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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am a week-old 2006 Prius owner, and am really enjoying driving something so unique and different!

I do have a question however, as there is something that does bother me with the way that the car drives in slow speeds.

I understand (for the most part) the relationship with the gasoline engine and the electric engine, however I am noticing that while travelling at low speeds (like in heavy traffic), you can sometimes really feel the electric engine turn on and off with a small shudder. (the first time this occurred I panicked, as it felt that the car stalled).

Also at slow speeds I can feel a small shudder when the engine kicks on.

I was hoping that the gasoline engine engaging and disengaging would be virtually un-noticeable, however it is quite noticeable (again, especially at slow speeds).

Is this something that can be adjusted at the dealership, or is this standard with these vehicles, and something that I will need to grow to accept.. Also, don't know if the grade of gasoline will effect this as well...

Other than that - it is a fantastic car, and I am having a blast learning more and more about it every day! (next project is to learn more about the Climate Control features).

Thanks for any advice/information!

Mike
 

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Perfectly normal, especially noticable if the system isn't completely warmed up. Actually if you think about it, it is truely amazing that Toyota could make a gasoline engine kicking in and out, with the related sudden changes in torque feel so smooth.

I have theorized that the issue you experience is the engine trying to maintain clean evaporative emissions. Due to the special way the ICE operates (Atkinson/Miller cycle), there can be fuel vapor remaining in the intake mainfold as well as the throttle body and air intake. That's why there's a charcoal pack in the aircleaner cover. To try and use up these vapors, the engine is probably spinning with spark but no added fuel. This will create a shudder as if the car was running out of gas, as essentially the ICE is running out of gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excellent Dan,

Thanks again for the helpful information. I feel much better knowing that this is normal. I appreciate the information.

I am sure that I will be back with more questions soon!

Mike
 

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mdewberry, I too was somewhat disappointed the 1st couple of weeks in how the Prius felt in that transition. I actually noticed it more in the 40's. But after that, I just got used to it. It still does it, but I just don't think about it and also think it's amazing how the motors work in tandem as seamlessly as they do. Enjoy your new machine!
 

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"A week-old Prius owner." I guess you can't start 'em out too young!

PA P
 

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I am a week-old 2006 Prius owner, and am really enjoying driving something so unique and different!
I haven't quite ordered mine yet, Mike, so I'd appreciate everything you could tell me, especially about initial quality as delivered to you.

My last Toyota product was a new Lexus, which was the most trouble-prone car I have ever owned. It had more problems than any five Fords I ever owned. But I don't hold grudges, and I figure that Toyota owes me big-time, so that the new Prius will surely be completely trouble-free.

So, please, do a big data-dump for me; you couldn't write too much.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Jim,

To be completely honest, I am now thinking of trading my new Prius in for another vehicle. During my whole commute to work in traffic this morning, the gas engine turned on and off, and each time I could feel it. Each time that the gas engine turns on and off the car experiences a slight shutter which is rather annoying. Sometimes it feels like the car has stalled (which it hasn't, but it is not a good feeling). Coming from driving a regular car, I really miss the feel of a gas only engine. Unfortunately, I don't think this is something that I can get used to - in fact it is bothering me more and more each day.

The other complaint I have is minor - the car makes a lot of noises. I understand that with all of the electrical components this is normal - but to have to hear a high pitched electronic noise everytime I hit the brakes can get bothersome.

I did recently fill up the tank at a "no-name" gas station - I wonder if the quality of the gasoline will affect the electric engine doing a bumpy start/turn-off. Maybe I will try a Mobil and put a higher grade of gasoline during my next fill-up.

Please don't get me wrong - I completely appreciate the technology behind the vehicle, also the off-the-line accelaration is acceptable.

If you can get past those items, the car is very comfortable, and looks great. It is very stylish, and you don't feel cramped in the cabin of the vehicle. Not to mention I have averaged 49 mpg since I have owned it.

Jim, I would recommend either doing a very lengthy test drive, or renting one for a week to get the feel of driving a Prius.

Good luck!

