World's Worst Mileage?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by notjonathan, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. berylrb

    berylrb Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lost In The Hills @ Aug 10 2006, 01:23 AM) [snapback]300701[/snapback]</div>
    I read Eagle1339's comment and the thought hit me maybe we've been looking at this all wrong. Maybe the answer is in the reconstructing the 'control' for each tank. This is the history so far from where I sit keeping in mind 29 mpg and filling up darn near an empty tank, read below:
    tank 1 - dealer filled it up? Did the car sit idling for 20 minutes, etc? Was there a hiccup which belched 3 gallons of gas?
    tank 2 - a crash with the ambulance occured at the end or middle of the tank, fill-up occured shortly after? Was there fuel spilled at the crash? Where was the damage did it involve any fuel line repair?
    tank 3 - current tank, from below you took a manual odometer reading.

    Now consider Lost in the Hills last comment:
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lost In The Hills @ Aug 10 2006, 03:03 PM) [snapback]301025[/snapback]</div>
    Maybe the thing to consider is not the state of the car or driver :rolleyes: rather the tanks, that is:
    tank 1 - what could the dealer have done or not done to make the first tank a dismal mpg? Lost in the Hills, how was the car delivered to you, were the readings in the 29 mpg range the entire, say, first drive home? First week of driving?
    tank 2 - the body shop had the car in the middle of tank 2, thereabouts. Was the tank in the 29's, say, the day before the body shop? I can think of many things that could have caused the 29's after the body shop.
    tank 3 - Current tank.

    This may be slightly off but if so only by what happened between my fictional tank 1 and 2, eh?

    My point is that this is the only tank you Lost in the Hills had significant control over!!!
     
  2. ekpolk

    ekpolk What could possibly...

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    After reading your later post, Chogan's, and the others, I'm more inclined to suspect sensor or computer issues. This much excess gas wouldn't just be disappearing without some signs of its improper departure. Smells, abnormal exhaust, driveability issues, MIL or other warnings, something. I mean, if it really is going, it's not just vanishing into another dimension -- it's going somewhere, and this much shouldn't be going without being noticed somehow. Unless it's not really going at all (i.e. your car actually is using the proper amount of gas), but you're receiving a spurious indications of excess fuel consumption.
     
  3. grasshopper

    grasshopper Member

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    OK, I’ve got it. You have a neighbor or acquaintance that is pizzed off at you and is siphoning off your gas in the middle of the night because his tank gets 23 MPG and he secretly hates Pries owners.

    Just be careful because the next thing is, that he'll be adding back the fuel that he has previously removed, filling your tank in the middle of the night. This just keeps going on and on, empting and filling until you have pizzed off your dealer to the point where he no longer will let you on his lot. All of the time you are insisting that he replace your lemon. Your wife is insisting on a divorce and the kids have developed a mussel twitch in there faces.

    Meanwhile the culprit is down at the local pub with all his buddies having the greatest laugh in the world. :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  4. notjonathan

    notjonathan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(berylrb @ Aug 10 2006, 02:18 PM) [snapback]301085[/snapback]</div>
    Wise thinking, Berylrb. And ekpolk...and everyone. I too, have been trying to reconstruct the fueling history. Your guesses were pretty much accurate--I think there was just the one fill-up between delivery and body work--which I did specifically to see the effect of a refueling automatically resetting the calculation function.

    (Of course, when the car went in for body work, I tossed all the loose stuff in a box and took it home--including my refueling and mileage notes--and while it's around here somewhere, I'm not sure where.)

    Here's the history as I best remember it:

    The car was delivered by the dealer to my house. Because their flatbed truck was busy, I told the dealer that it would be fine for her to drive it here--a distance of 20 miles or so. I think I noticed that the tank was pretty full, but hadn't really paid much attention to that. I don't know if it was ever completely full or not.

    So when I began to fret about the mileage, I waited until the tank was, I think, about 1/3 or 1/2 down and refilled it. I had checked to see how much gas triggers the automatic reset (I forget the amount offhand--something like 2 gallons), and I had figured that this refill would reset the calculations. I first reported the problem to Toyota somewhere around the time of that reueling.

    The accident came after that. (I don't mean to be mysterious. It was a fire department rescue truck, driving up behind me on the "wrong" side of the street as I was turning left; witnesses tell me that they heard the siren go on only at the last second as it hit me.) While the accident--which damaged the left front fender, wheel, and related suspension & linkage stuff--did not affect anything involving the fuel system, it is the practice of the body shop to test drive repairs like this for 20 miles. A total of 30 miles were put on; some of that may have been by the Toyota service department, which handled the more Prius-specialized parts of the repair. In any case, I couldn't really judge performance from that tank, since I don't know how it was driven, etc. And of course the computer was reset at the time.

