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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. Looks quite impressive to me, 5 stars.
  2. I've not driven a Prius+, but I don't recall noticing any deference between my Gen 3 & 4 Prius, both seemed pretty light but sufficiently weighted. Both also had 15" wheels, rather than the more common 17", the latter being wider (which is why they cause worse Drag Coefficient and fuel consumption), so maybe that makes the steering slightly heavier. Also the rubber compound in the tyres can make a difference - many years ago I replaced all 4 tyres on a car and swapped Pirellis (very grippy, but didn't last long) for Michelin XZX which were claimed to be harder wearing. The (non power assisted) steering was noticeably lighter on the Michelins.
  3. You'll tend to find as it gets closer to full, the car will try increasingly harder to use up electric power to try to ensure there's always room for 'free' regenerated energy. Conversely, it tries increasingly harder to top up the battery the lower it gets (from two bars - I've almost never seen just one bar) so there's power available when you need an extra boost from the Motor/Generators. You'll notice more revs for a given accelerator pressure when the battery is low, especially if accelerating up an incline (even quite a gentle one).
  4. I'd covered over 70,000 miles in 4 years in my first Prius Gen 1s before I experienced my first HV battery "max out", but a holiday in Scotland made it a daily occurrence. When reaching the bottom of a 5-6 mile 20% (1 in 5) hill, you got a good idea what an EV would feel like as the Hybrid System tried like mad to use up some of the excess electricity so there'd be room for more free energy when braking or going down the next hill. The Gen 1 had no EV button, but while maxed out modest pressure on the accelerator would see electric only driving up to at least 60 mph! "Maxed out" doesn't just mean all the bars are lit - it takes quite a lot of extra regeneration after the eighth bar lights up before the system truly maxes out (like the fuel gauge, each bar covered a range of quantities). The car's behaviour changes when this happens, and you're likely to be very aware of it because the sound changes, but mostly the braking changes. It's still well power assisted, so won't be onerous, but B mode certainly seems to make it a bit less of a chore.
  5. I see London dealers are still dearer than my backwater (Norwich) one! That's how it is on my invoice (apart from the price! - and yours is ex-vat!). If it were my dealer, I would make my service manager aware if only to alert him he may have a box of sub-standard batteries (though they may have all been used by now). In some places I'd ask for a refund more out of principal, but in the case of my dealer I've had such a good relationship in the 17 years I've dealt with them and they sometimes do little things without charge that they could easily ask me to pay for.
  6. There is a standard 20k/2 year service item to replace the fob battery, so maybe that explains why you haven't had to do it before. On my last 20k Service my dealer charged £3.26 incl vat for the battery (and fitting, of course). I know I could get one cheaper, but hardly worth the effort. BTW - a fob can be put into power saving mode by holding the lock button and quickly pressing unlock at the same time. The fob gives 2 double flashes to confirm. Worth doing on the spare key, as although after some days it will enter a limited power saving mode, any movement will wake it up again for a while. This should also eliminate the risk of the relay theft that's becoming such a threat (where on cars with keyless start/entry, thieves with a pair of electronic relay devices can pick up the key's signal from outside and fool the car into thinking the key is present, and open it, start and drive away).
  7. [OT] Reminds me of the days when British cars (remember them!?) had the indicator stalk on the right, and wipers on the left, which they swapped for left hand drive markets. One car, the Morris Marina (IIRC) had wipers that swept to the left pillar in the UK, leaving a blind spot for the driver. British Leyland obviously felt a degree of fairness was required, since on LHD models they swept to the right, so that overseas owners weren't deprived of the blind spot!
  8. Found one - this was based on reading from the Gen 2 Prius but the principal is similar for later generations. (My recollection was wrong, it was bars 6 & 7!).
  9. The Gen 4 Prius (including, I think, the 2nd Gen Plug-in which is based on the Gen 4) don't need this as there is some sort of automatic block that only opens when the engine needs cooling. Can't say I've seen it though, but I haven't really looked - I was happy enough with about 100 extra miles per tankful over the Gen 3, even though the Gen 4 tank is 2 litres smaller. According to the blurb when the car was launched, this helps with aerodynamics as well as warm-up times.
  10. Teslas can be Some plugin Hybrids too, like Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. I think some cars like one of the Peugeot models have a dual clutch diesel engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor on the rear axle giving a type of AWD.