Mike
 

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You just "HAVE" to get over the fact that you are not driving a standard car. You should have realized that when you observed "zero" instruments on the dashboard.
Take a test drive in the new Camry hybrid if you want further shock when you observe the tachometer running all over the place with absolutely no relationship given for it by the gas pedal.
This is a new type of fuel saving transportation. You will have to make sacrifices if you want to drive any type of car that pleases you with it's performance.
The Prius really should surprise you on how well it does perform using the two systems for power. Just don't attempt to learn too much about the complexety of the drive and brake system. And don't be alarmed on what little lack of "smoothness" you feel. It is all "normal" to the hybrid and not about to "break."
 

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I am now completely annoyed when I use my wife's Camry and have to put up with the constant vibration of the engine running at stop lights. The Prius has different vibations and noises which, once you've adapted, become an unnoticed part of the background. The first adapters to autos probably missed the clip-clop of the horse hooves. Move on man!
 

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Its a gasoline engine that stops and starts, not an electric engine, although 2 electric motor/generators also stop/start.

If most of your trips are short, then you aren't allowing enough time for the engine to properly warm up, and the shuddering is more noticable when the system is on the cool side.

My parents (mostly my mom) also can't get used to the engine shutting down, especially at lights. Mom mentioned she always gets the feeling my car stalled.
It is especially eerie to them when I pull out of their driveway before the ICE starts.
 

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Hep said:
I am now completely annoyed when I use my wife's Camry and have to put up with the constant vibration of the engine running at stop lights. The Prius has different vibations and noises which, once you've adapted, become an unnoticed part of the background. The first adapters to autos probably missed the clip-clop of the horse hooves. Move on man!
LOVE IT!!

DanMan32 said:
It is especially eerie to them when I pull out of their driveway before the ICE starts.
Gee, what's so eerie about a 2,850 lb. golf cart?
 

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DanMan32 said:
Remember this thread? http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=2653

It had all of us fooled (disclaimer was added a few months later). And we should have known better since Melgish had posted for a while by then.
Dan, how did you find this classic?! Melgish made my list of people I would like to invite to my party with this post.
 

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That old post rates as my 2nd favorite self-authored post... the 1st being the 'three footed aligator' reference :)

I can probably take the disclaimer back off now that everybody's over the 'it stalls on the highway' recall propaganda. But I won't, just in case...


Mike, the transition does smooth-over some with age. Maybe it will eventually be something you can live with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi all,

Thanks for the humorous responses - I did laugh out loud at the horse hooves comment...

I must admit, the first time the engine shuttered and everything went silent, I did freak out a little.. I know now that it is normal operation, just something that I am having a hard time getting used to. I wanted to give Jim (earlier in this post) some honest objectives I had after driving the car one week. Believe me - I totally appreciate the technology and admire the work that has been done with this car. I cannot believe that I am averaging 49.2 miles per gallon!

Also, after enduring a terrible traffic commute in driving rain this morning in Boston, I would have said bad things about any car! (-:

Thanks again for all of the helpful information that folks are posting - I promise to give my Prius a second chance!

Mike
 

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Also, after enduring a terrible traffic commute in driving rain this morning in Boston, I would have said bad things about any car! (-:
Just wait until it gets a little colder in New England. Then as you sit in your silent Prius in traffic, you can see the exhuast (due to water condensation) coming out of all the idling cars around you.

Then you will achieve the Zen that is Prius. :)
 

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Went to the site's search engine, selected Melgish as an author. Went as far back as August 2004 (when I joined this site) and searched up for any threads he started. A few pages up, found the one with the right title.
 

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mdewberry said:
.... I am now thinking of trading my new Prius in for another vehicle.
Well, at least you picked the perfect vehicle to turn around so fast. You will probably get close to what you paid for it instead of the instant $5000 depreciation many vehicles suffer when you drive them off the lot.

During my whole commute to work in traffic this morning, the gas engine turned on and off, and each time I could feel it. Each time that the gas engine turns on and off the car experiences a slight shutter which is rather annoying.
I have the same problem with my Mazda when I shift gears. Every time I shift I can feel it. That's why I'm trading it for the single speed Prius :p

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
 

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Engine "stalling" is one of the fun parts of the car. Especially when I have passengers who never been in the car before.

"OMG, the engine died! Holy cats, what are we gonna do??? (pant pant panic panic)." Then give it slight gas, moving in electric only mode...

Almost at 40k since Nov 04 in my 05, and it's painful to drive a standard car. All the noises, idling, it's most annoying. I make the wife drive her Honda CR-v, I honestly hate driving the thing. :)
 
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