Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I apologize if this seems like a newbie question as I am a newbie :)

My '05 Prius is only about a month old and I am already running into a few problems including, but not limited to getting low MPG ratings, strange unexplained noises coming from behind the dashboard but no warning lights are on, and one thing that bugs me the most, the power button light...

I didn't really start to notice the power button light until I started having more problems with my Prius so I don't remember what color it used to be but now everytime I press it to turn on my car, the power button light is orange. Now is this normal? To my understanding, if everything is OK then shouldn't the light be green?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Odd. Well, if you're in ACC mode, it'll be green. If you're in IG-ON mode it'll be orange and if you're in READY mode (i.e. the car is on), the green light should go out.
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
The car has to be broken in. You haven't provided enough information for anyone here to give a diagnosis.

How many miles do you take per trip?
What speed are you traveling on the higway?
How many miles are on the car?
What are your tire pressures?
Have you checked the fill level of the oil?

Sounds in the dash are another story. If it is a rattle, go see the dealer and perhaps they can locate it. In my car the only thing that shakes is the center speaker. Anyone know a fix?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
By strange noises do you mean a slight buzzing or whirring noise? That's normal. The orange power color indicates you're in some accessory mode as opposed to a driving mode. Low mileage means what? My first tank was 39mpg. As to the power button, it'll take a few weeks to feel natural. Starting and stopping the Prius were the two areas of this new vehicle I needed the most time to adjust to. It took me a month or so. Sounds pretty normal so far, unless those sounds aren't buzzes, relax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
To answer some questions:

• If by per trip you mean each time I fill up the gas, it's about 380 - 420.
• I travel at around 75 MPH on the highway
• There is so far about 1,300 miles on the car.
• My tire pressures are 42/40 although last night I bumped that up to 44.
• No I haven't checked the fill level of the oil yet. I just assumed that since my car is brand new, I wouldn't have to worry about such things...

evander said:
By strange noises do you mean a slight buzzing or whirring noise? That's normal.
Yes, it's normal? Would you happen to know where that's coming from? I only noticed it about 3 days ago as I've never heard it before then. It has been consistent since then.

evander said:
The orange power color indicates you're in some accessory mode as opposed to a driving mode.
From what I understand, the Prius only goes into accessory mode when you start the car WITHOUT your foot on the brake. However, I've ALWAYS had my foot on the brake before I start my car.

BTW, my dealership simply refuse to do anything with my car because no warning lights are on...

evander said:
Low mileage means what? My first tank was 39mpg.
My first tank was only 35 MPG. But since then I've "adapted" myself to the driving style required by the Prius in order to get better milage. Right now I am getting about 38 - 42 MPG, still significantly lower than the claims made by Toyota.

evander said:
As to the power button, it'll take a few weeks to feel natural. Starting and stopping the Prius were the two areas of this new vehicle I needed the most time to adjust to. It took me a month or so.
Actually I got used to the new system pretty quick. I start the stop the car MUCH faster than I've ever did with any other cars I've owned in the past.

Anyway, thanks for all the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
A "trip" is your usual "start to stop" time. For example, my commute is 35 miles each way. Church is 30 minutes away. Those are my usual 'trips.' I get about 50-53 mpg average on a tank, as shown on the consumption screen. That's after 11000 miles, 7 months.

Is your usualy "trip" 2 miles to the store and back? 200 miles to grandma's house every day? A few miles to work? That makes a gigundous difference in your mpg. Longer trips at slower speeds without starts and stops (stop signs, traffic lights) and you'll be amazed. Faster speeds (highway) without starts and stops will also be quite good. Short trips, and "in town" starts and stops and lights and crosswalks will be "lower" (still better than traditional car), unless you time it all so you don't have to stop and then accelerate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sanny said:
A "trip" is your usual "start to stop" time. For example, my commute is 35 miles each way. Church is 30 minutes away. Those are my usual 'trips.' I get about 50-53 mpg average on a tank, as shown on the consumption screen. That's after 11000 miles, 7 months.

