Prius. Driving in the mountains in cold weather


#1

I have a 2007 Prius, Love the car but driving in the high altitudes in the winter the car has NO POWER. Toyota says the car is not made to operate under this conditions? Any one out there had this problem. Like to solve this before I go to the lemon law. HELP


#2

before anything else can really be looked at, what type of fuel ar you using (E-85, airated, octane rating), what altitude, how long have you owned it and how many miles does it have? Oh, yeah…what temperature outside?


#3

Well I would not expect it to be really peppy under those conditions, but it should not be too bad. My idea of not bad my be your idea of really bad. I would not plan on a Lemon Law situation until I had driven another one under the same conditions.


#4

The gas engine will reduce power at high altitude. The hybrid pack will reduce power and give less assist if it’s real cold. Manufacturers of NiMH cells don’t recommend any charging below 32F. I don’t think there’s a provision for warming the hybrid pack. It relies on self heating, which can take awhile.


#5

What do you mean by “high altitude”? Normally aspirated gas engines loose power as you climb in altitude due to less oxygen (lower air pressure actually). The loss at 9000’ is almost 30% (about 3%/1000’), so an already small engine will really be at a disadvantage up here. You can feel the loss in power even with larger engines at these high altitudes.


#6

In most weather they are poor in the mountains. Once your battery power goes(pretty quick) you are dependent on an anemic car engine to power you up the hills. The combination of gas engine and electric is not bad though as you may notice.

I notice this climbing hills on the highway in Vermont, I am thankful for my turbocharged Subaru WRX to zip around them when heading out to ski.


#7

I think you have found another chink in the Prius’ armor. This is another set of driving conditions under which it performs poorly.