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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. My Excel seemed to change fan speed at higher or lower roads speeds the other day when it was 26°C outside. It's the only day I've noticed this in the 11 days I've had the car and it was the only day that warm here on the coast. I set my CC to 17/18°C so maybe it's to do with the relative temperatures.
  2. If you need evidence for what a truly crazy place the world has become, look no further...
  3. My new RAV4 that arrived just over a week ago doesn't have it.
  4. I've used Tesco mostly, occasionally Asda, for more than 12 years and hundreds of thousands of miles in my Hybrids with no bother, and the odd dose of Gulf, BP, Esso. I log on my database which brand I fill with and haven't been able to identify any difference in mpg or problems with anything clogging etc. I do sufficient long, fast journeys to get everything properly warmed up, which may account for the lack of anything needing extra cleaning.
  5. Well, today I did my first fill since filling on the day I got the car. I try to brim the tank each time, but it won't be reasonably reliable until I've done at least 5 or 6 - still, gives an idea compared to the car's computer's 'guess'! 514 Miles since last fill 45.74 Litres ((10.06 Imperial Gallons) £56.67 (123.9p/Litre = £5.63/Gallon) at Tesco 51.09 mpg (calculated) 52.0 mpg car display [= 42.54 miles per US Gallon, 5.531 L/100km, 18.08 km/L] mpg error car Vs tank calculation: car over estimated by 1.78% 11.03 p/mile Fuel gauge showed 10% remaining, 39 miles to empty (if tank really holds 12.1 Imperial Gallons and I really brimmed it - calculated 104 miles remaining) My daily mpg figures have compared favourably to my figures on the 2WD demo car, a pleasant surprise. The fact that the rear electric motor appears to help with regeneration probably helps a little.
  6. Have you recently driven this around the Great Yarmouth area? I've seen one like this a couple of times a week or two back, has a personalised plate.
  7. PeteB

    Bodged jobs!

    My first ever car was referred to as a Mini, but was actually an Austin 7, made in 1960. I bought it for £15 on new year's day 1974 when I was still 17 (only 3 years older than the car!). It had been heavily botched by previous owners including a metal plate riveted over part of a wing to which one of the (external) door hinges was bolted. It had been hand painted with a paint brush, in grey. When approaching a right turn on a damp day, I was braking quite gently as I started to turn the wheel when the car rapidly spun across the opposing lane (luckily no one was around or it could have been nasty - it had no seat belts and original Minis were not known for doing well in collisions)! I decided to put the Haynes manual to good use and check the brakes - the front drum brakes both had shoes 1¼" wide, as did the left rear one. The right rear drum contained 1½" shoes, clearly giving harder braking and explained my unintended imitation of a handbrake turn! I don't think MOT testers had rolling roads those days, so there's no telling how long it had been like that, but it could so easily have been disastrous. A few months later I took a hump back bridge slightly too fast, and the door hinge broke away from the riveted plate, revealing it was 90% rust. I drove it to a scrap dealer who have me £10 for it (and a lift home) - not bad though, 8 months motoring, 8,000 miles for £5 depreciation and a set of brake shoes (which I think cost about £6).
