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infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 6:53 a.m.

SWMBO has been needing a new car since she totaled hers a month ago, and she hates carpooling in my mustang (can't blame her with how bad Baltimore's roads are) so we picked up a 2013 Prius on Saturday morning.  It's deathly quiet, handles surprisingly well, and trying to get the best gas mileage possible is kind of a fun game.  So far I got 74mpg driving from our house to downtown.  And we got the plug-in hybrid version, so we can charge it all day at our parking garage at work and then just use the electric motor to drive home.  Pretty comfy car, also.  Decent amount of space.

So I know these cars are insanely reliable appliances and obviously there's the gas mileage, but are there any odd querks I need to be made aware of?  I've read there's an android app to view the battery cells, is there one for iphone?  And this little atkinson cycle engine - I know little bolt on mods won't increase horsepower any, but are there any ways to bolt on a little more efficiency?  Are there any things with maintenance that I need to pay special attention to?  It just got new front brakes, and I've read that we should change the transmission fluid every 50K miles, which will help the generator live longer as well.  Thanks for any help!  

I know some hypermilers are getting 100mpg out of these things, so I would love to try to get there myself.

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
6/17/19 7:03 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

 Hyper mileage is a attitude as well as technique.  Don’t be a jerk and try it in commuting to and from work. Stay with the traffic flow.  

However when you are away from metro areas look way ahead and plan on using the terrain to your advantage.  You can also take advantage of any traffic. Use the side drafting technique. 

Your car will get it’s best mileage around 45 mph ( each one is a little different)  plus tire inflation to the max in all 4 tires. Careful alignment check and use synthetic oils everywhere.  

PS none of those things will make the car handle as good as its capable of so it’s a real trade off.  

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 7:07 a.m.

Oh I don't drive 35 in the fast lane, don't worry.  I'm a pretty calm driver in general though, so that combined with a Prius netted me 74mpg on one drive.  60-something on another.  It's got full synthetic in it, tires properly inflated and everything's straight.  

 

I've been really impressed with how efficient the engine itself is.  Even when running on that and not the electric motor, it can still get 50mpg no problem.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 7:09 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to infinitenexus : 

Your car will get it’s best mileage around 45 mph ( each one is a little different)  

These actually get their best mileage at slower speeds, in city traffic.  When you're driving like that, the electric motor takes over half the time.  On the highway it's mostly the ICE powering it, so the gas mileage goes down a tad, to a measly 47-48mpg.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/17/19 7:38 a.m.

Now you need to take up kickboxing. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 7:46 a.m.

Too much arthritis from my Army days.  However, since buying this Prius my wife started wearing sundresses with scarves and we shop solely at Trader Joe's.  I also plan on growing a beard and waxing my mustache.  I already drink IPAs so that's good.  We already listen to NPR all the time so I guess now I just need a "coexist" bumper sticker and to go vegan and the transformation will be complete.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/17/19 8:23 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

How do you know you’re in an elevator with a vegan?

They tell you.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/17/19 9:02 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

That was a joke. You typed "car of the future" and that made me think of "kickboxing, sport of the future". It is a line from this movie that I watched too many times back int he 80's.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/17/19 9:13 a.m.

"Kickboxing, the sport of the future " was Jon Cusack but in the movie "Say Anything" 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/17/19 9:26 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

berkeley, you are correct. Lloyd Dobler and not Lane Meyer. I don't want to think how many things I'll mis-remember when I am older if I can't recall basics like this at this point in my life.

I'm fighting the urge to edit my post above, but will leave it as a testament to when my early onset dementia started.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 9:28 a.m.

Aaahhhhhhhhh, I never saw that movie.  I was thinking it was a joke sort of in the vein of me owning a prius and now turning into some type of stereotypical hipster.  Although I believe in that case I would do crossfit and go vegan, not kickboxing.  

 

Also, here's a picture with my wife sitting inside.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/17/19 9:45 a.m.

I have chronicled my Prius experiences over in this thread.  It is on that page 5 that I detail some of the Torque App for Prius.  Mine is a Gen2.  Yours is a Gen4 w/ plug in.  You will have to research Prius Chat to understand if there is  Torque App software for you.  I am not aware of a version for Apple. 

If you then want to buy an Android just for this purpose you have a few choices.

