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  1. #11

    Prius in Canadian winter


    Have you ever tried to ride a bicycle in the winter? It's pretty tough slogging. Your vehicle mileage will decrease in the winter because the car has to work harder to move itself through the snow and slush. It has nothing to do with the fact that you have a hybrid.

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  3. #12

    Prius in Canadian winter

    Brian - As temps drop, the lubricants in the engine, transmission...all the way to the grease in the wheel bearings and CV joints thicken. It's just going to take more energy to get things moving as usual.

    Also, beyond the added energy draw placed by running more electrical loads as mentioned by others, the engine spends a longer time in warm-up mode when started - runs rich to provide adequate ignition/engine operation, as it is the vaporied fuel that burns. The colder the fuel/air charge, the lower the rate of vaporization of the fuel (winter gas blends also include distilates that vaporize at lower temps), and denser is the air which also requires more fuel to maintain a given air-fuel ratio.

  4. #13

    Prius in Canadian winter

    My Prius does just as well in the heat of Mid-Georgia as it does in Northern Alberta now.

    This winter the mileage took a bit more of a hit than it did in Georgia's Summer Heat but I attribute that to 1)Winter Fuel, 2)Catalytic Converter, and 3)Cold Starts. Plugging the Block Heater in if you parked more than 24 hours and it was down below -10C seems to help ... beyond what the coolant thermos does the job. I plug it in at work regularly and plug it in at home below -20C and let it warm up. I've never had it sit in cold weather more than 48 hours this winter ...

    The only other thing I noticed was that the battery runs a higher charge in the cold weather than it did in the warm weather ... maybe that's part of the programming when the snowflake come on the dash as it has been for the last 4 1/2 months straight.

    As for the TRAC, overspeed or other programming that causes it to take the power off when 'spinning out' I believe this can be overridden by using brake and this basically stops your vehicle from being a hybrid. I haven't tried it yet. Might have to look at what it says in the book about it again. That aspect has generally saved my *** a couple of times. Once driving through that Hurricane that wiped out New Orleans when it was in Northern Alabama during sideways downpours, and a couple of times driving on ice. It basically kept me from going into a skid. There is only one time when I was temporarily annoyed by this characteristic ... when I was probably driving somewhere I shouldn't on glare ice on a side slope ... but that time I decided I didn't need to go there, backed up and went another way.

    Really I can't say that I've had any problems with my Prius in the cold and it was a model built for the Southeastern US market (received at Jacksonville, Florida).

  5. #14

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I have a 2005 Prius since june 2005. It performs very well in winter and the fuel effinciency is still very good. I monitor closely my fuel consumption and short trips cost more. Once on highway, the performance is very similar to summer unless there are very bad driving conditions wich happens occasionnaly in Quebec.

    Montreal Quebec

  6. #15

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I have a 2005 prius and just like clockwork harsh cold winter drives in chicago and buffalo reduce my mileage into the 38/42 mpg range. Alas then comes spring and just like that i am back to my 44/48 mpg range. In mild weather when i real drive very conservatively i have hit 50/55 mpg for some short stretches ie a 20 mile one way trip, but the bottom line is keep on driving conservitive sit back and watch all the crazy people darting in and out and cutting each other off and wasting fuel and loosing their cool along with their cash its a hoot.


  7. #16

    Prius in Canadian winter

    How about driver comfort? Does the cabin heater in a hybrid work as well as in a non-hybrid?

  8. #17

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I managed to reduce the cold weather impact on my 2004 Prius fuel efficiency by blocking most of the grille openings with foam pipe insulation. I found that it can be installed very descretely and have had no troubles in two winters. Without these in place, I found my engine running much more just to maintain minimum temperature. Even with these in, the other winter factors still knock down efficiency: Colder starts, pushing snow, anti-freeze in fuel, etc.

    In two winters, I have not missed my Subaru except when trying to start on a slippery incline, then the traction control can essentially paralyze your car. It would be nice if you could turn the T.C. off momentarily.

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