  8. Good move - the panoramic view monitor is truly awesome.
  9. A further update - end the end of my 7th day with the RAV4 I've just passed 450 miles. All but 2 of the days the reported mpg has been a little over 50, today was the worst at 47.5 - however, I spent 80 minutes sitting in READY mode while it processed the map update I'd downloaded onto a USB stick overnight. Given the AWD version is supposed to do 2-3 mph worse then the 2WD, I'm pleased so far (although mindful my Prius would have been reporting into the 70s in these conditions!). Assuming the Energy display is accurately reporting the flows, the rear electric motor is indeed also a generator so slowing down gets the benefit of extra regeneration over the 2WD models. I wasn't able to clarify this with Toyota on their blog site. The car has now done 419 miles since I filled the tank, and is currently estimating 124 miles remaining. I can now report that the Cruise Control's resume works from 0 mph - even with no car in front, unlike the version in the Prius which would only resume above 26 mph or less if the radar detected a vehicle in front. Further, it's doesn't cancel the CC if it loses sight of the car in front at low speed, making in even better than the previous set-up. The 360° camera really continues to impress, and I've found it also activates automatically at low speed if the front senors detect an object within it's warning range. A few minor niggles; I keep knocking the button to fold in the mirrors when I grab the internal handle to close the door! I don't know if anyone finds this, but for me the power window switches are a little too far back to use comfortably - the Prius was perfect in the respect. I also wish the brake hold feature didn't require activating after every restart - I understand the need to be sure the driver's door is closed and the driver's seat-belt is fastened, but surely it could re-activate once these conditions are met without having the hit the switch every time? But I've enjoyed driving the RAV and find the seat very comfortable. It's as relaxing to drive as all the other Hybrids I've driven over the last 17 years.
  10. You're welcome Martin. As promised, some pics: From my eyeline, only the bottom of the camera is visible below the mirror. I've set it up so the screen normally blanks 15 seconds or so after starting. Number plates are easily readable on both front and rear camera, and the rear one works surprisingly well (it's a zoom ratio), although I'm not sure how much rear passengers would obscure it.
  11. Sure, I'll sort a picture as soon as I can. Yes dealer fitted, it's looked like it was an official Toyota offering, as they had the NextBase Duo that I have and a front only camera on the Toyota ordering system. There was also a display cabinet with the camera and a Toyota branded info sheet on the service reception counter. Mine was £300 including fitting, hard wire kit and vat. It was all included in the new car order along with factory and dealer fit options, and therefore included in the 2 year interest free finance. In the box was a £m bonded mount and a suction mount - I requested they used the bonded one, not sure if they would have anyway. I think the single camera option was either £200 or £250 all in. In the mean time, here's the detail on NextBase's website:
  12. and it probably helps that many domestic users charge overnight and this can be further encouraged with more favourable tariffs. A couple of people I know of charge at least one of their EVs with their own wind turbines.
  13. I found the same on my last Gen 4 Prius. On a perfect weather day, on a 120 mile each way cross country journey, with lucky traffic conditions too, I could get 84 on the display so about 80 in reality. So far I've not done a full tank calculation, but my RAV4 is managing about 50 mpg after knocking off the customary 5%. That's still way more than I got many years ago from a tiny, lightweight FIat 126 with a 2 cylinder 600cc 24hp lawnmower engine in the boot. How technology has moved on! Don't forget manufacturers can't publish their own figures, they have to be from Government approved tests. The newest tests are designed to be more realistic, but are still likely to be the top end of what's achievable by 'average' users. The problem is that even in the same location, drivers usage patterns are likely to be very different. Imagine one owner, retired, does a half mile journey to a local shop every day and little else. Each tankful will last a long time, but his mpg is likely to be dismal. A neighbour with an identical car drives 40 miles each way to the office every day, gentle cross country in light traffic, will see significantly better mpg (but with more frequent visits to the petrol station!).
  14. I wonder if anytime soon something like this will make a spare wheel genuinely unnecessary?
  15. Whoa! I guess I'm lucky mine came with the Bridgestone Alenzas, which seem to be easily available. I think if I'd got those, I'd just buy 5 All Season Tyres and fit them now, then advertise the original tyres on here for any RAV owners wanting a spare or replacement!
  16. PeteB

    Cruise control

    No, I couldn't find a way of using RSA to set the speed limiter.
