Will wind drop FE by 15% or so?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by VABeachPrius, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. VABeachPrius

    VABeachPrius Member

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    Well there is a northeaster (storm for you midland and westcoast folks) here that is blowing 35 mph gusting to 50 or more mph. It is raining as well, but not too hard. I have never had the car in this type of storm.

    Is it normal for FE to drop by 15% or so in strong winds? It feels like I am dragging something under the car (I'm not). There aren't any good stretches to do a upwind / downwind comparison.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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  3. jtullos

    jtullos New Member

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    We've been getting winds like that (and worse) lately. It's normal here too, especially with some of the mountains funnelling the winds. Yes, expect a gas mileage drop. Last spring (or late winter) I had headwinds both ways of my commute, and ended up getting pretty crappy mileage, around 25% or so.
     
  4. VABeachPrius

    VABeachPrius Member

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    Thank you for your reassurances and the link. For the first time I thought somthing was wrong with my car. I pulled over at a gas station and looked at the tires. I thought one must have blown or gone very low. There was so much "drag" on the car.

    We shall see. Hopefully the mileage returns next week with possible mid 60's temps. The last two days has brought my tank average down by over 6 mpg. It is still 71.2 mpg. :D
     
  5. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    Hey, Chris. I've been fighting the same nor'easter up here in Chesterfield, though with winds not quite as strong.

    I was going to post these threads for your benefit...

    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2665
    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2819

    ... but I see you've already been there, at least the second one. Others might be interested. The threads include results of testing a Civic Hybrid to assess the differing effects of relatively small head and tail winds. Wind speeds were in the 5-7 mph range, vehicle speeds 35-58. Fuel economy was ~19% better with the wind on their tail versus in their face.

    Not a Prius, true, but I would expect based on my experience, including today's, and that of others, that the Prius would get similar results.
     
  6. VABeachPrius

    VABeachPrius Member

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    JimboK,

    Thanks for the response. The rain had pretty muched stopped, but the winds were still in the 30 to 50 mph range.

    On the way home and I was back at about 73 mpg for my 20 mile commute home. For the first time in three days, my MFD was higher when I got home, then when I had left. It was a mix of tail, side, and a little front quartering crosswinds. Temps were okay, 55F. I was glad to see those (rather than high 30's F). I cannot wait for a full summer with a "broken-in" car and synthetic oil. I still have the rest of the winter to practice.
     
  7. Charles Suitt

    Charles Suitt Senior Member

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    :eek: Seems every driver/Prius combination is unique. My lowest freeway MPGs in my 2004 Prius occurred in a 70º to 120º 35-40 MPH crosswind [level for ~130 miles] - read about 42 MPG for that leg while I read 55 MPG for a tailwind of ~30 MPH [long uphill 210' to 640' ASL in 245 miles] and 53 MPG for a headwind of ~30 MPH [long downhill 640' to 60' ASL in 270 miles]. These were readings cruising at 70-75 MPH (Cruise Control). My 2007 TE Prius is too new to evaluate. Oh... ASL = Above Sea Level.

    I find that even long up- or down-hill trips make a perceptable difference in MPG readings.
     
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