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Prius Owners - question for you about sudden mpg drop

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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:16 PM
Original message
Prius Owners - question for you about sudden mpg drop
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 04:16 PM by diva77
What if a Prius is getting 38-42mpg and then suddenly drops to getting 33mpg or less - tire pressure is ok

Any guess as to the cause of the sudden drop?
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. look for a Hummer with some sort of bumper/towing attachment
in your rearview mirror.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. how you drive it
I've got an older one and my mileage can easily drop down to low 30's if I drive aggressively.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. that has been ruled out as well; but thanks for input
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Am not a Prius owner, but found an interesting forum for you to read
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. thanks for this! bookmarked and ready to read regularly from now on!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'm a member there
Though I rarely post. I think I even have DU in my profile. It's a great site for Prius info. That's where I found out about the hybrid credit from a couple years ago. I held off buying a prius for 5 months. I ended up getting a 2006 in January of 2006. I got a $3150 credit which was amazing!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. It could be your driving, or features.
Have you been running the AC non stop? The AC drains the battery. Eventually, the engine will run to replenish the battery because the AC is draining the battery.

Also, driving habits are big. Has the weather been bad a lot? This might force you to use the gas more. Have you been driving in heavy stop and go traffic? This is a nightmare for the Prius.

Those are some ideas off the top of my head.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. aha, could be the a/c -- it was overused last week for sure...hopefully it's a
reversible situation...thanks
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I try to watch that in the heat (or cold)
If I run the AC while the car is stopped or in heavy traffic, the gas engine turns on. I try to turn off the AC if I can.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. my AC is pretty much always on
and I average 42 - 45/tank
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Bill219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. To be honest with you
I have no clue. We average between 52 and 54 Mpg and have never had that problem

If it was tire pressure, your tire pressure warning light would come on.

I had that happen last year, took it to the dealer ship they checked the tires to make sure it wasn't anything serious, reset the light and sent me on my way
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. They have tire pressure sensors now?

Must be a new option - wasn't even offered when we bought ours. :shrug:

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. It might be in your car.
I don't think mine have ever come on. What year is your Prius? I think it changed in 2005.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. I'm pretty sure they're now a legal requirement
neat technology but kinda scary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_pressure_monitoring_s...

They have unique id's and theoretically could be used to do all sorts of nasty stuff... like call the police when you go by.. or set off a bomb... or anything else you can think of provided you can get a sensor close enough to read the thing.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Make sure you're using "D" instead of "B"
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 04:37 PM by bananas
"B" uses engine braking instead of regenerative braking.



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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
16. do you have a standard brand of fuel you use?
a couple years back I took my car into the dealer after I'd gotten mid 30's on a couple of long trips.
The suggestion was to pick one of the big gas stations and only get gas there.
The next few tanks I only used :scared: Chevron and my mileage climbed back into the 40's.

:shrug:
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. That's a surprisingly important point nowadays
A lot of gas stations are starting to stock E10 (10% ethanol) without clearly labeling it as such. Look for a small yellow "E10" sticker on the pump somewhere.

Running E10 can shave 5-10% off of your gas mileage when compared to having no ethanol blended in.


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fedupinBushcountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
17. Probably your AC
Mine will drop to around 38-42 when I have my AC on. I regularly get 50+ mpg.
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. In a Prius?

A 10+ mpg drop? :wow: I've only found a 1-2 mpg drop at MOST from using AC in our Prius!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. It depends on traffic.
If you are stuck in traffic or lots of red lights, the battery will drain quickly.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. I'm gonna have to try no AC for a while /nt
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. It's only really an issue when you are stopped
And if the battery is drained.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
20. How old are the Batteries?
As the batteries age, they tend to hold less and less electrical power, which leads to increase needs for the batteries to be charged, causing decrease mileage. If that is the case, all you can do is replace the batteries.
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FREEWILL56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. If you are refering to the 120 D sized nicd batteries that make up the battery pack
that is an expensive item.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Batteries do lose their ability to hold power over time.
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 10:01 PM by happyslug
From what I have read the batteries last about 3-4 years, at which point the batteries do NOT hold as much electrical power as when new. Toyota set up the Prius for a new set of Batteries after three years, but if this is the second set the owner may be trouble.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Huh? Never heard that before, and the hybrid system is warranteed for
eight years. Mine's 4 years old, and I still get the same mileage or better from it. From what I hear from my buddy the Prius tech, traction battery pack replacements are very few and far between, like maybe the fingers of one hand kind of numbers. The 12V battery, on the other hand, is like a normal car battery and those will need replacement every few years.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Deterioration is known for ALL Batteries.
It was (and continues to be) a major Concern when it come to Hybrids. It was the reason for the Four year Warranty, Toyota did not believe it could sell the prius without such a warranty given the deterioration rate of batteries. Thus a concern.

