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Everything posted by sanzomat

  1. Hi All, when I first got my Prius+ four years ago I was a regular visitor and occasional contributor to this forum. Thank you to anyone/everyone who put up with my daft questions and especially to those that answered them! Over the years, as I got to know the car, I had no questions left to ask and testament to the almost total reliability of the car I never found myself querying strange happenings like I've done on other forums with other cars I've had. As such I've not been on here much, if at all, for the last couple of years. My Prius+ is now sat in my works car park waiting for the lease firm to collect it and it has now been replaced with a Passat Estate GTE plug-in hybrid. After 5 days I'm very pleased with the VW but won't bore you Toyota types with that - I'll go looking for a suitable forum for that! Regarding my 4 years/82,000 miles in my Prius+ I have to say that it has been a really good car. I chose it for what might be considered to be all the wrong reasons mainly low BIK tax and the better business mileage rate my firm pays for petrol over diesel, but I also liked the space, the technology and having something a bit different to everyone else. I wasn't bothered by the stodgy image or driving dynamics as at the time I also had an R1 motorcycle for my driving pleasure (that has now been swapped for a kit car) Since then my choice of petrol over diesel has been confirmed as a good choice as everyone else has realised that diesel chucks out lots of nasty horrible stuff into the air we breathe! My average fuel consumption over 82,000 miles (not from the trip computer but from recording fuel bought and miles done) has been 48.7mpg. I'm pretty pleased with this as this is better than any diesel car I've ever had. The trip computer is one of the least dishonest too, circa around 6% optimistic (the worst I've had was an Audi that was nearly 30% optimistic on fuel consumption!! time will tell if VAG have improved on this with the Passat) The car is still on its original pads and discs - in fact pads still have 60% left according to my last service - not bad for over 80k and shows how efficient the regen braking is. Other than a few bits of trim breaking and wear/tear the car has been 100% reliable needing nothing other than servicing and the odd recall. The battery pack hadn't deteriorated at all as far as I can tell. Things I'll miss: the reversing camera, voice control and hands free entry (the Passat has neither), the highish driving position, the remarkably comfy seats/driving position (never had any aches/pains driving this car, even for 16hrs plus in a day) and occasional use of the third row of seats. Things I won't miss: rattly interior trim, the "slipping clutch" CVT and the noisy acceleration that comes with it, the foot operated handbrake, the mirrors not folding when you lock it, the lack of a cancel button for the traffic anouncements. Overall this has been one of the better cars I've had over a 35 year history of driving. I will miss this car. 4 years ago I wouldn't have dreamed I would be saying that!
  2. As a company car driver who has had turbo diesels for the previous 4 cars (about 90,000 miles in each over 2-3 year periods of possession) I have to agree with the majority of respondents to the OP. I often burn a whole tank on motorway runs and my Prius+ is definitley more economical on motorway runs than any of the diesels I've had and given the petrol is cheaper (and cleaner) it makes it even better still. Around town its even better but where it really excells is on A and B roads. E.g. on a 160 mile trip from Gloucestershire to Fordingbridge and back, all on A roads, I averaged 74mpg just going with the flow, even overtaking a few other cars. This is in automatic seven seater! Sticking to the topic, my original fronts (Bridgstone) wore out at 24k so about the same as all the diesels I've had. These were worn on the edges despite running them about 2psi over recommended so I advise anyone with these tyres on this car to go even higher. They still had a good 4mm in the middle.
  3. Hi All, My employer has just changed my phone from a Blackberry to a Nokia Lumia 635 Windows Phone. It has paired fine with Bluetooth and there is no problem making calls or recognising the contacts etc. However, on the BB it would alert me on the T&G screen to new emails and texts and give me the option to have the system read them out to me. On the Lumia T&G can't see emails or texts. Is there a setting I need to change or is it just that some phones don't support this feature?
  4. As I said in the original post, they hadn't touched the tracking. Apparently Kwik fit aren't allowed to adjust the tracking on hybrids. The branch manager said they are only allowed to do tyres and wiper blades on them!
  5. As a slight aside, this is classic symptoms of tyre under inflation. You might want to try running your tyre pressures a little higher than whatever you currently run. Add, say, an additional 3-4 PSI to start with, front and back. Check them regularly for even tyre wear and adjust accordingly. Bonus, you may very well see a slight improvement in fuel economy. My 2p. I agree that edge wear is a symptom of under inflation but (following guidance on this site on improved MPG) I've always run them 4 psi above the recommended and checked regularly. Maybe the recommended is actually far too low!
