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Condensation Problem


B&J
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Hi, Everyone

Further to hints and tips about improving mileage per gallon given in this forum, I drive as often as possible on my short trips to the gym and back with the heater OFF. The air flow is set to outside air, not recycling and the car radiator is not partially blocked (in an attempt to improve engine heating).

Forgive my ignorance, but my question is should I be surprised that the inside windows get very steamed up? I do mean streaming, especially the back window.

Does the heating need to be on Auto to stop this?

Is it a sign that the pollen filter is blocked/wet through?

Thanks

B&J

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Running the car with the climate system set to 20/21c on the Auto setting with the a/c on will solve the problem.

Also, it has been reported that a brand new Prius can be prone to steaming up more than usual. This issue will usually resolve itself after a month or so - depending on usage if you use the climate system as noted above.

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How much does the mpg increase by keeping the Auto A/C Off? I thought heating the engine, to heat the cabin, was where most of the fuel consumption went in Winter?

I would try running with Auto A/C on. If that fails to solve it, see if the switching on the rear defogger helps?

If your car was sat for days without being used I'd suggest experimenting with one of those portable dehumidifiers, but your problem sounds like it may be self-induced.

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How much does the mpg increase by keeping the Auto A/C Off? I thought heating the engine, to heat the cabin, was where most of the fuel consumption went in Winter?

I would try running with Auto A/C on. If that fails to solve it, see if the switching on the rear defogger helps?

If your car was sat for days without being used I'd suggest experimenting with one of those portable dehumidifiers, but your problem sounds like it may be self-induced.

A/C - Not a lot. However the cold will affect your mpg's. Frankly I don't bother in the winter, I make do with high 60's and low 70's during the summer and let the heating- a/c take care of the winter!

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If you wish to drive with the heating system turned off, the thing to do is first select front screen demist then turn the system off. This leaves the flap open to front screen, well it does in my Gen2 then natural air flow will come through and help keep the front screen demisted.

However, I find it easier to leave the system on auto and let it do it's own thing.

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My Avensis and my previous gen 2 and gen my 3 Prius were all prone to misting up at this time of year and during thunder storms etc. The only way to avoid it is as GC recommended.ie AC On. You do not have to be concerned about MPG just keep safe.

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My Avensis and my previous gen 2 and gen my 3 Prius were all prone to misting up at this time of year and during thunder storms etc. The only way to avoid it is as GC recommended.ie AC On. You do not have to be concerned about MPG just keep safe.

But yes, the Aircon uses as electric motor driven compressor as opposed to your more traditional belt driven style. This means that the air con in my experience doesn't seem to make any appreciable difference to fuel consumption. As far as fuel consumption goes at this time of year, it's more to do with how warm you want the inside of the car. So as long as you're requesting heat the more the engine will run at low speeds, so lower heat setting = less engine run time during stops and low speed running.

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If you wish to drive with the heating system turned off, the thing to do is first select front screen demist then turn the system off. This leaves the flap open to front screen, well it does in my Gen2 then natural air flow will come through and help keep the front screen demisted.

I do this sometimes in my Gen3, but the airflow through the prius seem very weak compared to previous cars I've had.

Opening a window or two slightly improves airflow if you can stand the cold.

I used ECO mode very little last year as it seemed to dampen the performance too much, but now the car has a few more miles on it (10K) the engine seems to have loosened up and it doesn't feel as sluggish.

I find ECO definitely helps in the cold weather when using the heater, at least 3mpg more than normal mode.

I am a converted ECO warrior LOL.

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I have found that switching from PWR mode to ECO means the car will turn off the ICE much more readily while stationary. Also the fan reduces speed. So ECO should definitely help MPG in the Winter. And if you are not going anywhere (or even just being in a long line of gradually moving stop/start traffic) you might as well be in ECO anyway.

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However, I find it easier to leave the system on auto and let it do it's own thing.

Absolutely Right.

I fannyed around with my heating system last winter to no real solution, this year I decided to ignore all the old advice about 'Climate Control' settings being a big fuel waster and decided to let technology do the job I paid for [i had never had Climate Control before].

Result magic! I set the temperature to 22Cº and let it do it's own thing, it selects if the A/C is needed - the air distribution - fan speed and even directs the air from the screen to the face if it gets too hot !!!

For icy mornings the windscreen demister and rear window mirror de-icer are manually activated, this overrides the Climate Control until their job is done.

The only adverse thing I've noticed is that there is a delay before the Climate Control kicks in but if you can't wait, wipe the inside of the windscreen with a soft leather or non fluffy cloth.

