Yes I've read the "why don't I get EPA mileage" many times...mileage still stinks

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by DollyWest, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. DollyWest

    DollyWest New Member

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    We have a 2007 Prius which we bought new.

    From the beginning we got -- maybe -- 40 mpg. Sometimes a little more (42), sometimes a little less (35-38 in the heat of summer). We immediately wanted to know, What's up with that? But we were told all sorts of things. Oh it must be a break in period. (Month after month after year after year) Oh check your tire pressure. (Fine.) Oh you must be taking short trips. (No.) Oh you're not driving correctly / using the correct type of oil / blasting your heat or A/C. (No, no and no.) Oh you must be driving a team of sumo wrestlers everywhere you go. (No, usually just me, or me and a kid, and we don't tote a lot of stuff. A purse? A school backpack?)

    No matter what we did, though, it was still 40-ish. I have a 40-minute easy commute in California in completely flat terrain and tried every trick in the book, believe me. Finally I figured: "I got a dud." Dealership wasn't hearing that. And no one on any forum has been willing to acknowledge that. It's always supposedly something about me or the way I drive it -- but nothing changed the mileage.

    I was irritated, but 40 mph is not _horrible_ so I came to terms with it (and vowed not to buy another hybrid, by the way).

    Now I notice on the last two tanks of gas -- same commute, some conditions, same driving -- it's getting 30 mph. Our 15-year-old Corolla gets better mileage than this thing.

    I wish Toyota would have acknowledged, years ago, that they sold us a dud of a hybrid and replaced it with one that got something close to the stated mileage. It would not have had to be new -- a used Prius with equivalent miles, that actually worked as advertised, would have been fine. We're very easy to please. We just resent buying a car that doesn't work the way everyone else's seems to.

    Is there seriously no one out there like me, who's followed all the tricks and still gotten crap mileage? I came to terms with the 40 mpg, but now I'm pretty ticked off to be getting 30 mph -- less than our ancient non-hybrid Corolla. We take good care of our cars too, which is why we keep them so long.

    There have got to be some other drivers like me. And if there aren't, I guess that just reinforces the point that I got a major dud and Toyota really should have made it right.
     
  2. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    If you have records of all the tanks of gas and the mileage results and all the conversations with all the dealer service folk then I'd write a nice letter to Toyota and see what happens. It is a little late.

    Obviously, hundreds of thousands have had a better experience than you have.

    There are so many variables when it comes to mileage.

    I get within .5% of EPA mileage without any special driving tricks and in the 40s as you can see but it is a v wagon and that is to be expected. My son gets well over 50 on a hatchback with around 100k miles.

    .
     
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  3. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    You wouldn't happen to know someone else who owns a Gen2 Prius, would you? If you could reset your average MPG, take it for a long drive, then do the same with an identical car, you could for sure tell if its you or the car. I just can't think of anything that would be wrong with the car that wouldn't have made itself known over 8 years, but the recent drop points more towards it being an issue with the car.

    If you look at Fuelly, 40MPG isn't great for a Prius, but there are plenty of people who get that or worse. 2007 Toyota Prius Mileage
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on her? sounds like you got a bad flux capacitor.
     
  5. DollyWest

    DollyWest New Member

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    Thanks, Mike -- yes there are definitely a lot of variables. I wish I had been pushier with the Toyota dealer way back when. They had me halfway convinced it was a combination of "me expecting too much" and "me not driving the car right" although I kept doing everything they said. I not-very-happily came to terms with 40. After all, I'm as busy as anyone else -- I didn't have the emotional energy to put into a huge dispute when they didn't seem to want to budge. But now with the 30 (it was actually slightly less than 30) I'm regretting my choice not to fight it years ago. Ugh. It's only got 109,000 miles and we keep our cars forever.
     
  6. DollyWest

    DollyWest New Member

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    Thanks, vskid3, that's an interesting distribution curve. I'm way over at the left edge, the 24 fuel-ups that got 29 mpg. I can add 2 more fuelups to that "worst case scenario"!
     
  7. DollyWest

    DollyWest New Member

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    Flux capacitator? Hm! Maybe something's wrong with the matter-antimatter generator! ;)
     
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  8. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    You keep explaining that you are doing everything correctly and that the car must be at fault, but have yet to detail exactly how you are driving the car.

    The Prius is a totally different kind of car that needs to be driven in a different manner. Yes, you can drive it like a normal car, but you will get results that are only a little better than a normal car.

    The majority of Prius drivers here drive slowly, accelerate slowly and coast/pulse and glide. On the freeway, hypermilers will drive slower than other cars, or at most at the speed limit.

    Exactly how are you driving the car? How are the maintenance items on the car? What kind of tires are on the car? We need more specifics.
     
  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    This is not true.
    We drove it fairly normally and got the EPA rating in our 2007&2008 Prii. Dealing with winters we got in the low 40s during the winter months, but our year average was right around 48mpg.

    Of course, we didn't drive at the breakneck speeds seen regularly out in CA, but normal speeds in this part of the country.

