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Discussion Starter #1
We are thinking about getting a 2004 Prius and am wondering if any one in the north countries have had experience with severe winter starting, like in -20 degree weather? I understand that the car has a 55HP starter motor, but really, how do they run in severe weather? :?
 

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Seems to be a lot of Minnesota owners and if the Prius can handle that, it can handle most everything.
 

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I see a minimum of 1 classic Prius one the road every day, here in Minnesota. And I have already spotted 3 other 2004 Prius besides mine.

Minnesota is rather proactive. We've been using ethanol in our vehicles for well over a decade now, and we've had low-sulfur gas available for over 4 years. It's pretty sweet.

Our family, friends, and neighbors have witnessed how impressive the starting (and keeping you warm) abilities are during our extreme winters. Fulfilling that difficult criteria is such a great endorsement that there really aren't any reasons not buy a Prius. So we do, in large quantities. Gotta love it.
 

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re: cold starts

I don't live in Minnesota, but did spend one incredibly frigid winter there. If john1701a and JerryP say the Prius can handle Minnesota, I say you can drive it on the moon. :)
Check out john1701a's web site for great general info and details specific to cold winter conditions. John is a hybrid superhero.
Moo
 

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Hi Captnslur! If you're thinking about getting a 2004 Prius you better hurry over to the dealer and sign up because when all those "cold country" people find out what the 2004 model has that the 2003 model didn't, there's going to be a wild stampede. According to a magazine writer (name forgotten) who reviewed the new Prius, it has a stainless steel vacuum type container holding about three liters of coolant stored at near boiling over night. This heated, retained coolant in line with the cooling system guarantees a "warm engine" start in the morning and even a warm cabin on cold days. The idea of the warm start further increases overall mileage and cleaner performance. The writer further reported that the coolant temperature measured 175 degrees after three days of idleness. That's hot and can give you a severe scalding. As I said, you better hurry up and order. When all those people in Minnesota find out about this you may never find one to buy. :wink: . Personally, I doubt if the coolant would stay that warm for three days in areas where it gets to be minus 20 degrees, but it's certainly would help on cold mornings after only one day. This Prius is a remarkable automobile and we should all get ours while we have a chance; before the word really gets out I mean. :p (Whatshisname)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cold winter starts

Thanks everyone who has responded so far to my winter start question, but I would really like to hear from someone who has had severe winter starting experience with the car, realizing that the 2001-2003 Prius may be a really different breed from the 2004. :)
 

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With all due respect, may I point out that the '04 has only just hit the market in mid-October of this year. You're going to have a hard time finding anyone who has driven one through a winter yet! Maybe around April of 2004 there will be some experiential data to help answer your concerns.
 

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What Henry said. Plus, there's every reason to think that the Prius ('04 or otherwise) WOULD function as well and probably better than a regular ICE vehicle. There's no starter to worry about, minimal 'juice' is needed from the battery, the electric motor spins the engine up to speed with the large NiMH battery which we know works well to very cold temps.

The heater works better than most vehicles. The chassis is lubed like any other. They sell these things in Anchorage, Alaska--there's at least one guy on the Yahoo-2004 forum from there, they're experiencing single digit temps right now and he hasn't complained. Johh1701A's experience is well documented with his Classic and the electric motor is more powerful as is the NiMH battery in the '04.

Now, that isn't experimental proof I grant, but if one were to make a reasoned assumption as to the ability for the Prius to operate in cold weather I think it would be a safe bet to say it's going to be exemplary.
--evan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for pointing out the obvious

:oops: thank you Henry and Dr. Fusco,
You are both so right about the '04 models, but please remember that much of the country enjoys much warmer temps in the winter than we hardy types here in Minnesota endure. We all have gotten so used to computer controlled fuel injection and usually easy winter starting, but with this Prius' revoluntionarily new technology, really cold weather may present problems those otherwise crafty Japanese engineers might have overlooked.

I am happy to hear that the car works OK regardless of the weather extremes. Thanks for your help.
 

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Being from Anchorage I can attest to the cold temps lately!!!!! We installed a block heater in the ICE to aid in the morning start. No problem whatsoever in the starting department. The heater is a different issue.....I would say it is a little anemic on my 03. Course my total commute time is 7 minutes and I just barely get the coolant warm before I get to work. The world is full of compromises.....overall we love the car.
 
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