    Since picking up the repaired car, I waited for it to be nearly empty (down to one block) and refilled it completely. (And the mpg calculation display did reset to zero at that time.) That was 70 miles ago.

    As for the type of gas, it's been conventional, regular-grade (87, right?), from Shell & Mobil, I'm pretty sure.

    The one other point worth tossing in is that the 23.2 figure does seem commensurate with the 5-minute-interval measurements. And I don't think it's inconsistent with the instantaneous readings, but that's a little harder to tell, since on every Prius that graph bar looks like the mad solo of jazz trombonist on PCP.

    (Seriously--that instantaneous bar does seem to be doing what it should--it's not going haywire.)

    Incidentally, for any of you who get accused of being some sort of smug leftists for driving Priuses, you should know that Toyota Prius is an anagram for you patriots. So there.

    Of course, it's also an anagram for utopia story and pious rat toy.

    And soap your tit.

    (That last is an anagram too; not a suggestion.)
     
  5. joelparks

    joelparks New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Aug 10 2006, 09:38 AM) [snapback]300759[/snapback]</div>
    Whoops.

    Sorry you guys and gals. I must not have gotten enough sleep last night, I should know better than that.

    Apparently I misunderstood what I read in the manual, and since I never wanted to do what I thought I understood, I never tested it. Since I trust you all I am fessing up to my foolishness without going out and proving to myself you're right. Maybe later.

    Anyway, I can't wait to hear what's really wrong (or perceived wrong?)
     
  6. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Well, I suggest filling the tank, resetting the consumption screen and setting B trip to 00. Raising the tire pressure to 42/40. Then driving for two hours on any freeway at 65 mph. Screen should show in the mid to upper 40s at least.

    If the screen still says you're getting 23 mpg then it goes to the service department.

    BTW....it is set for miles and not kilometers or something else?
     
  7. notjonathan

    notjonathan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(grasshopper @ Aug 10 2006, 03:26 PM) [snapback]301119[/snapback]</div>
    Darn it--I'll bet that's the same neighbor who shaved 1/32 of an inch off the legs of my desk every day for six months. Convinced me I was growing taller, until I noticed the sawdust.
     
  8. berylrb

    berylrb Member

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    Thanks for the fast response Lost in the Hills!

    Of course, this next fill up will be the true benchmark for it is post-dealer and post-accdent. BTW, How are you doing presently, or do you have way too many 5 minute or less trips on this present tank. I assume that the 23.2 was pre-accident fill-ups not current, correct?

    I don't mean to let Toyota off the hook prematurely, but between the flat bed and the body shop my gut says your mileage is the result of factors beyond your (or the Prius') control.

    On the other hand: We live in an 'urban ghetto' or oasis depending how you look at it of SF: dentist, optometrist, produce, butcher "Bulls Head", hardware, banking, Starbucks, Borders, FINE restaurants, you name it all down the hill in West Portal. We really have no reason to go to the 'warehouse' stores or chain restaurants 5-10 miles away. Downside, WP is a mere 1.3 mile drive, albeit downhill, but still within the 25 mpg 5 minute warmup. Uphill back home, sure, but consider a cold engine on a 1.3 mile uphill, mpg sucks! Bump this scenario up to a 5 mile one way and you're not going to do much better (e.g our current 38ish).

    My point is if WP was all that we did, a typical retirement weekday, you know a little coffee, fresh fruit and meat for dinner, mileage would be 23.2 I'm sure!
     
  9. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    i hope you're not accelerating ridiculously slowly to try to recover some mpg's... my technique is to accelerate briskly (aka, not jackrabbit but not grandma-style either) and get to speed, then let off the gas pedal and let the car switch over to electric power. give that a try and see if it changes anything.

    i suggest taking a nice long drive, like others have suggested. if you take a road with a posted limit of ~40 mph you can practice getting the car into electric power only or better yet, gliding with no arrows on the energy screen.
     