  6. Hi All. Slightly weird one so thought I'd post and see if anyone has any thoughts. I had the front tyres replaced on my 2013 Prius+ today. Its a company/lease car and I have to use Kwik Fit. The original Bridgestones had lasted 24,000 miles and still had around 3mm over the middle 75% but had worn to nothing on the outside and pretty thin on the inside. Nearside slightly worse than offside (but I put this down to road camber). Anyway, the new ones are Pirelli P7. I didn't get any choice, this is what the lease firm agreed to. The receipt said nothing about tracking/alignment but I'm not surprised as lease firms rarely authorise this and 24k from a set of fronts isn't bad. The weird thing is that when I got to a straight road I noticed that although the car is tracking straight and true the steering wheel is slightly left of centre when going straight. I've had this before when the tracking has been adjusted and they didn't centre the wheel properly. I went to a different Kwik fit branch and they said they wouldn't have adjusted the tracking as they aren't allowed to. He phoned the other branch and they confirmed they hadn't. He checked the pressures - all fine, he checked the tyres where the right way round (yes) and checked the wheel nut torque (fine) so couldn't offer any explanation as to why the steering wheel isn't straight now. His only suggestion was to go to a Toyota dealer. I've no ideas but it was definitely straight before and isn't now. Any thoughts?
  7. I'm sure I read somewhere that the alloys are hidden behind plastic covers for protection as they are made for lightness rather than durability so the additional protection offered by the plastic allowed them to shave off a few more grams. If thats true then having them on show might reduce their life. I'm not sure if the protection is corrosion or knocks/scrapes or both but I'm not sure how much a bit of plastic gives for either. There is certainly a lot less brake dust (which on previous cars has been a factor in degrading the coating) due to the regen braking. I'll be leaving my plastic covers on.
  8. Our other car is a Renault Megane II CC. It has the "handsfree key card" keyless entry/start system. On that car if you have the engine running without the key present (e.g. if the key is in your wife's handbag and you don't have yours with you like you thought you did and you drop your wife off somewhere) you have to double press the start/stop button to turn the engine off. With just one press it warns you that the card isn't present. This is a useful feature as you can't accidentally turn it off and then be stuck. Not sure if the Toyota has a similar feature.
  9. On my prius plus if you take the key outside of the car whilst the power is still on it beeps loudly at you. I've found this whilst de-icing with the engine running. If you move the key out of range the beep stops though, but the engine doesn't.
  10. I asked the dealer to turn mine to "single beep" whilst it was in for it's first service last month. They did so and didn't charge for it. I find the single beep is a much better way to inform you its is in reverse. When it was beeping all the time I found myself tuning out from it as otherwise it was too irritating but now when going into reverse I listen for the beep to confirm it is in reverse before taking my foot off the brake.
  11. Having now burned my first whole tank of petrol since getting the rear brake noise sorted I'm wishing I'd done it sooner. This tankful has been pretty much the same type of driving as usual and recently I've been stuggling to get more than 48 (computer) but this tank has come out at 56 (computer) I can't think of any other reason for this improvement so I'm thinking that the brakes may have previously been rubbing all the time. I've also noticed I can now maintain a steady speed on EV on roads that would previously have required the engine to fire up and also I can go much further on EV before I run out of charge. My thinking is that whilst running on electric power the available power is much less so a small difference in rolling resistance is more noticable than in petrol mode. I'll be watching the next few tankfulls with interest...
  12. Update: I've now had my 10,000 mile service and I mentioned the bulletin number from Devon Aygo for my whale song brakes. They had to order parts so it was a return visit but they seem to have replaced the caliper brackets and pads and it also looks like they have put new discs and new callipers on as they all look very shiny and new. It was a warranty fix so I didn't get any paperwork. Anyway, I don't get any whale song any more, just a nice silent glide away! So, thank you Devon Aygo - if I hadn't quoted the bulletin number to them they might have still been scratching their heads!
