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I've had my '04 Drfitwood #9 for almost 2 months. I drive over 100 miles a day to work, so the gas savings is awesome. I have over 5,000 miles on it already. My previous car was a 97 neon that got got 25-35 mpg. I also own a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. Yeah, it's a gas hog, but I have a camper on the back.

I have always owned Dodges and hated imports, but this car is different. I LOVE showing this car to people. I tell them to try to open the locked door while I stand back, then when they can't I walk up, say abbra-cadabra, grab the handle and open it. I lie and tell them it's voice recognition.

I just found this forum today and have been reading many of the posts, and trying some of the great suggestions. I have turned off the seatbelt and reverse beeps. I also found out other people beside me have had their car delivered with the mysterious plastic wrap on the driver side dash.

One tip I have for improving mileage (As long as nobody's behind you and you can take things a little slow): I back off the accelerator going UP a small hill. The car slows, but the MPG stays up, and accelerating down the backside of the hill will get you back to speed using gravity to help save gas. Of course this won't work on big hills, I'm talking about the little ones we have in the Chicago area.

Anyway, other than saying hello, my main reason for this post is that when I drive in windy conditions, it is very difficult to keep the car straight. It blows all over the highway. Does anyone else notice this? Is it because the car is so light or is something wrong with mine? I thought with the low coefficient of drag the wind shouldn't affect it much. Also, is there any way to turn off the beep every time you change the MFD screen?
 

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Hello, Prius Maximus:

What a great screen name!

Welcome. Sorry I can't help with the MFD beep issue you mentioned, but maybe somebody else will know how to do it.
 

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Hi Prius Maximus,
Hope your new car treats you well!

It's a bit surprising, but you would probably get better gas mileage by accelerating up the hills and coasting down. It's because the gas engine is a bit more efficient at higher power output (up to a point, don't floor it), and when you're coasting downhill, the engine can shut off completely (no gas used at all).

It's actually pretty hard to do better than the cruise control, hence the suggestion that you "just drive it" and let the computers worry the details. But if you really enjoy milking the video game for top MPG, you can do better, but it helps to understand the theory of operation in this case since it's so different from other cars on the inside.

Check out Graham's web site for lots of interesting tidbits about the Prius' inner workings.
 

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Hi Prius Maximus. Mine also is very hard to hold steady at highway speeds in high winds. Lots of folks have commented on it. I don't know the specific reason for it. Some folks have commented they don't like the OEM tires (others have said the tires are fine) so I wonder if maybe better tires would help.
 

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I think the buffeting you experience in windy conditions is caused by the shape of the car....flat sides and relatively narrow width to height ratio. The aerodynamics work great with the wind head on, but side gusts, especially from passing semis, can be distracting. I've certainly noticed it, but it has never given me reason to worry about being able to control the car. I used to fly a VW Beetle in the good old days, and let me say, you needed a pilot's license to drive that baby in a good wind. Almost lost it completely on the Golden Gate one day.
You'll adapt to the Prius. It has good handling characteristics for the most part; not a BMW, but, hey it didn't cost 40k either.
 

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Thanks Bob. I never felt as though I was losing it, but it was constant work holding it straight, compared to my old Civic. It makes driving on the highway harder than it would otherwise be. We always have fierce winds here, and they are never straight head-on. In the Civic I could rest my hands on the horizontal steering-wheel posts (no air bags in '89) and relax. In the Prius I have to grip the wheel firmly all the time. On the other hand, the Civic didn't have cruise control.
 
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