Is your usualy "trip" 2 miles to the store and back? 200 miles to grandma's house every day? A few miles to work? That makes a gigundous difference in your mpg. Longer trips at slower speeds without starts and stops (stop signs, traffic lights) and you'll be amazed. Faster speeds (highway) without starts and stops will also be quite good. Short trips, and "in town" starts and stops and lights and crosswalks will be "lower" (still better than traditional car), unless you time it all so you don't have to stop and then accelerate.
Right.

My "trips" generally varies as most of the time when I am driving it's to see a client and they live all over town. Some 2 minutes away some an hour away. I'd say my average trip is about ~20 miles.

I do notice that I get better MPG when I drive for longer and at a consistent speed as opposed to just down the street but having to stop & go at three traffic lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Weili said:
I do notice that I get better MPG when I drive for longer and at a consistent speed as opposed to just down the street but having to stop & go at three traffic lights.
Sounds like your experiences are normal, then. Once you wear the edges off of your tires (again after your tire rotation), you'll settle in to a mpg based on your driving habits. Warm weather is better mgp usually than cold.

Of course, I'm not answering the question you asked, but I'm enthusiastic anyway. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
As to the whirring and buzzing sound, I'm not the technical expert here, so I'll leave it to others (mrv, Dan, etc.) to specifically explain what's happening. Same for the orange light with foot on the brake. As to the orange light situation, I'll also defer to others. Enjoy your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
If the orange power button light turns off when the "READY" light on the dash turns on, that's normal. If the orange light stays on while you drive, that's not right. See another dealer to get it diagnosed.

All the weird noises are probably normal. It's funny how long people can experience something before becoming aware of it. For example, some people own their Prius for months before they notice the intermittent flashing of the security system indicator light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Weili, please educate yourself

I am so tired of seeing quotes like this I could puke...

"Right now I am getting about 38 - 42 MPG, still significantly lower than the claims made by Toyota."

When will people learn the Toyota does NOT make that claim? The Environmental Protection Agency in the good ole U.S. does.

Their test is the same for every car to allow equal comparison. The test also is insanely unrealistic, they use 48mph for their highway speed.

Weili, if you drive on completely flat ground with temperatures in the 70's and drive 48mph like the EPA, you WILL get 50-60 mpg.

I average around 50mpg, roughly 10% below the average of the the sticker highway/city mileage. My previous vehicle was "rated" at 16 highway, 12 city... and I averaged 10-13mpg each tank. That's 20-30% BELOW that average of the city/highway numbers.

The Prius is incredibly efficient, although I will admit my first tank, in February in the midwest, I got 38mpg. Now in the summer with 5000 miles on her, I'm regularly seeing 50+. Give it time. It will break in and you will "learn" better habits... a tank of nothing but 5 minute trips will get you BELOW 30mpg, for instance. Short trips KILL mpg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
What is IG-ON??? I understand accessory (though I'm not sure why I'd use it since it doesn't work my windows which seems to be what I always forget to do before turning off, and I'd like to not have to power on just for that). I understand "ON" and "OFF" with the power button. "IG-ON" seems to be used as something other than ON/OFF. What is it, how do I do it, and why would I want to do it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
Jean said:
What is IG-ON??? I understand accessory (though I'm not sure why I'd use it since it doesn't work my windows which seems to be what I always forget to do before turning off, and I'd like to not have to power on just for that). I understand "ON" and "OFF" with the power button. "IG-ON" seems to be used as something other than ON/OFF. What is it, how do I do it, and why would I want to do it?
IG-ON is a left over phrase from the pre-hybrid days. There is no ignition on in the IG-ON setting. It really means all the 12 volt things are up and running but the high voltage things (motors and air conditioner) and the engine are not on. The READY setting means all the high voltage things are also on. It must be in READY for the high voltage system to maintain the 12 volt system. In IG-ON, the small 12 volt battery has to maintain everything and it can't do that very long (typically less than an hour).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Yup, it's the equivalent of "ON" (without the car started) in regular cars. In this mode, the radio, power accessories and fan can be operated
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,161 Posts
1. There are 4 power states on the Prius:
a. ACC - The power LED will be green. Obtained by pressing ONCE from OFF without holding the brake. Radio, NAV and power outlets will work, not much else.
b. Ig-On - The power LED will be amber. Obtained by pressing TWICE from off without brake, or once from ACC mode. Acts as ordinary cars do when you have the car ON, but haven't started the engine. Most stuff works, but you can't drive.
c. READY - The power LED will be off, though it does go amber briefly going into READY. READY will be show on the spedo display. Pressing power ONCE while brake is pressed in any state except READY.
Car is fully operational.
d. OFF. Self explanitory.