I only wrote of it as a potential cause of the decline in the poster's Prius, probably NOT a common problem until the car is while out of Warranty (And to my knowledge none of the Priuses are OUT of Warranty yet). While the prius has been imported into the US since 2001, the present version, the version the vast majority of people purchased and used, have only been on the market since 2004. Thus the present version being sold i only four years old, within the age range of batteries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius



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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
21. My question is why only 38?
The Prius owners I know typically get high 40's to low 50's.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I'd like to know that myself. I use Chevron 87 gas, I watch the
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 06:09 PM by diva77
consumption meter while I'm driving so that I use the least gas poss. I feel like I can't get a straight answer from Toyota 'cuz that's the only place certified to service the car -- they have me by the cojones

I'm hoping that if I drained the battery with my a/c last week, that the battery will recover with a few more miles of driving so that I can at least get the substandard Prius mileage I was getting.



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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. I've gotten mileage that low, but usually only doing something like
repeated short trips so you are always only running about 5 minutes on a cold engine, then sitting for an hour or two.
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mahina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-30-08 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
39. I get 38-40 in town, short trips, and 50-55 on the long drives.
We moved into town and from the valley to work, 10 minute drives, our mileage dropped off. But it does for other vehicles used for short trips too, we just don't have a computer monitoring mileage.

My good friend has the same year Prius as I and gets 60-65- she drives farther, and on flat terrain. Same island, same gas, same maintenance, different routes.

Oh and we have flippin ethanol in all the gas here. grrr.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. I'm usually in the 30's too
Edited on Fri Jun-27-08 01:36 PM by Bleachers7
Lot's of stop and go driving on LI. I usually get around 45MPG on steady HW driving.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. I would be suspicious of a battery pack with some weak cells
if this loss in mileage happened in a relatively short time. batteries do go bad even the ones in a Prius can.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
27. Is yours a 1st gen Prius? That mileage seems low to me.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
31. I've seen drops from using Air-Con & deflated tires. Here is a good resource my husband found:
Edited on Fri Jun-27-08 12:38 PM by mod mom
http://www.hybridcars.com/gas-saving-tips/maximizing-mi...

Also note: refueling should be in the coolest part of the day and VERY slowly inputting the gas.

I usually get in the high 40's around town and and just over 50 on long trips.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-28-08 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
35. I rarely break 40 MPG average/fillup, after 106 fill ups and 30,000 miles
In a 2007 touring model. I keep a spreadsheet and have only gotten better than 40 on a couple occasions. Got 51 once but was probably a math error.

I usually drive anyway I want, meaning 80-85 on I-5 and other major freeways or in the country, so I'm not expecting 40s and 50s.

However, I've tried hypermiling and it's not much better.

I believe that some just get better mileage than others. Period. I don't know why but it seems that older ones do better.

I just got new tires and am going to try higher pressures just for kicks, after reading this:

Drivers getting the highest mileage recommend using the recommended maximum tire pressure on the sidewallsnot the psi supplied by the automaker on the doorframe.

http://www.hybridcars.com/gas-saving-tips/maximizing-mi...

The door plate says 35 psi, tires say 51 psi, I'm going to try 45 psi and see if there's a noticeable difference.
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Clovis Sangrail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-28-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. should make a huge difference
I have a 1st gen and when I got it the tires were at the factory recommended 32psi.
The tires are rated to I think 46(?) so I put them at 40/42 and my mileage instantly and dramatically improved.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-29-08 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. So far, that's done the trick, big difference of from 4 to 8 mpg...
Hard to say until I've driven more, but I did some 4 mile flat road runs yesterday at different speeds, got 64.5 at a constant 45 mph and about 52 on a mixed driving 12 miles.

Car sticker says 35psi, tires say 51 max, I inflated to 45.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-30-08 01:52 AM
Response to Original message
38. am happy to report that after driving about 150 mi this weekend
the mpg seems to be back to the normal range for this vehicle - I used the a/c very judiciously and did the pulse-pump granny driving -- so I think it was extreme overuse of a/c while the car sat idling that knocked it out for a few days

thanks to everyone for their input

diva
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