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Old 09-15-2020, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gen 2 Prius..short trips only?

Got my wife a used beater Gen 2 Prius since she works retail and gets called in sometimes only to work an hour. Commute is only 7 miles each direction with 2 traffic lights. I bought it on a whim so she could avoid getting her nicer vehicle dinged up in the parking lot while she isn't there. Now I am reading that the Prius won't get great gas mileage until it warms up. I know that applies to any car. Any way to increase fuel economy over a short trip like that? Is she better off with my Diesel ALH TDI for that short trip? It's got the nasty 01m automatic.

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Old 09-16-2020, 12:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd say you are nitpicking, not enough for either car.
Can you mod the prius to a plug in hybrid?
An old leaf with mid-life batteries would be the bomb on that commute.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How about a bicycle?
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It warms up pretty fast tho. I was getting up to 63MPG in the summer driving 9 mile trips.

How hot is North Carolina? Maybe usual warm-up mods like grille blocks and engine blankets will help you. (and if you want to go crazy with it, keep the oil at the minimum level and concentrate the antifreeze)
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
I'd say you are nitpicking, not enough for either car.
Can you mod the prius to a plug in hybrid?
An old leaf with mid-life batteries would be the bomb on that commute.
Nitpicking how exactly?
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How about a bicycle?
Lol! Not on these dangerous roads!
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobnev View Post
It warms up pretty fast tho. I was getting up to 63MPG in the summer driving 9 mile trips.

How hot is North Carolina? Maybe usual warm-up mods like grille blocks and engine blankets will help you. (and if you want to go crazy with it, keep the oil at the minimum level and concentrate the antifreeze)
Thanks, great ideas. It gets cold here but hasn't been that cold these past few winters.
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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At "7 miles," you're right at the distance the car gets warmed up. Based on my experience:

1) Engine block heater - helps get the coolant up to efficient operating range.
2) Spoof coolant temperature sensor - (MAY NOT BE LEGAL) trick the car into using fuel efficient control laws. This may not bring the catalytic converter to operating temperature quickly.

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Old 09-17-2020, 01:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've had two 2nd Gen Prii (05 and 09) and a 2003 ALH TDI (5 speed)

My wife's commute is also 7 miles. As Bob said, it will be warmed up about the time your wife gets to work. With our cars the first 5 minutes was 25 mpg then it jumped up after that. The good thing is that even "bad" mileage with a Prius is pretty good. My wife averaged about 40 mpg in the winter and 45 in the summer. The Prius will do better on that short commute and the fuel is cheaper.

The key to improving mileage on her short commute is getting the car to warm up faster. Some options:

Engine Block heater (never tried)
Grill Block (I blocked the middle 2 rows of the lower grill all year in Alabama)
Don't turn on the heat until the car is warmed up. (Not a chance with my wife)

The difference between 40 mpg and 50 mpg is tiny* with that short of a commute so I wouldn't go crazy spending money to try to improve the mileage. That is why I never tried the engine block heater.

*Commuting 14 miles x 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year = 3500 miles. The difference between 40 mpg and 50 mpg is 17.5 gallons or $44 a year at $2.50 a gallon.
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiltmybrutha View Post
Nitpicking how exactly?
probably a bad choice of words, but either car will work equally well (or poorly )on that short commute.

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