Prius driving tips for a new user?

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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:19 am   #1 (permalink)
liu
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Default Prius driving tips for a new user?

I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
really deep initially.
Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
the balance?

Thanks for the help,

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Old 09 Aug 2011, 11:09 am   #2 (permalink)
DA
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

responding to
http://www.motorsforum.com/prius/Pri...ser-10929-.htm
DA wrote:

liu wrote:


> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?


In short: leave early If you're not anxious to get somewhere, your
driving will have less acceleration / braking which kills efficiency (in
any car, not just Prius)


> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much.


The novelty will wear off soon and you'll just drive normally and probably
judge more by the sound of the engine (or lack thereof) than the display.

> If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.


I don't believe it's ALWAYS necessary. Just because someone in front of
you is in a hurry, it does not mean you also have top burn rubber. You'll
catch up with the car in front of you at the top of the speed limit
anyhow (+10MPH most of the time , what difference do 10 seconds make?

> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?


Just let the car decide. Since it's a hybrid, the energy isn't wasted
(well, not all of it anyhow). There's always an uphill after that down
hill and then the stored energy will come handy. Switching to neutral is
NOT a good idea.

Cheers!

-------------------------------------

| |
| _ |
_________|__( )__|_________
x/ _| |( . )| |_ \x
|_| ---*|_|



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Old 10 Aug 2011, 12:03 am   #3 (permalink)
Daniel who wants to know
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

"liu" <spamfreeliu@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:bd1710c5-e85d-45d5-b5bc-886e4fda00e4@b19g2000yqj.googlegroups.com...
>I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.
> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?
>
> Thanks for the help,
>


Sure, for good MPG avoid the use of the traction/HV battery, it only has
about a 70% storage efficiency of watt-hours out to watt-hours in, and the
worst thing for MPG you can do is to try to force the car to run on battery
and then end up with the ICE running just to recharge it. One of the oldest
Prius tricks is to "Pulse and glide", this means instead of going a constant
speed you alternate between "Pulse" which is accelerating with no arrows to
or from the HV battery on the energy monitor screen followed by "Glide"
which is coasting with the ICE (engine) off and no arrows at all on the
screen. To do both you have to feather the accelerator pedal position. When
accelerating as you apply more pressure the arrows will start as going to
the HV, then they disappear, then closer to WOT the arrows will be from the
HV. You want the sweet spot in between. To glide you let all the way off
the pedal, wait for the ICE to shut off, then reapply just enough pressure
to make the arrows disappear. Note that above 42MPH the ICE crank never
stops turning, though the fuel injectors do stop pulsing.

ICE= Internal Combustion Engine.

Beyond that, maintain your tire pressures like a hawk, and try 42PSI front,
40 rear instead of the stock 35/33

After oil changes make sure the level on the dipstick is between add and
full, preferably not on full, and NEVER over full. There is a ~1.5 quart
difference between add and full, the car only holds 3.5 quarts after a
change, and lots of oil change places including some of the dealers see the
3.9 quart from bone dry spec and dump in 4 resulting in an overfill. The
best advice is to only put in 3 quarts and then check and adjust if needed.


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Old 10 Aug 2011, 01:04 am   #4 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

liu wrote:
> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.
> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?
>
> Thanks for the help,
>



Rather than coasting, get used to pressing the gas pedal *just
enough* to maintain speed. If you are climbing a short grade, back off a
little and lose a few MPH on the uphill. Just don't make yourself a
'rolling roadblock' for cars behind you who just want to drive at the
speed limit. That will have the same effect as coasting, more or less. I
don't know what the 2008 display shows (we have a 2010) but on our car
you can use a bar graph to keep the engine from running more than is needed.
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Old 10 Aug 2011, 06:57 am   #5 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

On Aug 9, 10:19*am, liu <spamfree...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?


http://www.priuschat.com/
http://www.cleanmpg.com/

Note: I have no association with either web site as I've taken a
different approach.

> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.


This is a good start but you'll learn a lot more if you can get a
ScanGauge II to instrument the car. Be sure and get the one that is
XGAUGE programmable since these can also provide diagnostic codes. But
three built-in gauges will give three pieces of information needed to
drive efficiently:

engine coolant - the Prius is very engine temperature dependent and
the simple rule is below 70C, it is an ordinary car and above 70C it
become very efficient. So try to minimize higher power demands until
the coolant reaches 70C.

engine rpm - the engine efficiency of your model NHW20 is somewhat
sensitive to rpm with anything under 2,200-2,600 being very efficient
and above that less so. Under higher power settins, 3,200 rpm and
above, the car is less efficient.

gallons per hour - unlike any other gauge, this gives a direct
readout of the rate of fuel consumption. Acceleration can still be
good with fuel consumption rates under two gallons per hour. But the
car really shines when fuel consumption is in the 0.60-0.70 range or
lower.

> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?


When the engine is warming up to 70C, I maximize used of "N" so the
engine will turn over at the minimum fuel consumption rate. But once
it reaches 70C, I only use "N" if I need to coast a longer distance.
Otherwise, I just used cruise control and pay attention to traffic.

> Thanks for the help,


My web page shows my approach to the problem:
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius/

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson
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Old 11 Aug 2011, 05:18 am   #6 (permalink)
bwilson4web
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

On Aug 10, 1:04*am, Leftie <N...@Thanks.net> wrote:
> liu wrote:
> > I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> > drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> > I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> > the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
> > need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> > really deep initially.
> > Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> > does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> > engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> > drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> > the balance?

.. . .
>
> * * Rather than coasting, get used to pressing the gas pedal *just
> enough* to maintain speed. If you are climbing a short grade, back off a
> little and lose a few MPH on the uphill. Just don't make yourself a
> 'rolling roadblock' for cars behind you who just want to drive at the
> speed limit. . . .


I use 'route planning' since the Prius does not suffer the mileage hit
in stop and go traffic that a regular car suffers. So often I'll drive
the access road instead of the higher speed (and sometimes accident
blocked) limited access road. For the first mile or so, I'm driving
through my neighborhood at ~25 mph while the engine warms up. Also,
I'll take a short-cut with lights rather than the longer, light-free
but higher speed route. This type of route planning takes my commute
from just over 15 minutes to about 22 minutes but since I'm listening
to my podcasts, I'm happy.

BTW, the reason I prefer "N" versus trying to moderate the pedal is my
eyes are looking out the windshield, not at the instrumentation in the
car. But then I grew up with manual transmission cars so shifting is
second nature:

> . . .That will have the same effect as coasting, more or less. I
> don't know what the 2008 display shows (we have a 2010) but on our car
> you can use a bar graph to keep the engine from running more than is needed.


There are lots of ways of achieving similar results so try them and
see what works for you. <grins>

Bob Wilson

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Old 14 Aug 2011, 12:04 pm   #7 (permalink)
Bruce Richmond
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

On Aug 9, 11:19*am, liu <spamfree...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much.


I don't know what rate you used to accelerate at but I can tell you
that you don't have to accelerate all that slow to get good mileage.
Accelerating slowly lowers the rate of output, but it must be
maintained for a longer time to get up to speed. Slowing
gradually,coasting down, makes far more difference. You don't want to
waste the kinetic energy by turning it to heat in the brakes. And
while regenerative braking recovers some energy, it to wastes a fair
amount as heat.

> If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.
> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?


Depends on you plan In the "pulse and glide" technique you don't
want to charge the battery, idea being that you never get as much back
as you put in. An alternate method I use is to let off the gas to
shut the engine down, then gently step on the pedal to maintain 35 mph
with the electric motor. When the battery runs down the engine will
start and recharge it. The idea here is that the engine uses gasoline
just to idle. When running on electric alone you save not only the
gas that would be moving the car but the gas wasted idling as well.
When the engine starts you have to replace the energy that was used to
keep the car rolling, but not the energy that would have kept the
engine idling. It ends up giving better mpg than puttering along with
the engine running all the time, but not quite as good as pulse and
glide. On the plus side you maintain a near constant speed.

> Thanks for the help,


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Old 14 Aug 2011, 07:21 pm   #8 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

Bruce Richmond wrote:
> On Aug 9, 11:19 am, liu <spamfree...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
>> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
>> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
>> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much.

>
> I don't know what rate you used to accelerate at but I can tell you
> that you don't have to accelerate all that slow to get good mileage.



That's very true. I've been late for work a few times, and so was
pushing it hard, albeit in Eco mode so I had better throttle control. I
still averaged 49MPG, instead of the usual low to mid 50s. I've heard
that it will still get in the low forties running hard in Power mode.



> Accelerating slowly lowers the rate of output, but it must be
> maintained for a longer time to get up to speed. Slowing
> gradually,coasting down, makes far more difference. You don't want to
> waste the kinetic energy by turning it to heat in the brakes. And
> while regenerative braking recovers some energy, it to wastes a fair
> amount as heat.
>
>> If I
>> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
>> really deep initially.
>> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
>> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
>> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
>> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
>> the balance?