  13. As mine a a company car the biggest factor was low company car tax and coupled with the better mileage rate paid for business miles for a petrol carand better fuel economy I'm around £125 per month better off in my Prius+ than any other car on the choice list. I need a biggish estate car for moving my disabled daughter's wheelchair and her dog around and I get the benefit of two extra seats when its just people (none of the other cars on my list had that flexibility) I didn't actually want automatic but as more and more of my driving is in city traffic it is proving to be a real benefit and I miss it when I'm driving other cars. It is well equipped, comfortable, smooth, fast enough when I need it to be and very practical. It is also nice to have something a bt different to the passats, insignia and mondeos that everyone else is driving. You soon get used to the "milk float" comments. My only negative is the tank range. In my previous deisels with 70l tanks I was regularly getting 575-600 miles from a fill up but having to refill every 380 miles is a bit of a bore.
  14. Like everyone I guess, I've noticed the mpg worsen as the weather gets colder. My tank average on my Prius+ has dropped from around 53 (computer) to 46 over the same type of journeys since the summer. However, diesel estate cars of similar size in the past (passat bluemotion, mondeo econetic) where only giving around 38mpg over the same journeys so the hybrid is still much better. I also have recently had a week and a half in a 1.2 petrol fiesta whilst my Prius+ was in the bodyshop (a separate storey) and over the same journeys the little fiesta only managed 36 mpg (computer) so even in the winter the big Prius+ is 10mpg better than a 1.2 fiesta! One thing I have found is that the Prius+ is affected badly by strong head winds. Last weekend I went London and back and due to the way the wind was changing I had a strong headwind both ways. Over the 230 mile round trip my average mpg was only 41mpg and that was only doing 75 on the motorway. I imagine that the high profile means that it has a penalty as drag coeficient is alway multipled by cross sectional area to give the actual drag.
  15. To be honest it isn't much different fully loaded to just one up. Inevitably the extra weight makes acceleration worse and fuel consumption deteriorates a bit but otherwise you would hardly know. I had to go up a 1:4 hill with six adults plus other bits in the boot and an almost empty HV battery (only 2 bars left). The engine revs went up quite high but it got to the top without any issues!
  16. Just coming up to 6 months/10,000 miles in my new Prius Plus. So far all good and very impressed. I've recently had an opportunity to test out its practicality so thought others might be interested. Use as an MPV - I generally don't carry more than five so the extra seats were seen as a bonus rather than a necessity, however I have now had two adults in the third row. My passengers report that its not too bad. Okay for space but wouldn't want to spend more than an hour there. The biggest negative comments are that it feels quite claustraphopic due to the small side windows. Opening the sunroof blind helps a lot though. I've also carried six adults and a wheelchair (folded and upright in the boot next to one third row seat) this combination worked well and everyone seemed happy enough for a journey of around 45 minutes. Use as a van - My son recently moved out - amazing how much you can get in it! I even managed to get a double mattress into the back. Several trips to Ikea have revealed that you can get a klippan sofa in the back. I've also been doing some DIY projects at home and have been impressed with its ability to deal with heavy weights. Based on the assumption that six adult passengers (at say 80kg each) would allow a payload of nearly half a tonne when just a driver is present I loaded it up with 450 clay plain roof tiles (ebay purchase!). It swallowed these with no trouble, still plenty of suspension travel left and drove fine with no obvious problems (slight adjustment of the headlight aim to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers). Other estate cars I've owned would have been dragging the back bumper along the road with this much weight in. So far this car has passed every test I've subjected it to so it gets a big thumbs up as a practical car.
  17. Speed limit is shown on the bottom right of the screen so hopefully this means I'm on the current version. There are some speed limits that changed around five years ago that still show the old limit though!
  18. I had something similar with mine (Prius+ with TnG plus). I've not attempted to update the maps so its still on the one it came with in July 13. I set a destination whilst parked on my driveway, as I'd done many times before. Once the route had calculated the display was showing my current location as a place about 8 miles to the east of my current location. I started driving as I know the way to the M5 and knew I was going north as I assumed it was maybe having trouble finding satellites or such like so thought it would get a better signal once on the move. The current position marker moved as I moved, following the direction I was travelling but showed me driving along a road that I know is about 8 miles east of where I was. Occasionally, when the road I was on wasn't going in the same direction as the one it thought I was on it would show me going across fields etc. until it found another road to jump to. It stayed like this all the way to, and onto the motorway. I tried switching the system off and on again using the audio power button but no change. Eventually I stopped in a services and turned off the whole car. On re-starting the whole car it returned to working normally again and hasn't done this again since. Never got to the bototm of it and as its been fine since I've just put it down to it having a funny spell.