Oh! by the way I've not noticed any significant fuel consumption penalty either - keep your tyres pumped up, there's not much you can do about the ambient temperature - you will still enjoy fuel savings over your previous cars even in winter.

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I've used ECO from day 1 in mine, and have noted I've still suffered a drop from mid-sixties MPG (Fuelly measured) to upper fifties since the weather turned colder.

Roll on the spring!

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Thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread. I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond.

I've adopted the 'Let Auto sort it out' solution. I'm now running with the heating set to 20.5 (which, incidentally, has had the beneficial side effect of making the loud noise from the passenger seat go away.)

When moving, the car is now OK, although yesterday (temp about 13C, very heavy rain) and moving very slowly in heavy traffic, the rear window kept misting up even with heating and aircon on; I had repeatedly to switch on the rear demister.

MPG's a funny thing, isn't it. Before I joined this forum, I had the Honda Civic (1.8 litre, computerised manual gearbox i.e. iShift) and was blissfully happy to get low/mid 40's on a very long run of 240 motorway miles and 35mpg over the life of the car). I filled up the Prius the other day and my tankfull to tankfull mpg was 49.99 and (initially) I was disappointed! I soon realised that this was pretty darn good, as the mileage had all been around town during the very cold spell we had recently. Following my posting about condensation, I got 62mpg on a 26 mile motorway trip with cruise control set to 60mph indicated. This has gone down now to 52 and a bit with more town driving.

Prii are good, ain't they?

All the best in whatever you choose to do over this holiday period, and thanks for all the help so far.

B&J

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks so much to Grumpy Cabbie for post # 131807 reply 2 on the subject of condensation in 2011 Prius.

Think the Prius is nearly perfect car but have had trouble over a period of years with condensation overall on inside of windshield and a two to three inch high "mustache" of condensation on the outside bottom of windshield--- sometimes both at once.

Finally, while struggling with the defrost and fan speed and windshield wiper, I jumped a curb. No injury, thank goodness. I complained to Toyota and said maybe the windshield had improper insulation qualities. Toyota send a technician to look at the car but he found nothing wrong. The technician did comment to the service advisor that, in checking the car's "black box", it showed that the Auto setting was not being used at the time of impact. It was suggested to me to use Auto setting almost all the time to control fan speed better.

Since then, I have had only one high condensation situation and I was better able to control things by using Auto interspersed with Defrost and use of the windshield wipers.

This coincides with your suggestion of keeping Air Conditioner at 74 degrees F (20 degrees C) and use of Auto setting which also recirculates inside air. I will try the 20 degree Celsius setting right away.

When they told me to use the Auto setting I was not even aware of where it was. I had read the manual when I got the car in March 2012. But the manual only said the Auto button adjusted fans to give better heat control. I thought it was like heated leather seats--- a devise to get heated up faster and something I really didn't need.

It seems to me too bad that Toyota doesn't say in the Toyota Manual that the Auto setting is helpful in adjusting fan speed TO CONTROL EXCESS CONDENSATION and try to reduce excess temperature variation between the inside and outside of the windshield, if that is what is needed.

If you look at my profile you may figure that I am a Yank, apparently in the middle of a British car club atmosphere. I would admonish you all out there to heed the advice of Grumpy Cabbie and use Auto setting and Air Conditioning set at 20 degrees C on humid days when your window tends to fog up interspersed with use of Defroster and Windshield Wipers, if necessary.

Thanks again to Grumpy Cabbie--- you may have prevented a future accident for me and others.

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I had to use the front demister on my 2nd gen Prius all the time. If I ever turned it off, the thing would mist up almost instantly. My Verso is slightly different, in that I have to leave the system on auto otherwise it all mists up. Never had this with any other make of car...there's something about Toyota's!

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Can't say I had the same experience in the Gen 2s I drove, but I did find that:

  1. use of recirculated air would increase the risk of misting dramatically (using the demist button would automatically select fresh air)
  2. keeping the climate control on auto and a moderate (18-21 C) temperature from cold without using the A/C would help, unless it was a damp day, but once you switched on A/C it needed to stay on for the rest of the journey or misting would surely follow
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Thanks so much to Grumpy Cabbie for post # 131807 reply 2 on the subject of condensation in 2011 Prius.

Thanks again to Grumpy Cabbie--- you may have prevented a future accident for me and others.

lol If only Mrs Cabbie would listen to m or take my advice :)

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As far as I can remember, in every car that I've owned with A/C I have left it On pretty much all the time.

I think the Owner's Manuals for some of my older cars, had a maintenance warning that you had to run the A/C at some interval even in Winter, which was not a problem because I never switched it off.

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