  • get a used handset of an acquaintance for free or cheap
  • buy the cheapest android you can find

The Torque App does not require cell service on the phone.  An android handset w/o cell service will still act like a tablet on a wifi system.  It is through that wifi system that you can download the software.  Daily use of the app will only require BT pairing.  If you do not have access to a free handset, the cheapest, most effective route is to go to Walmart and in the pre-pair phone section, buy the cheapest new Android handset you can find.  This will likely be $29.99.  That handset will likely be locked to only work for the selling company (like Boost Mobile) but that is okay, you never plan to use the handset to make a cell phone call or use anything other than wifi. Specs wont matter.  Even the most lowly handset will meet your needs for the torque App.   Buying new will be compete with a charger and assure that it is a working model.  

You will also need a BT/OBD2 adapter like this, $10

So, $30 for handset, $10 for adapter and $5 for Torque Pro = $45 to have the Torque App (if they offer it for your car.)  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/17/19 9:49 a.m.

Lloyd's plans for the future. "...I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything..."

My highschool car was also a '77 Malibu Classic  but in the copper/orange color with Corvette cone rims.  

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 10:00 a.m.

Thanks for the tips, John!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/17/19 10:27 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Edit: I wrongly said that yours is a Gen4.  It is actually a Gen 3 Prius Wiki 

Aspen
Aspen HalfDork
6/17/19 10:52 a.m.

It's  "Atkinson" cycle not "Ackerman" smiley,  don't want you to sound silly talking to the other hipsters at the farmers market.

The tires make a difference.  The eco tires with 45lbs of air in them are great for mileage, but awful for everything else a tire should do.

"Pulse and Glide"  with give you great economy, but seriously piss off anyone behind you.  Not recommended.

Light on the throttle with lots of gliding worked well for me.  Avoid accelerating on hills.  Drafting a semi on the freeway gives awesome economy.  You can be six car lengths behind and still pick up a few mpgs.  If you want to really geek out fab up some wheel well covers, lose your exterior mirrors and build a Kamm back.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 11:12 a.m.

ah crap, I was mixing up my terms like ackerman steering.  Had to edit that so people won't see my flub up there.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/17/19 11:15 a.m.

I can understand the desire to hypermill and get some high MPG readings, but...  The fact that you are getting free charging at the office puts you into "winning the mpg game" immediately.    That is the dream scenario of these plug in cars.  It is akin to getting someone else to pay for most of your gas in a regular car.  

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/17/19 11:16 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
6/17/19 11:44 a.m.

I brokered a deal through a one lap buddy for my parents to buy a 2010 RX450h 2 months ago.

It's a spaceship and so weird, but my dad gets 33 mpg tooling around town... it's wild. 

Congrats on the purchase and on free work charging.. That is a big win. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 12:30 p.m.
John Welsh said:

I can understand the desire to hypermill and get some high MPG readings, but...  The fact that you are getting free charging at the office puts you into "winning the mpg game" immediately.    That is the dream scenario of these plug in cars.  It is akin to getting someone else to pay for most of your gas in a regular car.  

Absolutely, it is.  Not only do we get free charging at our parking garage, but one of the best parking spots!  We have to get there early in order to snatch it, but I always come into work ~2 hours early anyways.  From the bit of reading I've done, getting the free charging at work versus charging it at home is going to save us a pretty hefty chunk of money.  And our commute is half highway half stop and go, crawling city traffic, so leaving it in EV mode for that part will ensure some pretty amazing guel economy.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
6/17/19 1:23 p.m.
infinitenexus said:

Too much arthritis from my Army days.  However, since buying this Prius my wife started wearing sundresses with scarves and we shop solely at Trader Joe's.  I also plan on growing a beard and waxing my mustache.  I already drink IPAs so that's good.  We already listen to NPR all the time so I guess now I just need a "coexist" bumper sticker and to go vegan and the transformation will be complete.

I'll see you down at the local co-op

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Reader
6/17/19 1:28 p.m.
infinitenexus said:And this little atkinson cycle engine - I know little bolt on mods won't increase horsepower any, but are there any ways to bolt on a little more efficiency?

As far as I know, the stock engine software and design leaves little wiggle room- technically you could maybe get more milage if you increased the compression, but stock they're in the 11-13:1 range already. Plus, being an Atkinson means they hold the intake valves open for longer at specific times- even if aftermarket cams are offered they won't do much since they already have to work in a specific "timeframe".

infinitenexus
infinitenexus New Reader
6/17/19 1:37 p.m.

I've read some people recommend a warm air intake, that's about it.  Lighter rims may help some, but the factory rims are already pretty lightweight.  I just want to tinker with it!  

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
6/17/19 1:50 p.m.

At least you have this:

And not this:

Toyota got seriously weird with that one.

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