  11. Also. pressing the power button 3 times in succession can cause emergency shutdown too. I'm not certain, but it might be that once done you have to stop and the the transmission into (P)ark before you can start again - which could be a problem on a motorway or similar.
  12. ps - not sure if that makes me abnormal or extremely abnormal (I know what my ex would say...) 🙄
  13. Well, just to buck the trend... [BTW - Prius no longer gets exception from London Congestion Charge, I'm not even sure the plug-in qualifies now - and if it hasn't happened, it's about to: even Private Hire Vehicles (aka minicabs) will only be exempt if the are fully electric, Hydrogen or possibly plug-in with a fairly high EV range.] I first drove Gen 3s at a test track 6 months before launch, and then company ones for a few weeks to get to know them as I managed a fleet of 200-300 Prius which was expanding and swapping from Gen 2 to 3 (over 600 today, though I retired a few years ago - my own was still a Gen 1 when I retired). At first, I didn't like ECO mode except for starting off in snow/ice. Once I got my own Gen 3 in 2012 though, I quickly developed a preference for ECO mode, which has stayed with me ever since, including on my Gen 4 Prius and on test drives of other Hybrids including an extended drive of the Gen 5 RAV4, of which I'm expecting mine to arrive next month. It's nice to have the choice even if many only use one of them. They have one thing in common - the all start at creep and give full power when floored. It's how far you have to press the pedal to achieve a given level of power in between that changes. I wouldn't say it's harder in ECO, just requires a longer pedal travel. I use NORMAL mode on a few occasions when I'm changing lanes in busy dual carriageway traffic as I use the Adaptive Cruise Control a lot and use resume to let it manage much of my acceleration up to speed. Unlike the 'ordinary' CC in previous Toyota Hybrids, in the Gen 4 Prius and other recent Hybrids like the new RAV4 and the C-HR, the rate of acceleration under CC varies according to the mode selected. In ECO mode it's quite gentle, and would be inconsiderate in heavy traffic, especially when changing lanes to I switch to NORMAL or even PWR in such circumstances. On the odd occasion someone else drives my car I put it in NORMAL unless they are used to Hybrids. Some other Hybrids do have 'real' gearboxes and some have dual clutch systems (I'd hate to pay for repairs to one of those!) or torque converts. Until recently most Honda Hybrids had 'real' CVT gearboxes (with belts and pulley inside), but behaved exactly like the Prius Hybrid system in response to accelerator use.
  14. May I try to clarify a few things? Hybrids (basic ones that can't plug it) don't have any worries about the HV (big, High Voltage traction) battery going flat, it's just a store for spare energy to smooth out extra power requirement when the petrol engine on it's own isn't quite enough and to receive 'free' energy from slowing with the accelerator released or while braking. The engines tend to be de-tuned for efficiency and low emissions, the power shortfall being made up by the electric motors helping. A number of manufacturers have coined the term "Self Charging Hybrids" for these, presumably to distinguish them from Plug-in Hybrids and emphasise that not only do you not need to charge them from the main, you can't. Plug-In Hybrids that started to appear around 2012 such as the Plug-in Prius and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV work just like ordinary Hybrids, and could be used without ever plugging in, but work best if plugged in whenever possible, and especially for people for whom most journeys will be within or almost within it electric only range. They typically only have 20-30 mile range on Battery alone (the first Prius Plug-in was only 9-12 miles), but for some people (me included), they can work quite well, while still being able to tackle long journeys with no inconvenience or repeated charging. Once the battery's electric only range is used up the car then behaves like a normal petrol Hybrid, using a small part of the battery reserved for basic Hybrid operation. Plug-in Hybrids can often do 500-600 miles on a full petrol tank in addition to any electric only driving. So far, the HV batteries of both types seem for be far more reliable and last way longer than anyone (except possibly Toyota engineers) expected in the early days. When Hybrids first came out in the UK in late 1999, they cost £15,500 after a government incentive of £1,000. I had a couple of these, the second of which I kept until it was 9 years old with 163,000 miles on the clock. Even though I got only £500 when I sold it, I kept a record of all running costs and it was the cheapest car to own I've ever had, whether calculating by mile, month or year. Part of this was because of reduced maintenance, only one brake disc/pad replacement in this time on two sets of spark plugs,and very little else. My present Hybrid Prius, for example, can fill up with fuel for about £45 at today's unleaded prices, and then do about 600 miles. The depreciation when I trade it next month for another Hybrid is pretty good for a 3 year old car with about 38,000 miles on the clock. The brakes have about 20% wear, my last Prius had used about 25% at 4 years/60,000 when I traded it for this one. Various governments (both parties in the UK, and many across Europe) gave incentives for diesels for some 20 years because under the right circumstances they