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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody know why the Prius seems to suddenly downshift and slow down a bit while on the freeway going at about 65mph? It feels like the a/c compressor came on suddenly. What's this about?
 

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Cienaga said:
Does anybody know why the Prius seems to suddenly downshift and slow down a bit while on the freeway going at about 65mph? It feels like the a/c compressor came on suddenly. What's this about?
Downshift? I've never experienced anything like that. If what is happening is tuly dramatic, I'd take your car to the dealer immediately. However, there are a couple of subtle sensations associated with driving a Prius that one might describe as being similar to a downshift. First, when you are driving in warp stealth (freeway speeds on electric only) you can sometimes feel the ICE as it turns on and off. Second, driving in "B" has a very different feeling than driving in "D." Take along a co-pilot and have them watch your energy screen while you try to get the car to dupicate what you are experiencing. They should be able to tell you if the car is going in and out of stealth.
Drive happy,
:)
 

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Sudden downshift

It happened again today but this time the main warning light came on so I pulled over, shut it down and called the Toyota service dept. Of course they could not tell me what caused it but their assumption was that the inverter overheated and the downshift feeling was the hybrid system going into shut down mode. After sitting there for about 4 minutes, I turnded it back on the warning light was gone, just like the dealer said. It gave it time for the inverter to cool off. I am also having a squeeking problem with the rack & pinion. Dealer said it may be causing the inverter prob. I'll be finding out soon I hope.
 

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[quote=".... However, there are a couple of subtle sensations associated with driving a Prius that one might describe as being similar to a downshift. First, when you are driving in warp stealth (freeway speeds on electric only) you can sometimes feel the ICE as it turns on and off.
:)[/quote]
I have never been able to attain stealth mode above 40 mph and didn't think the Prius could attain electric motor only mode at freeway speeds. How did you do that? Possibly, if you take your foot off the accelerator the car will briefly go into something like stealth, but I don't believe you can sustain that.
 

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Your mentioning of a Rack and Pinion problem is not matter to take lightly - especially given your mileage. The 01 (including 02 and 03 I believe) could be considered notorious for rack problems/failure. I believe toyota has been selectively addressing rack issues that occur during time/mileage periods that bordered slightly past the 3/36 bumper to bumper. Your 65k would be very interesting to see how it will be handled. You may want to seriously evaluate your options and discuss this very carefully with the dealer's service manager. That persosn may be able to broker some deal for the RACK AND PINION IS VERY EXPENSIVE. If it is somehow having an adverse effect on your other systems, your failure to correct this may nullify warranty on any subsequent failure to the other very expensive system: the inverter.

While you found it notable to mention the $499 for the schedules service, YOUR repair cost to any of mentioned these items may have the cost of keeping the vehicle long(er) term essentially nullify the economic benefit of the higher gas mileage. The advent of the 04 and upcoming newer hybirds has/will greatly diminish the novelty of this particular model. So, unless being green is your impetuous, be wary of FIXING IT.
 

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Bob Allen said:
I have never been able to attain stealth mode above 40 mph and didn't think the Prius could attain electric motor only mode at freeway speeds. How did you do that? Possibly, if you take your foot off the accelerator the car will briefly go into something like stealth, but I don't believe you can sustain that.
Bob,
I have attained warp stealth mode at cruising speeds in the mid-60s. The technique is the same as regular stealth: accelerate to speed, then ease off the pedal enough to coax the ICE to shut down. Like you, I've been unable to use stealth to sustain a set speed for great distances. However, if I am on a relatively flat stretch or a slight decline, I've found that warp stealth can keep the vehicle close to speed until I reach the next incline.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The rack & pinion problem was addressed at the 65k service visit. They are looking to see if Toyota will cover all or part of it. The cost to repair it, as you indicated, is high! $3500.00 installed. If I have to bear that entire cost it will be extremely dissapointing! I already paid more for the car when I bought it, compared to say an Echo. So, i'm keeping my fingers crossed. By the way, the only problem with the rack is that it squeeks when you turn right. But, since it is electronic, the dealer says it may be the cause of the warning light. I hope to find out this week.
 

