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Old 04-21-2022, 02:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MI, USA
Posts: 571

92 Camry - '92 Toyota Camry LE
Team Toyota
90 day: 26.81 mpg (US)

97 Corolla - '97 Toyota Corolla DX
Team Toyota
90 day: 30.1 mpg (US)

Red F250 - '95 Ford F250 XLT
90 day: 20.34 mpg (US)

Matrix - '04 Toyota Matrix XR
90 day: 31.86 mpg (US)

White Prius - '06 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.54 mpg (US)
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Got a prius, should be interesting to mess with....

Been a while since I've poked around here. Went from a camry (around 30mpg), to a corolla (38-44mpg), then went the opposite way to a Lexus LS400 v8 car (15-20mpg, it needs work, o2 sensors and such). I got a matrix and the mpg was horrible for what I expected, 30-33mpg, maybe there's an issue with it I didn't pick up on, but the old corolla engine I liked a lot more. Anyway, now I have a 2006 prius. It's a bit of a beater, banged up, ugly, city beater car.

Main focus for it is short trips for my business ~10 miles round trip in the country (55mph limit). Secondary use case is longer trips on the expressway likely around 60mph (75mph limit).

Rear spoiler is cracked a bit, front "hub caps" or rings are broken a bit, and there's a chunk of plastic hanging down in the front I need to fix up. Looks like it hit something in the front, some of the front plastic is messed up.

I'm thinking a kammback will give a bit of a gain. It's a base model, so no backup camera (or it doesn't function). Clearly blocking off the front end some will help things a bit. I haven't gotten under it to see what the belly pan situation looks like. Any other low hanging fruit for mpg I'm missing?

For the prius only stuff, I suspect taking the hybrid battery apart and balancing the cells would be a good idea, maybe capacity test them or whatever process to detect under performing cells and replace them.

I only recently got the car legal, so haven't done much testing with it. Just a few short trips so far and I'm only seeing around 45mpg so far. Instant mpg I see hangs around 50-70mpg at around 55mph, most of the time around 50-55mpg. The engine seems to run a little off at idle, maybe a slight miss. I have some basic "tuneup" parts coming for it, spark plugs, air filter, doing an oil change soon and cabin filter.

My last mpg based car was the corolla, I could give it a lot of throttle and hit around 70-80% load while taking off and it seemed to do quite well. Since the prius automatically adjusts the gear ratio to what it thinks you want to do, I'm not sure what the optimum take off pattern is for them. I assumed light take off would be best, but maybe pulse and glide logic is better on the prius (aka almost floor it and get up to speed asap as I understand it)

Tires are already at around 45psi. I have a broken strut spring in the rear so have new rear struts coming as well. It rides about like a skate board right now lol. The design is good where there's effectively no risk of the spring touching the tire. I bought the car as "non running", even though the seller jumped it with a 12v battery and had it running. It wasn't too happy about anything, abs, brakes, everything was on basically except check engine light. I've gotten all of the warning lights off except tire pressure, and the 12v battery should be about charged up all the way. I'll have to see if it holds a charge or not since it sat dead for who knows how long.

Anyway, not looking to go super crazy extreme or anything, hoping to hit at least 50mpg average for short trips, and maybe 55-60mpg for longer trips which from what I've read and watched on vids, should be very solid goals with my driving style and slower average speeds.

I've looked around for some mods on Prius cars, but I didn't see a whole bunch.

I did see a device that spoofed the engine coolant temp once the engine was warmed up to keep the engine running less. I might build a micro controller to do something similar if there's an easy way to detect when the engine is being started by the computer. Like say the engine is fully warmed up so the engine doesn't go through the warm up process till I'm already crawling down the road on battery only long enough for it to want to recharge. Maybe that's less efficient though since it would be charging while cold. I always just started up my corolla and started moving right away and drove lightly and could hit good mpg in the first mile or so.

I've also played around with aftermarket computers a little for "race" use. It would be interesting to toy with building my own control system, but that's probably out of my scope for the time being.

I also want to use the Prius as an efficient generator since it seems my area has really unreliable power for the last few years (10-20 outages a year). On the stock inverter system I've heard it's rated for about 1500w but the car being in ready mode draws something like 300w. I assume not much can be done about the extra draw unless I tapped into the high voltage battery with a dc to dc converter and somehow controlled the start button on the car based on the hybrid battery state of charge. Haven't thought about this too much yet, but I've ran over some numbers people have stated and it's about as efficient as a backup diesel generator at an ideal load, much better than any gas generator.

Last edited by MetroMPG; 05-03-2022 at 08:55 AM.. Reason: (added PIC)
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