Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Pushing Engine Too Hard?

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Posted by Chris Shearer Cooper on December 31, 2005, 1:38 am
There's no rpm guage, and no engine temperature guage (in my '05).  So how
do I know if I'm pushing the car too hard?  We drove from Denver to
Glenwood, which involves some serious uphill sections, and I noticed the
engine noise getting pretty whiny at times...


Posted by Michelle Steiner on December 31, 2005, 2:01 am

There's a temperature "idiot light" that will come on if the engine
starts to overheat.  You can monitor (to a degree) the battery's state
of charge in the Energy screen of the MFD.

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Impeach the son of a Bush.

Posted by Michael Pardee on December 31, 2005, 3:59 pm
I've considered it nearly impossible to push the engine too hard. The speed
limitations of the motor/generators puts an artificial limit on the engine
speed that is well below the red line. Your engine temperature light won't
come on unless something is actually wrong with the cooling system; few
modern cars are designed that close to the edge any more. We've pushed our
'02 up the long climb north of Phoenix in the summer with a full load and
A/C on, and never had any problem.


Posted by PriusGeek on December 31, 2005, 4:16 pm
 I've got an '02 with 88000 miles and have used "impulse" driving for
most of that time.  (That's the floor-it-to speed and back off method).
 I've never had a problem with the engine, still have the original
brakes, and mileage has been a measured 45mpg ofer that time.  I don't
think you can push it too hard.  Too many electronic controls in place.
 When you press the acelerator, you don't connect to a linkage like
most cars; it goes to a computer input which tells the car what to
do.Also, remember that the engine was designed to start and stop a lot,
so its more robust than most.  The CVT will also make the engine whine
due to how it works; it likes to optimize RPM/power to the situation.
Relax and enjoy one of the greatest cars ever made!

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on December 31, 2005, 6:04 pm
 With the eCVT, the sound of the engine does not correlate with your
speed, but with the power that you are requesting from the car.

It will get loud (high RPMs) when you are asking it to go up a
long/steep mountain, or heavy acceleration.  But, going downhill, the
engine may not even be burning fuel (essentially off).

The gasoline engine is RPM limited at 4500 (Classic) for 5000
(2004-current), so it never gets to a red-line situation.

Don't worry, and just drive it!  (unless you actually get a high
temperature warning light, but I've never heard of that happening
unless the car was already having mechanical difficulties and was in
110+F degree weather for several days...)

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