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I have read a few places that short trips greatly reduce the MPG. I make many short trips picking up and dropping off kids which have only 5 minutes stops in between trips. Would I get better better mileage if I leave the Prius turned on while I am getting/dropping my kids or does it matter? (I should say "WILL I get better mileage..." as I am picking up my new Prius tonight) Thanks.
 

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No. If you have a lot of short trips, just do them all at once. That's the best you can do.

The Prius will save its engine coolant in a "thermos-type" insulated bottle. When you restart the car, it will pump that coolant back into the engine.

Don't leave your car turned on when you're not driving it, unless you need to run the heater or air conditioner while you wait for somebody.

Needlessly running your car will lower your gas mileage, because every so often, the gas engine will turn on to recharge the hybrid battery.
 

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Your mileage may be better if you do not shut down when stopping. Unless the battery is low, the internal combustion engine (ICE) will automatically stop when the vehicle stops, and it will not start up again until after the car has started to move.

When the Prius is first turned on, however, the ICE will come on to warm up the catalytic converter. For short stops, if you do not shut down you may be able to avoid repeating this warm up cycle and save some fuel.
 

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I've found, the quicker I am between short hops, the less the catalytic converter cools, and the quicker the car picks up to the good numbers on the next leg. So...run your errands. Litterally. Run. :)
 

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volzcpa said:
I make many short trips picking up and dropping off kids which have only 5 minutes stops in between trips.
Could you eliminate the trips & combine them into ONE? For example instead of going to the store on Saturday, I go Friday night on my way back from work. Eliminates one trip.

Also, I highly recommend synthetic oil. Those short trips are murder on natural oil & the engine. The synthetic provides better protection.
 

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Still, I bet you are still getting better MPG than with any other non hybrid, so look on the bright side. Short Hybrid is better than short SUV.
 

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I've gotta caution you about letting your car run because you'll "only be a few seconds." You're begging for an accident. Kids putting the car in gear, or trying to drive it, or just goofing off. Or a theft. Or something else to go wrong.

Crap happens! So use common sense.
 

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short trips

We bought the car in June, drove 600km, and then headed off to the Yukon for the summer. Three bikes on a rack on top. Lots of highway driving, lots of exceeding the posted limit. Worst mileage/kilometrage was 10.2L/100km. Best 5.5L/100km. Average over 11,000km was 7.0L/100km. Recently I filled up and drove 70km over the hilly Malahat Drive north of Victoria. When I pulled into the driveway it indicated 4.2L/100km. This is the EPA/Toyota advertised kilometrage for highway driving for the 2004 Prius.

The car was purchased for my wife to use for work. She is a community health care nurse and she has a small, urban area for a district. This means that she drives a short distance from the office in the morning, visits a client for approx. 45 minutes, then drives a couple of blocks, visits a client for 45 minutes, and so on all day long.

She has difficulty obtaining under 8L/100km. It is possible that she is driving the vehicle all wrong :p but more probably it is the nature of her work.

I'm sure she would like to achieve the EPA/Toyota advertised in-town rating of 4L/100km but she isn't so she has to be satisfied that in the course of her work she now fills up every three weeks instead of every week with her previous vehicle, a '91 Toyota PU with the 22RE 4 cyl engine. And since she is paid CDN$0.44 a kilometre she's offsetting the cost of gas, maintainence, insurance and loan costs. And she is driving a really cool car that everyone in the office wants to know more about and at least one has ordered a Prius. 8)
 

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BIF said:
I've gotta caution you about letting your car run because you'll "only be a few seconds." You're begging for an accident. Kids putting the car in gear, or trying to drive it, or just goofing off. Or a theft. Or something else to go wrong.

Crap happens! So use common sense.
one of the first reported accidents involving a Prius was from a parked Prius getting hit by a truck being "driven" by a dog. The truck was at the top of the hill, the dog knocked the truck into gear (owner outside of the vehicle), and the truck came rolling down the hill and into the parked Prius at the bottom.
 
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