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  1. #1

    Unusual Prius Lessons

    If you are considering buying a Prius, here are some unusual lessons learned:

    1) If you get a Prius and teach you kids to drive using a Prius, then when they get in a different car, they really do not like "Neanderthal Cars".... Starting a conventional car is hard and sometime makes this HORRIFYING grinding sound.... It shakes and makes a lot of noise while stopped.... Where is the gas mileage gauge???... Why do I have to go to the gas station so often???... $70 dollars to fill up (that cost more than my cell phone bill !!!!!) .... What's that smell??? (It's called exhaust). "Someone told me if you turn on (note this terminology) a car in a closed garage it can kill you" (That is true, but it may take a real long time with a Prius.) The best of all is comparing how much MPG you get instead of how fast you get somewhere for bragging rights. (i.e. My son gets better MPG than me?!!!!) I bet most buyers do not think about this "hybrid" effect.

    2) Paying less at the pump is easy to accept, but stopping at the gas station twice as many times when reverting to using a non-hybrid is a BIG pain. (The heck with the incessant comparisions between hybrid total cost vs. convention car total cost, the long gaps between fill ups counts for a LOT.)

    3) When something goes wrong, you have a couple of miles of slow moving available to get off the interstate and someplace safe. My 2001 Prius has had three notable problems over six years (Gas Pedal Sensor failure, 12V Battery Failure, Main Battery Warning). In all cases, the car was able to get to the dealer on it's own power. Not an insignificant safety aspect to consider.

    4) Your driving habits will change. Period.

    5) Hurricanes here in Florida shutdown gas stations (Power losses immobilize gas pumps, refinery shutdowns cause shortages.) Having a full tank in a Prius feels good in this situation since you can get out of the state on one tank.

    6) The warranty is MUCH more important for a hybrid than a conventional car. The cost of hybrid components, especially the Main Battery are dramatically higher so include in your purchase plans what to do BEFORE the hybrid warranty expires. My 2001 Prius had the Main Battery replaced under warranty at 83,000 miles. A rare event, but $3000-$5000 you do not want to be saddled with unexpectedly. The main battery "may" wear out in your lifetime, so driving a hybrid till "the wheels fall off" should not be your plan. [The battery was disassembled and shipped back to Toyota. Toyota fully realizes that battery problems have to be relentlessly addressed for hybrids to maintain their success. For me, getting a new main battery under warrantee was a great deal, not a drawback.]

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    RE: Leassons Learned

    Amen to it all!!

    Don't forget the small things here an there that many nahsayers don't realize.

    1) Hybrids are a gift to the future of electric and hybrid vehicles. Why? Technology doesn't improve or evolve in a vacuum. Real world use show flaws and potential improvment for the next generation. Electric cars aren't going to suddenly pop up with amazing capacities, speed, and distance. What is learned about hybrids now will better the future for the next generation of technology.

    2) The electric motor and the gasoline engine "share" the workload. This puts less strain on both and the components they power. This translates into longer lasting parts related to the motor and engine. I'd be interested to see the statistics for powertrain failure related to the engines of hybrids and compare it to conventional cars.

    3) Regaining lost energy. Being able to take the actual motion of a vehicle and use it to later power the vehicle is fascinating to me. Relatively speaking, this is free energy. Well...more like a deduction or credit. It's great to say that I've used 25% of the battery capacity to get up that steep hill but I've recovered 5-10% of that effort going back down the other side.

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