Prius on order - what do I need to know before it arrives?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by offsides, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. offsides

    offsides New Member

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    2008 Prius
    I put a deposit on a Package #5 Prius Saturday, trying to get Spectra Blue Mica (but I'll take a Metallic Grey one if they can't get it in a timely manner - my current car "expires" with its inspection at the end of the month :)), and now I'm trying to figure out what I need to know before it arrives and I'm driving it daily :) I've look a lot at what's already posted here, and gotten some good info, but I still have some questions. I figured I'd post both my questions and any answers I think I've figured out, so that if I've made any mistakes someone more knowledgeable can hopefully correct me. Thanks in advance to all the local "experts" for their help!

    Things I've learned:

    1) The Prius gas gauge isn't quite the same as in other cars because of a flexible bladder, so when the gas light comes on, GET GAS! This is a big change from my current ride ('98 Taurus), which generally has 2-3 gallons of usable gas left.
    2) The stock tires leave something to be desired, but are an odd size that are hard to match exactly. P195/60R15s are generally recommended as the alternate size if I do replace them with something else. Also, running the tires at 42/40 PSI is the general consensus of how to get the most out of them?
    3) New tires often take a couple thousand miles to "break in" and stabilize the MPG.
    4) Blocking the front grills can improve the performance of the car in a couple of ways - reducing the amount of time the engine takes to warm up, and improving the speed at which the heat kicks in. Blocking the upper grills is generally considered safe in most conditions (I'm near Philly), which blocking the lower grills is OK when it's cold, but shouldn't be done in the warmer months - watching the engine temp is important if this is done.
    5) RTFM - 'nuff said :)

    So here are my questions:

    1) Tires - should I replace them right away? Or keep the originals until I can get a feel for the car? It seems like the originals might have some resale value if I do it right away to offset the cost of buying new ones. but maybe not (my car will most likely be driven up from MD if they can trade for the blue, which will be 100+ miles). Goodyear TripleTread and ComforTread tires seem to be recommended alternatives - is there one I should prefer over the other? Also, if I do replace the tires are the recommended PSI values still valid, or do they change?
    2) Stiffener plate - is this something that I should wait and see how my car feels and get it later, or should I just get it?
    3) ScanGauge II - I'll probably get this one anyway, but how critical is it? What are the recommended gauges to watch?
    4) How important is having the ability to manually control EV mode? I like the idea of being able to do it, but I'm not sure I want to do all the stuff required to install the switch (and I'd prefer the lighted switch the to "stealth" cruise control module).
    5) What other "must haves" are there? I'm not looking to trick out the car, but I am looking to get the most out of it if possible. I also don't want to spend too much $ at this time since the car ain't cheap :)
    6) What else should I know about owning/driving a prius?

    Thanks again for all the input, and I can't wait to get my new Prius!

    Josh
     
  2. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    You sound pretty prepared!
    On the stiffener plate, I'd recommend it for the standard suspension Prius, not so much for the Touring edition. My completely unscientific perusal of the threads about it lead me to believe that the Touring suspension is already stiff enough that the difference is not very noticeable.
    Yes, read the manual.
    Track your gas mileage.
    Drive the car. :)

    Oh, on the tires, I'd do what makes the most sense to you. We replaced ours pretty soon (7k miles).
    Yes, the tire pressure recommendations apply to different tires. Be sure to check the tire MAX PSI rating, and don't go above it.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. offsides

    offsides New Member

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    Thanks - I figured that if I was gonna get any serious responses, I should do my homework first and then ask my questions :)

    OK - my best fried has an '04 and hasn't had any stability issues without it, so I figure I'll keep this on in my pocket until I've had a chance to drive for a while. But it's good to know it's there.


    OK, thanks for the info and advice! Now we just have to fine one in the Blue (I may have to order it off the boat! :( ).

    Josh
     
  4. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    Those are all good questions. First: tires. I don't drive in snow, and very litttle rain in California, but the OEM Goodyears are fine with me. I run about 40/38 and have over 50,000 miles on them and they still have lots of tread. My driving is 99% freeway, 450+ miles a week. I get right at 50 mpg without even trying, no EV, no grill block, pulse and glide only when appropriate, and drive with the traffic, or slightly quicker. I have the BT brace, and didn't drive the car very long without it, so can't really tell the effectiveness, except to say that for what it is (no sports GT car), I'm perfectly happy with Prius handling on freeway, and turns. I do drive somewhat aggressively (being used to my Impreza), but find the Prius completely acceptable. I've made some high speed evasive moves on the freeway, and was surprised how stable the car is. We get a lot of wind here, and its is no worse or better than any other car I have driven. Some people don't like the responsive steering, but I love it. It makes my Subarus feel like trucks in comparison. I have my scan gage set on water temp, current mpg, intake air temp (just because I can), and rpm. I really miss having a temp and tach gage, so the scangage works for me. As for the gas gage, I ran until the last light blinked one time and put on 8.9 gals. I usually fill up with 3 or 4 blinks remaining, usually twice a week with my 450 mile commute + weekend trips. (The gas is cheaper where I work, than where I live, so I fill up early sometimes.)

    Its a great car. Don't try to overthink it, just drive it and enjoy. You will not be sorry.
     
  5. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    If money is tight, save it. A stiffener plate, EV button, and scangauge are not must-haves, they're hobby items (but if you block the radiator then maybe the scangauge becomes a must-have).
     
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