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Old 11-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'd take that with a grain of salt.

Many Prius buyers bought it as a symbol of "green-ness" or to make a statement, or whatever. That's fine, but I'd bet their assessment of the car is not as objective as many owners of more conventional cars. Are they in love with the car because it is so great, or do they think it is so great because they fell in love with the car? (snip)

Hey, it may be a great car regardless, I'd just throw some added skepticism on owner reports because of that.

-ERD50
Doesn't that apply equally to many other cars? The person who buys an expensive luxury car to display their affluence or the person who buys a Hummer or a hot sportscar to display their--whatever--are also probably influenced in their assessment of their car by these non-objective reasons behind their selection. But the repair record doesn't lie and apparently the Prius has a good one. I know mine has only been in the shop twice in the two-plus years I've had it, and that was for scheduled oil changes.

However, to leaven my on the whole glowing evaluation of the car I will add that:
(1) it has lousy rear visibility due to the slanting roofline and divided rear window

(2) bodywork on the car may be very expensive. I sideswiped a parked truck while backing into my driveway and put a rather minor dent in the side of mine (see #1 above) and the repair was estimated at $1500. I don't know how that compares to bodywork on other cars nowadays. I do know that 12 years ago I had my old Tercel completely refurbished and repainted—made just about like new from 17 years of "slings and arrows" plus major damage from being hit while parked by a drunk driver—for less than 3x the cost of repairing this single dent in my Prius.

(3) If I knew then what I know now I would want to have cruise control. I often look down and find myself going nearly 70 or even faster without really noticing or intending to go that fast. The car really steps along! But that is not optimal for gas mileage or for keeping my car insurance rates low. One of these days the Washington State Patrol is going to catch me at it and then bye-bye good driver discount. When I bought the car I don't think you could get cruise control by itself. The options were not offered separately but in "packages". In 2006 the least expensive package was the side airbags only, which is the one I chose, but I think after that the side airbags became standard and then, to get one option you wanted, you probably had to take, and pay extra for, several additional options that you might not want, in order to get it. But this is only the second car I've bought in my life. They may all have the options in these "packages" and not allow you to chose just the ones you really want or need. So that may not be a specific Prius gripe but just how cars are sold nowadays.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:33 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
Doesn't that apply equally to many other cars? The person who buys an expensive luxury car to display their affluence or the person who buys a Hummer or a hot sportscar to display their--whatever--are also probably influenced in their assessment of their car by these non-objective reasons behind their selection. But the repair record doesn't lie and apparently the Prius has a good one. I know mine has only been in the shop twice in the two-plus years I've had it, and that was for scheduled oil changes.

However, to leaven my on the whole glowing evaluation of the car I will add that:
(1) it has lousy rear visibility due to the slanting roofline and divided rear window

(2) bodywork on the car may be very expensive. I sideswiped a parked truck while backing into my driveway and put a rather minor dent in the side of mine (see #1 above) and the repair was estimated at $1500. I don't know how that compares to bodywork on other cars nowadays. I do know that 12 years ago I had my old Tercel completely refurbished and repainted—made just about like new from 17 years of "slings and arrows" plus major damage from being hit while parked by a drunk driver—for less than 3x the cost of repairing this single dent in my Prius.

(3) If I knew then what I know now I would want to have cruise control. I often look down and find myself going nearly 70 or even faster without really noticing or intending to go that fast. The car really steps along! But that is not optimal for gas mileage or for keeping my car insurance rates low. One of these days the Washington State Patrol is going to catch me at it and then bye-bye good driver discount. When I bought the car I don't think you could get cruise control by itself. The options were not offered separately but in "packages". In 2006 the least expensive package was the side airbags only, which is the one I chose, but I think after that the side airbags became standard and then, to get one option you wanted, you probably had to take, and pay extra for, several additional options that you might not want, in order to get it. But this is only the second car I've bought in my life. They may all have the options in these "packages" and not allow you to chose just the ones you really want or need. So that may not be a specific Prius gripe but just how cars are sold nowadays.
When we got our car there were option packages basic and then ,3,4,5, I think it would have cost more to buy the basic and add things it was easier to just go with the package we wanted.


ERD50
We love our car we didn't get it to be in with anything or anyone we got tired of paying higher gas price's, apparently we were not the only ones either they fly out of the lots as soon as they get a new shipment in. There is a very long waiting line and they are having a hard time trying to fill the orders. Glad we got ours when we did.

