What should I consider to be a break-in period for higher MPG?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by webbkr, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. webbkr

    webbkr Junior Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I just took delivery of a 2014 Prius II yesterday (200 or so miles thus far). So far, I'm happy with everything about the vehicle. I'm just wondering if there is some sort of break-in period when the MPG settles in for more optimal numbers. I'm not that unhappy with the MPG so far, as I'm still learning how to master the best driving technique - 43 MPG so far - only one bar down on the fuel gauge. So, just wondering if there's a nominal amount of mileage before MPG improves.
    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  2. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    About 5000 miles seems to be the consensus for break-in.
     
  3. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    If you go on You Tube and type in HOW TO DRIVE A PRIUS, the video will teach you the Pulse and Glide technique.
     
  4. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    I think the break in applies more to the driver than the car, meaning as you learn how to drive a hybrid for max fuel mileage, fuel mileage will improve.
     
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  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...usually new tires get better with time.
    It may take a couple tanks of gas for the system to equilibrate.
    You should notice (after say 10 minutes warm-up) you should start hitting 50 MPG if not consistently, at least off-and-on depending on the driving situation. If not maybe check to see if the 12v is fully charged (per many threads here).
    Winter is bad news for MPG, but not in FL.
    Welcome!
     
    #5 wjtracy, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Welcome to the Prius community!

    If you have time, perhaps you might introduce yourself? For example, I'm a 64 year old, engineer who bought our first Prius, a used 2003 in October 2005. Disappointed with the first top-off, 39 MPG, I briefly thought about turning around and returning the car. But I realized if a civil servant could claim the Prius can get 45 MPG Hwy, I wanted to find out what was going on. So I plotted the mph vs MPH and the Prius puzzle has fascinated me ever since.

    There is a learning curve because the Prius avoids some very inefficient operating modes. In my case, it took several months with key data points and experience shared by other users at:
    When we bought a new, 2010 Prius in May 2009, our first trips were a series of benchmarks mapping the mph vs MPG:
    [​IMG]
    Earlier this year, I repeated two data points on the same car now 5 years older and 56,000 miles later . . . and got the same results. Granted this is only one data point but I can't find evidence of a 'break-in' period. There are some tuning and early maintenance things to consider using the search function for:
    • tire pressure
    • transaxle lubrication
    • radiator block
    • emergency power
    • running out of gas
    Regardless, I would recommend pretty much anything 'john1701a' who has owned every Prius made except the 'Prius c' and 'Prius v'. He has an amazing web site that I sometimes use for Prius reference.

    So introductions are in order and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Pay attention to what Bob Wilson wrote. He knows what he is talking about. The Prius is more about getting the operator behind the wheel to change their driving habits if they want good MPG. Been driving one for a while now. It took me a year just to begin to understand all of the tips and tricks. Another year after that to start getting good numbers. After that, the numbers just kept improving. I started out with a "used" Gen II. Just bought a new Gen III. The learning, retraining process began again since the different generation has different instrumentation on it. The HSI bar on the Gen III really helps out plus the instantaneous readout really gives you a great idea of what is happening as you go through the paces.

    DSC01674.JPG

    Give it some time. It won't happen overnight. Yeah, there is some break in period on the car when it is new. But it really boils down to driving habits. You can't drive a Prius like a regular car and expect to beat the EPA estimates.

    Ron (dorunron)
     
  8. MattPersman

    MattPersman Member

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    Yes you the driver gets better over time IF you care about getting max mpg and research some about doing it. BUT the car does break in some as well. I just went from a 2011 to a 2014 by a accident circumstance (2011 was totaled) and driving the exact same routes with the same driver day after day the 2014 gets worse based on MFD, scan gauge II and hand calculation.

    It's crazy how many factors there are in big MPG, tires, wind, temp, red lights, traffic, route distance, rain, ac usage, the list goes on. I mean one extra red light on your trip could cost you 2-5 mpg over all depending on your over all distance and avg speed of the trip.

    It is very hard to analyze someone's actual "city" mpg compared to HWY. Anyone can drive 50 miles mph with the cruise control set at 55 back and forth and measure mpg. Record it and probably have similar in the same conditions each time.

    If you have a good mpg driver that lives in your area I would suggest asking them perhaps for a quick lesson or two and possible have him or her drive your normal routes with you and see what they think and can get for them.
     
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  9. MattPersman

    MattPersman Member

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    Another thing to consider is sometimes you try to hard to get good fuel economy and it's actually getting you worse. especially at first like using EV mode as much as possible, trying to accelerate too little.
     
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  10. webbkr

    webbkr Junior Member

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    Hi Bob,

    Thanks much for the reply and the data.

    Sorry I am late in doing the introduction! The Prius II (Blizzard Pearl/Bisque interior) we took possession of 2 days ago is my first hybrid, and is actually my first import.

    We live 44 miles away from work at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, so that played heavily in my deciding on the Prius. I started working there in September, 1981 to work on the space shuttle program and was privileged to see 134 of 135 launches. Was a fun place to work, not so much now - budget (lack thereof) and politics are big negatives. Anyhow, the next vehicle is an Apollo-sized rocket - will be a crowd-pleaser when it does launch!

    As miles accumulated on our minivan (150,000 at trade-in), I was heavily eyeing the Prius and actually had started research on it over a year ago. I was lucky to get a test drive of a co-worker's 2012 Prius II earlier this year and was favorably impressed. So, finally, I made the plunge and took advantage of the local dealer's year-end pricing, incentives and free post-sale perks.

    As an engineer, I can appreciate what Toyota has achieved in the implementation of it's hybrid design - it is extremely well thought out.

    Fortunately, the pros of living in Florida (flat roads and warm temps) do contribute to higher MPG. Having to run the a/c does cut into the mileage a bit - hopefully yesterday's window tinting will allow me to avoid running the a/c as much. I just returned from a 10-12 mile drive to run an errand (and an excuse to sharpen my hypermiling skills). I picked up the car with 133 miles on it and now have 260 or so total. My cumulative avg so far is 43 MPG - fuel gauge has dropped by 2 bars. Drove the last mile into our neighborhood in the EV mode, just to get a feel for it. I also have been practicing the pulse/glide technique.

    I'm sure the numbers will increase, with getting smarter on the driving technique. It'll be nice to write smaller checks to Big Oil!

    Thanks again to you and everyone who have replied to my questions - I'm sure I'll have more of them.

    Regards,
    Ken
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat, congrats! i have owned 3 new pri and have never noticed an mpg increase from 'breaking in'. you should enter your model info into your profile. all the best!(y)
     
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Small world, I work for SAIC, a NASA contractor, in Huntsville, AL. I have been associated with NASA on the contractor side starting in 1968 at GSFC, a stint at NASA HQ, DC and nearly 14 years at MSFC. I was never really interested in cars until the Prius which became another hobby.

    I did a recent thread on ZVW30 warm-up. If you have the option, letting the car warm-up on the first trip of the day can pay big dividends. For example, start the car and instead of heading to the cross-town street, cut through the neighborhood, 25 mph, and cycle between "D" and "N" as needed to manage speed. This will minimize the fuel burn for the first trip of the day so a 1-2 minutes later, the engine will be in full, fuel trim mode. Even starting the car when you first get in before anything else helps. It takes about 70 seconds for the O{2} sensors to become active and after that the engine is substantially more efficient. The subsequent starts during the day are not as critical.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
  13. webbkr

    webbkr Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply - I'll work on the profile.
    Regards,
    Ken
     
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