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About TheProfessor

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    Prius Excel
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  1. There are two versions of overspeed warning. There's a beep if you go faster than the speed limit that the Road Sign Assist camera last saw, and there's a verbal warning from the Sat Nav if you go faster than the speed limit the Sat Nav map has for that road. Both get the vehicle speed from the same data as the speedometer, which, as standard in nearly every car, reads around 10% fast. I'm not sure about the RSA beep, but the Sat Nav overspeed warning has various margins you can select, for example 5mph over the limit is the compromise I use. (At least that's the case on my 2017 Gen 4) It's all moot anyway. The best way to not speed is pay attention to the speed limit signs yourself, then set the speed limiting cruise control to around 10% over the limit. The RSA reads the wrong signs (e.g. maximum speed stickers on the backs of speed-limited vehicles like vans and HGVs, and road signs for roads you might turn off onto but don't), and the Sat Nav data is always at least a year out of date, and speed limits can change, and it doesn't work at all on new roads it doesn't know about.
  2. I don't have the 2020 version, but I do have a UK 2017 Excel with Touch 2 Go. On mine you can find the verbal overspeed warning by pressing the blue illuminated Setup button to the right of the touchscreen, then on the touchscreen select Map, then Speed limits, then tick Audible warning if limit exceeded by:, then choose a speed margin. For the camera contrast and brightness, press the blue illuminated Setup button again, then on the touchscreen press Display, then Camera, and adjust the brightness and contrast sliders. By wary when adjusting these though, what can make it look better in the daytime can make it look much worse at night, and vice versa.
  3. Putting higher octane fuel in a Prius won't hurt it (or any petrol powered vehicle for that matter), but it also won't have any effect other than making your wallet lighter... maybe with one caveat. The Octane rating is how much the fuel resists knocking. Knocking is basically how diesel engines work, where the fuel ignites due to being compressed by the cylinder. Petrol powered cars want to compress the fuel as much as possible, then ignite it with a spark from the spark plug. So diesel cars want a very low octane rating, and petrol cars want a very high octane rating. In a petrol fuelled car, the more you can compress the fuel before igniting it, the more power you can get out of it. However, it's hard work compressing fuel, and as you get a bigger bang (literally) out of more compressed fuel the engine needs to be designed to handle these greater forces. Such cars that are designed to handle and take advantage of greater compression are sports cars (e.g. your typical Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc), some "sport" versions of more typical brands, some turbo charged cars, along with some modified/"tuned" cars. When these cars are fuelled with higher octane fuel, the engine's computers gradually alter the timing to increase the compression. In other cars, the timing isn't altered as it's already at its maximum compression. In all modern cars, there is a knock sensor in the engine that detects if premature ignition (knocking) is occurring, and alters the timing accordingly to reduce the compression. So... In a car that isn't designed to take advantage of higher octane fuel (nearly all cars, including the Prius), the higher octane fuel achieves nothing. In sports/performance cars, some of them may slowly adapt to the higher octane rating and extract more power and economy from it. In all cars, if you put low octane fuel in (up to a point), the engine will adapt and reduce the compression to prevent it knocking. There is one caveat that I mentioned above. Higher octane fuels are often sold as a Premium/Higher quality fuel and, as such, may contain a higher quality additive package. This may, in some circumstances, in some cars, in some conditions, improve the efficiency of the engine by helping to clean it internally (e.g. removing carbon deposits).
  4. Yes there are side airbags, but they won't interfere with the car seat, as they go across the door/window, not out of it. It's far safer to put a car seat in the rear of a car, not the front, so if you can, do that.
  5. Plugins have much larger batteries, so where a normal Prius will charge it's battery completely when travelling for, say, a mile downhill, the rest of that downhill trip only produces energy that is lost to heat (e.g. your brakes). But a plugin will keep recharging for 5 miles of downhill. Another way to look at it is you can recover a greater quantity of energy. Then there's the fact electricity is cheaper than petrol. So you can charge a plugin and travel around 30 miles on it without using a drop. For most people in most circumstances that's more than enough (trip to work, shops, home). So some people could own a plugin hybrid and fuel it only once or twice a year. So, yes, it's more weight, but it's more than offset by the fact you can "fuel" it more cheaply with electricity, and can recover more of otherwise lost energy during regen.
  6. And that's probably all that's needed. The power drain on the 12V is minimal, and it charges whenever the car is in Ready mode (whether the engine is running or not). A 1 minute drive around the estate will keep everything lubricated and rust off the brakes. You could continue driving or not driving (just in Ready mode) for a bit longer to charge the battery. The engine will run until it finishes warming up, which is long enough to give the traction battery some charge too. Do that once a week and you'll be fine. Most people will have to go to the shops every week anyway, which is also enough to keep everything running well. In general, you should be able to leave your car alone for a month without much issue. Depends on the health of the batteries of course. No harm in starting your car once a week or once a fortnight.