We also have a Honda Accord V6 which we like but we use the Prius a lot more.


Kathyet
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:00 PM   #43
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When we got our car there were option packages basic and then ,3,4,5, I think it would have cost more to buy the basic and add things it was easier to just go with the package we wanted. (snip)

Kathyet
Easier, yeah, but not better IMO. It's like buying "mixed nuts". If you like peanuts, cashews, macadamias, etc then maybe mixed nuts are OK. If you only want the cashews, a good bit of what you're paying for is stuff you don't want anyway, and I don't think that's ever a good deal although sometimes there isn't any other way to get what you're after. I'd have been pretty steamed if I'd had to pay thousands extra for a "package" of (say) bluetooth, GPS, satellite radio, enhanced speakers and airbags, when all I really wanted was the airbags.

But fortuntely, I didn't!
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:38 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by RustyShackleford View Post
I've never heard a cogent explanation (but I bet you could give one ...)
of why these cars don't just run the wheels completely with electric
motors which are powered in turn by a fossil-fuel engine driving a
generator, much like a diesel-electric locomotive. And some batteries
to allow plug-in use. Seems a lot simpler.
I love a challenge, but I've already had that explained to me. John1701 and Hobbit at PriusChat.com have spent way too much of their lives reverse-engineering the car.

You could do a series drive. Mechanically simpler, although current battery technology doesn't support much of a plug-in range or battery lifecycle in a power density that fits the Prius. (50-100 miles, ~18-month replacements.) Despite a plug-in's cheap recharge, batteries just don't seem cost-effective in a consumer-friendly vehicle. But they're close.

But a parallel drive is more efficient. As another poster mentioned, the Prius runs the internal-combustion engine (ICE) in parallel with a motor generator (MG) on a common axis. The ICE does most of the work (which is more efficient without a plug-in) but the MG smooths out the power curve (charging or discharging the battery) and helps the engine with acceleration. (The MG also handles regenerative braking-- no brake shoes are applied unless you really stomp on the brake pedal or until you're below 7 mph.) The ICE operates when needed, most of the time at its most fuel-efficient RPM, and shuts off as soon as it's not needed. The MG fills in the acceleration/deceleration until the engine catches up. The result is a higher power density with no idling wasting gas.

I can't call it simpler. Depending on who's counting the car has over a dozen microprocessors running the accelerator, brakes, battery-charging circuits, MG/ICE, and even the air conditioning. But the design has eliminated a ton of mechanical linkages that were always breaking on our other cars, and the digital cruise control has zero analog-system lag. I'd have to check, but I'm not sure that the car even has an accelerator linkage/cable.

It's not perfect. It's overpriced due to demand, and resale values are ridiculously high. Dealers are generally smug and unsympathetic to customer concerns. The rear-window visibility is oxymoronic. The rear-seat headrests can block the driver's rear-fender blind spots, and they scared the heck out of me when I first checked my peripheral vision for a lane change. The front window needs a lot more tint for sunny weather. The windscreen cover has to be custom-ordered or cut from an oversized roll of reflective foil insulation. The oilpan is exposed to everything sticking up from the road. Tires have a reputation for wearing out more quickly. If you damage the touch-screen display then it's $500-$1000 and it's most inconvenient to attempt to operate the car without it. Lost/damaged keyfobs cost $125-$250 to replace. The antenna sits right where I want to put my longboard roof rack. The rear speakers are muffled by their rear-door panel location. The front speakers are practically in your face on the front door posts.

It's not protected against the silliest common mistakes-- if you accidentally switch the jumper-cable polarity then you'll fry the $5K DC/AC inverter. If you tow the car from behind (with the front wheels on the ground) then similar electrical/mechanical damage can occur. The smart-key system makes it too easy to walk away from a running car with the key in your pocket, especially if you've just switched drivers.

Although the car has a very good warranty at face value, Toyota seems to be very stingy about warranty work and quick to blame mechanics for errors.

But other than that, I'm happy!
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:46 PM   #45
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I love a challenge, but I've already had that explained to me. John1701 and Hobbit at PriusChat.com have spent way too much of their lives reverse-engineering the car.

