very bad prius mileage

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by MAYA17, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    hello folks.. bought a 2008 prius last april and was initially happy with the purchase... at best we never went up to 43/mpg and on one road trip had about 48 which was the highest.. unfortunately that was the first and last that this happened, currently i have 36 mpg and get about 220/tank.. researched a bit more and found out about the bladder and other issues that may affect mileage, since then i've been coasting, putting cruise, not putting the heat on or close to the outside temp and shutting it off and like a little old lady is driving 55 on the slow lane, still no change, when i fill up i only get 7 gallons and nothing more even when its on empty-ran out of gas once with the kids where the fuel gauge pip when from 3 to 1 to blinking empty all in a matter of 5 minutes while i was waiting for my turn at the gas pump, the gas attendant had to push the car so i learned my lesson there and never go past two(if i can help it ) pips... also,in the summer i can get about 400+ and it all went downhill during the fall.. anyway, brought the prius back to the dealer explained the situation and was told all diagnostic test indicate that nothings wrong with the car, got toyota corporate office involved which basically ordered the same test done-still nothing... at this point i'm really fed up... i'm only getting 220 with one pip left (cause i'm scared to run out of gas) before i fill up again but in the past i've pushed and still got about 230ish.......

    i'm not sure what to do at this point.. toyota corporate said it can go to arbitration and see what happens.. my point is had i known about the bladder and the low mileage that you get during the cold months i would not have purchased it...i talked to random prius owners in parking lots just to see their mileage and most say they get about 45+even in the winter...

    i appreciate any info or comments.......really like the car but i may have gotten a lemon...
     
  2. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    You are complaining about miles-per-tank, right, and not MPG? It sounds like the tank bladder in yours is crankier than average; given that, there's not much you can do about miles-per-tank.
     
  3. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    im just wondering if the ff: is normal 36/mpg and fills up are only 7 gallons -tried topping it off but cant really do that here in nj cause gas attendants pump the gas..
     
  4. Snagtooth

    Snagtooth Junior Member

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    I see you are relatively new here, but assume you have done some searching of the other threads from your original post. Winter mileage is disappointing for a lot of us. While some things help to mitigate that - what helps one may not help another. It seems each car can have its own personality a lot of times.

    For me, in sub 25 degree temps - I get tanks that average high 30's and low 40's. Overall in these conditions I seem to average 42-43mpg unless I am really making an effort to use green driving techniques (aka pseudo-hypermiling). In the warmer months I can easily average 46-50mpg depending on how conscious I am of my driving technique. As the car continues to "break-in", I expect this may improve a bit; but I don't have unrealistic expectations.

    FWIW, I have a partial grill block, engine block heater and maintain 44/42 psi in the tires. I also use a scangauge II because I like gadgets. This may not be want you wanted to hear, but hope it gives you some context for comparison.
     
  5. PaulHS

    PaulHS Member

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    For the winter, with no grlle blocked, or engine block heater, yes, 36 is normal. Last winter I drove my Prius cluelessly with similar results. One fill-up (mid-February) was 4.1 gallons, and all fill-ups for six months were less than 7.5 gallons. Don't let it get to you; just fill up at no less than two pips.

    As a guess, I'd suggest you check your tire pressure if you haven't already. Among other things, cold weather causes tire pressure to drop significantly, which affects fuel economy significantly. Set front pressure to 42 psi and rear to 40 psi. See if that helps.
     
  6. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    Thanks-its good to know that other experience this as well-id definitelu increase tire pressure-(tire pressure symbol turned on 3x in the past)what I'd like to know is where to get the grille and heater..thanks
     
  7. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    Thanks-its good to know that other experience this as well-id definitelu increase tire pressure-(tire pressure symbol turned on 3x in the past)what I'd like to know is where to get the grille and heater..
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    For the warning indicator to illuminate, pressure must be 25% under the minimum. Besides that be extremely dangerous (hence the federal mandate for the warning), it is a major impairment to MPG.

    In other words, PSI should be at least 33. Your tires are around 25.

    Bump the pressure up to at least 42 PSI front (40 PSI back). You'll be quite surprised by the change. I've been running mine at 44 PSI for over 6 years now.
    .
     
