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Discussion Starter #1
I have secured a 04 Prius, if all goes well, I will pick it up Saturday.
I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me answer.

1) What should I ask the dealership to install to make life easier, i.e. rear bumper guard, undercoat, flares or bras to prevent paint damage (my Rav of 6 years is riddled with small pellet nicks), by the way, I think a bra on a black Prius would look downright stoopid, but if it would save paint in the long run....

2)I am in Western MA, and will be travelling to Toronto back and forth. Are the OEM tires adequate? If not which brand is best? Should the dealer install or a third party?

3)Now for my completely superficial and vain side. What about Rims. What Rims would look cool on a Black Prius. I was thinking something futuristic (minimalist).

4)What is the maximum tire size one can put on the Prius? (I don't plan on doing it, but you know what they say about guys with big tires. :wink:


Thanks in advance for your kind help.

Edmund
 

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I think mud flaps are a necessity, as a courtesy to the drivers behind you. I would not pay for any other dealer add-ons. I think they're all just pocket-stuffers for the dealer. But you do want floor mats, if you car does not already have them. I like the OEM ones, but others are avialble cheaper.

I think the OEM tires are adequate. I'm sure better ones are available. I think john1701a uses the Michelin Hydro-Edge, and I'd trust him if I was in the market for new tires. (Still undecided. I got through last winter just fine on the OEm tires, but I do no highway driving in winter.) Not everyone agrees on tires. Do a search for "tires" here and on Prius Chat and you'll have enough reading for a week. Note, however, that the Classic took different tires than the '04/'05.

I can't answer your other tire/wheel questions. I'm more into function than style
 

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bra or no bra

If you want the front of your Prius to be protected, but don't like the look of a bra, perhaps you should consider having a shop apply one of those clear protective sheets. Do some searches on PriusOnline.com on the topic. There's a bit of chatter about it. (Considering it myself....)

Louie
 

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I installed a plastic ding deflector on the hood of my Prius. It is smoked plexiglass, almost black, semi-transparent, with a cutout for the hood emblem. It installs without drilling any holes and works well. I thought it was a cheaper alternative to having the plastic sheeting put directly on the paint.
You can order one for a bout 40 bucks (US) from Toyota Town in Langley, British Columbia. There may be other outlets for them, but for some reason the Canadians get some accessories that we don't.
I agree about the mud flaps. I ordered mine from Toyota Town; they were about 50 bucks for the set of four. I had my dealer install them at the 5k oil change. They look like factory installed items and are not cheap looking.
I did get a strip of the protective plastic sheeting for the top of the rear bumper to protect the paint from stuff being loaded / unloaded in the trunk.
I also wouldn't invest in "undercoating" or other dealer "prep" packages as I think they are a waste of money and near useless. The car is already clearcoated at the factory and Toyota has very high corrosion resistance.
I spruced up the interior of my Seaside Pearl blue Prius with matching blue throw pillows for the rear seat and blue cushions for the front seats. My friends don't use the pillows, but they are handy for taking naps while waiting for the ferry.
If you are 6 feet tall or more, you'll discover that the seats do not provide adequate thigh support which becomes noticeable on long trips.
If you are concerned about visibility, especially when passing or parallel parking, get a set of 1in or 1.5in diameter stick on mirrors and affix them to your side view mirrors. They help pick up cars in adjoining lanes, and when parallel parking, they allow you to see the curb well enough to keep from scraping your wheels on the sidewalk.
Put flowers into the frontmost cup holder and you're all set.
Have fun. Great car.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the helpful info.

I am having trouble visualizing the 1 inch mirrors. Do you have a link for this product. Again, the canadian tip for the deflector is helpful. How did you do the clear coat in the back bumper?

Thanks,
Ed
 

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Re: Thanks for the helpful info.

slumbum said:
I am having trouble visualizing the 1 inch mirrors. Do you have a link for this product.

Thanks,
Ed
Little round fisheye (convex) mirrors that you stick on the lower outside corners of your regular side mirrors. They give you a great view of the blind spot. I've put them on all my cars for years, already have them on the Prius. Got them at Walmart... very cheap, maybe $1 each.

