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PeteB last won the day on April 18

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About PeteB

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    Hybrid & EV nerd (I mean evangelist)

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    Gen 4 Prius Excel 15" - RAV4 AWD Excel on order
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  1. The so-called eCVT transmission in Toyota Hybrids is generally regarded as bullet proof and nothing like the CVT system in most other cars (including most Honda Hybrids) that have it. The Toyota system (sometimes called a planetary transmission) is fairly uncomplicated with a single central cog (Sun Gear), 3-5 (Planet) cogs around it in a carrier with a ring on the outside with its teeth innermost and meshing to the planet cogs. One is connected to the main electric motor, one to the petrol engine, the other to the wheels. Nothing slips, engages or disengages, swaps cogs etc. There's no clutch or torque converter, it's so simple it's beautiful. If one of the three pieces changes speed, one or both the others must change to compensate - for example: car is stationary, engine starts to charge the battery, the main Motor/Generator (MG) must spin the other way. car starts to reverse (engine not running), MG turns the other way. using cruise control at 60 mph, come to a steep upwards hill: engine revs increase (car stays at 60), MG must reduce rpm proportionally (or even spin the other way). hard acceleration, car speed increases, engine revs stay constant - MG slows (possibly reverses direction) proportionately to car's speed increase. Some nifty graphics are in this page: Conventional CVT gearboxes contain a system of cones with a flexible steel belt and as the cones move closer and further apart the band is squeezed and changes ratio continuously, but this systems needs a clutch or torque converter to handle being stationary with the engine running while in gear. There is a simple diagram in this explanation: I've driven a number of cars with 'conventional' CVTs, including Mk2 Nissan Micra auto, Honda Jazz CVT, Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Insight Hybrid and they behave uncannily like each other and the technically different Toyota eCVT in response to accelerator operation.
  2. I couldn't agree more. I was very pleased to be able to chose the top trim on my current Prius, and still order it with 'sensible' (IMHO) wheels. My last Gen 3 Prius was the most basic version (to get 15" wheels), but still had everything I really wanted (once I'd paid my dealer to install the switch to get the otherwise fully fitted cruise control system working!). My Gen 1 Prius had 14" wheels with Low Rolling Resistance tyres, and though I don't drive like I'm on an interview to work for Top Gear, I do sometimes drive in quite a spirited (but safe and legal) fashion, and I've never found these 'normal profile' tyres lacking. I choose plain white paint whenever possible, because I won't pay extra for something that does nothing for me, and it saves a little on a/c when the sun is on the car. It never ceases to amaze me just how much cooler mine feels to the touch even in low power spring sun, compared to my friend's dark grey Yaris, which often feels almost too hot to touch. Having said all of that, despite my 4th Gen Prius being the best car I've ever had (apart from auto headlights that seem determined to cause an accident when they come on suddenly at inopportune moments), it has one other big drawback that has forced me to go against the grain and trade it for a car that is far less frugal (when the damn RAV4 Hybrid finally arrives) - one downside of the world beating aerodynamics is the low stance of the car, that has exacerbated (maybe even caused or aggravated) a problem with my hips that has arisen since I got it. Getting in and out has become a painful (and often noisy!) experience. Before anyone says bigger wheels might have helped, the 17" ones are actually the same diameter at the outer edge of the rubber, just more metal and less air/rubber. It's a step backwards, but at least it drives as nicely as the Prius, has all the Hybrid benefits (but massive 18" wheels* and the aerodynamics of a house brick). At least with the updated Hybrid system it's environmental and energy consumption performance is relatively good for a vehicle that's in most respects unnecessarily large (for my needs), though is as relaxing end involving to drive as the Prius, has a spare wheel and digital instruments... AND doesn't make me shout when I get in and out! Like my Prius it should also manage around 600 miles out of a single tank (admittedly because it's a much bigger tank!). [* the space saver on the RAV4 looks bigger than the mains wheels on my Prius!]
  3. These are at odds with Mike's reply, but I've come across a number of people making similar statements. My USB stick is quite small at 4GB and only has a few hundred tracks on it, but has worked fine in a number of Toyotas and Lexus I've driven (loans & test drives) and well as Gen 3 & 4 Prius and a 2011 Yaris, with only Playlists not being recognised on the very latest RAV4.
  4. When the car is READY and in N, even if the engine is running it will not charge the HV battery. Generally, if the engine is running when you select N, it stays running (until you take it out of N, turn off, or it runs out of petrol!), and if it's not running when selecting N, it stays off. On the first 2 Generations of Prius Toyota people affirmed that if you left it in N long enough, it would become too weak to start the car, and would need a special charger. At least up until 2007, there was only one such charger in the whole of Europe and the only 2 instances I heard of the HV battery being drained (both due to being fuelled with diesel) it took up to a month in the queue for it, as it was driven from dealer to dealer as required in they order they booked it. I've seen a couple of posts from people who've said that after a very long period in N on 3rd/4th Generation Hybrids they get a warning message to select P to charge the HV battery. I'm nowhere near brave enough to investigate that myself! When I've been in P on level ground with the parking brake off (not my normal practice, but I experimented in the early days), when the engine starts the car rocks very slightly, but doesn't feel as if it's trying to move against the parking pawl.
  5. I once slept in my car for 7 hours (don't ask!) from midnight to 07:00 on New Year's Day with the car in READY state the whole time. The engine came on for 2-3 minutes about 4 times an hour to provide heating (a/c was off). This ensured the HV battery stayed on 7 bars all night too. There was no noticeable difference in the miles I'd done on the tankful. I wouldn't have entertained doing this in a non-Hybrid car, and maybe not even in an EV unless I could have it plugged in for the duration. It was in my last (Gen 3 Prius) so at least I wasn't forced to have lights on, which would have been extremely annoying.
  6. PeteB