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Just my interstate observances.

I do not have a Prius yet but am very interested it them. Currently I drive a 92 Bronco. Yes, I am supporting the Arabs and killing the environment and my checkbook :cry: . What I have noticed while driving on interstate highways is that when my cruise control is set, my vehicle holds a constant speed very well. Many drivers don't use their cruise control and I catch up to them or they pass me, only to have the positions reversed many times in a 50 or 100 mile stretch. Could your problem be your foot action or slight hills and dips in the road causing the Prius try to shift from engine to electric? And is the Prius accelerator that touchy?
 

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Re: Just my interstate observances.

Big Detriot Iron said:
I do not have a Prius yet but am very interested it them. Currently I drive a 92 Bronco. Yes, I am supporting the Arabs and killing the environment and my checkbook :cry: . What I have noticed while driving on interstate highways is that when my cruise control is set, my vehicle holds a constant speed very well. Many drivers don't use their cruise control and I catch up to them or they pass me, only to have the positions reversed many times in a 50 or 100 mile stretch. Could your problem be your foot action or slight hills and dips in the road causing the Prius try to shift from engine to electric? And is the Prius accelerator that touchy?
Big Detroit,
It sounds to me like what cienaga is experiencing falls well outside normal operation. Here's hoping it can be rectified soon, either under warranty or at not a too great an expense.
If you like driving with cruise control, I think you'll enjoy driving a Prius. I've found the cruise control to be remarkably good at holding a constant speed. In response to your question about the accelrator being touchy, I have not found that to be the case with my vehicle.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Rack & Pinion

In this world of corporate greed, miracles still do happen. Toyota decided to provide a new rack & pinion steering unit for free. The dealer charged me 325.00 bucks to install it and my car was way out of warranty! I applaud Toyota for making these kinds of decisions for it's consumers. After the new rack was installed, the car started getting much better gas mileage. I can now top out at 53mpg hwy and 47 city. An increase from 50 hwy and 38 city. It still occasionally downshifts though. I noticed the energy display went to electric only whn this happened last. Is this stealth mode?
 

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Re: Rack & Pinion

Cienaga said:
In this world of corporate greed, miracles still do happen. Toyota decided to provide a new rack & pinion steering unit for free. The dealer charged me 325.00 bucks to install it and my car was way out of warranty! I applaud Toyota for making these kinds of decisions for it's consumers. After the new rack was installed, the car started getting much better gas mileage. I can now top out at 53mpg hwy and 47 city. An increase from 50 hwy and 38 city. It still occasionally downshifts though. I noticed the energy display went to electric only whn this happened last. Is this stealth mode?
I'm glad Toyota took care of your steering issue. Did they check your downshifting problem as well? Since you aren't sure what "stealth" feels like, I'll assume that you recently purchased this vehicle and are not the one who has been driving it for 65,000 miles. When my car switches between gas/electric and electric-only power modes, I can hear and feel a subtle change--passengers typically don't notice anything. There is no dramatic loss of momentum or obvious downshifting sensation. As I posted originally, if what you are experiencing is anything more than slightly perceptible, I recommend you take your Prius in to your dealer immediately.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Re: Rack & Pinion

Cienaga said:
In this world of corporate greed, miracles still do happen. Toyota decided to provide a new rack & pinion steering unit for free. The dealer charged me 325.00 bucks to install it and my car was way out of warranty! I applaud Toyota for making these kinds of decisions for it's consumers. After the new rack was installed, the car started getting much better gas mileage. I can now top out at 53mpg hwy and 47 city. An increase from 50 hwy and 38 city. It still occasionally downshifts though. I noticed the energy display went to electric only whn this happened last. Is this stealth mode?
If your Prius is a 2001 or early 2002, you might want to still contact Toyota. There has been an extended warranty on the power steering rack (for a vibrating/oscillating steering wheel), out to 5 years/unlimited miles. More info: http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=1701
 
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