  17. Dog lovers may appreciate this review of the RAV4 😁
  18. I do like my RAV4, but if it hadn't been for the low floor/seating of my Gen 4 Prius having such a detrimental effect on my hips I wouldn't have given it a second glance. I really hated giving up the Head Up Display I've enjoyed for 7 years and almost 100,000 miles in the Gen 3 & 4 Prius. and if it had a spare wheel I'd have defected to the Honda C-RV Hybrid, because it had most of what I wanted and a HUD. The Honda Hybrid system has always been a cheaper, arguably inferior system to the Toyota one, but in their latest guise have finally caught up, being able to do petrol only, electric only and combined drive. Some recent comparisons between the latest Insight Hybrid (not available in the UK) and the Gen 4 Prius have put the Honda ahead. However, I wanted something that drives like the Toyota Hybrids all do, had as many as possible of the features I don't wish to compromise on but did have a spare wheel - and of course is easier to enter and exit! An unexpected bonus with the RAV4 is that there is room under the boot floor for a full size spare without any modification of the trim or loss of storage of the tools, and I've ordered a matching alloy wheel and tyre. A pleasant surprise also is the fact the cruise control can be set down to 18 mph (28 in previous Toyotas), making it truly useful in the growing number of 20 limited zones. The Panoramic Camera system is truly awesome, and one thing that I couldn't have had on the Prius. It almost makes up for the fact my Excel Prius had a very impressive self parking feature (that also gets out of a tight space too), which my more expensive, newer Excel RAV4 does not (along with a number of other things including the HUD, rain repellent front windows, laminated front windows and more ergonomic swicthes for windows and door mirrors).
  19. I thought a few years ago my next car (before the last one) would be an EV. I tried the BMW i3 with Range Extender (which I believe is no longer sold in the UK due to tax changes), but what scuppered it for me was my irrational, unshakeable insistence on having a spare wheel. Plus, it wouldn't have worked for me because the Range Extender bit was really only for emergency use and would be impractical for long journeys. I actively considered a Tesla Model 3, which with the largest battery was supposed to manage 300 odd miles (this was 4 years ago, and the lack of spare wheel could be cured by buying a full size one and storing it in the front trunk, leaving the main boot free for luggage). What mainly scuppered it was the lack of charging in the East of England, where I make most of my longer journeys, sometimes doing a 500 mile trip in a single day, or occasionally with an overnight stay. For a common trip from the Norfolk Suffolk border to Hull, I found no charging stations on my route (by observation on a couple of trips, and using the locations maps available at the time. There were no Tesla Supercharging stations this side of the A1, although there is now just one half way to Bedford (another regular trip). The latter are really desirable for a car with such a large battery, because a domestic power point would result in a 20-25 hour charge time to return from Hull! Plus the 300 mile range somewhat evaporated with keen acceleration, speeds above 55 mph and use of heating or A/C. At the time, I couldn't find a single hotel near Hull with charging facilities. Which brings me back to Plug-In Hybrids. I would argue they are the best compromise right now, expect in my case I couldn't find any with a spare wheel - a price for larger batteries of course. Even a first Gen Plug In Prius would have been brilliant for me, because most days I could manage on little or no petrol. So last Friday I took delivery of my latest Hybrid, and in all probability this will be my last car. I do so love that my last Prius and my current car can manage 600+ miles on a single tank, so every journey I make can be achieved without refuelling away from home.
  20. Firstly, Prius are known for having low capacity 12V batteries that can flatten quite easily. This is because they don't have to do the heavy job of starting an engine - the High Voltage battery does that. Every since my early Gen 1 Prius days I kept a tiny jump starter in the seat back pocket (no use in boot, because it's hard to get to if the battery's flat, especially if you deadlocked the car). This sort of thing: Secondly, why not try turning the switch off on the boot light? If it still goes flat, then you've got some more investigation to do.
  21. Yes, I've got that impression too. It also seems to know when the national speed limit sign means 60 (single carriageway) and 70 (dual carriageway). I find it hard to believe the camera 'sees' whether it's a dual carriageway or not. I must say the RSA also seems much more reliable than the version 1 I had in my 2016 Prius until last Friday (in fact, I switch RSA off as it was inaccurate at least 30% of the time, and most other owners I conversed with did the same).