produced less CO2 than petrol cars, and CO2 was the big news during most of that time. Unfortunately they were vastly worse for other emissions (NOx especially) which had more immediate impact on health, and governments' own scientific advisers warming of this time bomb fell on deaf ears until too late. Sadly, many people who did mostly short journeys bought diesels because of the Excise Duty advantages, but their type of use meant that many such users got worse mpg than a comparable petrol car, produced even more NOx gases and often had major repair bills because their EGR valves and Particulate Filters didn't get hot enough to clear the waste and clogged up, in extreme cases wrecking complete engines. More recent diesel cars have much better harmful emission performance, but not until they warm up, so they still don't suit low mileage motorists, but can be very good for higher mileage use especially when towing substantial weights. EVs (pure Electric Vehicles) on the other hand still get a subsidy, but smaller than before, and are still expensive even with it. According the this article, the AA polled more than 19,000 motorists and "35% thought the premium commanded by electric vehicles (EVs) was too high". I would have like to gone electric, but lack of a spare wheel is another issue for me.
  15. With my dealer I've always paid any balance on the day I pick the car up using my debit card. Never had any problems. Many years ago, the card issuer would phone to ask a few security questions, but the last few went though like I was buying groceries. When I bought my current car the balance after trade-in and the £500 deposit I'd paid with a credit card was just over £18k. This time is a bit different; my current car is worth more than the maximum deposit for the 2-year interest free finance so instead of paying my dealer when I collect my shiny new car, they will deposit a substantial sum into my account electronically (always paid cash before since I stopped having company cars, but if it's interest free it might as well be in my bank). As an aside, when I bought my last new car in 1984 before having company cars for many years the dealer wanted a bankers draft. I wasn't happy paying the fee for that so said I'd bring a briefcase full of cash, at which point the sales manager decided a cheque would be fine!
  16. PeteB

    Dash cam

    It's ok if hidden behind the rear view mirror, and I understand up to 40 mm visible is allowed as long as it's not in a position to obscure a significant part of the view. Mine shows a small amount to the left of the mirror and has not caused a problem with the MoT in the past (on previous cars - mine gets it's first MoT soon.
  17. Toyota's engineers were probably thinking about someone doing all that and towing a caravan as well! In the 1970s I had a Fiat 126 which had a 600cc 24hp 2 cyl air cooled engine in the boot. It took 60 secs to reach 60 mph, unless there was a head wind in which case it couldn't even reach 60! The manual included specification and instructions for fitting a tow bar! BTW it averaged 42 mpg over 12,000 miles, and could do up to mid 50s on a gentle cross country run under favourable conditions. Considering my Prius averages 63½ and over 80 on a good cross country - shows have things have progressed.
  18. PeteB

    Dash cam

    Personally, I've only chosen DashCams that have a bonding mount. However infrequently they may fall off, if a suction mount is starting to weaken, it's more likely to give up when a strong G force or impact occur, the very time I really want it to stay put.
  19. Until relatively recently, all Toyota and Lexus Hybrids were stated by the manufacturer to be unsuitable for towing because of concerns about overheating the Hybrid components, especially the HV battery and Inverter. In the early days they were probably worried about breaking the Power Split Device, but that has proved bullet proof of 22 years since the first Prius came out. The battery has an air cooling system (the vent under the rear seat on most cars) which also sucks in cabin heat when it's cold to help warm up the battery. The Inverter has a separate water cooling system. Heat management (along with limiting the maximum power flowing into, out of and through them plus limiting SoC of the battery) of these two components have been key to their longevity, which confounded the early naysayers. Some people have towed small trailers without problems, but it probably wouldn't help if you needed warranty repairs on the Hybrid system if they found a tow bar had been fitted. Some more recent Hybrids, like the Gen 4 Prius and the RAV4 are certified to tow, in the case of the latter, a much higher weight on 4WD models than the Front Wheel Drive versions. I believe the Lexus RX can tow too, but that has a much beefier main Motor/Generator (MG) which is mated to a 3½ Litre V6 petrol engine and also has an extra MG on the rear axle to give 4WD (as does the 4WD RAV4). The limo sized Lexus LS saloon may be able to tow too, with it's leviathan 4WD Hybrid System which until the latest model included a 5 Litre V8. It could propel the 2½ ton beast to 60 mph in about 5½ seconds, but I somehow think few people would see that as an ideal tow car. I was lent one (worth nearly £100k!) for a couple of days a few years ago and it was very entertaining, but driven sensibly was amazingly docile and managed around 30 mpg (computed) with such treatment. A brief exploring of the performance saw that figure plummet though. It had some amazing toys too.