You could do a series drive. Mechanically simpler, although current battery technology doesn't support much of a plug-in range or battery lifecycle in a power density that fits the Prius. (50-100 miles, ~18-month replacements.) Despite a plug-in's cheap recharge, batteries just don't seem cost-effective in a consumer-friendly vehicle. But they're close.

But a parallel drive is more efficient. As another poster mentioned, the Prius runs the internal-combustion engine (ICE) in parallel with a motor generator (MG) on a common axis. The ICE does most of the work (which is more efficient without a plug-in) but the MG smooths out the power curve (charging or discharging the battery) and helps the engine with acceleration. (The MG also handles regenerative braking-- no brake shoes are applied unless you really stomp on the brake pedal or until you're below 7 mph.) The ICE operates when needed, most of the time at its most fuel-efficient RPM, and shuts off as soon as it's not needed. The MG fills in the acceleration/deceleration until the engine catches up. The result is a higher power density with no idling wasting gas.

I can't call it simpler. Depending on who's counting the car has over a dozen microprocessors running the accelerator, brakes, battery-charging circuits, MG/ICE, and even the air conditioning. But the design has eliminated a ton of mechanical linkages that were always breaking on our other cars, and the digital cruise control has zero analog-system lag. I'd have to check, but I'm not sure that the car even has an accelerator linkage/cable.

It's not perfect. It's overpriced due to demand, and resale values are ridiculously high. Dealers are generally smug and unsympathetic to customer concerns. The rear-window visibility is oxymoronic. The rear-seat headrests can block the driver's rear-fender blind spots, and they scared the heck out of me when I first checked my peripheral vision for a lane change. The front window needs a lot more tint for sunny weather. The windscreen cover has to be custom-ordered or cut from an oversized roll of reflective foil insulation. The oilpan is exposed to everything sticking up from the road. Tires have a reputation for wearing out more quickly. If you damage the touch-screen display then it's $500-$1000 and it's most inconvenient to attempt to operate the car without it. Lost/damaged keyfobs cost $125-$250 to replace. The antenna sits right where I want to put my longboard roof rack. The rear speakers are muffled by their rear-door panel location. The front speakers are practically in your face on the front door posts.

It's not protected against the silliest common mistakes-- if you accidentally switch the jumper-cable polarity then you'll fry the $5K DC/AC inverter. If you tow the car from behind (with the front wheels on the ground) then similar electrical/mechanical damage can occur. The smart-key system makes it too easy to walk away from a running car with the key in your pocket, especially if you've just switched drivers.

Although the car has a very good warranty at face value, Toyota seems to be very stingy about warranty work and quick to blame mechanics for errors.

But other than that, I'm happy!
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:17 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by ERD50
I'd take that with a grain of salt.

....but I'd bet their assessment of the car is not as objective as many owners of more conventional cars. Are they in love with the car because it is so great, or do they think it is so great because they fell in love with the car? (snip)

-ERD50

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Doesn't that apply equally to many other cars? The person who buys an expensive luxury car to display their affluence or the person who buys a Hummer or a hot sportscar to display their--whatever-- ....

Oh yes - it's true of almost all purchases, but especially of ones that "make a statement". But I think it could be even more so with a Prius, as there are not so many other options in that category. So people looking to make that statement buy that car. The Hummer is probably a similar example of that, just a different statement.

And I only meant that as relative to other cars and as a tendency, not that every Prius buyer's opinion is overly-biased.

BTW, I know someone who has a family member who works for a company that supplies parts for Hummers. Several years ago, they had a Hummer on loan for a week. She proudly told me "You should have seen the looks we got driving that around the neighborhood!". In a rare moment of self control, I refrained from explaining to her what they were probably thinking!

-ERD50
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:44 PM   #47
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....but I'd bet their assessment of the car is not as objective as many owners of more conventional cars. Are they in love with the car because it is so great, or do they think it is so great because they fell in love with the car? (snip) -ERD50
Doesn't that apply equally to many other cars? The person who buys an expensive luxury car to display their affluence or the person who buys a Hummer or a hot sportscar to display their--whatever--
Oh yes - it's true of almost all purchases, but especially of ones that "make a statement". But I think it could be even more so with a Prius, as there are not so many other options in that category. So people looking to make that statement buy that car. The Hummer is probably a similar example of that, just a different statement.