Rob
 

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No one has reported yet just how much milage is lost by the by destroying the designed airflow with the mudflaps. On trips from Pittsfield to Toronto it could be considerable. The "bras" usually cause more trouble than they are worth. As soon as they are installed they start their "sand paper" action on your hood. Check under one that has been on a car for a year. Most body shops at car dealers today offer at reasonable cost a front end refinishing job for any rock chip damage. Hood wind deflectors also change the designed airflow over car. I would be hesitant to change anything that was designed in a wind tunnel for high milage exclusively. The stick on mirrors (about 1 1/2 inch by 2inches) are available at any auto store from wall-mart to NAPA to auto zone and well worth it. They cover the blind spot directly at distance of rear fender. Back to the "mud flaps" These cars look a little strange for a purpose and it's all "airflow" Anything that changes this is going to cause some type of reaction. When you pick up car, please do me a favor and tell dealer you are really crushed to find that the car has no "coolant temperature indicator" and that you would have loved to have found a "tach" Maybe some day Toyota will get the word!
 

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hyperion said:
.... tell dealer you are really crushed to find that the car has no "coolant temperature indicator" and that you would have loved to have found a "tach" Maybe some day Toyota will get the word!
but Im not. I havent had a coolant temp in my last 2 cars, and the tacho would be almost pointless on the Prius, afterall its not a sports car with a manual transmission.

:roll:

I would rather have a stronger 12v battery and a couple of unswitched power outlets in the back. That will be my first mod.
 

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Hyperion: Air flow or no air flow, I still say mud flaps are a courtesy which ought to be mandatory. I have the factory mud flaps. I get about 44 mpg at 75 mph and 50 mpg at 60 mph. There's always wind here on the prairie, and it's usually a headwind. I don't think the flaps make a significant difference in the mileage.
 

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Well Victor, The coolant temp is one important item on these cars. Both Engine and Inverter. With the idiot lights all you get is complete system failure and get off the road now or destroy something important. Thats why they are called "idiot lights" What brand of car were your last two. My Buick has not only the guage but when scrolling thru the engine monitor I get the exact temp along with exact psi of oil flow. And as far as the tach is concerned unless you have the engine running light modification you have no idea just what you are turning or even when engine is running. The energy monitor will not tell you when engine is running just to heat catylitic converter. There is no information available at all even from a service manager to let you know whats going on with the "ICE" on hard or passing accelleration. You mean you are not at all curious? I find that hard to believe from any car afficiando. Again as for "mud flaps" Toytota spent millions on wind tunnel testing for low drag, high milage and quietness of operation. All of which change with exterior add-ons which are more suited to a Camray.
 

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My last 2 cars (both gone in favour of the Prius) were a Toyota MR2 Roadster SMT and a Hyundai Santa Fe 4x4. I currently have a Toyota Yaris as a loaner from MRT until the Prius gets delivered (next week).

Sure Im curious about how the car works, but it sorts all that out for its self and when the ICU runs (for example cat warming) then there isnt much/anything I can do about it. Anyhow, I can hear the motor most of the time unless the stereo is turned up or the wife is talking :lol:

More to the point, would a tacho make sense? As I understand it, the motor runs in a very narrow RPM band, and that is also not dependant on the speed of the car. So a techo wouldnt provide usefull info. The water temp guage perhaps, but if this info was to be made available, I would prefere it in a screen which could be called up when required, or shows automatically if there was a problem. A sort of diagnostics page perhaps.

Maybe digging into the "hidden" diagnostics screens would provide some of this info :?:
 

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My mud flaps were made by Toyota for the Prius. Sitting as they do right behind the tires, they are not in the direct airflow. And they prevent my car from throwing road crud up onto the windshield of the car behind me or the car I am passing. Or at least reduce it.
 

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slumbum said:
What about Rims. What Rims would look cool on a Black Prius. I was thinking something futuristic (minimalist).
To start, pop off the plastic wheel trim rings. This will reveal a set of nice alloy wheels which may suit you just fine. If not I recommend adding gold anodized spinners :_> (Pimp My Prius!)
 

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Search here and PriusChat.com for Assasyn rims - and try a few alternative spellings. Not because I got it wrong (I'm pretty sure I did), but because the other posters didn't necessarily read their invoice when they posted.

Anyway, this design has two swooshes of silver with lots of empty space in a yin/yang style. I think someone named Tim on PriusChat.com has another style - spiky 5-pointed star or something. When you find them, there will be pictures of both. Good luck.
 

