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Bit Of A Problem


Carltona123
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Well on the first anniversary of acquiring my late 57 plate Gen 2 T3 I was going to write about what a fabulous year it has been. But I think I've now got a bit of a problem.

Guess what? It was due a service and MOT (it's only done 27k) so off it went to my local Mr T.

All was well apart from two front tyres being near the limit and it had a leaking water pump (for the ICE cooling system I believe).

The pump replacement should have been £265 but was done under warranty.

They had an offer on tyres so they replaced the front two for £100 each - Bridgestone Turanza ER300.

Now here's the problem. My fuel economy has plunged. Over the previous 300 miles I had solidly averaged 62mpg on my daily commute. Rock solid.

Since the service I now struggle get 55 and that's trying really hard. I've put the front tyres up to 38psi but still no better.

Anyone got any ideas? I'm gutted.

The weather has gone a little cooler,I suppose, but not that much.

Other clues? Well when I picked the car up the HV Battery was showing completely empty - well down to the last two dim bars. I've never seen it like that before. It got that low the next day too, though has not done since. It seems to be running on the ICE a bit more than it used to.

Also - I keep it in my garage,and each morning my very sensitive nose detects a funny oily smell - a bit like greasy overalls.

Anyone got any ideas?

How I wish I hadn't let them change the tyres - it would make the diagnosis so much easier.....

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The Bridgestone ER300 don't appear to be an energy efficient tyre? If I recall, some say you have to cover some mileage to wear off the newness in the tyres to see if they are responsible for the drop - I've never understood why I didn't find that a problem on the factory fitted ER30's on my car.

As you've just had a service, I would be very suspicious that your engine oil has been over-filled, a classic problem with the Gen 2 because Toyota EU and GB will not own up and address the problem - Toyota specs state that engine oil capacity is 3.7l so that is what the mechanic dials into the machine to delivery that much oil. :ffs:

If your HV Battery has gone back to normal, I would discount that as a problem, I think the Prius just doesn't like going in for a service, and being handled by strange people!

Oil smell in the cabin, check that the mechanic hasn't been very careless and left oily hand prints on the interior fabrics or steering wheel. Also check under the bonnet to see if they were careless when pouring in the new oil, they may have spilled some on the engine and I guess it could be coming in through the cabin air filter.

Like you've said, it is very difficult when there are multiple factors affect the mpg.

PS. My car goes in for service next week to Westover (Salisbury), and when I asked what oil they were going to use on my Gen 2, he said Mobil 1 0W-20, I queried this but the service chap sounded rushed, So I'll ask the question in person next week, I won't be surprised if they change their story again - I think they did last time, sigh, I just wish they knew what they were doing...

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Hey Timber

Thanks for the speedy reply and your observations.

You know - I think it's the tyres.

I've been looking on the internet. I reckon they've given me the standard ER300's which are NOT LRR rated.

What they should have given me were the ER300 Ecopia's. According to a quick search, I could have two fitted for £150 at my local National Tyre Centre. Gutted.

What is the point in having a car aimed at good mpg and then sticking ordinary tyres on it?

So guess I'll just have to get on the phone in the morning......

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You need the ER300 Ecopia which is the low rolling resistance version of the ER300's. It will make a 5 mpg difference and without it you'll be lucky to get over mid 50's mpg. Also, check the garage haven't under inflated the tyres - garages can often just pump them to 30 psi rather than what they should be.

When I've changed tyres (always use llr tyres) I don't find they need much bedding in to get the same economy as previouly.

They may have disconnected the 12v when changing the water pump and this may have reset your cars computer which will take a few miles for it to learn the optimum settings for best economy.

See how it goes but my money is on not having Ecopia llr tyres.

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At the service did they use the correct oil and as timber says was it overfilled etc. Agree all that has been said about the tyres.

The ops car is a gen2 which can use the 5w30. It's the gen3 that is very particular about 0w20. Over filling can affect economy but only if it's way over.

