Leaving a Hybrid on for long periods

toyota
prius

#1

I left my Prius running for a week when I went on a trip recently. Called my Toyota dealer and the service man seemed to think I hadn’t really hurt the car (though, of course, I burned up a tank of gas – so much for my efforts at green driving). Anyway, there don’t seem to be any lasting effects. Do you think I’ve damaged my car?


#2

It’s not a good idea to let any vehicle idle for a week and you did not do the engine any good by doing this. Having said this…you really didn’t harm the engine much either. Just consider that the engine life was reduced by one week and go on with your life.


#3

You left it running for a week? You started it and left by some other mode of transportation? Did it run out of gas and then stop, or did it idle for a week on a tank of gas?


#4

I don’t think you’ve done any damage to anything but your wallet and you pride.
My 06 Escape hybrid is easy to leave on too, as Oblivion thinks is strange, let’s explain.

One needs to pay attention when parking because the engine will be in sleep mode ( zero rpm - no noise - yet still in the ON mode ), you get to gathering your packages and mail, make sure the kids grabbed all their stuff, hop out and forget the key is still there in the On selection.
The sleep mode can last for quite some time, depending on battery charge( maybe 15 minutes on my Escape ), and you can be long gone by then.

I can see it happening.
My ignition key comes off the ring for use by itself, all the rest of my keys and remotes are on my belt. Pull into the airport parking garage and unload my stuff. Close the hatch and lock with the remote. Hop in the shuttle van and catch your plane…15 minutes later, bzzzz, on comes the engine for a few minutes then off again…for the week !

I don’t think you’re the first person to leave their hybrid ON.
Just the first one I’ve heard of for an entire week :wink:


#5

I doubt if you did any more damage than driving it for a week. Unless I understand less than I think about hybrids, it would have cycled having the gasoline engine on and off to keep the batteries charged. Since they would not have been having much drain, it would not have run all that much.

The key information is you used a tank of fuel. That would have done about the same wear as driving for a tank of fuel.


#6

Thanks everyone – Ken and Joseph corroborate what happened and what my service guy said. Actually, I have a smart key which would have told me I was locking the car in the ON mode, but I had turned the smart key feature off since I was parking the car for a week in an airport parking lot. Ken’s right – I was fussing with luggage, turning off everything else (ac, radio, etc.) and trying to hurry because the shuttle driver was hovering (not to mention I feared I was late for my plane!)

Anyway, Ill sleep better now – and I don’t think I’ll do this again.


#7

Hey, just think. Since the Prius’ engine would only come on as necessary to charge the battery and keep the engine warm, you probably used significantly less fuel than a conventional car that had been left on for a week!


#8

With all the rain we have had here in the Midwest, I haven’t turned my lawnmower off since Memorial day and it hasn’t hurt my lawnmower, although I wish it had. Seems all I do is mow.

Seriously, I’m certain you haven’t hurt anything on your Prius. I had a colleague who had a Mercedes diesel. The glow plug circuit failed in cold weather and she let it run continuously for several days until she could get it to the dealer.