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Well folks, I regret buying my Prius. And Toyota (both the dealer and the manufacturer) have been nothing but antagonistic and unpleasant since the second they got my money.

I only bought the car for the mileage. I was getting good mileage on my previous car, so it wasn't worth it to buy this unless I got a big jump in mileage.

I'm not. I haven't since day one. I called about it early on, they said the car needed to "break in". I called about it weeks later, they said the car needed to "break in". I gave the car 1500 miles, they said the car needed to "break in".

They never said when it would be broken in... after their original estimate of 1000 miles...

I borrowed a Prius loaner from the dealer while they had mine in service. It had only 500 miles on it, and it got far better mileage than mine. In fact, I tested both of them in identical runs mere hours apart, and the loaner got in the mid 50s, while I got in the low 40s.

It's unforgivably bad. It was a huge waste of money, and Toyota is refusing to do anything about it. They say the car's fine, the mileage is fine, there's no error codes, and they don't feel that they should be bound to have cars operate even close to each other in economy. So I get stuck with the lousy car that doesn't work well, and I'm out 24 thousand dollars for a poorly operating car.

You name it folks, I've tried it to get this car working right. It's not.

What a shame, and here I had really looked forward to the Prius all the time I had waited.
 

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Well Taniwa....IF this is not just an attempt to start an argument, here is some advice. Read all the MPG threads on this site and on Priuschat.com.

Learn how to drive this type of car. My MPG is around 52, and I don't try near as hard as some on these forums.

AFTER you have rad on these topics for a week or so, come back with calm, non-accusing comments and questions.
 

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Well, Tanihwa...Unfortunately, I'm not sure you'll find many answers to your problem here. I do remember having significantly lower MPG averages in the first 1500 miles or so, but that was before I really knew what I was doing.

Since the chances that your car is actually faulty are slim to none, there are really only two things that may be the culprit:

a) your driving style

b) your tire pressure

Obviously, no one on this board can actually comment on your driving style. If you're ramming the gas every time you get a green light, then that might be your problem. But like I said, haven't a clue as to how you actually drive.

The best thing you can do is make sure your tires are properly inflated. That's one thing a dealer won't help you on. You need to check it yourself, and do it often. I prefer 41 PSI for the front tires and 39 for the back. I know for a fact my MPG's jumped considerably after making this adjustment and maintaining it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not trying to be argumentative, just frustrated.

I've already learned how to drive a hybrid vehicle. Before even buying the car I had read up on how to drive a hybrid, and I used those skills to get the car from 38AVG up to the low 40s within the first 2 weeks.

Considering that I was able to get fantastic mileage from the loaner car (which was not yet "broken in"), but mediocre mileage from mine, the logical conclusion is that my car is underperforming. My frustration lies in the fact that Toyota is unwilling to do anything to help fix it.
 

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Part of the problem...

Part of the problem is that the 'advertised' mileage numbers are from a flawed EPA test. While many people can get high mileage, the 'average' driver can't. Getting 'low' mileage is NOT the sign of a faulty car. Environmental factors play a HUGE role. For example, if you test drove it in Summer, then comparing to Fall/Winter mileage is not at all appropriate. (The Prius takes a bit of a hit when the weather cools down because it has to run the gas engine more to keep it warm.) Remember, this car's primary design principle was *NOT* high mileage, it was low emissions. It will sacrifice mileage (running the engine more) to keep the emissions low (keeping the exhaust system warm.)

For example, I have now had my 'Eeyore' for about 15 months and 25700 miles, and my lifetime average is about 46.5 miles per gallon. During the first six months/6000 miles, in the Fall and Winter, I averaged 45 miles per gallon. During this past Summer, after having the car 'broken in', combined with getting used to driving it, I have averaged over 50 miles per gallon. Now that it is getting cold again; and my state has switched to 'Winter gas', I'm dropping to the high 40s. (My lifetime average is lowered by a long leadfoot trip halfway across the country in March in bad weather. If I remove that trip, my lifetime average jumps to 49.5 miles per gallon.)

I will also say that I saw a decent sized jump in mileage after getting my first oil change at 5000 miles. In the two weeks before, I was getting the low-to-mid 40s. In the two weeks after, I got the mid-to-high 40s. (And this was while the weather was getting colder, November-December of last year.) My mileage did decline to the low 40s again as the cold set in. (And my long trip in March was over the Rockies in sub-freezing temperatures at 80-90 MPH, and over that trip and back in one week, I got 41 miles per gallon. I encourage you to see what any other similar-sized vehicle would get in similar conditions.)

(Yes, I know, I need to update my avatar again... My animated GIF creator broke, and I've been to lazy to fix it.)
 

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It sounds like you have....

A legitimate complaint and you are even driving a different car and are getting mid 50's on it.Sooo I would try the things that codes wouldn't show like resistance in the bearings or a sticking drum or caliper brakes!
Get someone to put the car on a lift and see if the tires turn very easily.
It wouldn't take much drag to kill the mileage on a car like this.Also the tire pressure have a garage make sure its around 38lbs. front and rear.Does the alignment seem ok?Can anyone else think of something that might
drop his gas mileage? Heck its obviously not his driving habits he's doing great with a loaner.