And I only meant that as relative to other cars and as a tendency, not that every Prius buyer's opinion is overly-biased.
My thought was that all those subjective reasons would cancel one another out, making the "customer satisfaction" numbers more or less accurate.

Quote:
BTW, I know someone who has a family member who works for a company that supplies parts for Hummers. Several years ago, they had a Hummer on loan for a week. She proudly told me "You should have seen the looks we got driving that around the neighborhood!". In a rare moment of self control, I refrained from explaining to her what they were probably thinking! -ERD50
Confession time! (unfortunately you don't seem to have a :blushing: smiley available here) I know when I drive past a Hummer, I think to myself, even if you had three people in there I'd still be getting better mpg/person than you are! My younger brother (who has one exactly like mine, even the same color) said that on one of the TV cartoon shows (maybe "The Simpsons"?) a character sighted several Priuses driving past, and exclaimed "Smug Alert!" I'm afraid I'm guilty as charged on that one.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:13 PM   #48
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Mechanically simpler, although current battery technology doesn't support much of a plug-in range or battery lifecycle in a power density that fits the Prius.
ERD50 said this too, but I don't quite understand. My understanding
is people regularly convert Prius to plug-in mode. That means its
batteries can support power output sufficient to drive the car (unless
the conversion actually adds batteries ?) So I don't see why it would
need more batteries for "series hybrid" operation, although obviously
the ICE would have to run for drives longer than a short commute.

Quote:
But the design has eliminated a ton of mechanical linkages that were always breaking on our other cars
Really, like what ?
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:03 PM   #49
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The PHEVs still don't run the car on 100% battery for very long.
The stock Prius has an all electric range of 7-9 miles.
The conversions do add batteries (about 5Kw worth).
The PHEV conversion basically gives the gas engine more of an assist, the batteries don't take all the load.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:20 AM   #50
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We need a seperate thread on Hummers...........
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:31 PM   #51
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ERD50 said this too, but I don't quite understand. My understanding is people regularly convert Prius to plug-in mode.
There's a ton of this discussion & information on PriusChat.com, and I've spent years of waiting while really wanting to believe.

Although there are several conversion businesses, in general they're expensive ($10K-$30K) or they're of low quality (rows of lead-acid batteries adding hundreds of pounds for a 40-mile range and an 18-month lifecycle). In other words, no matter how cheap the electricity gets or how expensive gas prices become, it's currently unlikely that the conversion will pay itself back over a decade. And if you look at a typical DIY conversion procedure, it'd scare off all but the most intrepid mechanics. Publicity aside, I'd estimate there are fewer than a thousand plug-ins on the road. Maybe even fewer than 500.

Toyota uses a proprietary controller on their hybrid battery. Although an army of geeks & nerds have reverse-engineered a lot of the Prius, the subtleties of the controller continue to elude a foolproof method of tricking it with a different battery (or a bigger hybrid battery). Toyota doesn't share and will viciously void the vehicle warranty of the plug-in conversions. Heck, Toyota is pretty vicious with all their Prius warranty issues, but most especially the battery/inverter. Lots of complaints on PriusChat from customers, dealers, & mechanics about how to deal with corporate.

So the plug-in result is more tinkering and scared customers. Far easier (and maybe cheaper) to just go buy some other electric plug-in vehicle. I'm not going to whip up a spreadsheet and go shopping for more PV panels until there's a plug-in conversion that doesn't need frequent replacement (or maintenance), has at least a 40-mile range (on our 20x30 island), and won't cause endless arguments with mechanics every time a fuse blows.

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That means its
batteries can support power output sufficient to drive the car (unless
the conversion actually adds batteries ?)
Like another poster said, I don't think the battery has an excessive range. If the gas tank runs dry you're sternly admonished to drive no more than a mile or two before risking permanent damage. (The charge controller cycles the battery between ~40-80% and does not deep-cycle it.) Most owners will tank up when they're down to a quarter ("two bars" out of 10) on the gauge and will immediately find a gas station if for some reason they get down to one bar.

Foreign Priuses include an "EV" button that's intended to allow the car to be moved short distances without the gas engine kicking in-- for example around the driveway or from the repair garage to the parking lot. Toyota doesn't include an EV button on American models due to EPA & liability concerns, although of course you can install one for about $10 of parts, a soldering gun, and a few hours. It'd be perfect for our kid's one-mile school commute but again I'm not messing with Toyota's warranty.