  20. Like I say, 8 bars lit doesn't mean full - at least, not straight away. Maybe the Yaris is different, but on Prius 1.5 & 1.8 Hybrids I've driven, the very few times I've experienced a truly maxed battery is after more like 3-4 miles on a 20% gradient. I never experienced it at all for over 3 years and some 70,000 miles until a trip to Scotland. Once the battery maxes out, on hitting level ground it behaves like a true EV as the system tries very hard to make some room for more regenerated power. I wish I could find it now, but some years ago someone published a great colour diagram showing the charge levels for each bar - there was some overlap, and the gauge would change at a different point depending on whether the SoC (State of Charge) was increasing or decreasing, and not all bars cover the same range. IIRC, bars 2 and 8 cover a bigger band than any others.
  21. PeteB

    Dash cam

    I think if hot enough sun falls on it for long enough, almost every suction cup will fail eventually. The only time I found a suction cup didn't come off, was when I'd just passed my test and we put a suction cup rear view mirror on the passenger side to make by dad a little less nervous when I drove his car! After it fell off several times, I smeared engine oil over it and stuck it firmly on. When my father sold the car I had to chisel it off and use a razor blade to removed the remnants of rubber from the cup! That said, my dealer used the 3M bonding to attach my DashCam and when Autoglass (my insurer's preferred company) fitted a new screen the fitter initially said he couldn't reattach it, but when the car was ready he'd found a piece of bonding tape and fitted it for me. Otherwise my dealer said they'd sort it for me (luckily they were near the AutoGlass depot, and if they're true to form they wouldn't have charged me (although I give them a drink in such circumstances)). My bigger concern had been about the recalibration of the on-screen Safety Sense camera and sensors, which is why i had to visit the depot rather than have them come to me, but their service was very impressive.
  22. Be aware you don't have to use B mode, but if it helps to maintain control then of course that's fine. Using baking alone recovers more energy unless: 1. the hill is too steep to hold speed with regenerative braking alone, or 2. the HV battery has 'maxed out ' and won't take any more energy. Note: this occurs quite a while after the 8th bar on the battery guage has lit. In the latter case, I'm told more recent versions of the Hybrid systems (from 2009 Gen 3 Prius onwards) automatically enter something like B mode when the battery has maxed whether it's selected or not.
  23. It's all down to amount of use and type of braking. I recently read a post (somewhere) from a US owner with over 200,000 miles on original discs and pads. My last Gen 3 Prius had less than a quarter wear at 60k when I sold it, and my current Gen 4 at 37k shows the same very low wear. I try to plan ahead to get the best regen energy recovery, as well as smooth and comfortable progress. Since Gen 2, cars have had a Hybrid System Indication which I use to good efect (plus in the Gen 3/4 Prius the HSI is visible in the Head Up Display). I know another owner whose brakes were fine at 100,000 on a Gen 2 when he sold it (although his was garaged, unlike mine). My last Gen 1 Prius had minimal wear showing as the car reached 70k, but then for a year I used a company Prius and mine only got driven once very week or two, and then usually for short journeys. As Scott said, the rust was the killer, and the brakes were very noisy with grinding sounds and all the discs/pads needed replacing within the next 10k miles. The car was then used daily until I sold it at 9 years old with 163k and the discs/pads were still well under half used. This car was not garaged either. From 2007-2011 I was manager of a fleet of Prius London minicabs (about 40 cars when I started and nearly 300 when I left), and some (but my no means all) drivers managed to wear out their brakes from using them enough in slow traffic (earlier generations only used the disc brakes below 7 mph, later versions from 5 mph) and hard enough above that to use the disc brakes as well as the regen.
  24. In fact I believe until the Hybrid System Indicator guage reaches the bottom (or left on linear HSIs) it's all regen braking and harder pressure on the brake pedal after that adds friction braking.