  22. Not exactly. B mode is primarily to give additional control, as Tony said, like down-changing with a conventional gearbox. It's another 'tool in the box' for choosing how to use the car. The software makes sure the battery cannot overcharge anyway. However, one myth that prevailed when the original Prius came out almost 20 years ago was that B mode increases economy, whereas in fact it does the opposite. This wasn't helped by the manual using a description something like "more aggressive regeneration". Selecting B mode forces the petrol engine to run but without injecting any fuel, so that the pumping compression in the cylinders gives addition braking effect. That means the Motor/Generator has less to do, so puts a little less energy back into the battery. Normally, depending on the speed, the engine will be stopped anyway, or at higher speeds turning but the the timing heavily altered to minimise compression. The one time it makes no difference to economy is when the HV battery is so full (aka 'maxed out') it cannot accept any more regenerated energy. Most drivers will rarely, if ever, encounter that condition. You'd need a very long, steep hill, and it happens quite a while after all bars are lit on the battery gauge. When the battery is 'maxed out', in reality it is only about 80% full (conversely if the gauge ever showed empty it;s about 40% full). This, along with charge rate and cell temperature management are part of the reason the Hybrid batteries have been so much more reliable than the pundits predicted in the early Prius days. It's been reported that since the 3rd Generation Prius with the 1.8 litre engine came out in 2009 that the software had been updated to effectively operate B mode whenever the battery had 'maxed out'. I've not had a full battery to check that since I got my 3rd and 4th Generation Prius (over some 90,000 miles). B mode might help avoid using the friction bakes on a very steep hill, but you get the most out of the regenerative system just using the normal brake pedal as long as the Hybrid System Indicator is within the CHG area. At the very end of the CHG area you're getting maximum regen, press the pedal any harder then you get extra friction braking as well. My only experience of a truly maxed out Hybrid battery (and that's in over 320,000 miles in all four generations of Prius) was on a Gen 1 Prius (the least powerful) on a couple of holidays in Scotland over 10 years ago. Even on 20% gradient hills lasting some 5-6 miles the car could climb at 60 mph on Cruise Control without assistance from the battery or particularly high revs, and going down it took at least 4 miles to max out the battery. Even on these hills, the service brakes were sufficient to control speed using regenerative braking alone until the maxed out state was reached. At that point, the car only used friction brakes and B mode helped reduce the wear and heat on them, although there was no sign of overheating. The car felt subtly different once the battery maxed out, but the software managed the braking such that no extra pressure was needed on the brake pedal.
  23. That's right, although in a few models it also increases the weighting of the steering to give a bit more 'feel'. Not sure if the Auris is one of them. My new RAV4 is reputed to do that, but I must say if it does it's too subtle for me to notice on the few times I've experimented with it. Conversely, ECO mode also dulls the effectiveness of heating (to use the engine a bit less) and a/c to save a tiny bit of fuel & emissions. All three modes will give full power if the pedal is floored. The attached diagram shows roughly what going on depending on how far the accelerator is pressed. For Hybrids from the introduction of the 4th Generation Prius (like the C-HR, new RAV4 and probably new Corolla) which have Radar Adaptive Cruise Control, the mode also affects how rapidly the car accelerates when resume is used or a slower vehicle in front has got out of the way.
  24. PeteB

    Cruise control

    I don't think so from a re-read of the relevant section of the manual, but I'll double check next time I'm in the car.
  25. To be fair, once inside, the Gen 4 was supremely comfortable and had almost the most comfortable ride of any version of Prius (although original 2000-2003 Gen 1 was best by a whisker). Gen 2, though still comfortable, had the firmest ride and seats. Gen 3 was better (especially on 15" wheels), and Gen 4 almost tied in first place with the Gen 1. I couldn't have the Gen 4 seat at the top of its height range though, because it put my head too far into the roof ( I could sit comfortably, but couldn't fold myself enough to get in or out), but I did keep it about three quarters of the way up.