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Really, like what ?
Well, let's go with the items that I've personally had bad experiences with on other cars. For starters, I don't think our Prius has an accelerator cable. But I still need to check for that.

No manual or automatic clutch. The continuously-variable transmission is simply a series of ring/planetary gears (for the MG & ICE) around a common axis. The output is transferred by a geared chain to the front axle. The "shift lever" is a little 3" electronic dashboard paddle with an LCD status display. Our kid has no idea what "four on the floor" or "three on the tree" means, anymore than she understands how to "dial" a phone or "play a record". Now that she's developing a driver's hand-eye coordination and some muscle memory, we're going to teach her how to drive a manual transmission just in case she needs to impress her grandchildren with this ancient skill.

"Putting the car in Park" involves pushing a button on the dashboard. However there still appears to be a traditional cable connecting the emergency brake to the wheels, although I haven't verified that.

The HVAC system doesn't have a single dashboard control-- it's either on the touch screen or the steering wheel. You can open/shut/redirect the vents but there are no mixing levers or temperature rheostats or fan-speed knobs.

The sound system has two knobs for tuning & volume, but they're not necessary. The radio's frequently-operated controls are all on the steering wheel and the advanced settings are handled by the touch-screen display.

There's no ignition key to twist in the cylinder lock (and yes, I've had several break off in our high-mileage vehicles). We stick a fob in the dashboard and push a "Power" button. A smart-key-system fob can even stay in the driver's pocket.

The Prius cruise control doesn't move the accelerator. (I quickly learned not to leave my foot near our Taurus' accelerator-- especially under it-- when the cruise control was engaged.) As far as I can tell the cruise control is completely digital drive-by-wire, with no hunting or seeking typical of the analog controllers. When the road goes uphill the ICE immediately revs up and keeps the speed the same. The dashboard display maintains the same reading but this constant speed has also been independently verified by separate plug-in systems.

The radiator coolant is warranted for 100,000 (one hundred thousand) miles. No changes or flushes, especially because the system is a PITA to purge.

The stock CV boots are the heaviest & thickest I've ever felt outside of an aftermarket auto-parts store.

The oil filter has the best access I've experienced outside of a submarine diesel engine-- much easier than a Ford Taurus or Nissan Altima and even easier than a Honda Civic.

I fear that I'll never again need to know how to remove the manual handcrank on a window. It appears that the motors & cables are reliable enough to mostly last for the life of the car.

The car has a number of design quirks & flaws but the maintenance has been extremely well thought out. I guess I'm finally ready to part with my tuning/timing light and my tachometer...
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:04 PM   #52
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Nords,
Since we are talking specifics--the IC engine will be started much more frequently on this car than in a normal car. Is there anything special to reduce the wear on rings/top end during starts, or is regular engine oil "clingy" enough to keep a film on the metal and keep wear at a minimum during those first critical seconds?
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:38 AM   #53
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We need a seperate thread on Hummers...........
Hmmmmmmm......
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:39 PM   #54
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Nords,
Since we are talking specifics--the IC engine will be started much more frequently on this car than in a normal car. Is there anything special to reduce the wear on rings/top end during starts, or is regular engine oil "clingy" enough to keep a film on the metal and keep wear at a minimum during those first critical seconds?
Good question, but I haven't looked at the technical details enough to know the answer, and I had to research the answer.

The ICE may not be spinning when the car is rolling, but the drive train will still be moving. I don't know if that's lubricated separately or if the oil pump is still running off some other part of the hybrid drive. The drive train is lubricated by a separate oil pump. The car also occasionally spins the engine (without injecting gas or firing the cylinders) to put a drag on the MG's overspeeding RPMs or to slow the car without overheating the brakes on steep prolonged downhill runs-- the equivalent of gearing down a conventional transmission. The noise/vibration of the spinning engine is just barely detectable over the road noise, and you have to be expecting it to notice it.

