Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Hybrid War: Honda vs Toyota - Page 8

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Posted by mrv on April 18, 2009, 4:05 pm
On Apr 17, 5:03pm, residualselfimage1...@gmail.com wrote:

I do recommend reading:
US Federal Trade Commission's Facts for Consumers - "The Low-Down on
High Octane Gasoline"

You should use whatever the owner's manual recommends.  (For a US
Prius, that's 87 octane (regular), under the (R+M)/2 method (as posted
at the gas pumps), which is about 91 octane under the RON method.)  If
your car is experiencing engine knock, then you should go up a grade
in octane.  (But if your Prius IS knocking, something is wrong with

(To note, Prius in the UK use 95 octane (RON method, which equates to
about 91 octane ((R+M)/2 method) in the US).)

Octane is a measure of the fuel's ability to resist pre-detonation (or
engine knock).

Higher octane gasoline doesn't mean that it is necessarily cleaner or
better. "Premium" or "super" is a mis-nomer. All gasoline sold in the
US must meet certain federal EPA clean-burning guidelines. However,
some individual brands _may_ decide to put some extra cleaners or do
extra refining in their higher-octane fuel (as I've heard of some
brands advertising low-sulfur gasoline as only in their Premium line).

A higher octane gasoline actually has lower BTUs (energy content) than
a lower octane gasoline, so the only way that you'd see better fuel
economy by going up in octane is if you were previously using lower
than recommended octane in your car...

In the Toyota Prius, using higher than recommended octane fuel is
known to cause check engine lights with engine misfire codes, besides
the expected lower fuel economy.

(Ethanol also has a lower BTU content than does gasoline, so you can
expect to see slightly lower fuel economy using E10 fuel.  The Prius
is not a flex-fuel vehicle, so do not use E85 in it (unless you want
check-engine lights and the potential for corroding out your fuel

If you live in a high altitude area (like the Rocky Mountains) usually
you can use the next octane level down from what is listed in the
owner's manual because of the altitude/thin air with no ill effects
(except if you come down from the altitude with a full tank!).

Reasons to use higher octane fuel:
1. Your owners manual calls for it
2. Your engine is knocking
3. It's the only way to get low-sulfur fuel in your area (sulfur will
slowly poison your catalyst, making emissions worse over time)
4. You like spending extra money on gasoline

See also:
Premium vs. Regular : http://cartalk.com/content/features/premium/

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on April 13, 2009, 10:29 am
In article
 residualselfimage1999@gmail.com wrote:

Ummmmm.....actually, one needs press the brake pedal only to shift OUT
of park.

Not sure what you THINK you had to do, but if you were pressing the
brake pedal to shift from D to N or B, you were doing it wrong.

What else were you doing wrong?

I read that too--and yet, I went through 40K miles and two winters
without a hint of problem.  Go figure.

Posted by Randy Gabelung on April 13, 2009, 1:27 pm

Not me.  After the first 20K the tires were useless on ice and snow.

Posted by Thibaud Taudin Chabot on April 14, 2009, 6:59 am
 Elmo P. Shagnasty schreef:

When I backup from my driveway I switch from R to D without even
touching my brake. It works very smoothly. Only if you switch from N or
P to any drive mode you have to press the brake pedal, just like any
other automatic.

Posted by residualselfimage1999 on April 17, 2009, 8:09 pm

I only had a 30 second review of the operations of the Prius from
the rental agency - so initially what I knew was from the internet.
Luckily - there was an owner's manual in glove compartment
and I spent some time reading that on the second day I had
the car.  Renting a Prius was a great way to learn more about
the it - I wish I could rent an Insight too ( but I don't think that
opportunity will arise atleast not locally where I live).

I think user manual should have spent more time explaining their
unique drive mode shifter - which I think was different enough from
standard transmission systems to warrant more space in the
user manual

However, even after reading the manual, I found  that when I
I was getting the car out of park I would occasionally
shift it into drive when I meant to shift it into reverse. - and vice
versa. It was only when I focus on the blue LED display
that I could consistently do it right.

I'm not sure whether to believe or discount what I've
been reading on the internet.   However,  it did freak me
out and when it was raining last saturday - i didn't
drive the prius.... I should have driven it in the rain
maybe in a empty parking lot to test the braking
in the rain - but I chickened out.

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