*note* why has someone given a negative mark for my comment about tyres? It's not rude or offensive in any way? lol what a loser!

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So these LLR tyres are a must on these cars then?

The car my bro has just picked up has a budget tyre on the rear drivers side but the rest are Bridgestone jobbies.

Would having just 1 rear non branded tyre affect the mpg much?

Also what psi do you guys get the best mpg return on?

Thanks in advance. :)

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Here's an update.

Spoke to the local dealer who had done the work.

He said these were the tyres they always put on and nobody had complained before.....

I insisted that the Prius HAD to have a LRR tyre, to which he said, "What's LRR?"

I told him what LRR stood for and that the E30's (which they had taken off and which I so wish they hadn't) were LRR.

So he looked up them up on the system and has ordered me in some "Bridgestone ER300 Eco's" - I presume that's the Ecopia. Should be in tomorrow, but he did start muttering about what he was going to do with the two that are now on my car....

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LLR tyres make a difference on all cars but it's much more apparant on the Prius. They don't cost that much more and probably pay for themselves in savings. As I mentioned earlier I lost about 5 mpg average by having two non llr tyres put on the front by mistake. It doesn't sound a lot but I'd struggle to get 55mpg and 60 mpg was impossible to get even when trying. Now I always run llr tyres and will get 60 - 70+ mpg at 55 mph with ease. The Bridgestone ER300 ECOPIA (not the standard ER300) cost about £70 inc vat fully fitted on my gen3 t3. A branded non llr tyre starts at about £55. I also run the tyres at 1psi over the recommended amounts as this gives good economy AND a comfortable ride. I hear some go a lot over recommended psi but that can affect handling in the wet and only gives minimal mpg gain.

Upto your brother whether he wants to put a llr tyre on to replace the budget but it probably will make a difference to overall mpg's. Worth a punt and you could always keep the budget tyre as an emergency spare.

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I insisted that the Prius HAD to have a LRR tyre, to which he said, "What's LRR?"

Well they don't have to have LRRs but your mpg will most likely drop if you don't.

You can also put LRR tyres on a normal car and get better mpg figures.

With a Prius, you notice the difference so it makes sense to use them.

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Grumpy - does it clearly say "Ecopia" on the tyre? Just want to know what I'm looking for when I go down there tomorrow and be able to confirm they are what he says they are.

Ta

BTW I think I worked out what the funny oily smell is - it's the new tyres!!!!!

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Talking of smells.... totally off topic, but I have a funny smell (actually an awful stink) when our Aygo gets hot....

went into the dealers yesterday who smiled and confirmed the diagnosis with hearty laughter....

there was a damn plastic bag melted around the front of the exaust!!!

tis about time they were banned.... if they do that to my Aygo what do they do to dolphins!!!

:thumbsup:

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Grumpy - does it clearly say "Ecopia" on the tyre? Just want to know what I'm looking for when I go down there tomorrow and be able to confirm they are what he says they are.

Ta

BTW I think I worked out what the funny oily smell is - it's the new tyres!!!!!

Just popped out to look at mine to double check. It's in the middle of the side wall in 1cm high writing - First it says Bridgestone, then 1 third of the way round it says Turanze ER300 and then a third further round it says Ecopia with the first 3 letters (eco) surrounded by a weird graphic. I can email you a picture if you really want? Send me your email via the private message service to be secure if you wish.

Just looked at the following page from Bridgestone and it appears the ecopia llr is an option on the ER300;

http://www.bridgestone.co.uk/tyres/car-4x4-and-van/car/touring/turanza-er300

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Thanks for the interest everyone and especially to Grumpy for the kind offer. I think I know what I'm looking for now. Hopefully by this time tomorrow it will all be sorted - but for the time being I no longer enjoy driving my Prius! That 52 mpg average staring out at me is like a dagger through the heart. Fetching my daughter from dance class at half seven. Normally I'd like any chance to go for a spin but I'm actually considering making her get the bus!

