low gas mileage

gmpatti
45

Asked by gmpatti Jul 25, 2008 at 07:19 PM about the 2007 Toyota Prius

Question type: General

Most of my driving is short distance, stop & go, and I am seeing that sometimes the engine doesn't shut down when I am stopped.  I'm also seeing mileage as low as 33, perhaps due to that.  Just a short trip of 2-3 miles starts the mileage edging slightly up so do I need to be driving more to get better mileage?  I have 10,600 miles on my 2007 purchased 16 months ago, with 4,000 of that being long distance driving.  Is this more a road car than a town car?

7 Answers

Pete Mackay
215

Its all to do with power. No matter what, stop and go driving is bad, and because the engine is so under powered it has to work pretty hard at highway speeds. Having low milage shouldn't be an issue. About the engine not stopping i honestly don't know. All i can say is that 33 in town is pretty good, so unless you talk to Toyota to see if its just a defect, i'd try and be happy with what you're getting. (I have a 1994 F-150 and get only about 12, so do try and be happy) About more road car then town car, i'd say its somewhere in between. At 40mph its great, but highway speeds and stop and go not so much. Hope this helps. P.S. New Prius just released so you might want to start saving... just an idea

Matthew Hansen
20

Short trips kill mileage on any car. Well maybe not electric. But you obviously still use gas. Remember the engine is still cold and doesn't warm up to optimum operating temperatures. Cold weather only worsens it. And yeah, stop and go not good. Also remember mileage is based on that, mileage. So obviously if you don't drive much you only calculate what you've driven.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Scott Carroll
145

stop and go driving is where the prius does the best with mpg but if you are only diving 2 or 3 miles at a time you are not recharging the batteries enouph. you need to drive further than that and you are also not warming up the engine and there fore you are not warming up the coolant in the storage tank. you need to drive more than that and also when you accelerate from a stop be gentle and have the car run on electric only for as long as you can. you should be getting around 40mpg.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Petack
475

If you're running the A/C the engine will continue to run so you can stay cool. The engine needs to run to turn the A/C compressor. Also, if you're using the radio and other electronic devices, the engine will have to kick back on to keep the battery charged up by running the alternator. You should be getting your best mileage in stop and go driving when the Prius is using more of the electric motor than it is the engine.

Brian Palmer
30

The gas engine will not shut off unless its completely warmed up - this is to prevent the wear and tear of starting the gas engine cold over and over. Also, as someone already mentioned, if you are not driving long enough to recharge the hybrid battery, the gas engine will not cut off either. How short are your trips?

Nickolay Mak
105

One of the problems of answering these kind of questions is that we don't have all the facts... The Prius is designed to be a gas saver-- BUT ultimate gas savings is left in the hands of those who drive. 1). Make sure your tire pressure is correct. It is better to err on the higher side than the lower side. Do an Obama! 2). How you drive makes a HUGE difference on the mileage. Do you speed out of stop lights or ease out? Do you speed in general? Maintaining a steady speed and more importantly a steady input of power will help your mileage. Finally what year is your Prius? Is it the first generation or the second?

Bob Hermann
305

We have a 2005 Prius with nearly 50,000 miles on it that we bought new 3 years ago. We averaged about 45 mpg over all those miles. Most of them were around town with my wife driving back and forth to/from work - about 25 miles each way. We have also made a few trips of maybe 1,000 miles total each. We also have taken short - less than 5 mile trips to run errands. My experience is that the car does get worse miles on real short trips - I would estimate 40 mpg or so. As brought up by other replies to your question - How you drive makes a big difference in the mileage that you will get. You will get much better mileage if you take it easy on the accelerator and the brake. Try that for a tankful and see how it works. If that does not improve your mileage at least 10% and since you have a newer car that is still under warranty, I would take it to the dealer and explain your problem. The car could be out of whack and now is the time to figure it out and have Toyota fix it on their nickel. TRUST ME on this. We just had our Skid Control ECU - one of 14 computers on the car fail. The part alone was $1600 and we had to pay for t because the car was out of warranty. Good luck -

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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