>
> Depends on you plan In the "pulse and glide" technique you don't
> want to charge the battery, idea being that you never get as much back
> as you put in. An alternate method I use is to let off the gas to
> shut the engine down, then gently step on the pedal to maintain 35 mph
> with the electric motor. When the battery runs down the engine will
> start and recharge it. The idea here is that the engine uses gasoline
> just to idle. When running on electric alone you save not only the
> gas that would be moving the car but the gas wasted idling as well.
> When the engine starts you have to replace the energy that was used to
> keep the car rolling, but not the energy that would have kept the
> engine idling. It ends up giving better mpg than puttering along with
> the engine running all the time, but not quite as good as pulse and
> glide. On the plus side you maintain a near constant speed.



I also use the battery with the engine off, when I know that the
engine will have to run soon to climb a grade or accelerate faster. The
current average on the display, over several tanks of gas, is 55MPG.



>
>> Thanks for the help,

>

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Old 15 Aug 2011, 06:04 am   #9 (permalink)
Bruce Richmond
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

On Aug 14, 8:21*pm, Leftie <N...@Thanks.net> wrote:
> Bruce Richmond wrote:
> > On Aug 9, 11:19 am, liu <spamfree...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> >> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> >> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> >> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much.

>
> > I don't know what rate you used to accelerate at but I can tell you
> > that you don't have to accelerate all that slow to get good mileage.

>
> * * *That's very true. I've been late for work a few times, and so was
> pushing it hard, albeit in Eco mode so I had better throttle control. I
> still averaged 49MPG, instead of the usual low to mid 50s. I've heard
> that it will still get in the low forties running hard in Power mode.
>
>


I was speaking of the getting up to speed part only. Keep the
eventual speed the same with the gentle planned slowing and the
acceleration will have almost no effect on you mpg. The shorter time
spent accelerating makes up for the higher rate of fuel use while
accelerating.

>
>
> > Accelerating slowly lowers the rate of output, but it must be
> > maintained for a longer time to get up to speed. *Slowing
> > gradually,coasting down, makes far more difference. *You don't want to
> > waste the kinetic energy by turning it to heat in the brakes. *And
> > while regenerative braking recovers some energy, it to wastes a fair
> > amount as heat.

>
> >> If I
> >> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> >> really deep initially.
> >> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> >> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> >> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> >> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> >> the balance?

>
> > Depends on you plan *In the "pulse and glide" technique you don't
> > want to charge the battery, idea being that you never get as much back
> > as you put in. *An alternate method I use is to let off the gas to
> > shut the engine down, then gently step on the pedal to maintain 35 mph
> > with the electric motor. *When the battery runs down the engine will
> > start and recharge it. *The idea here is that the engine uses gasoline
> > just to idle. *When running on electric alone you save not only the
> > gas that would be moving the car but the gas wasted idling as well.
> > When the engine starts you have to replace the energy that was used to
> > keep the car rolling, but not the energy that would have kept the
> > engine idling. *It ends up giving better mpg than puttering along with
> > the engine running all the time, but not quite as good as pulse and
> > glide. *On the plus side you maintain a near constant speed.

>
> * * *I also use the battery with the engine off, when I know that the
> engine will have to run soon to climb a grade or accelerate faster. The
> current average on the display, over several tanks of gas, is 55MPG.
>
>
>
>
>
> >> Thanks for the help,- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


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Old 23 Aug 2011, 07:03 am   #10 (permalink)
Neo
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Default Re: Prius driving tips for a new user?

On Aug 9, 11:19*am, liu <spamfree...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I just got a 2008 Prius. Are there websites with information on how to
> drive Prius to be efficient on MPG?
> I found I accelerate way slower than I used to be. I keep looking at
> the energy chart to make sure they don't come from gas as much. If I
> need to keep up the pace like other cars, I have to push the pedal
> really deep initially.
> Also I had the habit to coasting with neutral gear in the past but it
> does not appear to be a good idea for Prius as it needs the gear
> engaged to generate power for the battery. With gears engaged, the
> drag decreases the distance it can go without gas (down hill). What is
> the balance?
>
> Thanks for the help,



1. The most important aspect of high fuel efficiency driving is to
give yourself enough time to drive to where you are going.

