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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a fantastic car! But there's so much to learn. Before leaving the dealership last night, the salesman explained most of the basics, but it will take me a month to really get a handle on more of the finer points. I thing I noticed driving to work this morning is that the average mpg is only showing around 30, which is up from my drive home from the dealership last night of around 25. What's up with that? You're probably going to tell me to read the manual, which I plan to do, but I was just curious why the mpg is so low when we purchased the car for the great gas mileage it purports to get.

Thanks,
Betsy
 

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Actually the manual won't be much help.

Read, instead, this article:
http://priuschat.com/index.php?autocom= ... ticle&id=3

But, more importantly, be patient. You've driven a total of two commutes. Sounds like you averaged around 40mpg or better on the way to work this morning. As you learn the car and implement some of the ideas in my article you'll do even better. The car takes a while to break-in and it will take you a while to really get a feel for how to get the best performance out of the car. It will, in all likelyhood, mean some small but important changes in your driving style.
 

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BetsyNC said:
But there's so much to learn. Before leaving the dealership last night, the salesman explained most of the basics, but it will take me a month to really get a handle on more of the finer points. Betsy
I know what you mean. We've had our Prius for just over 3 weeks. I've gotten to the point where I don't have to think through the starting routine, but occasionally I have to remind myself to press the Park button during the shut down drill.

I don't know if anyone else had the same experience, but when my wife and I took our test drive, the salesman drove it across the lot,and left it idling. He stayed behind (something I appreciated) and I took my turn behind the wheel. When we changed drivers, I didn't try to shut down the engine. My wife drove back to the dealership. When we pulled up, neither of us could figure out how to turn the engine off. :? When the salesman came out to meet us, I sheepishly asked him what to do. That's when we learned the function of the Power button.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know if this is standard, but my Prius came with a cheat sheet for starting/stopping. It was in the center console. Then there's a pamphlet of quick instructions that was hanging from the cruise control stick. I think I'll keep it there until I'm better acquainted with the car and it's inner workings. In response to Dan's comment, I had been driving a 1998 Dodge Caravan, and had to fill it every week at a cost of $50-55. I expect to save better than half that in gas expense - even with the A/C. I have a co-worker who has a longer commute than me, who fills up every 2 weeks for about $30. It's going to feel like I got a raise!

Betsy
 

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The handy dandy stack of cards you get for "Valet Parking" helps for quick tutorial ;) -- so you hand it to the driver just in case they've never driven a Prius before..
 

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JayGoldstein said:
[. I've gotten to the point where I don't have to think through the starting routine, but occasionally I have to remind myself to press the Park button during the shut down drill.
Just to let you know, don't worry if you forget to put the car in park before powering off. It will set it in park for you. Personally I feel it a tad safer to put it in park before powering off to verify that it is indeed parked, but a failure should be extremely remote so don't fret if you forget.
 

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:) Howdy, BetsyNC

I have great regard for efusco and he's right about "how to drive" the Prius. Even so, I do recommend you read the manual. There is a great deal of useful information to be found therein. I chose to highlight important points in my manual and I created a personal "Index" on the back cover with important items, like "How to turn the Maintenance Required light off - How to disable the backup buzzer - Jumpstart procedure - Oil overfill, etc."

You are driving a marvel of technology which delivers fabulous fuel economy while producing very low pollution. These forums (ProusChat and PriusOnline) can provide a great deal of practical information.

ENJOY.!!!
 

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Charles,
I should clarify, by "The manual won't be much help" I was refering only to the specific question at hand about improving FE. Indeed, it is helpful on many other points and my intent was not to denigrate the manual. Though others, certainly, will.
 

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BetsyNC said:
What a fantastic car! But there's so much to learn. Before leaving the dealership last night, the salesman explained most of the basics, but it will take me a month to really get a handle on more of the finer points. I thing I noticed driving to work this morning is that the average mpg is only showing around 30, which is up from my drive home from the dealership last night of around 25. What's up with that? You're probably going to tell me to read the manual, which I plan to do, but I was just curious why the mpg is so low when we purchased the car for the great gas mileage it purports to get.

Thanks,
Betsy
I'm sure you have already learned alot, but let me throw out a couple things I found useful:

1) The average MPG will show you the average from the last fillup, or the last time the reset button is pressed. This number will continue to adjust, based on the number of miles driven, until you fill the tank or press reset again.

2) Be careful with the reset button if you plan on keeping track of your average MPG per tank of gas. If you hit the reset button, there is no undo! :)

3) The average MPG on the display may not accurately tell you what you are really getting. The only way to know that is to keep track of your miles traveled and gallons pumped into the tank. But the computer does a good job of giving you a fairly accurate number. To give you an example, my average MPG over the last 36k miles is 48.52 MPG. This is based on the actual miles and actual gallons of gas consumed. The computer average over the same period (calulated 3 different ways) is 49.3 MPG. So the computer is off by +.78 MPG.
 

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I agree about the manual being useful. If you've been driving cars for years and you get a new car, it's probably almost exactly like the old car, and the differences are easy enough to figure out, so you don't really need the manual. People get used to that. The Prius is a lot more different from your last car, than your last car was from the one before it, most likely; or indeed from any of your previous cars. So reading the manual is useful.

(I give the same advice to Roomba buyers. People are so used to consumer electronics being so familiar that they don't need the manuals, but Roomba is different enough from their other gear that it really needs the ten minutes to learn how to maintain it.)
 

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Hi Betsy!!! Really GREAT to see another Tar Heel out here!! I have had my SPM here in Boone for about a month now. We're averaging about 47.8 MPG overall, even here in the mountains, so I know your mileage in Chapel Hill will improve over time, and as you learn to drive the car.

The first 10-15 minutes of every trip are the worse for mileage. After that, my mileage always picks up substantially. Read a lot of the posts on here, especially about the "pulse and glide" technique. Thats how a lot of people get the really high mileage you see posted here. I am not even close to perfecting that technique, but mostly drive my Pruis here in Boone like pretty much other cars, even without the really high air pressure in the tires and I'm very happy with the 47 MPG figure.

Anyway, Welcome to the Club!! I'm sure you're really grow to be amazed at what your car has to offer.
 
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