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I remember reading about how someone was so concerned about battery levels when sitting in traffic, and how they watched the battery level going down as they sat in the heat, A/C running. They got so concerned, that they ended up turning off the A/C, to lessen the chance of completely exhausting the battery.

Is this type of battery monitoring necessary? I envision treating the car more as the proverbial "black box". The technology is in place to manage the interoperability of the gas/electric system, and I expect that system to keep me out of trouble. I wouldn't run the car until it was out of gas, but otherwise, it's "business as usual".

In the above described situation, I would think if the battery was running low, then the gas engine would kick in and run fulltime.

Will this get me in trouble? Does a Prius owner need to be a bit more aware of what's going on under the hood?

Thanks,

A happy owner...
 

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The motto... JUST DRIVE IT! ...was created for circumstances just like that.

The engine simply kicks it when it needs to. After 98,000 miles of driving Prius, I have yet to see the charge-level drop below 45%. So any worries about the battery-pack being drained dead are definitely unwarranted.

The Multi-Display is a mixed blessing. It empowers some and causes concerns for others.
 

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This happened to me for the first time today.

I don't think I have ever seen the battery level drop into the pink zone, but today it did.

The pick-up routine at my kids day-camp is to wait in a line of cars and cycle through --about 15 cars per cycle.

I was latish, so I had to wait 2 cycles --15 mins. The AC was running...at about 74F on med-low fan.

I looked up and I was down to 2 pink bars. I knew I had read a similar thread on this, so I just waited. The ICE did not kick in, but once I was on my way with the yahoos in the backseat, I was back up to regular blue bar levels within a few miles.
 

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I responded to the initial thread you were referring to. I sat at a train track, AC on high with weather outside in 90's, watched the battery fall to 2 pink bars, and remembered not to worry. Sure enough, ICE kicked in and soon I was on my way. Battery then recharged to normal.
 

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The ICE will kick in when SOC is about to go to 1 bar. In other words, you'll be in 2 bars for a bit before ICE kicks in, and ICE will stay running until it gets to 3 bars, or you accelerated a bit, thus encouraging ICE to stop if no longer at the "turn on" threshold.
 

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Turning off the A/C while sitting is exactly the *wrong* thing to do. The A/C helps keep the battery cool; if the battery gets too hot, it's efficiency drops and you will use more fuel, not less. As others have pointed out the engine will start as needed to keep the battery charged. And don't put the car in "N" or turn it off if you're sitting. That will prevent it from re-charging itself. Leave it on with your foot on the brake or put it in "P".
 

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richard schumacher said:
Turning off the A/C while sitting is exactly the *wrong* thing to do. The A/C helps keep the battery cool; if the battery gets too hot, it's efficiency drops and you will use more fuel, not less. As others have pointed out the engine will start as needed to keep the battery charged. And *don't* put the car in "N" or turn it off if you're sitting. That will prevent it from re-charging itself.
If you're moving and using the battery then I completely agree with you.

But, when you're just sitting there, listening to the radio and not moving or anything then opening the windows and turning off the A/C will ultimately save energy. But it's splitting hairs. If you want to use A/C to keep cool then just leave it on for goodness sake. If you don't like the idea of sitting there using energy and it's not disgustingly hot then roll down the windows, shut down the car and the power up to ACC mode and listen to some rock & roll.
 

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I've sat waiting for someone on a hot day, listening to CDs with the A/C on and the car in PARK (don't do this in NEUTRAL) and I watched the battery go into the pink, then the ICE came on and brought it up above the pink zone. Also, the pink zone is not really fully discharged, it's just the bottom end of the desired state of charge.

You can turn the MFD off and pretend it's a "normal" car. It's just that most of us are geekily amused by watching how it works.... :)
 

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turn off the Energy Screen. stay on Consumption, Audio, Map, whatever, or turn the display off. The Energy Screen doesn't tell you everything, and in the 2004-? Prius just needlessly scares people with those pink bars.

As long as you're not in Neutral (and the Prius will remind you about it), the Prius will handle itself. If needed, it'll turn on the gasoline engine for recharging the battery.

Stop worrying, and just drive the it.
 

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It only reminds you of Neutral if you open the driver door while it is not in park. I have managed to get it down to one bar in Neutral without warnings. Was too chicken to go lower.
 

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It's always disgustingly hot in Dallas from about June to early October, so that probably colors my response. Nobody here chooses to sit in a car, moving or not, without the A/C running.
 

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My wife and I just got back from a long road trip, the first of many to come in this nice little new car of ours. About half way back, a 1/2 hour after lunch, she was asleep and I was getting sleepy myself. I watched the charge meter as I intentionally got it to go green; coasting down hills where possible and on the straightaway.

It was in the 90's and very humid. I found a remote corner of an unpopulated parking lot with a bit of shade. I left the car on, WITH THE A/C ON low and 76, windows closed, seats back and then took a nap for a good 45 minutes. When the gas engine started, I was gently awakend as if the car said, "OK, enough sleep. Let's get going!" So we did. Refreshed, awake, cool and watching the pink turn blue and then green in just a few miles.

It then dawned on me. This is exactly the situation the designers of the hybrid system had in mind. Of course, I know that's not true, but it sure was fun realizing we could do it without concern. I would not have dared doing that in a gas car for fear of CO poisoning.

Cool, NO?
 

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Very cool, so to speak.
 
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