60 would be same, but mpg would differ.

    - Alex
     
    #19 alekska, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you know who might have a feel for this? fleet taxi operators. i wonder if they ever get any 'trailers'.

    hybrid battery issues won't affect mpg's unless they are serious enough to throw a code. 12 volt is easy to measure. some tyres need more break in than others.
     
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