    Electric Windows

    That's how it should work. Phil's solution may well solve the problem, especially if the problem arose since the 12V battery has been disconnected, replaced or flat. If not, has the switch ever been replaced, maybe with the wrong part (although if the switch has "Auto" on it, it should be ok. With the car switched off, when you gently press or lift the switch, can you feel a 'click' half way? If not, then the switch is probably at fault. Moving the switch too little to feel the click should make it only move until you release the switch, passing the click should enter Auto mode to fully open or close it, unless you operate the switch again without feeling the click, in which case it should stop.which
  7. PeteB

    Electric Windows

    Also, if you've started it doing a fully open/close op, flicking the switch in the opposite direction at the point you want it to stay will stop it.
  8. USB charger shouldn't be a problem as the 12V socket should only be live when in Accessory, On or READY mode. Maybe they use a charger, or leave a door ajar for several hours... Even since my first Gen 1 Prius in 2002, I've kept one of these in the seat-back pocket (not boot as if battery is flat you can't open it from outside!):
  9. All Prius have required care with the 12V battery, especially the original Gen 1. Gen 2 were slightly better, and a well charged battery in good condition should last at least 4 weeks if everything is fine the the car's electrics. If anything was left switched on I would expect it to be flat in much less than a week, so yours is a little puzzling. Depending where you leave it when travelling, if it's secure then leaving the alarm off can help - you can do this by locking the car with the emergency key instead of the remote. Is there anything permanently wired to a live feed such as a dashcam or OBD (diagnostics) port adaptor?
  10. On the current and previous Prius, the choice was 15" or 17". A number of people on this board and others have said they liked the 17" ones because they "looked better". I currently own the latest (4th) Generation, and previously owned the 3rd, both on 15". I also on occasion drove versions with 17". Those on 17" rims were generally noisier, gave a harsher ride (although less pronounced in the 4th Gen with it's improved chassis and suspension), larger turning circle (due to 17" being wider) and cost more to replace, in addition to being worse for CO2 and emissions. In theory, with a much smaller amount of air/rubber between metal and road, they are more susceptible to damage from severe pot holes but I've not seen a single report of this happening. I can't recall if this also applied to the Gen 3, but on the 4 it pushed the car into a different bracket for Benefit in Kind tax (making 17" much more expensive for company car drivers) and meaning only cars with 15" got exemption from the London Congestion Charge (although it no longer matters as from this month only zero emission cars and some plug-in Hybrids qualify).
  11. My second test drive lasted 2 days, but you'd have still known it was a demo from all the dealer's signage on the sides! Although when they lent me a Prius demonstrator 3 years ago there were no tell-tale signs.
  12. I've only seen one so far, and it was the demonstrator from a Toyota dealer about 5 miles away (not my dealer, although in the same group).
  13. My dealer in the UK fitted front and rear sensors to my last Prius using Toyota parts. Wasn't cheep and there was a switch fitted in the dash to disable the front ones as they weren't linked to speed or selection of D as the factory fit ones are. Even if things aren't normally available in your country it can be possible to order parts if you can get a part number. My dealer did that for my Mk 1 Prius in 2002, which wasn't available with cruise control in the UK. I got the part numbers for the switches (the only thing that was missing) from a US web site and my dealer was able to order and fit them. So, there might be hope.
  14. It's surprising, though, given the opportunities presented by electronic documents, that they haven't come up with s system where one enters their VIN (or registration), or at least completes a tick box page for the trim level and options fitted to their specific vehicle that results in a PDF (Portable Document Format) file with only the specific features of the user's own car - rather than hundred of pages about features that are not present, or as in the RAV4 documents, a raft of features not even available in the target country. The latter point rubs further salt into the wound from the impression that Toyota UK feel UK customers aren't worthy of some of the features available elsewhere, even though it's clearly evident many of us would pay extra for some of them.
  15. I keep a copy of my vehicle manuals, along with very many others, on an SD card in my phone, on my tablet and laptop. Personally, I've preferred electronic documents since my early days in IT, which started in the 1970s. I also find it handy to be able to search for words or phrases, or jump straight to a specific page - very useful in a 600+ page document.