As for low mileage, for the first 5 minutes of driving, you'll get something close to 30-35 MPG as the ICE, O2 sensors and catalytic warms up. The ICE intentionally runs rich in open loop mode to accelerate the warmup process. Thereafter, your mileage will be 'normal'.
Now 'normal' is extremely subjective in the Prius, depending on speed, outside temperature, if you are using AC or heat, etc.
Remember, it is the EPA that set the city/highway mileage. I don't get how they got 50MPG when their average speed was 48MPH, that seems to be the best conditions for me.

Take a drive this weekend for 30 minutes - 1/2 hour at 55 MPH on the highway, or even drive that long on a secondary road without too much congestion or extremely frequent stops. See if your mileage shows higher then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
whirring sound

I've only had my Prius a week, so I'm not entirely sure.

My understanding is that the whirring noise is the engine moving some coolant to or from a holding tank. The idea is it stays warm longer and can be used to warm the engine up sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,161 Posts
Ah, sorry, meant to comment about that.

The whine is the sound of the electric coolant pump pumping coolant from the thermal storage tank into ICE on startup. The reverse occurs on shutdown. You'll hear a brief similar noise which is the water valve redirecting the coolant flow.

If you hear a buzzing noise like a compressor, that's the brake accumulator pump. Under normal driving, you don't provide any direct brake pressure to the wheels, the computer does that using valves.
On shutdown you might hear a hissing noise. That's the brake valves relieving pressure from the system. Shortly after that, the pump comes on. I suspect that helps bleed the system of any small amounts of trapped air.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Here's a q that might be really dumb coming from an 2004 owner with 26,000 miles. Sometimes when I park in a garage in New York, I get the car back with the hybrid battery showing 2 red bars, or maybe 3 blue bars. I turn the AC off and ALWAYS make sure to tell them to hit the brake when they power down, but I figure if I'm getting it back with the battery in this state they haven't done so. Make sense?

Susan
2004 BC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Re: Weili, please educate yourself

tryoty said:
Their test is the same for every car to allow equal comparison. The test also is insanely unrealistic, they use 48mph for their highway speed.
I thought I read that the EPA tests were done inside on a treadmill. If true, the biggest downside of real-world highway speed is eilimanated almost completely in their tests, unless there are terrible inefficiencies in the moving parts of the car at higher speeds (possible, but it would be a lower order problem). The losses in high speed car motion are largely due to air friction which increase EXPONENTIALLY with velocity. In other words (I'm making up numbers here - just illustrating) when you go from 48 to 55, you increase drag when MOVING THROUGH AIR by a factor of, say 2. Increasing again from 55 to 70 gives you another loss of, say 3.

Further, because the treadmill surface would be designed to grab the tire most efficiently, more so than in the real-world road surface, losses there are also minimized.

If there are any fluid dynamicists reading this, please correct my numbers. But the point is that in their zeal to make the tests fair (and scientifically repeatable) the EPA tests are inherently inaccurate because they don't test them in moving air and rolling on a real road. (There are other factors too, such as the biggest one; driving habits off the block, but that's been covered elsewhere.)
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top