  19. http://www.carpaintrepair.co.uk/acatalog/Car-Touch-Up-Paint.html. A quick google brought up this - haven't tried it so cannot recommend but seems worth a try! Also, I've previously used T-Cut scratch magic - this is a little paint pen with a clear resin type substance that claims to match the colour of the surrounding paint by some kind of refraction. I was a bit suspicious but it was on offer at £3.95 so I tried it on my last lease car to hide a few chips before it went back. To my astonishment it actually worked quite well and chips that had gone back to the white primer (on a titanium grey metallic volvo V70) dissappeared and could only be seen by looking for the slightly raised bump where the "paint" was as true to its word it did seem to carry the colour across from either side. The worst chip was probably showing a whole millimetre of white primer before toching it in.
  20. One thing I noticed whilst driving around the pembrokeshire coastline with 6 adults on board is that my HV battery quickly became full as on the steep up hills the ICE was racing (and whilst the electrickery may have been assisting the ICE it seemed to be making at least as much as it was using as the SOC didn't drop) and on the steep down hills the regen brakes were pumping loads of juice into the battery so far from running out of charge I was always full as there were few flat bits to chug along in EV to use it up. I actually found myself running out of room to put the electricity and having to use friction brakes more than I'd like. Its a shame there isn't the opposite of B to force it to use more electricity on the "ups" to make more room for the "downs". I'm guessing it will naturally hang on to it's charge on steep ups as it won't know how long they will go on for but if the driver can see the summit you could manually overide this.
  21. I know its been done to death but as a relatively new hybrid driver I'm still impressed by the motorway MPG as I just wasn't expecting it to be so good. Based on the same misconceptions as many people I also assumed that there would be no benefit at constant motorway speeds but my 'plus is by far the most economical motorway cruiser I've owned and I've had all sorts of diesels for the last ten years. I can honestly say that even at a steady 80 my 'plus is doing about 10% better mpg than the best of the diesels I've owned. Coupled with around 30-40% better mpg around town and on A/B roads I'm averaging a 25% improvement over the best diesels over my whole mileage so far.
  22. I hadn't realised the "dim with lights on" thing - I've seen loads of cars with their DRLs still on with their headlights on such as ford/vauxhall/mercedes/audi/citroen/peugeot/skoda and the DRLs often still look brighter than the dipped beams so maybe aren't dimming quite enough! Given the styling trend towards having fairy lights on so many new cars I'm a little surprised that Toyota have chosen to go for the "off at night" version but not the end of the world. If I want to dazzle oncoming drivers I can always put the front fog lights on!!! (a pet hate of mine...)
  23. No update required - I already have Day-time running lights. My Prius+ also has LED daytime runing lights as standard, although I can't quite understand why they turn out when the headlights are switched on, many other makes that have LED DRLs keep them on all the time. Maybe its an anti boy-racer thing.
  24. Thanks Wass for a very informative article on a/c systems. I kept up with most of it so maybe my previously aquired knowledge wasn't too far off the mark. One query I have is regarding the horrible smell that seems to start to come out of the air vents around this time of year. I've always understood this to be mould growing on the evaporator giving off the smell and the reason it seems to happen in the autumn is that the system has been used all summer but is now having gaps in its use due to lower ambient temperatures so climate systems don't turn on the compressor. When I've had manual aircon I've avoided the smell by leaving the a/c on all year and blending in heat so I don't freeze. This also kept the air inside nice and dry. With climate control systems it seems that even when the a/c is switched on it is only actually on when the system decides so you can't avoid intermitant running (and thus a smelly evaporator!). You mention a good service including dissinfecting the evaporator. I'm guessing that is what the £9.50 aircon treatment is in duffryns bill. I've seen the Forte aerosols for this and once bought one off ebay - set it off inside the car with the fan on full and on recirculate, jump out quick and leave it to run through the air vents and hopefully some of it makes it to the smelly bits! This does work but the smell comes back in a few months. Is there a better way to do a DIY dissinefect?
  25. Now the days are getting shorter I've noticed this on my Prius Plus too - quite cool that the interior lights come on as you walk up to the car!
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