In that same way, when the ICE needs to be running (not just rotating) then a small electric motor draws on the hybrid battery to get the ICE spinning at about 1000 RPMs with the ICE's attached oil pump pre-lubing its components. Once the ICE is up to that RPM then the ECU injects gas and sparks the cylinders. The theory, borne out by testing & experience, is that the worst engine wear occurs when the cylinders fire from low RPMs. So by raising the RPMs before adding gas & spark, the engine wear is minimized. The whole process occurs within microseconds and is nearly unnoticeable because the ICE is already spinning before it fires up a kick. No hesitation, no surge. It's pretty cool for the first few weeks of ownership but now I hardly even notice.

When you pull away from a stoplight, you can usually feather the accelerator to start out on battery and eventually kick in the engine. But since the battery is normally charged by the engine, accelerating on battery only pays off if you're making the entire trip downhill to recharge the battery by brake regeneration. So the more fuel-efficient practice is to accelerate briskly away from a stop, which quickly starts up the engine at its most efficient RPM instead of "wasting" battery charge. Kinda non-intuitive but it shows up in the MPG numbers.

When I was reading PriusChat.com daily for a couple months, with several hundred posts a day, I didn't see a single complaint about cylinder/ring wear or oil sludge or other lubrication problems. The cars have been sold since '97 in Japan, '01 in America, and there are several models in excess of 200K miles. So the only issue here may be my lack of knowledge, rendered irrelevant by some Toyota engineer's design foresight.

A few seconds after the car is first powered up, the ICE automatically starts up to warm up the oil and the catalytic converter. It runs for about 45-60 seconds (when temps come up to spec) and from then on only runs when needed. One reason for this startup run is to get the catalytic converter operating at specs to satisfy the EPA. That's bureaucratic rather than an engineering practice and not necessarily programmed into non-American models. When the car is powered off after parking, a small aux coolant pump actually moves radiator coolant into a small thermos bottle to keep it hot for an hour or two, allowing the car to conserve the BTUs. When the car's restarted after a short park, the catalytic converter and the coolant may be hot enough that the ECU won't start up the ICE. So the car's MPG really shines when running errands with lots of short trips & short parks.

As if this isn't good enough, some drivers have installed electric engine-block heaters that they turn on 30-40 minutes before they start the car. Then when they power up the car, the engine & coolant are usually warm enough that the ICE doesn't kick in. And of course a PriusChat hardcore driver has calculated the cost of the engine-block heater and its electricity to determine the payback, concluding that it's worth the expense. Other diehards install ScanGuage realtime engine-performance monitors and actually block off their radiator grille vents to safely boost coolant/engine temps and maximize MPG. One poster was over the top with joy when he ran through 10 gallons of gas at an average of over 70 MPG. Of course he posted JPEGs of his touchscreen display to document his feat.

You can see why this car attracts nukes like moths to a flame...
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #55
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We need a seperate thread on Hummers...........
Hmmmmmmmm................


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Old 11-19-2008, 01:27 PM   #56
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Hmmmmmmmm................

I'll start one........
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:59 PM   #57
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This is all very interesting - thanks, Nords.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:42 PM   #58
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Good question, . . . and I had to research the answer.
Thanks very much for the explanation. Dang! They really have thought of nearly everything. Observations:
1) The oversimplified powertrain schematic of "how the Prius works" barely scratches the surface of all the sub-systems that had to be engineered from scratch.
2) The fact that all the "if-->then" stuff happens without driver input is amazing testimony to the capability of affordable, consumer-level sensors, microprocessors, and electromechanical actuators.
3) The fact that these cars aren't maintenance nightmares despite the level of complexity speaks volumes about Toyota.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:06 PM   #59
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Thanks very much for the explanation. Dang! They really have thought of nearly everything. Observations:
1) The oversimplified powertrain schematic of "how the Prius works" barely scratches the surface of all the sub-systems that had to be engineered from scratch.
2) The fact that all the "if-->then" stuff happens without driver input is amazing testimony to the capability of affordable, consumer-level sensors, microprocessors, and electromechanical actuators.
3) The fact that these cars aren't maintenance nightmares despite the level of complexity speaks volumes about Toyota.
I'd also mention that the Ford Escape Hybrids in taxi service in NYC and SF have gone over 175,000 miles with very few problems. And no, they do not use Toyota's parts or design, though they are similar and share some suppliers.

http://www.hybridcars.com/fleets/tax...ity-25167.html

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/04/f...new-york-stre/
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:43 PM   #60
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Confession time! (unfortunately you don't seem to have a :blushing: smiley available here)


It's in the "more" list in the smileys.
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