  7. This is mentioned in my 2017 media manual in the Radio Operation section near the start of the manual, on page 33 under the title "Time Shift Operation". It allows you to skip back (and subsequently forward) during any DAB broadcast. So if you miss something important, in the News, say because your kid's are arguing in the back, you can press that clock button, then press << a couple of times. I don't recall how to exit out of that screen, but the standard ways would be waiting a few seconds, pressing the Media button to go back to the Media screen (or whatever button to go back to whatever screen you want, e.g. Nav), or press a curved arrow "back" button that sometimes displays in the corner.
  8. It's slightly different on my Touch2 compared to those instructions. Igntion in either accessory or ready mode. Hold media button, and while holding it switch headlights from Auto to Side Lights 4 times. Maintenance menu pops up...
  9. Fine here... I use it in cities and in the country.
  10. My thoughts exactly. Ask them to update it to the latest version to see if that fixes it. Or do it yourself. The Excel has free map updates for 3 years from the Toyota UK site.
  11. Check that there isn't a USB drive inserted that has any files other than folders and .MP3 files in the root folder. The system displays a "Loading..." message like that when it tries to install a software update from the USB drive, so it could be seeing a file there that it thinks is an update and is trying to extract it.
  12. When you Google for the carbon part number, the going rate for compatible parts from reputable brands is around £5. Even premium brands are £15. I wish OEM parts weren't so expensive.
  13. Connect your phone to the car via BlueTooth. Then select the BlueTooth source on the car's media system. Play music on your phone.
  14. If you absolutely must use Google Maps, the only solutions are to buy and install a custom head unit that supports Apple Play or Android Auto, there are a few of them out there, some good, some bad, and some even go so far as to keep other features like the reversing camera with the lines that move with the steering wheel - there are many threads about this over on PriusChat about this for the Gen 4. Or you can use a phone mount and just use your phone (you can send audio to the car's speakers via BlueTooth of you wish). So you still get your music, and you still get Google Maps with voice navigation, and your phone still charges, but you don't get a big built in screen. That being said, roads don't change much. Even in the past 30 or so years I've been driving only 2 roads have changed significantly on a 250 mile journey I take a few times a year - The new Queensferry Crossing near Edinburgh, and the A1/A66 roundabout at Scotch corner, for example. In the former case it makes no difference to navigation as you start on the same road and end up on the same road that you would have using the original roads. If you have even mediocre navigation skills, and ability to read road signs, it generally makes no real difference at all having map data that's even 10 years our of date. If you don't have these skills, they're very useful to have. I'm not trying to be condescending, but sat navs do fail, sat navs can be wrong, sat navs can't always adapt to unforeseen closures, sat navs don't always understand the rules of the roads like one way systems or roads you shouldn't travel on. Being occasionally forced to navigate using the traditional methods is a useful reminder. Furthermore, relating to that, there are issues using internet based navigation. Not everywhere has a 3G or 4G data signal. Specifically, when I travel to the Yorkshire Dales, sometimes the maps just stop working for up to 20 minutes at a time. Sure, you can pre-download a route in Google Maps before you leave, but that's a hassle, AND, if you need to divert significantly off that route due to traffic or accidents or road closures then you're screwed. I once used Google Navigation to travel to the dales and it was great until I turned off the M6 into the Lake District. From then on it was beyond useless.
  15. The SatNav receives traffic information from FM radio broadcasts, and if you have your phone connected and allowed internet access it will also download traffic information from the internet. It may have been routing you in a way as to avoid traffic congestion or to avoid road works, an accident, and so on. Sometimes these things clear before the data is updated. Does it happen every time? Or just occasionally? The loud beeping and red sign is definitely the automatic emergency braking system. You were probably closing the distance fast on a car (possibly parked). This happens quite a lot. Once it realises you're braking or turning and will not crash the warning disappears. If you continue to head towards the thing it's seen it will really slam on the brakes VERY hard. Mine's only done that once, and it absolutely 100% prevented a real crash when a car in front of me on a slip road joining 60MPH traffic decided to chicken out and stop dead in front of me while I was checking my blind spot and not looking ahead. Anyway, I commonly get false alarms if I am travelling towards a parked car on bendy roads. The system only looks straight ahead. Also the camera watches for what it thinks are people stepping out into the road. I've had it beep when kids have ran towards the kerb from the pavement and stopped suddenly, or people have stepped out from behind parked cars. Again - it's never needed to actually brake, but it definitely saw a real hazard most of the time.