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OK, I have my tires inflated to 46psi. Probably get to 48 to 50 when hot.

My problem is that for the first time yesterday I had to avoid someone who was coming out of a driveway from my right side, and I swerved to miss him. I thought I was going to loose control of the car. It felt like the back end was going to fish-tail on me. Hard to explain. Almost like the backend was going to try a bootleg turn. Front-end too heavy and the backend too light?

Once up the road more I tried this same maneuver thinking maybe I was in the fight or flight mode and didnt really realize how much I had swerved. But it did it again. I tried to do a slalom and the whole backend of the car just feels funny. Really uncontrollable.

Has anyone else felt this with their babies, err umm, I mean their Prius's?

Thanks
2002 Silver
"The Geek"
 
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Info from page 7 of DOE Technology snapshot on the Prius:

Handling (Slalom) sec.

Prius 11.5, Corolla 12.1, Camry 11.5

Braking Feet from 60 MPH to 0

Prius 135.1. Corolla LE 173.6 without antilock, Camry LE 198.2

Skid pad (G)

Prius 0.654, Corolla LE 0.667, Camry LE 0.651

Go to the technical section for the 8 page report from DOE

regards,
Don good
 
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Yes, before I had my front end aligned I would describe the steering as being twichy. It got worse the faster I drove, but was evident even around town. A simple test; drive straight down the road at 35 mph. Hold a roll of life savers in your right hand. The right hand is already holding the wheel and steering the car. Try to remove a lifesaver from the roll with your left hand. At this point your left hand, the roll of lifesavers and your right hand are all connected, but your right hand is the only thing touching the wheel. If you have no problem driving in a straight line your alignment is OK. When I first got my car it failed the lifesaver test. Driving this way seemed to magnify the steering sensitivity, and I would start swerving from one side to the other. After reporting the problem to my dealer, and supplying him with a printout of a post from Priustek he aligned the front end to my specs for free. I drove out with a completely different handling car. Quite a few Priuses are within spec, but handle badly. If you are interested in the specs I'll post them as soon as I can connect to yahoo groups. They seem to be off the air tonight.

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Thanks Mitch, yes please post those specs. I have a call into my dealer today about it.

Don Thanks again, been there done that, but my Prius didnt read the test report I guess. Better go have a talk with the little guy. :)

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BTW Mitch

Could you get me the lifesavers too.

I think I will just have the tech look at the car on the rack.

Be looking forward to those specs. Thanks.

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TC,
The lifesavers are mine, but the specs are public ;-)
The "preferred" setting, which is within the "factory range", is
0.05 degrees of toe IN, each side, for a total toe in of 0.10 degrees.

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TC,
Check out the steering post <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius/message/9161>
BTW Priustek is a real Prius Tech in BC Canada

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I have a green 2002 Prius. On a recent trip on the interstate I had all my tires set at a cold pressure of 45 PSI. Because of someone cutting in front of me while we were all doing 80 miles per hour, I hit my brakes hard. I thought I was going to lose control. Felt like my car was bunching up, bouncing around, and swerving. Scared me. Fairly soon thereafter I found a safe place to stop so I could lower the pressure in each tire a few pounds. I don't know if this will help. Earlier my dealership gave me a free alignment, but did not print out the before and after results.

Alton at Auburn University, AL "War Eagle"
 
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I have had the back end come around on me also - not due to evasive maneuvers, but to catching one back tire in a small ditch on an icy road. The rear end got a bit of a jossle, and was 90% to the direction I wanted to go real quickly. I had the car aligned in my first checkup, and that helps some, but the design (I think) of the rear suspension and the general balance of the car make it a bit unstable. I still love the car, but I learn more every day on how this car was designed.

'02 super white - 11,000 miles NYState

steve dickerson

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I too had a scary fishtailing event in my Prius too. I must have been doing 80 mph and reacted when I saw a cop ahead of me in the far right lane, and reckless me, tapped the brakes a bit too hard to slow down. And felt if the car was going to roll over out of control.

I have 50 psi in all the tires.

I just conclude that for low rolling resistance, ie small rolling contact area there is a trade off for good evasive handling characteristics.

The prius is a metro car, not intended for performance driving. remember the Prius power had to be increased to sell in the US, but I don't think the suspension was improved.
 
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