If you drive a hybrid car and are like most hybrid owners, you’re probably in love with your vehicle. Hybrids are great vehicles to drive on a daily basis and provide a great driving experience and excellent eco-benefits that not only help the earth but your wallet too.
Hybrids like the Toyota Prius drive and operate differently than regular gas-guzzlers, which means they also must be maintained differently. In this week’s post, we’ll discuss our six tips to get the most fuel efficiency out of your hybrid.
Pay Attention to the Energy Meter
The Prius is equipped with an advanced energy meter that allows drivers to see when they’re running on gas, and when they’re accelerating with electricity. Pay attention to the meter as you drive, and you can find ways to optimize your energy use by changing your driving habits.
Know the Driving Modes
The three driving modes (EV, ECO, and Power) are designed to provide different levels of power and regulate the vehicle’s energy use. Toyota recommends drivers stay in EV mode as much as possible as the car will utilize only electric power. This mode is optimal for driving at low speeds and cruising. ECO mode will reduce air conditioning and regulate sudden acceleration, and Power mode is for, well, power! Use Power mode only when you need to accelerate quickly such as crossing a busy intersection or entering the freeway, then switch it back into ECO mode.
Coast Down Hills
While the Prius is coasting, the electric motor will kick-in and recharge itself as the wheels are turning. Take advantage of this re-charge opportunity by taking your foot off of the accelerator and keep it hovered over the brake pedal to be ready in case you need to brake to maintain control of the vehicle suddenly.
Use the Shifter
The shift lever in the Prius has four options: reverse, neutral, drive, and engine braking. Toyota recommends that drivers shift into B for engine braking when approaching roundabouts or coasting down a steep hill. This will engage the engine braking system and save fuel. Try to avoid using the neutral gear when sitting still at a stop light or in stop-and-go traffic as the hybrid battery will lose charge.
Monitor Your Climate Control
If not necessary, avoid blasting the A/C or heat as this will consume massive amounts of energy. To get the most out of your electric charge, put the climate control in re-circulate mode to reduce energy use.
Don’t Put the Pedal to the Metal
While this may be fun in a sports car, hybrids like the Prius aren’t meant to accelerate rapidly. Instead, use a light touch on the throttle and accelerate at a consistent pace. This will keep the car in the eco-friendly EV mode and avoid consuming too much fuel.
Those are our top 6 tips to get the most fuel economy out of your Prius! If you ever need repairs or maintenance done in the Tucson area, bring your car into Clutch Auto Repair where our certified specialists can fix any and all problems you may encounter with your hybrid.