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Discussion Starter #1
My driveway rises steeply from my house to the road. Once I reach the the road, it is downhill for about a mile to the main road.

When I start up in the morning, I can either back up the driveway (using only electric of course) or I can 3-point turn and head up forwards (the gasoline engine always kicks in).

I can make it up backwards, but it is quite slow (i.e. seems to be just barely enough power).

I was trying to decide the effect of forward vs. backward on:
- engine wear (it's cold because it just started)
- fuel efficiency (again, engine is cold)
- motor wear (driving backwards up the driveway on motor-only)

My intuition says that avoiding putting the engine under strain right after it has started in the morning (and is cold) is a good thing, both to minimize engine wear and avoid wasting fuel. But I wouldn't want to trade off engine wear (well-understood technology) and fuel efficiency (just having a Prius puts me ahead of most folks :) for motor wear (scary unknown for me :).

Anyone with some real knowledge have some insight they'd be willing to share?

Thanks!
Geoff
 

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I think I would back into my driveway while the car is hot, upon returning home. Then you are already facing forward for when its cold so you can have ICE power for those cold days.
 

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Geoff, if the car can make it up backwards and this is convenient to you, then by all means back up.

You don't say how long the driveway is and how long it takes to get out to the road, but I'll assume you're on the road within 60 seconds of turning the car ON. During this initial warm-up, the car will be powered electrically forwards or backwards, so it makes no real difference which way you go. The engine is running, but unless you stomp the pedal it produces no useful power. It is warming up the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors so that when it does power up it can do so at very low emission levels.

Even if it takes more than a minute to the road, I see no harm at all in backing up. The battery charge you use will be replaced before the engine has fully warmed up (several minutes, includes coolant).
 

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Further to Graham's comments, and just to put your mind further at rest, Electric Motor wear is really not an issue with Prius. The motor and generator are both brushless AC units. They have absolutely no wear out parts except the shaft bearings which should pretty well outlast everything else anyway!

Peter Rawlinson
 

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phobia re: steep driveways

Geoff,

I'm hoping that you can help me overcome some buyer-regret syndrome.

I placed my Prius order yesterday and "NOW" I read about someone in SanFrancisco whose 2004 Prius refuses to reverse up a hill.

It would help me a lot if you could tell me the angle or fall of your driveway so that I can compare it to mine. Mine is typically 1 in 5 .

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have no problems

Who ever said that must have problems....

My driveway I believe is much more steep then 1 to 5 and my Prius backs up it like its not even there.

Thats with a trunk full of Wally World food and my wife and 17 and 12 year old kids too.

So..

You will never regret buying your Prius. You will love it from day 1 and be glad you bought it each time you walk into your garage or carport and see it for years to come. You made the best choice in the world and for the world. And whats more fun is you will laugh at others at the gas pump when yours shuts off around $10 to $12 and you have 350 to 400 miles already driven on that tank.

Best of all is that wonderful drive and seeing the gas your saving and knowing the clean air you are saving for your kids future

No sir you made the best choice and dont forget it, and dont ever regret it.

Tom
 

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No Problem

Hey No Problem Friend,

Now go to bed!!!! LOL Unless your like me and cant sleep and have to get my stupid taxes done. Yuck, (Spit, Puke) Actually I have cronic pain and cant sleep lots of nigts too. So I guess its a given.

Tom
 
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