2. Hybrid usually donot achieve their rated EPA fuel efficiencies
until after they are driven over 15 minutes at summertime
temperatures
or over 30 minutes in the wintertime temperatures - this is
because
there is a warmup penality to start up the engine and warm up
the exhaust emisssions system. Whenever possible combine
your driving trips so that that most of your trips are longer
than 30 minutes or 7 miles - this will automatically increase your
fuel efficiency.
During the winter time, you can shorten this warmup penality
for nonhighway/urban/suburban stop-n-go driving trips if the
Prius intake grills are blocked and/or if you install a engine
blockheater. During the winter, if the coolant temperature drops
too low because the gasoline engine was automatically turned
off ( because the Prius is at a stop light or because you
are gliding for a long time) the Prius engine will go on
automatically to warmup the coolant (which keeps the
exhaust emission system at the proper operational temperatures).
You want to avoid having the Prius engine automatically
cycling on to warm up the coolant because it will cause
your MPGs to drop like a rock. So you need to watch the
temperature of the coolant when doing stop and go
driving in colder temperatures - unfortunately the Prius
doesnot have a temperature gauge so you need a ScangaugeII
or something like it to check if the coolant is getting cold.
Before the coolant gets too cold, I will pulse/run the gasoline
engine more frequently just to to keep the coolant from
getting too cold in the winter time.

3. Daniel who wants to know is right to focus on the tire pressure
- the Prius fuel efficiency very sensitive to tire pressure. This
is
because the tire's rolling resistance decreases with higher
pressure.
The Prius will coast/glide longer on momentum without additional
energy if it has a lower rolling resistance. Lower rolling
resistant
depends on how smooth the road is and the tire rolling resistance.
You can buy Low Rolling Resistant (LRR) Tires or you can
overinflate a tire near its maximum sidewall pressure setting
to lower its rolling resistance. In addition, as the tread of a
tire
wears off its rolling resistance decreases (but its stopping power
decreases as well). Overinflating the tires decreases the rolling
resistance by making the tire more ridge - which can make for
a harsher ride and a tire pressures over the maximum sidewall
pressure can reduce the traction/gripping power of the tire. When
the road surface is rough - an overinflated tire will not absorb
the
irregularities but *bounce* and rolling resistance maybe worst
than if the tire was as a lesser pressure which would absorb
road surface irregularities and not *bounce.* If the road surface
is rough or grooved due to construction then you'll be better
off with the tire pressure setting listed on the inside
of the driver's door panel (manufacturer's suggested tire psi
setting).
The advantage of the LRR is that they should do well regardless
of the road surface condition at their recommended tire pressure
setting. Driving on a smooth well kept road helps fuel efficiency.

4. Avoid using more than 1/2 the high voltage(HV) battery power .
When the HV voltage battery is nearly depleted the Prius gasoline
engine will automatically go on to recharge the HV battery to push
the power level back up to a safe level -- this in turn will push
the MPG
down because that's the least fuel efficient way to charge the
Prius HV battery. Essentially this drives back to what
Daniel who wants to know asserted - don't depend on the electric
motors to drive the Prius to increase the MPGs - instead focus
on efficiently using the vehicle's kinetic energy-momentum.
when there are no arrows on the Energy Monitor Display - then no
gas or electricity is being expended and the Prius is moving
on its own momentum ( any object in motion will stay in that
particular motion unless acted by another force).

5. The Prius gets the best fuel efficiency if its running between
25mph
to 35 mph nonstop for over 60 minutes - however this is not
practical
in the real world most of the time. When on the superhighway if
you
keep your speed between 50 mph to 60 mph - you'll normally see
much better MPG results than if your speed is beteen 60 mph
to 70 mph. If you are driving above 50mph keep the windows
rolled up - use the AC or the heater if you have too.

6. Cleanmpg.com is for hypermiling
its the best place to get detailed instructions on how to
hypermile
Priuschat.com is for Prius devotees and those who want to pimp
their rides
Youtube.com has some very good video on how to drive a Prius
efficiently

7. I've read it is possible to use Neutral in a glide to decrease
internal resistance
and extend a glide phase- its an advance P&G technique. On
priuschat
F8L was asking that very same thing under "extreme hypermiling"
the problem is not that your momentum/kinetic energy will
eventually
go to zero but that it the road section ahead has a much higher
energy
cost per mph than the current road section you are on. Each road
section
is like a store where you can buy mph for X amount of energy.
Some
stores are overpriced and other stores are cheap. So the best
tactic is
to "Buy low, sell high." Simply put - the most energy efficient
route is to
create speed when the energy cost to create speed is low then
loose speed when the energy cost to create speed is high.


HTH

Walter Lee
2010 Toyota Prius III, Blue Ribbon/Dark Grey, oem floormats
Yokohama Avid S22 (50/48 psi)
ScanguageII (AVG, MPG/FwT. SoC, GPH)
odeometer +14800 miles, +59mpg overall, 10% Ethanol blend 87 oct
gasoline
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