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We went for a drive in a friends Prius 2004 now she told us that the prius wont go up the STEEP DRIVE,NOT EVEN BACKWARDS,this cant be true,there must be a setting you can put it on??????so the engine will drive all the time.
Thanks from Aotaroa(nz)
Bob
 

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If the driveway is slippery, she might be right. Prius gets twitchy when its wheels spin - I mean, when it's wheels WON'T spin. If they start to spin, they give up. Or so we've heard. I've had the experience once or twice on a wet road, if I'm pulling out of a gas station or somesuch. Hit gas, pause and not go until tires grab, then ZOOM. It's strange.
 

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Sanny said:
I've had the experience once or twice on a wet road, if I'm pulling out of a gas station or somesuch. Hit gas, pause and not go until tires grab, then ZOOM. It's strange.
That's called Traction Control...
 

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It will unless it's snow-covered or ice-covered but if that's the case, you should've had winter tyres mounted already.

Summary? don't let the traction control kick in
 

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Tell your friend to stick with forward. Unlike most cars, which have a lower reverse gear than 1st forward gear, the Prius can put out slightly more torque in the forward direction than in reverse. It's just a case where common wisdom doesn't apply. So by trying to back up, your friend's just making it harder. If there's any room to do so, try turning the wheels slightly so you don't go straight up, then at each edge, turn the other way. Almost like do it yourself switchbacks.

It takes a monstrously steep hill to stymie the Prius. Maybe your friend should consider moving somewhere safer (or rent a grader for a day).
She probably should have stuck with a 4WD vehicle instead of trying to get by with 2WD for her driveway.
 

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firepa63 said:
Sanny said:
I've had the experience once or twice on a wet road, if I'm pulling out of a gas station or somesuch. Hit gas, pause and not go until tires grab, then ZOOM. It's strange.
That's called Traction Control...
Yup, I know. And I don't really mind it. It's just strange, is all.
 

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RSnyder said:
Tell your friend to stick with forward. Unlike most cars, which have a lower reverse gear than 1st forward gear, the Prius can put out slightly more torque in the forward direction than in reverse.
Insufficient torque is not usually the problem on slippery surfaces. It's the opposite. For example, the winter traction mode of many cars simply starts the automatic transmission up in second gear instead of first.

When a car is on a steep hill, the weight shifts toward the downhill wheels. You want the weight over the driving wheels. They're the ones that need traction. Hence the logic of backing a front-wheel-drive car up a steep, slippery hill.
 

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RSnyder said:
The original message by sooty said that steepness was the issue, not slipperiness.
Yah-I pulled the thread off when I mentioned traction control. Mea culpa!
 
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