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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2008 Prius surge feeling when stopped with climate on

    I had the opportunity to rent a 2008 Prius last week (in Sacramento). This was really a dream come true. I drove the vehicle 385 miles and put 8.6 gallons in when the gauge was at 2 segments left, which works out to 44 - 45 mpg.

    I was very pleased with the car on mountain highway driving to Lake Tahoe. The steering seemed a tiny bit stiff compared to my Lexus ES350 but nearly as smooth on good road, and surprisingly quiet inside. Occasionally, there were some terrible ruts in the highway, (from cars driving with chains on the mountain passes). The car was fairly noisy in the ruts, and the car felt squirrly in the ruts but these were quite serious ruts, several inches deep with exposed aggregate.

    I did discover a disturbing surging feeling when stopped at a light with the climate system running on auto. The engine felt like it was trying to move the car. When I would turn off the climate system, the engine would quit totally and the car would sit quiet. Perhaps they should program an option to have the climate system shut down at stop lights.

    Is this a normal aspect of Pruis driving or was this car's transmission in need of adjustment?

    tovli

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Air conditioning in Prius is

    Air conditioning in Prius is battery powered (220v main battery, not 12v battery). NOT belt driven from engine as most cars.

    The only reason for the engine to continue running would be if the battery was slightly discharged, and computer decieded that the engine had to keep charging the battery to maintain voltage.

    Without AC, engine shut down because battery was not being drained by AC system.

    You can shut off AC momentarily at light by dialing cabin temp setting up a few degrees when stopped at light. the buttons are on the left side of the steering wheel. But it would be nice to have that option programmed into computer.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Is heating the same? This

    Is heating the same? This was morning and the outside temp was around 50 with the climate temp at 72.

    Is the surge feeling normal when stopped and ICE charging batts?

    (Also, the car started rolling when I removed my foot from brake; I did not have to press accelerator to start moving. I think most ICE cars do this also so this is probably to give the same feeling as an ICE powered car.)

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    0

    The Prius is factory

    The Prius is factory programmed to "imitate" a normal car engine.

    To that extent, the electric drive kicks in to "creep" the car forward, just as in a normal car.

    AND at higher speeds, removing your foot from the throttle causes the electric motor to start "braking" the car gently by recharging the battery. This imitates the "compression braking" of a normal car engine.

    Both are totally unneccessary, but it makes people feel like they are driving a "normal car".

    As far as the "surges", are you feeling the gas engine starting and stopping? When the ICE (gas engine) starts and stops it causes a little vibration in the car. This is normal operation. And it may occur at random intervals after the car has stopped at a traffic light depending on a number of variables.

  6. #5
    Guest

    My 2-month-old Prius also

    My 2-month-old Prius also stops and starts when at a stop with AC running during my morning drive--either AC alone or AC/heat to avoid fogging windows on a cool morning. I haven't noticed this during my evening drive or when using the fan alone.

    It's not a big bother, but I wanted to to say you're not imagining this.

  7. #6
    Guest

    The Start/Stop is for

    The Start/Stop is for efficient cooling of the engine. I've noticed that if you have the _heater_ on above about 3 bars on the MFD, then the engine kicks in to heat the heater core, keeping the cabin warm. It has a really tiny heater core, so if you didn't do this, the fan would blow all the heat off of it with the engine off in seconds. If you would like to remove this feature, shut off the A/C AUTO. Almost immediately, the engine will shut off if stopped. Just turn it back on again when the engine kicks in on the green.

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