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LLR tyres make a difference on all cars but it's much more apparant on the Prius. They don't cost that much more and probably pay for themselves in savings. As I mentioned earlier I lost about 5 mpg average by having two non llr tyres put on the front by mistake. It doesn't sound a lot but I'd struggle to get 55mpg and 60 mpg was impossible to get even when trying. Now I always run llr tyres and will get 60 - 70+ mpg at 55 mph with ease. The Bridgestone ER300 ECOPIA (not the standard ER300) cost about £70 inc vat fully fitted on my gen3 t3. A branded non llr tyre starts at about £55. I also run the tyres at 1psi over the recommended amounts as this gives good economy AND a comfortable ride. I hear some go a lot over recommended psi but that can affect handling in the wet and only gives minimal mpg gain.

Upto your brother whether he wants to put a llr tyre on to replace the budget but it probably will make a difference to overall mpg's. Worth a punt and you could always keep the budget tyre as an emergency spare.

Hi GC you sure you got the ER300 Ecopia for £70 the cheapest I can find is £174 which is £40 dearer than the Michelin Previa hp which are OEM on my Prius

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Hi GC you sure you got the ER300 Ecopia for £70 the cheapest I can find is £174 which is £40 dearer than the Michelin Previa hp which are OEM on my Prius

I am 100% sure but I also stated that I own the gen3 t3 (base model to you and me) which has the higher profile and thus cheaper tyres. I believe the low profile tyres are more expensive - as you've found.

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Should'nt a LRR tyre have the green x mark on it? or is that a specific makers mark?

Kingo

GREEN X (or GRNX) is for Michelin tyres.

It seems that each manufacturer has thier own mark for LRR tyres.

Bridgestone = ecopia

Yokohama = E-Spec

Michelin = Green X

Pirelli = Energy Efficient

and so on..

What you won't find is LRR marked on the tyre.

That would be too easy :)

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Well here's an update and it looks like hats off to our local Mr T.....

First thing this morning the guy who's been looking after me was on the phone to say the tyres were here and ready to be fitted.

Went in after work. Before he fitted them he brought one out into the showroom to check that I was totally happy with them - which I was; they were clearly marked Ecopia.

He popped them both on and even gave me the OPTION of having the car washed - he obviously realised that I was in a bit of a hurry and probably didn't want to hang around. No question of paying any extra for them, even tho' the ones they'd originally fitted had been on for a week.

We even had a little chat about LRR tyres. Fair play to him; he'd said that I was the first person to ever mention LRR so he'd been off to the internet and done his research. He was even able to start quoting professional and anecdotal evidence about which were the best ones! I've got to say I was impressed - he was only a young fellow (well compared to me anyway). Nice to see someone so keen to improve their professional expertise.

Six miles in to my new tyres and it appears there has already been an instant and significant improvement in economy - city mpg now starts with a six, like it should, not a five. Should get even better as they age and I possibly adjust the psi.

So there you go. The end of the matter, I hope, and lesson learned - check out your tyres before you buy.

Thanks for all the advice and support, people out there in Priusland.

PS As an added bonus, I had a very interesting conversation with another customer while I was waiting. Her Avensis had just had its 180000 mile service, having covered 40k since last May! How does she clock up such miles, I hear you ask. Answer - she takes part in viking battle re-enactments all around the country. She said she could stretch to the English civil war at a push, but I'm thinking the Norse thing sounds exciting enough. Just off to Google her now, in fact. Skol!

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Yes - I am impressed.

Drove to work today - 70 mpg as opposed to 60 yesterday (I know that many variables come into play, but it certainly seems more like normal).

Just checked tyre pressures - only 29psi so by the time I top them up to the proper level it should even improve a little more.

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Just checked tyre pressures - only 29psi so by the time I top them up to the proper level it should even improve a little more.

Catches a lot of garages / tyre fitters out. Mine nearly always come back from Mr T at 30psi (but at least they put the correct oil in). My local tyre fitters are great. They found the sticker in the door and pumped up to the correct psi. They did say it was one of the highest they had come across.

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