SoC never goes below 6 bars - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by sgrig, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. sgrig

    sgrig New Member

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    I just bought a 2007 Prius, and have been driving it around for a bit, and it seems the battery charge level on the Energy screen never goes below 6 blue bars. Is this normal? The battery seems to be used, but the charge level doesn't go down!

    I've previously rented a 2010 Prius and 2009 Prius, and there the battery charge level fluctuated a lot - from almost empty to almost full, so I'm finding this a bit strange on my Prius. It did go up to the green level a few times today, but never goes down.

    Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but the gas mileage hasn't been that great either - 38.5 over the first couple of days. Driving on the same roads the rented Priuses showed at least 43-45 mpg, but of course this could be due to different model years, different tires, etc.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it depends on many factors. you can't compare now to past rentals. in the long run you will see some different fluctuations. give it some time, it's way too early to panic!:eek:
     
  3. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    A nice stable charge level is actually a good thing!

    After you've driven it a bit more I'm sure you'll see 7 bars (green), usually going down hills.

    If you want to see less than 6 bars then just find a nice quite flat stretch of road and (after car warmed up) release the accelerator to let it go into full electric mode (you may need to be above 35 MPH when you first start the glide depending on what you know about the mysterious "stage 4"). Then just feather the accelerator to keep it rolling in electric mode for half a mile or more and you'll see a bar or two drop off before the engine eventually restarts.
     
  4. sgrig

    sgrig New Member

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    Oh right, thanks! It's just I got a bit suspicious that the charge level doesn't change at all. Now I need to find some empty roads to practice P&G to get that mpg a bit higher.
     
  5. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    Check your tire pressure/oil level... just to make sure thats not reducing your mpg.
     
  6. sgrig

    sgrig New Member

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    Yeah, just checked the tire pressure - it's 32 on all four tires. That's too low I guess. I'll finish my current tank first and then will add air for the next tank to have a fair comparison. However even now with half the tank gone I'm averaging 45.4 mpg, which for me is pretty good. Looks like my early fears were unfounded.
     
  7. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yeah, get your tires up to about 40/38 (F/R) and after a little practice you'll probably be up around 50 MPG.

    When I got my S/H 2005 model last year I was only getting about 43 MPG at first. Actually it was better than that at the pump but atypically the MFD was understating my actual MPG. It seemed to take a while to learn my driving style but the MFD got more and more accurate over time, also I learned more about the subtleties of driving it, and now I'm getting 55 MPG. :)

    My main tips for driving it are.


    • Don’t try to accelerate (slowly) staying in electric mode. (Unless it’s just a very short move such as in a traffic jam etc, then do try to be gentle and stay in electric mode).
    • Do accelerate moderately, but not overly harshly.
    • Do try to use your battery energy to greatest effect, which is where the terrain always a fairly long sustained glide in electric mode only. (Don’t waste it trying to go uphill, or holding against a hill when stopped for example).
    • Try not to glide it too long once the 6th SOC bar drops, when the engine eventually does cut in it uses more fuel trying to recharge the battery. (the exception is where you’re just before a really good downhill section where you know you’ll be able to get some good regenerated charge for free).
     
  8. sgrig

    sgrig New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, uart! I slightly changed my commute route - I now take emptier roads, so there are more opportunities for pulse and glide. On a good day, I can now get 50 mpg for the 25 min trip.
     
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