  10. berylrb

    berylrb Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(galaxee @ Aug 10 2006, 06:19 PM) [snapback]301162[/snapback]</div>
    I'm on vacation this month, thus my motormouth posting, LOL. I tried what you suggested today and WooHoo, what a kick. Just a little encouragement for ya Lost in the Hills:
    •USF to Ocean Beach (Great Hwy) via Fulton 3.1 miles rolling downhill with lots of flats a first five minute segment of 50+ mpg.
    •Great Hwy to Sloat (SF Zoo), 2.5 miles of flat with timed lights next 5 minute segment 75+ mpg mostly stealth/gliding (?).
    •Sloat back home 3.7 miles of mostly rolling uphills with one mile very steep (sea level to 600+- feet elevation) maybe 30 mpg last 5 minute segment

    The trip was a little shy of 20 minutes, my normal route below a little over 10 minutes.
     
  11. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lost In The Hills @ Aug 10 2006, 03:28 PM) [snapback]301123[/snapback]</div>
    Well, regardless of your car problem, you DEFINITELY fit in here on PriusChat!
    :lol:
     
  12. molgrips

    molgrips Member

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    There's definitely summat wrong with it!

    Take it back to the dealer...

    I've never had less than 48mpg (UK, that is 40mpg US) ever.. long motorway trip at 80mph.

    And don't worry about the tyre pressures. Since when would an extra 7 psi cause your mileage to double?
     
  13. THoover392

    THoover392 New Member

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    How about bad gas from the gas station? I got really bad mileage/performance from a bad fill up in my old car.

    OG
     
  14. ekpolk

    ekpolk What could possibly...

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    Lost:

    I’m guessing you’ve got Anagram Genius installed too??? ;) I culled out the following additional “Toyota Prius†gems as well:

    So try Utopia.

    It’s a sporty out.

    You as to trip (odd but suggestive).

    Pay out riots.

    Pious toy art.

    It or autopsy (hey, gas prices are getting ridiculous, but I wouldn’t go this far…)
     
  15. notjonathan

    notjonathan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ekpolk @ Aug 11 2006, 09:17 AM) [snapback]301515[/snapback]</div>
    Of course!

    And if you want some more time-wasting fun, try running Toyota Prius Hybrid through it (with the program set on "stun", or whatever they call it). Just at a quick glance, I'm getting:

    Boys dirty up hot air.

    You horrid, tipsy bat.

    Sip to your birthday.
    (Which is a nice toast, really.)

    Dirty bishop: you rat!

    ...and a few thousand phrases way too offensive for mixed company. Of course as always, most of the phrases almost make sense, or they make sense but don't really satirize the subject. (For me, the challenge is usually in culling just one or two really tasty anagrams. The ones above are mere curiosities. But I've printed out the giant master list, and if I find any really apt anagrams, I'll let you all know.)

    Meanwhile... thank you all for continuing the thoughtful discussion. To berylrb: I think my driving at the moment is pretty much like yours, but with a few of those slightly longer trips to Costco, etc. So I think that even accounting for other differences, I really ought to expect somthing closer to your mileage.

    To galaxee: I accelerate the same way you do. A little briskly (as Toyota suggests) but not jackrabbity, etc.

    To OtterGuy: It's possible that I have bad gas, but not in my car.

    (At least, it's all from the same couple of major-brand stations I've used for a long time, including recently with the rentals I had during the body work, and I haven't had any other trouble with it.)

    So...I called my service guy (whom I like, and who has a good reputation) at the Toyota dealer to ask if there's anything he'd like me to monitor before I bring it in. He said not really--that even doing manual checks of the mileage wouldn't really help that much, on account of the broad variations in fill level caused by the bladder. He said certainly bring it in--but he also said that honestly he couldn't think of much for them to do beyond scanning the system and also checking for any apparent mechanical issue. (Not that he didn't want to try--more that it's not a situation that's come up before so there's not much protocol for solving it.) He also felt he ought to tell me that he'd just lost his Prius specialist--but that he did have two other Prius teams there. I'm not exactly sure what that meant, but I'll ask him about it when I go in.

    So it still looks like the next steps will be (in whatever order is convenient) to do the manual mileage check anyway (it will at least tell me if I'm way off the curve); to have Toyota do whatever diagnosis they can (in hopes that maybe they'll turn up some computer or sensor issue or whatever); and (the most interesting, to me) to try to do that car-trading thing to see if other Prius drivers get similar results in my car, and/or if I get similar results in their car.

    Then if there are no answers, I'll get back in touch with Toyota HQ in Torrance and heat up their interest in the case some more.

    I still feel like if everything is really normal with the car, someone else should have had some experience at least approaching mine. So if anyone has had--or has heard of--anything similar..... I'm all ears.

    (And isn't that a creepy image.)
     
