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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default 2003 Prius Question

I have a quick question. What is the recommended gear for a 2003 Prius if it is stopped but running for a long period of time (several minutes)? I was kind of thinking either P or B, but I'm not sure.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Prius Question

Hi, zipper,

I know nothing really about the first generation Prius (2001-2003) other than it seems to have a large, awkward shifter coming out of the dashboard. That said, I don't know if the shift positions are the same as on the 2nd generation Prius (2004-2009) which I do know about.

In the 2nd generation, if you're not moving but want to keep the car running, you use "P" for park to keep the batteries (high voltage & 12V) charged. Otherwise if you're in neutral, nothing gets charged & any accessories that are on & draw power could cause your batteries to get depleted, therefore causing the car to shut down with possibly no ability to re-start without the use of a jump start (which if not done properly, could possibly cause a repair bill in the neighborhood of $4,000 if the power inverter gets fried.

Also, in the 2nd generation, if you use "B" (brake) mode (the other position you inquired about), it has nothing to do with setting a parking brake, but the batteries will still charge & the car can still roll forward into something if your foot slips off the regular footbrake (if you haven't set the parking footbrake---using "P" will NOT let the car roll even if neither footbrake is used because that engages the parking pawl into the transmission). "B" is used mainly to help control the car's speed or help slow it down on a long downhill incline (thus saving some wear on the brake pads & shoes). And you can only get into "B" by being in "D" already. So use "P" in the example you described.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)

Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Default Re: 2003 Prius Question

Thanks for the info Ct. Ken V. It sounds like the 2nd gens are really similar to the 1st gens. The large shifter is true, lol. I was just getting a little confused about it all, and even began thinking that leaving it in D would be okay because it tends to turn the engine off when it's not needed. But Park sounds right to me too now.

Again, thank you!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: 2003 Prius Question

I have a 2002 Prius. The description above is accurate for the "classic" Prius, too. If you leave it in PARK, the ICE will eventually stop when the battery is fully charged.

"B" is for using the ICE for engine braking on long, downgrades. This is preferable to lightly riding the brakes, as this will overcharge the batteries on the early Prius's. However, this takes a really long downgrade for this to happen (i.e., while riding the brakes in "D").
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