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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Default Proper shutdown procedure

I'm afraid this is going to sound really dumb, but please refresh me on the proper procedure for shutting down my recently purchased 2007 Prius. After a few times of simply applying the brake and pushing the Power button, I suddenly remembered that the salesman had told me to push the Park button and then the Power button. Is that a must? The car certainly shuts off okay if I don't put it in Park first, but am I doing harm when I forget to put it in Park?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 01:07 PM
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Hi...

Pushing the "PARK" button is actually optional. When you power down, the park pawls are automatically engaged. Pushing the "PARK" button won't hurt, but is redundant in normal circumstances.

I use the "PARK" button when a passenger exits temporarily or for some reason I'm stopped briefly - to disable the "creep" feature in the Prius design so the Prius doesn't tend to try to creep forward.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks. That's what I suspected.

Your answer actually brought up another question I have. After taking a friend for a drive in the Prius, I stopped, put the car in Park, took my foot off the brake, and my passenger and I sat and talked for a moment while the car was still "on." After a few seconds the car crept forward just a bit on its own. It kind of freaked me out. From then on, I've tried to always remember to set the parking brake. Shouldn't putting the car in Park have prevented this though?

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 10:17 PM
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It did. You didn't continue to move forward. There is a certain amount of play so the mechanism can't jam, and that play gets taken up when the ICE starts. You probably also notice that if you don't set the brake when you shut down the car, it will rock forward or back on a slant. This is the same design used in a regular automatic transmission car.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 10:40 PM
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Difference is, in a conventional car with a conventional automatic transmission, putting the car in park also puts it in neutral where there is no torque connection between the engine and the wheels. But in the Prius, you do have a geared connection between the engine and the wheels at all times. When the Prius is in neutral, the motor/generators (MGs) are electrically inert, and therefore can free-run. In Park, most of the time the MGs are inert. But when the system needs to charge the battery, MG1 will first start the ICE, then become a generator to charge the battery, which places an opposing torque to the PSD (Power Split Device) which is a planetary gear system. A reactionary force is then placed on the ring gear which is also permenantly connected to the wheels through reduction gears. The pawl prevents the ring gear and wheels from moving too far, but because of the play in the pawl locking mechanism, some movement does occur because of the ICE.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, okay. Thank you, folks. I'm beginning to realize that nothing should surprise me with this car. It ain't my dad's Oldsmobile, that's for sure!

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2007, 01:16 AM
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Yes, the car engages park when you power it down. However, to be in good form it would be best to keep the park procedure in mind and practice it since you never know when you will be using a conventional vehicle again. Kind of like looking for the stick in an automatic when you have been driving a stick for a while, placing the Prius in park prior to powering down will keep your mind thinking about putting any vehicle in park before shutting it down.

If you get in the habit of not putting the Prius in park prior to shut down you may just forget to do it the next time you drive a conventional vehicle.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2007, 01:32 AM
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I don't think there is much chance of forgetting in a normal car. Modern cars typically don't allow you to turn off the engine if you aren't in Park. At least mine don't.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2007, 01:40 AM
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Huh? Oh, yes, I suppose some vehicles will lock the ignition key from turning. My experience though has been shifters being locked if the ignition is in the lock position so that you can't get OUT of park if you don't have the key.
Locking the ignition key though so that you can't turn off the ignition if the car is not in park could be a potential hazard. Although the situation is an extremely remote occurance, there may be times when one has a stuck accelerator, of which the remedy is usually to turn the ignition off. You certainly wouldn't want to put the car in park in THAT situation! Neutral maybe, but certainly NOT in Park! But even in Neutral, if you have a stuck accelerator, you could over-rev the engine and blow it since you removed the load of the vehicle. Granted with the ignition off you probably would lose power steering and or brake boost, but there's a chance that engine braking might keep the pump for the PS spinning, and maintain the vacuum for the brake boost.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2007, 01:40 AM
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I don't know any car that will stop you from shutting the engine off while the car is in gear, however, every modern car with an automatic transmission will not allow you to lock the steering wheel or remove the keys until the car is in Park.

You have to be able to shut off the engine in case of an emergency. Just like in the Prius if you hold the power button down while driving. It won't shut off right away but if you continue to hold the button, the system will shut down.

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