Well... I did it...

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by AnnieBeHealthy, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    I bought a Prius after a little over a year of wanting one... and now I'm terrified I'm going to do something wrong and destroy it. :/

    It's a lot different than anything I've ever driven, so I'm a little apprehensive. But I'm going to read through some forums to try to get a little more comfortable with it.

    Please tell me I'm not the only one!!
     
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  2. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Relax.
    My advice to a new owner...really new owner with maybe very little hybrid driving experience, is to just drive it, like a normal vehicle.

    The software and Hybrid Synergy Drive system really can do most of the work.

    Keep your eyes on the dash (as with any vehicle) for a warning light....
    But basically, just drive it and then as you become more and more comfortable with it, THEN you can start worrying about ECO modes or driving techniques that might improve your mileage.

    Also...if you've got an owners manual, you can avoid a lot of questions if you just spend some time going through it.

    Prius Chat is also a fantastic resource.

    I think "some" new owners overwhelm themselves trying to absorb everything at once, worrying about 1st or 2nd tank gas mileage, while also trying to find some "magic" formula to driving the Prius.

    My advice is at least at first, keep your eyes on the road, not so much on the dash, just drive it and enjoy it, read your manual if possible. There's really nothing to be intimidated by...

    Maybe the only things right out of the gate I'd be concerned about is Oil Level, and Tire Pressure.
    Assuming both are good? First month or so? I'd just drive it.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome! you're not the only one.:p
     
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  4. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    Good advice! I'm enjoying it... just feel like a passenger trying to safely land the plane. ;)
    I do have a question: the dealership (ha...) told me to slowly accelerate, but everything I've read says to basically punch it, get there rapidly, then let off to glide... any advice on that?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    punch it, is ambiguous. best to accelerate just to the right of the eco line on the hsi, or faster to keep up with traffic. then glide, by holding the hsi bar slightly above the regen line.
     
  6. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    Consciously make sure you keep up with traffic--the most common mistake among Prius owners is to get wrapped up in finessing the efficiency to the annoyance of the general public.

    I've been guilty of this.
     
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  7. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    Yes... the public is slightly annoyed with me right now. I guess I just feel like if I push it too hard, the battery will blow up or something (I swear I researched... its just a little different when you actually get behind the wheel). :rolleyes:
     
  8. sfv41901

    sfv41901 Masta S

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    Welcome @AnnieBeHealthy

    You'll be fine. The battery isn't going to blow up or die on u.

    As mentioned, just drive it like a normal car


    iPhone ?
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The Hybrid System Indicator is a handy display to use, to judge acceleration. Pushing the DISP button on the right side of steering wheel will bring it up, it cycles through the various displays:

    Capture01.JPG

    Accelerating on level ground, I'll try to keep the bar somewhere in the red hatched zone. Going uphill it's tougher, or impossible; you pretty much have to run it into the PWR zone to get anywhere:

    Capture.JPG

    You'll likely be experimenting with ECO and PWR modes, which basically remap gas pedal response. I've not found either all that useful, ECO in particular is way too sluggish for my taste. I leave them both off, what's commonly referred to as "normal" mode.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  10. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    That's incredibly helpful... thank you!
     
  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Pulse and Glide is a hypermiling technique.

    I'm still sticking to my original advice, which is just drive it, as you did your old vehicle. That is accelerate in a manner you're familiar with and comfortable doing.

    Over all, I think slow acceleration up to speed is commonly safer. I didn't really buy a Prius with the idea of punching it off the line every time I start out.

    Again, really I'd just drive it the way you want, for at least the 1st month or so, then IF you wish, you can or should perhaps look up hypermiling...either here or on the internet. Their are techniques that some people embrace to various degrees. I just don't recommend them to a new driver just trying to get familiar with their vehicle.

    Any driving techniques I apply to The Prius are nearly subconscious to me now. I'm routinely impressed with how well The Prius takes care of itself.
    Sometimes, I find myself reversely surprised. Times when I think I've been driving efficiently and economically don't return as good a MPG as I expect, and other times I think I've been driving....wastefully...and the Prius and HSD show that my MPG's are better.

    You can drive it with the thought and reality that The Prius and the HSD system is NOT an Egg Shell. You're not going to break it, by simply driving it like a normal vehicle.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    A few mpg ideas:

    1. Abide by speed limits. As long as you're not going to be run off the road. In reality, that can be quite a rare event. "Keeping up with traffic" is oft trotted out as a reason to speed, when everyone's using that rationale it's a self fulfilling prophecy, lol.

    2. Try to avoid using the brakes as much as possible. This is basically a game, that forces you to increase following distance, look ahead, and so on.

    3. Drive "strategically". Get your foot off the gas whenever it's superfluous. This'll also help kick it into "EV mode*", basically the car shutting down the engine and relying on the battery alone. Once you're in EV mode, if you can keep the HSI bar graph to the left of the median mark, it'll keep the engine off. Be cautious with this though: especially if you're running the bar graph near the median, it'll eat up the charge fast. Once state of hybrid battery charge falls to near half full, I'd back off, resort to pulse/glide more, try to avoid EV mode for a bit.

    * This is not EV mode forced by the button on the dash, just the car electing to drive without the engine, due to low load and decent battery level.
     
    #12 Mendel Leisk, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
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  13. Dion Kraft

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    THE ONLY time you punch it is when you must speed up so you do not get heavily tailgated and also there is a safety concern to move quickly because it will leave you in a safer place. Always remember SAFETY and your well being is more valuable than a gallon of gas or really your whole car. But in any event there is much good advice here in regards to the techniques to drive your new car and derive the many benefits you will discover as you go. Best to you.
     
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  14. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    Would you mind explaining this to me (braking) a little more? I thought braking was good because it charged the battery. Is that not so? Or is it more of a happy medium/normal braking practices are more than sufficient to keep it charged.
     
  15. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Also be aware that you might hear the odd noise now and then when starting the car (brake booster/relays) or a few minutes after it is shut off and even 3-5 hours after being shut off. All perfectly normal.

    Enjoy the ride!
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my wife's hairdresser bought a hybrid camry. when the engine shut off at the first stop she came to, she turned around and traded it for a regular camry.
     
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  17. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    Thanks for the advice!! I have to admit, the first time the car shut off at a red light, I panicked a little! Haha.
     
  18. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Best advice has already been given - Drive it like a normal car. The car will take care of itself.
    Pour yourself a glass of your favorite adult beverage and read through the manual every now and then. It's a slog, but most of your questions will be answered in there...
     
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  19. AnnieBeHealthy

    AnnieBeHealthy New Member

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    Haha... it was super weird the first few times! A handyman fixing a sign in the Wendy's drive thru asked me if I was having car trouble. I said, "Urm... I don't think so? Why?" and he said, "Well... your car keeps shutting off...." :D
     
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  20. sfv41901

    sfv41901 Masta S

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    :roflmao:


    iPhone ?
     
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