Good luck!
Ed
 

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Re: It sounds like you have....

edlambert said:
...make sure its around 38lbs. front and rear.
It should be pointed out, for the inflation to be sure to always have 2 more lb. in the fronts than the rears.

As to the comparison to your Prius vs the other you drove, I can't think of another reason for the significant MPG diparity other than tire inflation (even that couldn't be good for much more than about 3 MPG). Maybe someone like DanMan32 can come up with something.
 

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You've obviously checked the inflation first thing and have at least used the factory 35 and 33 which with even aggressive driving should be giving you 44 mpg. You have a dealer problem and I would suggest another dealer with a service manager that takes some interest in the problem. The day you had the "loaner" was when the dealer should have had your car on the lift to look for anything dragging. Unfortunately some take very little interest in their hybrids. Maybe the salesman who sold you the car can make a dent in the service dept.
 

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taniwha said:
Not trying to be argumentative, just frustrated.

I've already learned how to drive a hybrid vehicle. Before even buying the car I had read up on how to drive a hybrid, and I used those skills to get the car from 38AVG up to the low 40s within the first 2 weeks.

Considering that I was able to get fantastic mileage from the loaner car (which was not yet "broken in"), but mediocre mileage from mine, the logical conclusion is that my car is underperforming. My frustration lies in the fact that Toyota is unwilling to do anything to help fix it.
Reading and learning are not the same...in particular when it comes to hand/eye physical things. That's like saying I'm in Karate and expected to have my black belt...I read all the books and learned all the moves before I started karate but I still don't have my black belt.

Next, I think you must've posted this similar question over at PriusChat. Did you read my MPG article that was link to in that reply? If not then do so. I will answer many of your questions better than any Toyota dealer/rep will.

Also, just b/c the rental you were in got a better mpg than your car on a similar run doesn't mean much, starting ICE temps, distance of the run, traffic, the number of stops and a multitude of other variables must be considered.

Have you had any experienced Prius drivers drive your car to see how they do? I think that would be very telling as to whether it's a problem with the car or the driver/route.

Although it's not impossible that there is something wrong with your car I bet you it has everything to do with your driving style, your commute/driving conditions, weather (Colorado, right?), terrain, and break-in of tires and car.

Unfortunately your mileage will probably continue to drop for the next 4-5 months or so. You'll be pleasantly supprised come the warmer weather of spring...the car and tires will be broken in. You'll know the car and will have 'really' learned to drive it for it's greatest efficiency, and the warm weather will be your friend.

Again, read that article, maybe twice. Take a deep breath. You'll probably have to live with mileage in the 40s with some drops to the high-30s in the dead of winter. But you'll be seeing some nice 50+mpg tanks come warm weather and break in.
 

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Another thing to check is the oil *level*. If it's above the fill mark, your gas mileage will be impacted.
 

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Make sure the oil level isn't over full. Make sure the front windshield defroster is not turned on. Have the alignment checked by an independent service center. (They can check for drag at the same time).
If your current Toyota service can't be trusted, ask another one to check that all firmware updates have been applied to your car.

If you can have another look at the loaner, see what brand, model, and size tires it has. Compare with your own.

Good luck tracking this down.
 

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Plonk.
At first I thought you might be egging people on with the BAD PRIUS
thread.
Then I thought about it, and I was a little over the top with my PLONK
statment so I resended it.

Plonk is what they call a statement on the usenet newgroups.

ALSO i misspelledit! OPPS
`plonk'
annoying posters (according to the Hacker's Dictionary, the sound a
jerk makes at the end of a fall to the bottom of a kill file).
 

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Fill up with Shell Premium. I guarantee you will see better MPG, all other factors being the same (driving style, outside weather, temperature, etc). Give it a try, you'll like it.
 

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It would be good for the EPA (or Toyota) to have a website where you can put in additional factors (like commute length, average speed, number of passengers) to give people more accurate estimates of the MPG they will actually get.
 

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From reading his posts I believe Taniwha knows just as much about his Prius as the posters and has already exhausted the going norms. These things should have all been looked at by his dealer if he has any interest in the product he has been selling. So now that nothing else has made any differance at all I would guess he is correct and has ended up with a "lemon." I don't know how the lemon law will work out in a court when what we are disagreeing about is gas milage but 40 is way too low regardless of the EPA and with all the advertising the Prius is getting because of high milage figures (50 +) regardless of the weather trends I would think in a court case Taniwha would win and with a bad local press for Toyota. I would suggest he print out this whole thread and bring it to the manager of his dealership for his thoughts. I do believe Toyota is advertising 37 mpg for it's Corolla!
 

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I'm taking a different track here. If your car is driving smoothly, all systems are working, and your only complaint is it's not getting advertised mileage, dealers aren't going to defer to your wishes and overhaul your car. It's a minor complaint in their workday, and only Prius drivers seem obsessed with 50mpg mileage. I haven't had a tank average that yet, and I'm at 5000 miles. I have seen it though. Have you ever reached 50mpg during any 5 minute period showing on your consumption screen? I've seen my screen show 70mpg on my screen during a 5 minute slot, yet my average for that tank will then slip. This particular tank is now more than half full and has slipped to 39.6 after starting really well. It's all so subjective. My car drives beautifully and that's what really counts.
 
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