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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Gas Consumption - Can this be Right?

    I just purchased a one-year old Prius with 16K on it, from a Toyota dealer (previous loaner car). They filled up the tank on Wednesday when I bought it, and I've driven 298 miles since then. The tank is already at only 2 bars left to empty, and just driving to work and back today (approx 5 miles each way) made it go from three to two remaining bars.

    Can this be right?? Supposedly I'm averaging only 40mpg, mixing highway and local driving (California resident, so when I say highway, I'm talking about between 70 - 80 miles per hour).

    I'm new to all this and have been reading a lot of the forums to get better acquainted about the car, but this gas consumption - especially the drop from three to two bars in the course of just today - has me worried.

    On top of that, the battery has only gone to full charge twice this past week, and today while driving home got down to only three bars also (though still blue).

    Is there something wrong with my car??

    Thanks for any help and sorry this is so long.

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  3. #2
    Guest

    Short trips kill mileage

    Yes, JRP, 40 mpg very well could be correct--but you should be able to improve it after you get used to the car.

    Between the two Prius models I drive (one a 2004 carpool car and one my own 2005 model), the mileage can vary greatly depending on the length of trips. If we fill up the carpool Prius and only do the (25 miles one way) commute, we get around 44 to 45 mpg. Our commute includes stop-and-go traffic as well as freeway speeds. When the car is used for short errands, the mileage drops to around 41 or 42. If we happen to fill up just before doing one of those little errands, the display can read as low as 38 mpg, until we go for a longer drive home.

    Check your tire pressure. It should be at least 35 psi in front and 33 in the rear, but you can easily improve mileage by increasing the pressure. My own Prius has Michelin Hydroedge tires that I put on at 30k miles but keep filled to 42 psi in the front and 40 in the rear. Try increasing tire pressure a little bit and see how it affects your driving and mileage to decide what you can live with. Speaking of tires, do keep an eye on the tread and rotate them religiously every time you change the oil (5000 miles). The Michelins I have get worse mileage than the stock Bridgestones, but they have better traction (necessary where live because the roads get scary slick when it rains). Before I changed tires, I would be getting between 48 and 50 mpg; after, even with extra psi, my average dropped to 42-45.

    Be certain that you're not carrying around extra weight you don't need. Keep your gym bag in a locker, not in the car--that kind of thing.

    A front end mask, bike racks, or roof racks will cut efficiency.

    Defrost and AC will drop the mileage, but so will leaving the window down if you're going over 40 mph.

    And do try to be easy on the starts and stops. Good luck!

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I've also seen some forums and discussed with other hybrid users the "calibration" of the fuel guage. It's been suggested to run your car from full to the fuel warning light once every 3 to 6 months. While I'm not sure the role it serves, I just bought my car a month ago. On my first fillup I went 290 miles until the warning light. On my next fillup it was 340. And on my most recent one it was 400 miles. It's certainly possible that the previous drivers more frequently filled it up when it got around halfway and never let the gauge go to the warning light.

    Along with my advice, definitely take Maria's. Her suggestions are the prime ones for getting the best mileage out of your prius.

    Good luck and happy driving.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Better Mileage on Prius

    You might want to check out this page...

    http://www.hybridcars.com/gas-saving...ota-prius.html

    Basically, to squeeze the most mileage out of a gallon of gas you can't drive a hybrid the way you use to drive whatever car you had before. You have to re-learn how to drive... at least how to drive your hybrid. I've had my 2007 Prius now for a month and am averaging 49 mpg on a combine city/highway driving. When I drive only to work (5 miles each way on city roads) I do very poorly but still in the low 40s. Driving on the highway gets me low 50s but as I increase my speed it decreases the miles I get out of a gallon of gas. I've become a proud slow driver on the highway <65 mph but I make sure not to drive on the fast/pass lane.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    0

    Thanks

    Thanks for the good advice, and for the reassurance that there isn't anything necessarily wrong with the car! It really helped to hear it.

    I've been reading about the driving techniques, and am trying to incorporate them into my local driving skills. I was able to increase the average MPG a little by trying to implement them where I can. Much of my driving is local, though with short stints on local highway,too. Today while driving on the campus where I work, I was able to successfully pusle and glide - it was neat to see no arrows anywhere on the display!

    I'll just have to eat the mileage on the highway trips, because I cannot drive the speed limit in California - I would be a road hazard in that case, for sure!

    One last question on this subject - any opinions on whether it's possible that the fact that this was the dealer's loaner car will permanently impact on the MPG? I ask this because of what I read about breaking in the hybrid system and getting the best mileage after about 5 - 10K - this car is past that point, but Im sure previous drivers didn't try any of the techniques. Could the car have been "broken in" the wrong way?

    Thanks again!
    Jessica

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