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Fuel Economy Discuss how to achieve better fuel economy.

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Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

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Old 11-18-2008, 02:40 PM
dkoler dkoler is offline
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Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Hello -
We were averaging 48-49 mpg for about the first year on our 2007 Prius. Immediately after our regular dealer service, mileage dropped down to 39-40. No other changes were made. Even with my best pulse and glide efforts, I can't get past 41 now for any significant time, and we actually get better mileage on the highway than around town now. It seems like we have more drag on the glide now, and it's rare that we are able to get the battery level up to the green bar, despite accumulating many car icons in the bar graph screen. Toyota says everything is fine and checks out - "lots of drivers get less than 40 mpg." I wonder if our battery is charging/functioning properly despite Toyota's assurances. Another problem is the fuel tank-bladder is not allowing us a full fill-up, even though we already had it replaced once. Thanks for any advice you can share.
Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:50 PM
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brick brick is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

The first thing to check is the oil level. It is still common for a dealer to over-fill the crank case which can have some impact on FE. Could you check your invoice and provide a list of services that they performed? That would help us make suggestions rather than listing everything that can impact FE (and there are lots!)
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:15 PM
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mparrish mparrish is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Where are you? The best thing to do is:

(1) Live near somebody in this community.
(2) Let that person take it out for a spin.

It's either the driver or the car, and (2) will help answer that.

BTW.........my glides have much more drag now that winter is coming. Did it get a lot colder at the same time you took it in?

The full fillup is becomes a thing of the past as winter takes its toll on the bladder. That part makes sense.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:18 PM
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CitrusInsighter CitrusInsighter is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

The other common thing for dealers to mess up (or in their minds "correct") is your tire pressure. If you were running them over 40 psi, its very likely that the dealer took them down to 35 or even as low as 30 psi. I'd check your pressure immediately and take them back up to 44 psi (max sidewall) if they're not there already.

Now your drop in FE sounds like more than just tire pressure, but there's a good bet that that's contributing too. Also, have you had the car for a full year yet or is this the car's first winter? If this is the first time driving in colder weather after getting used to driving the car, that may account for some of the drop off.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:22 PM
Harold Harold is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Did they put 0-20 wt oil in? They may have dumped 10-30 into it. Check tire pressure as well! They did something wrong. H
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:55 PM
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

I guarantee that they dropped the tire pressure if you had them elevated any. And the weight and level of the oil is a definite possibility.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:40 PM
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Like stated above, dealers will lower tire pressure if it is above the car maker's recommendation. Check the tire pressure.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:25 PM
dkoler dkoler is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Thanks for the responses. In response to the questions, I can add:
1. The service was done in mid-July and included LOF (they used 5W20), and repair and replace "combination meter assembly" in response to our complaint that the fuel guage did not seem to be reading correctly.
2. They did reduce the tire pressure, but I bumped it back up to max almost immediately when I saw the mileage had gone south. The decreased mileage happened immediately in the hottest part of the summer.
3. We had already gone through the winter of 07-08 with the car and did experience decreased mileage down to around 41-42 while it was cold. It hasn't really gotten cold yet, just chilly, so we're expecting mpg to drop some more as it gets colder.
4. We live in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area and I'd love to have an experienced hybrid driver test drive our rig and/or critique our hybrid driving.
Thanks again for any comments or suggestions!
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:31 PM
Tochatihu Tochatihu is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Here' san uncommon one, but it does happen. The rear disk brakes are now dragging, because the cable tension was reset (wrongly) or the pedal is down one click. The simple test for this is to drive a mile or 2 from cold, then stop and do a wet finger test on each rear brake drum. Any notable heat means the shoes are dragging, and it doesn't take much drag to take 10% off the mpg.

DAS
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:49 AM
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Taliesin Taliesin is offline
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Re: Prius Sudden Fuel Economy Decrease

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tochatihu View Post
Here' san uncommon one, but it does happen. The rear disk brakes are now dragging, because the cable tension was reset (wrongly) or the pedal is down one click. The simple test for this is to drive a mile or 2 from cold, then stop and do a wet finger test on each rear brake drum. Any notable heat means the shoes are dragging, and it doesn't take much drag to take 10% off the mpg.

DAS
Reminding me of something else to check, the parking brake may have been tightened, causing the same brake problem.

I find this problem very common, but I am not sure how easy it is to adjust the parking brake on the Prius (our vehicles here at work are super easy to adjust, and people are always tightening them too much or loosening them too much so that they don't work at all).
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