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  1. #1
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    How does the Toyota Prius or any Hybrid for that matter, do in winter? I am concerned that the bitterly cold weather of New England Winters would take a terrible toll on the hybrid technology. And I didn't notice but do any of the hybrids have all wheel drive?

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  3. #2
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    Look around some more on the message boards and you'll find a lot of info - in a nutshell, cold weather does hurt hybrid efficiency (due mainly to longer warm-up times to get the system ready to operate at max efficiency). However, cold weather hurts ALL vehicles efficiency for a number of reasons (such as the winter blend gas we get in the NE).

    All three (so far) hybrid SUVs are available with AWD. Not sure about other upcoming hybrids though.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    Joney: I have a 2002 Prius and live in Southern California, and I did once have a problem on a trip to the mountains--the temperature dropped to 8 degrees at night, and the gasoline engine was stalling on the way down the mountain. After about 20 minutes, the problem went away and the rest of the drive (2-3 hours) was fine. Noone at Toyota has been able to explain it--perhaps it's the ignition battery in the trunk?

    I've heard there is some kind of cold weather package. I do not have this, of course. Other than that one incident, the Prius has been a great car for me-the best I've every owned.

    Darryl

  5. #4
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    Synthetic engine & drive train lubes in hybrids is a good example of how much more effective PAO lubes are in cold temperatures compared to non-synthetics. In larger cars & trucks it's probably not that obvious because of the size difference.

  6. #5
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    I live in the Netherlands and my Prius does just fine. We don't have the harshest winters here, but we do have several months of freezing temperatures, snow and ice, and it doesn't adversely affect the Prius at all.

  7. #6
    Guest

    Toyota Prius in winter?

    Priuses all over the place here in Montreal, winter temps often 25 - 30 below zero F. doesn't seem to affect them, no waitning lists at dealers as far as I know, but the day we get a tax rebate like our friends in the USA, the polar ice cap will have melted and it will be too late to do anything about greenhouse emissions. This is the last place in the hemisphere that doesn't have some form of emission testing for the cars on the road. You could be driving a pile of s--- from the 1980's that's never had a tune up, and chugging along at 35 mph on the freeway, and no-one would bat an eyelid. Bravo to our decision makers.

  8. #7
    Guest

    I live in the North-West of

    I live in the North-West of England and this is my first winter with our Prius. The temperatures here are presently ranging between -5 to +5 degrees Celcius, and I have to say that fuel efficiency has dropped around 20 mpg according to the computer. If I use my 'pump to pump' measure, the difference is around 15 mpg, but this is still significant.

    It is true that our old car's efficiency used to drop in winter as well, but to a lesser extent. I have to say here that the Prius is still far more economical at 45mpg than our old Golf (which used to get around 25mpg in winter, despite the claims of 38mpg).

    Having monitored the situation for a few months, I have reached the conclusion that there are a number of factors:

    1. The general increase in consumption caused by heaters, engine components and other cold-weather-specific engineering being pushed far harder. The engine is required far more to run these appliances.

    2. The drop in the cold-weather benefit in conventional motors whereby the efficiency of the car is increased by 3-5% due to cold fuel insertion (in cold weather, you can get a substantial amount more fuel in the tank. This would be negated slightly by the Hybrid's lesser reliance on simple fuel).

    3. I've noticed that the battery fills up quicker and indeed has actually charged completely on a few occasions (something that never happened in summer). At first I attributed this to a better battery performance in cold weather, but have since learned that it is more likely that the battery capacity is reduced in cold temperatures and the computer is merely showing the present limits of the battery rather than the general capacity.

    I'll see how it goes. We are due a check-up as part of our sales service, so I'll ask the experts then.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    0

    With regard to battery

    With regard to battery charge, at temperatures of -5C, you should not have any reduction in battery capacity.

    What is happening is that the car's computer is keeping the gas engine running in order to keep it at operating temperature. The car is not going to "use" charge from the battery to propel the car if the engine is ALREADY RUNNING. Basically, the car is charging the battery every time you hit the brakes, and slow down. But never using the battey to propel the car down the road. So the battery get's pretty full.

    You can increase your winter mileage by no heating the passenger compartment more than necessary, and using the cruise control to let the computer manage engine use more efficently.

    Of course the biggest effect on winter mileage is the distance you travel. Short trips under 10km are going to result in very poor mileage because the car spending most of it's time running down the road with a cold engine.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    0

    I have a 2002 Prius. I've

    I have a 2002 Prius. I've been taking relatively accurate measurements of all my fillups. Recently I added to the spreadhseet the average temperature in Central Park (I live on Long Island) and mapped it to the average temperature for the month. There are some variations but the angle to the trendline is significant. (The trendline is around 40 MPG at 30 degrees and 45 MPG at 65 degrees.) The ironic thing is that it is so linear. Hot weather doesn't impact MPG. (In fact it might even be more severe but I have a high data point of 40.51 MPG at 24.7 degrees that might be throwing off the tendline a degree or two.)

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    0

    Ironically the biggest

    Ironically the biggest annoyance of my 2002 Prius in the winter is the change I had to make in order to prepare for snow. In most cars with front wheel drive you park so you back out of the spot through the snow; that way your drive wheel runs first over the spot covered by the car. Reverse in the 2002 Prius is electric only. That means it can't even cross a molehill of snow in front of it.

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