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Vic, I've tried three service managers at three different dealerships and not one could tell me any type of an RPM range for the ICE. When you tromp the accelerator at 65mph to accellerate to 75 for passing you can hear the "ICE" screaming. I'm sure Toyota has a govenor installed to limit RPM but I am really curious as to what it can get too. The Japanese are notorious for small displacement high turning engines and I would really like to know If I own one. My four cylinder Honda bike turns 10,000 RPM This is the first Japanese car I have ever owned and I've run the gamut in the past sixty years of car ownership. I wouldn't own this one if Detroit made a hybrid and they won't until we get an administration that realizes we depend on 61% of foreign oil for our countrys entire energy system and the less used for cars the more available for power plants. The information, "RPM, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Coolant emperature and a host of others" are already programed in the "ECM" (energy computer monitor) so why can't they be simply shown on the energy screen? Evidentually because buyers for Japanese cars do not care for guages. Got to be a different type of buyer than everyone I know. Oh heck, put what you want on your new car. Doesn't matter who sells them, mud flaps weren't wind tunnel tested, and just have to change" airflow. I'll bet you would be shocked to see the disturbance of airflow in a wind tunnel that was caused by a simple thing like four mud flaps or one set of top racks. The beauty of these cars is the total lack of drag. I've heard people who have asked about an optional sun roof being told that there will probably be one on a future model. That tells me that the salesman has not even looked at the "scalloped" top (again, done in wind tunnel for airflow) and realized that there is no way a sun roof could ever be adapted.
 

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For the 2004 model, the RPM range is 0 and 1000 - 5000. For the 2001-03 model it is 0 and 1000 - 4500. When it is burning fuel, the 2001-03 model's RPM range appears to be 1200 - 4500.

The RPM tends to be proportional to power requested, though the top-end is limited at low speed.
 

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I wonder if that scream you hear is the ICE or MG2. I've always thought it was MG2.
 

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hyperion said:
No one has reported yet just how much milage is lost by the by destroying the designed airflow with the mudflaps. On trips from Pittsfield to Toronto it could be considerable. The "bras" usually cause more trouble than they are worth. As soon as they are installed they start their "sand paper" action on your hood. Check under one that has been on a car for a year. Most body shops at car dealers today offer at reasonable cost a front end refinishing job for any rock chip damage. Hood wind deflectors also change the designed airflow over car. I would be hesitant to change anything that was designed in a wind tunnel for high milage exclusively. The stick on mirrors (about 1 1/2 inch by 2inches) are available at any auto store from wall-mart to NAPA to auto zone and well worth it. They cover the blind spot directly at distance of rear fender. Back to the "mud flaps" These cars look a little strange for a purpose and it's all "airflow" Anything that changes this is going to cause some type of reaction. When you pick up car, please do me a favor and tell dealer you are really crushed to find that the car has no "coolant temperature indicator" and that you would have loved to have found a "tach" Maybe some day Toyota will get the word!
On Priuschat.com there was a long forum on the mileage allegedly lost due to the installation of mud flaps. After much input, it seems that the effect is slight enough to be virtually undetectable within the parameters of normal driving, i.e., comparing one's mileage before installation with that after installation, cannot allow for the multiple other variables (other than the flaps) which might change the mileage. I had mine installed after I had the car for about two months and didn't notice any signficant change in mileage. The payoff of protecting the side panels is worth a microscopic drop in mileage.

As for the chip deflector: ditto above. The deflector sits about a half an inch above the surface of the hood and lies parallel to it, and, I assume, the airflow over it. I think it works great. On a long trip to California of over 2k miles, it made no noticeable dent in mileage and kept my hood AND my windscreen very nearly free of bugs (compared to other cars I saw in the rest stops).

I would never install a vinyl bra on my car for the reasons posted: I don't want some grit collecting rag rubbing on the hood. I am reluctant to cover much of my car with the clear stuff either, regardless of the guarantees issued. I don't like the idea of sealing paint under a piece of plastc. That said, I went against that ethic to install a clear plastic strip across the top of my bumber. I got it from the X-Pel website, where you can order pieces to fit virtually any exposed surface on your Prius. My thought here was that if the plastic did begin to degrade the paint, I would cover the whole thing with a rubber protector like you see on Jeep Cherokees or Ford Exploders.
Enjoy your Prius.
Bob in HUMU
 
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