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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are about to put down a deposit on a new Prius, and there are a few things I forgot to ask my dealer when we discussed it.

Drivetrain: Is it rear, front or 4wheel drive?

Ignition: What is a Hybrid version of neeing a jumpstart? Does it work just like a regular gas engine (hookup some jumpercables and go)?

Fuel: Is there an advantage or disadvantage to using ethanol? And how big is the gas tank?

Access: Is there such a thing as a keypad entry, or is the smart key the only way to unlock the door?

Bluetooth: I've heard of some problems, is it worth it?

7,161 Posts
1. Car is front wheel drive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) class. I say class, because it isn't like a regular transmission, Toyota calls it a Power Split Device (PSD) that splits the engine (ICE) power between the wheels, and MG1 (the smaller motor/generator). MG1 has 3 purposes: to start the ICE using the high voltage battery at 1000RPM before adding spark/fuel, to act as a generator to charge the HV battery, and also to 'force' power to the wheels.
MG2 is another motor/generator directly connected to the wheels. This is why the car can drive solely on electric power at low speeds or lower power requirements. It also provides regenerative braking, converting inertia into electrical power to charge the HV battery.
John has a site as does Grahm that fully describes how the car works. Very unconventional.

2. Besided the HV battery, there is a 12V conventional battery, though smaller than what would be in a typical car. It does not directly start the ICE, but does power all the computers. There is a jumpstart terminal under the hood, where the battery is in the sub hatch floor. The terminal was provided because the hatch latch is electric; if you lose 12V power, you can't open the hatch normally. There is an emergency manual control in the mechanism, but you would have to get into the hatch area from the cabin, pull a small panel, and operate a lever.
Jumpstarting requires very little current, as all you are doing is booting the computers to get the HV battery engaged. The only high current drain is the hydraulic pump for the brakes that will activate when you press on the brake pedal to put the car in READY mode.

3. The car is certified to run on E10. One group has done a test using E85 on the classic. It runs, but the computer gets confused and reports an error. One person has mixed E10 with E85 to get E60. It worked. However, long term effects is not known for anything over E10.

4. If you have SKS, the car will poll the fob to respond with its code, all being done wirelessly. Thus you can unlock and power your car with the fob still in your pocket. If you don't have, or chose not to use the SKS feature, you can unlock the car using the unlock button on the fob, and stick the fob in the keyslot in the dash to power up the car. There is a metal key to unlock the driver door should the fob or car's 12 battery die.

BT: is packaged and part of the NAV option. If you desire the NAV, you will also get BT. If you want BT, you will get the NAV.
BT has had mixed results with different model phones. At the very least, you should get handsfree conversational use. Verizon cripples their phones so that they can continue charging you to tranfer pictures, ringtones and the like without you bypassing them. As such, phonebook transfers also are crippled.

23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all that!

The BT info re: verizon is interesting, since my contract with them will be up at about the same time I get the car. Is there any cel company that has had particularly good results interfacing with the Prius?

425 Posts
Well, Strictly speaking it has nothing to do with the cell phone company, but the phone used, as the BT is a local transmitter and doesnt go through the cell phones structure.

The best thing you can do is find the list of phones know to work, and try to get an unlocked one on the free market that is not branded. Unbranded means the phone hasnt been customised and locked into a specific phone companies network. Make sure you take your sim card to try in the new phone before you buy incae the phone company has done somthing to stop free market phones from working.

Also, try to check your phone with the car and make a BT connection, take the nav handbook with you so you have all the instructions to hand when you test the phone.

Which phones are compatible? There is a Toyota TSB covering this. Ask your dealer to show you EL001-05 "Bluetooth Compatible Cellular Phones" or down load it from the Toyota site in the USA (Chargeable service, but someone here may have the document - Danman ?)

I use a Nokia 6600 without problems. I tries a SonyEricsson P900, but that didnt work. My wife has an older Nokia 7650, but it also doesnt work.

Hope this helps

Premium Member
2,815 Posts
Bluetooth Phones ... index.html
or ...
Nokia N-Gage (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Nokia 3600/3650 (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Nokia 6310i
Nokia 3620/3660 (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Nokia 6600 (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Nokia 6620 (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Nokia 6820 (note - handset freezes when calling "911")
Sony Ericsson T68i (AT&T only tested)
Sony Ericsson T610 & T616
Sony Ericsson T637
Sony Ericsson z600
Siemens SX1
Siemens S55/56
Motorola V600
Motorola V710 (needs firmware update)
phone features, networks, etc. are in table form... ... ctions.pdf
Nokia 6310i (guide)
Sony Ericsson T608/T610 (guide)
(older versions of this PDF used to have the Sony Ericsson t68i listed, I
think in place of the T608/T610)
Motorola RAZR (guide)
Motorola V505 (guide)
Motorola V551 (guide)
Motorola V600 (guide)
Nokia 3600 (guide)
Nokia 3620 (guide)
Nokia 3650 (guide)
Nokia 3660 (guide)
Nokia 6230 (guide)
Nokia 6600 (guide)
Nokia 6620 (guide)
Nokia 6820 (guide)
Nokia 7610 (guide)
Siemens S56 (guide)
Siemens S66 (guide)
Sony Ericsson T608 (guide)
Sony Ericsson T610 (guide)
Sony Ericsson T616 (guide)
Sony Ericsson T637 (guide)

20 Posts
Gas tank is actually 11.9Gal not a big difference with the 12 gal mentioned before. Low gas light starts to blink at about 9 gal. down +/- 11.9 gal you will have about 2.9 left X average of 50miles/Gal. = 145 miles remaining on your gas tank is realy empty.

1,028 Posts
PriusownerCAL said:
Low gas light starts to blink at about 9 gal. down +/- 11.9 gal you will have about 2.9 left X average of 50miles/Gal. = 145 miles remaining on your gas tank is realy empty.
If you assume this you risk running of gas, as a few hapless folks have reported here and in other forums. The flexible bladder inside the gas tank varies in capacity with the weather, and the fuel gauge is not very linear; together these make a hash of estimating how many more miles you can squeeze out of a tank. When the last bar flashes, buy gas.
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