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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all -- as of this afternoon, I'm the proud owner of a Prius!

I feel privileged to be able to spend so much money in the pursuit of saving money! :)

Well, I've been on PriusOnLine seemingly forever ... I had another log-in but lost the password (along with my laptop ... stolen from my office) and the reminder process just didn't seem to help me recover. And I like the YMMV moniker ... some smart cookie already has that plate in California, so I'll have to dream up something appropriate ... I saw "VLTSWGN" the other day on a Prius ... laughed!

Anyway, I finally found a black Prius with BC pack (build date 05/05 ... that was one fast ship from Japan!) and I'm itching to start hacking this new gadget!

My first few miles were not as I remembered the car when I rented one for two months last year. First, I noticed the alignment is off (the car drifts right regardless of road camber) and the steering wheel is off to the right, clockwise, by a few degrees too. Second, I noticed there's more shudder through to the cabin as the engine starts and shuts off. Third, the transmission has a noticeable lurch as the car goes from acceleration to coasting or from coasting to deceleration. The steering, brakes and accelerator are as I remembered them -- it will take me a few more miles to get back to silky smooth driving, assuming the transmission smooths out. Is the engine always a bit rough at start-up and shut-down? Am I just forgetting how the rental car behaved or will my new car smooth out after some miles?

Also, I got the car with 1 mile on the odometer! Is that normal? I've bought more than my share of new cars and never found anything imported with less than 10 miles on the clock. It's the kid in me, but I was very happy that it had zero miles and the build date is just last month! Can't ask for much newer in a new car than those numbers!

Well, I'm off to search every post for the best advice on which clear plastic protection to apply to the nose, then I'm going to turn off the reverse beep and try to order more batteries, the reverse camera, leather seat covers, the Sirius radio (I'm an NPR junkie too) etc. etc. Of course, any and all advice welcome.

Cheers,

Adam
 

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The rental car would've several hundred or thousand miles on it. With your new car, engine shut-offs will be jerky (as if it was cold) and will smooth out as you break it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I've been scanning posts on the forums for references to "lurch" and "shudder." It seems the consensus is somewhere around "never happens, love mine" to "smoothed out after 1000-2000 miles ... fuggeddabowdit!"

So, I have so many things to play with on this car, the last thing I'm going to worry about is the CVT or the ICE for the first 1000 miles (which will be maybe three weeks on average ... :)

I just spent my first day of playing with my favourite new gadget and I have to say this thing is just full of surprises and interesting things.

I fully expect to have my wife doing her "scream" face when she sees the car in the garage tonight ... I didn't expect it to be so easy to remove the air-conditioning compressor and the front suspension seems a little primitive ... I might have to lower the car another inch and put in a bump-steer adjustment link on the steering control arms ... :) ... this car desperately needs wheels and tires to exploit the handling potential of such a low-slung roll centre. This is great fun ... why couldn't I get a toy like this when I was a child? :)
 

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She's going to scream because you took the air conditioning compressor out just as summer starts cranking up, right?

:shock:
 

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ymmv said:
I just spent my first day of playing with my favourite new gadget and I have to say this thing is just full of surprises and interesting things.

I fully expect to have my wife doing her "scream" face when she sees the car in the garage tonight ... I didn't expect it to be so easy to remove the air-conditioning compressor and the front suspension seems a little primitive ... I might have to lower the car another inch and put in a bump-steer adjustment link on the steering control arms ... :) ... this car desperately needs wheels and tires to exploit the handling potential of such a low-slung roll centre. This is great fun ... why couldn't I get a toy like this when I was a child? :)
Congratulations on your new unassembled Prius. When you come to the part I want, send it over. :D
 

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Toyota spent about ten years and a lot of bucks designing this car and any change you make is going to cost you and except for tires "MAYBE" nothing will get better and will probably get "worse." Leave the cars design "alone."
One thing you might do since the car is new and doesn't have a couple layers of wax on it yet, and to save you the cost of clear-coat applications or the cost of a "bra" check out http://www.corrosionx.com. for the product rejex. This stuff is now being used on most classics in the Cadillac club for both for intense shine and for complete paint protection. It is a well tested, super product. (You might have to type in the url manually)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
second-guessing, no, just tinkering

I'm really curious about how Toyota made some significant advances in weight reduction -- the CO2-based a/c with very light compressor (VERY light) and light condensor are the most interesting parts.

For the most part (aside from some massive electrics and the odd peculiar bit of plumbing, it's a very ordinary car underneath. The aerodynamics, the splittter and diffuser design is clean, if a little understated. The suspension is okay in design, but they've chosen cost-effective stamped metal where I can see it would add real dollars to go with alloy arms -- and it's not really appropriate to the Prius of course.

Anyway, I'm just tinkering with the new toy. Marvelous thing.

Now, if only I could figure out a quick and easy way to keep the A/C running without resorting to tapping the central-lock and window-up trick. I'd love to have that big glass-house stay cool while I'm gone.

Cheers,
 

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For weight saving the hood and hatchback are constructed of aluminum. Very light sheet metal is used in the body and strength built in by adding curves in the metal. As you mentioned , for cost savings a bottom line suspension system and brake system with drums on the rear, and bottom line tires. Savings on upholstery, seats, and the complete absence of an instrument system. Along with a low grade sound system. All mentioned here countless times in the past year.
Toyota has to be complmented to get what they got on the street for the 20,000 MSRP with that stated $6,000 cost synergy power plant.
 

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hyperion said:
For weight saving the hood and hatchback are constructed of aluminum. Very light sheet metal is used in the body and strength built in by adding curves in the metal. As you mentioned , for cost savings a bottom line suspension system and brake system with drums on the rear, and bottom line tires. Savings on upholstery, seats, and the complete absence of an instrument system. Along with a low grade sound system. All mentioned here countless times in the past year.
Toyota has to be complmented to get what they got on the street for the 20,000 MSRP with that stated $6,000 cost synergy power plant.
hmmm, I think I'll side with the 94% of 2004 buyers who would buy it again(per Consumer Reports), and the Consumers Report summary of their comments that rates all 14 major categories, from brakes to body hardware to suspension, cooling, to... well all 14, as "outstanding"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
DanMan32 said:
Bottom line brake system? Pleeese!

CO2 AC? I don't think so. Uses R-134a
Strange. I read the tech information from Denso on the Toyota system and it talks specifically about using CO2 as a refrigerant. Maybe that system didn't make it into the Prius after all. I'm keen to get the manuals, I just need to sit down for ten minutes and download the stuff! Thanks for the info.

Cheers,
 

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ymmv said:
DanMan32 said:
Bottom line brake system? Pleeese!

CO2 AC? I don't think so. Uses R-134a
Strange. I read the tech information from Denso on the Toyota system and it talks specifically about using CO2 as a refrigerant. Maybe that system didn't make it into the Prius after all. I'm keen to get the manuals, I just need to sit down for ten minutes and download the stuff! Thanks for the info.

Cheers,
2004 New Car Features lists on page BE-30 (Body Electrical - Air Conditioning) that both the 2003 and 2004 Prius use refrigerant of type HFC134a (R134a). Volume of 500g for 2003, 450g for 2004.
 
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