  16. chogan

    chogan New Member

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    I have a hard time giving up on problems like this, so here are two more thoughts.

    As I understand it, the ICE does not appear to be running grossly incorrectly. There's no obvious sign of mechanical drag. Yet roughly half the energy of your gas is being dissipated into something other than mileage.

    My first thought is that the engine is stuck in an inefficient mode of operation, but one that is allowed.

    Read here for the initial, inefficient stages of engine operation upon startup.
    http://priuschat.com/forums/kb.php?k=14&mode=article

    The engine temp sensor is what triggers the system to leave those inefficient modes. On any modern car, if the sensor outright fails, you get an error code. I wonder if it has failed so artfully as to convince the car that it's always running a cold engine? On an old-fashioned car (somebody here used the term Priustoric), this would be the equivalent of running with a stuck choke - the car would run, but consume a lot of gas.

    Not to be too pessimistic, but I had a bad temp sensor in a Subaru that took several trips to the mechanic to fix, as it was an intermittent problem. I had to convince the mechanic that this was the problem, as "the computer" showed no error codes. Finally caught it just right and that solved the problem.

    My point is that there is at least one a pre-programmed (ie., allowable, normal operation) run state where the engine runs inefficiently. Maybe there are more. But if you got stuck that state due to a faulty temp sensor, you'd get low mileage. Doesn't seem to square with the engine shutting off properly when gliding, though. Per the description above, the engine will shut off at stop and will delay at start, even in the "cold engine" modes of operation. Will the Prius send up a check engine light if you stay in "cold" mode too long? No idea.

    My second thought is a question to the real Prius gurus: is there any system in the Prius designed to dissipate a large amount of excess electrical energy without damage? One that could absorb that much energy and convert it to waste heat without triggering a warning flag? This thread suggests no, there isnt, because the Prius shuts of regen braking when the battery is full:

    http://priuschat.com/lofiversion/index.php/t22224.html

    At this point I give up and wish you good luck.
     
  17. notjonathan

    notjonathan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(chogan @ Aug 12 2006, 08:54 AM) [snapback]302125[/snapback]</div>
    Interesting thoughts, Chogan. I'll print them and take them along when I go for service. (I'll take the whole thread, in fact.)

    I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has had similar mileage to mine--in the low 20's, or even consistently below 30 mpg. Even if you don't have any explanation for it. Maybe we can identify--or rule out--some similarity in our driving.

    I went out to dinner last night--a trip of about 15-20 minutes through Hollywood but late enough that there was pretty light traffic. I noticed that the average for the first three 5-minute bars on the graph looked like around 39-40 mpg, on the way to the restaurant. The numerical read-out crept up from 23.1 or 23.2 (I forget which) to 23.5, and is still there now. (For what it's worth, the trip home was split into two segments of maybe 7-10 minutes, by a brief supermarket stop.)

    So I'm figuring that that's consistent with the longer averaging that goes into the grand total. (And I think I'm up to around 80-90 miles driven since the last fill-up and reset.) And I have the feeling that the 23-and-change total still seems pretty consistent with how the 5-minute graph bars usually look. (But I haven't really tracked that too closely.)

    I probably can't go to the dealer for another week or two (i'm still on deadline), so until then I'm trying to think of any loose ends. Maybe I'm overestimating my trips. I mean, I know they're mostly short lately, but maybe they're incredibly short. Or at least in short segments. Like 8-10 minutes to the market, 5 minutes to Target, 5 minutes to Trader Joe's (it is a Prius, after all) and then 12-15 minutes back home.

    Have any of you had travel habits like this for any stretch of time?

    And what's with all the slightly crooked front license-plate brackets?
     
  18. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lost In The Hills @ Aug 12 2006, 03:31 PM) [snapback]302278[/snapback]</div>
    Inept service technicians who PDI'd your car at the dealer. There are "cross marks" guiding where to drill the holes on the bumper - I'm guessing they "missed".
     
  19. notjonathan

    notjonathan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(htmlspinnr @ Aug 12 2006, 03:55 PM) [snapback]302295[/snapback]</div>
    Yeah--the body shop owner told me that this happens constantly with the plastic bumpers.
     
  20. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lost In The Hills @ Aug 12 2006, 05:31 PM) [snapback]302278[/snapback]</div>

    yes, but I've never gotten in the 20s in mileage, ever.

    I have no idea bout the license-plate brackets.

    I still say you need to take it on a long run. Fill it up. Drive it for a few hours. Then check the fuel consumption.
     
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