  9. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    i actually looked up the tire pressure here before when it happened and suggested the pressure to be increased--the service dude looked at me like i had two heads and said it was dangerous to go over the recommended PSI....I will take your word and do it tomorrow....i'm very scared of skidding and sliding hence the reason why i kept my truck but i wanna add that prius performed really well in the snow and ice...i was impressed...drove it several times in the slushy weather after that....
     
  10. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

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    Grill block is pipe insulation from Lowes or Home Depot...2 six ft strips is a good start ($4.00 and plenty of good examples are here on PC) and engine heater can be ordered here on PC Shop. Make sure you have a GOOD tire gauge and use it religiously.
    :welcome:
     
  11. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    Thanks much!!!:)
     
  12. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Overall I agree with all the suggestions and also have a couple of way out ones. My theory: The bladder is relatively stiff, even in summer and I truely believe that it can be streched to what should be its normal demensions. So when the attendant pumps gas and it stops at 6-7 gal tell him to keep topping it up slowly. You will find that you can get at least two more gal in the tank. It is sort of learning to accomodate to its capacity. Another way out suggestion is to fill your tires to at least the sidewall pressure, 42-44 I forget how the OEM is marked 44 I think. Believe it or not some posters pump the tires up to 55-70lbs. They do this not only for mileage ( which helps ) but, also for longivity. The OEM tires can get 40K miles instead of only 20K miles. You will have to fill and check tire pressure yourself, all the tire people have been programed. Test drive after filling tires, check the stabilty, if the stability is good put more air in! Of course let off the gas every time you approach a red light. See what you have to to do get the HV battery into the green state. It really does take a long time for the Prius to get broken in and get good mileage, it takes the owners even longer. I consider my 05 just breaking in and I have 66000 miles on it.
     
  13. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Maya, how long are your trips? Usually the 1st 5 minutes is at 25mpg. My 2nd 5 minutes is at 50mpg. During the winter I am lucky to see 25mpg during the 1st 5 minutes and can get close to 50mpg on the 2nd. I also keep the car on & locked when I run a quick errand. If the car is going to stand more than 10 minutes then I turn it off. This prevents the engine (ICE) from running during start up just to warm everything up.

    Increase your tire pressure in increments and stop when you are not happy with the ride or handling. I stopped at 45psi because the car starts to feel a bit squirrelly. IMO, the people recommending low tp are the people that want to sell you replacement tires. Soft tires wear faster. The tire isn't overinflated as long as it is still flat (deformed) at the bottom. Tires lose 1psi for every 10F drop in temperature.

    I keep the temp set at 72 and the fan at the lowest 2 speeds.

    Last winter I managed to increase my lifetime average. This winter is colder but still expect to hold 50mpg.
     
  14. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Not going to troubleshoot your problem, but feel bad for ya ....

    just for the record, here in SF Bay Area with 40s - 60s F Winter temps ...

    I'm averaging about 54 MPG on the display this tank, ~ 50 last tank. Just normal, combinded driving. This car just blows me away in fuel economy.

    -----------
    I hope you get yours resolved.
     
  15. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    I've got about 30 miles roundtrip daily-mostly highway-first 7 minutes though is on local streets.Will try the slow top-off tomorrow and increase TP-it'll be a little experiment-ive gotten really good in driving and letting my foot off the gas whenever I can-ive been watching that screen like a hawk-im hoping for a miracle here...
     
  16. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Be patient, you'll get there.:cheer2:
     
  17. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    IF: You were driving almost any other car, your mileage would be worse!:cheer2:
     
  18. MAYA17

    MAYA17 New Member

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    True-but the fact that I'm getting more mileage from my SUV than the Prius sucks at the moment but its a learning phase-just trying to be patient :)
     
  19. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    That is strange.
     
  20. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    The magic speeds during warm-up are30-40, here ( CA ) my car warms up so fast that I can achieve stealth in about a mile Stealth = no arrows, barring that, next stage is battery use only, unless the HV is in the green, that stage is hard to maintain. Any downhill, use to your advantage, either in stealth, battery draw or battery charge, either by slowing down for a light or with engine assist. Even with engine assist, the HV should be charging. Unless its in the green, then try to use that charge. The ideal procedure is 3/4 of the time free energy versus 1/4 time, using engine. Except freeway, then the rules change, ie: use CC. Overall CC is good, but on surface streets the driver is smarter. CC cannot see ahead. The main factor is always Topography. Hill up OR hill down.
     
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