    To the OP, sorry about the frustration. I understand if you want to vent and sympathize.
    If you would like some constructive advice (you very well may not as it sounds like you have had years of it;)), more specifics would help.
    For example, do you do lots of highway driving? Average speeds? Etc.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    hmmm, that sounds pretty much like coocoocachoo's post.:cool:
     
  11. Fishcrab

    Fishcrab Member

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    I'm not a regular "Pri driver, I drive like a normal person in any non hybrid car.
    My gas mileage in on up there, close to EPA rating. I think OP has something going on more than his driving habits.
    Like Bisco said, it might be something like the Flux Capacitor .
     
  12. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Perhaps if you consider the crazy driving in CA "normal" then yes, you have to drive abnormally.
    For me, there was no change, I didn't need to drive any differently to get EPA numbers than I had previously driven.

    This may be a better way of looking at it. If your previous driving got you the EPA mileage in your previous car, you don't need to make any changes when driving a Prius.
    If you didn't get EPA mileage, you will need to change driving habits to get EPA mileage, regardless of driving a Prius or some other car.

    To the OP though, it sounds like there may be additional issues.
     
  13. DollyWest

    DollyWest New Member

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    Thanks, everyone. Zythryn, there's really not much to tell. It's a mix of highway and non-highway miles, typical speeds, in a non-congested part of California, on very flat terrain. During hot summers when I run the AC, mileage is a little lower. We have very mild winters so mileage is a bit better then.

    While I know weather makes a little difference, and I know driving a certain way makes a little difference, (and tire pressure etc.) enough people say "Hey, there's really not much to it -- you just drive the car, and you get close to the stated mileage" for me to know that getting 30 mph is not related to the way I'm driving the car. I've never had this issue with a car before. I always get more or less the expected mileage.

    Partly I'm just complaining, but partly, the drop to 30 mph after all this time is puzzling, and there's got to be something going on. I don't know when it occurred or how (whether it was sudden or gradual). Years ago, when I accepted that "Hey this crummy car only gets 40 mph -- on a good day" I pretty much stopped paying attention to the mileage, until this summer, when I noticed "Wow, I'm filling up the tank a lot, has the mileage dropped even more?" And I discovered on the last two tanks it's now 29-30. That has to indicate something wrong with the car? I was hoping someone had a similar issue and could say "I did such-and-such and got good mileage again."

    As I said, we keep our cars a long time, and I've never noticed (1) not getting close to the stated mileage to start with and (2) seeing a significant drop in mileage after having a car for a long time.
     
  14. HGS

    HGS Member

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    I see people writing about the accessory battery causing low mileage if it needs replacing. The ICE needs to run more often to charge the batteries because it will not hold a charge.

    When was the last time the small 12 volt battery was replaced, if ever?
     
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  15. Fishcrab

    Fishcrab Member

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    Maybe I missed it, how many miles are on your car?
    With your problem, what have you had addressed( as far as having a dealer or garage look at it) toward resolving the problem ?
     
  16. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    Dolly - It's unfortunate that you've been frustrated with it for so long.

    We've only had our 2006 for a couple of months; our 43 average over 4,000 miles is due to multiple steady drives on the high desert to Ridgecrest, Bullhead City, California City, etc. that averaged around 50 or it would be in the high 30s. If you're anywhere close to Rancho Cucamonga I'd be willing to try to connect on a weekend and we could drive the cars somewhere on the same route under the same conditions and compare to provide you more evidence and witnesses. Of course my wife would be with me to protect from any appearance of impropriety; I could even bring my daughters along; you could bring your family and we could make it a family outing to someplace fun.

    You don't mention the conditions of your commute, just that it's easy. I wonder if it mimics some of the things we've noticed that affect our mileage negatively. The car is very sensitive and it doesn't take much to affect the mileage either direction.

    In the 100k miles you've had it have you had any extended drives on the open highway that averaged around 50 mpg or better or does it still stay in the low to mid 40s on those drives, too?

    I'm not a mechanic and what I know about cars might fill a thimble but we're willing to help if we can.
     
  17. HGS

    HGS Member

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    Is this one of those trolls? Has had a Prius for years with problem mileage, but only finds PC yesterday?
     
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  18. Fishcrab

    Fishcrab Member

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    Good point HGS, OP REALLY HAS NOT BEEN TOO SPECIFIC ABOUT ANYTHING.

    Plus he made some joke about Star Trek, when Bisco suggested something.
    Could very well be a Punk Troll....
     
    #18 Fishcrab, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  19. Bill the Engineer

    Bill the Engineer Senior Member

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    Can't drive like an Italian cabbie and still get mileage like a Scottsman.

    Bill the Engineer
     
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  20. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I've only driven a few highways and freeways in CA.
    From what I have seen, "typical" in CA is 75-80.
    "Typical" in my region is "60-70".

    That can make a significant difference. Others that report typical driving gets them EPA numbers may be in a similar situation.

    However, the 30mpg is way out of whack. I'd second the suggestion to check the 12V battery.
    Question for others, could overfilling the oil have this affect as well? Or did that cause some other issue?
     
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