The Toyota Prius has always been tagged as a slow vehicle. It is not going to win any drag races, but an excellent working Prius does have some pep to it. Sometimes we feel like our car is not performing the way we think it should, and you could be right.
Paying attention to how your Toyota Prius is functioning is key to making sure it lasts a long time. If performance is lacking, take a look at what could be causing your issue.
The Issue Could Be Nothing But The Driver
Look, I am not bagging on anyone, but in all honesty, your car could feel different simply because of you. As humans, we should not be surprised that we can sometimes get used to something.
Do you drink a caffeinated beverage every day? Try stopping and see what happens. Or, maybe you have done the same repetitive task thousands of times, and now you do not think about it. Whatever the case may be, you could simply have learned how your Prius feels and drives.
If you think your Prius lacks power, find another owner and see if they will let you drive theirs. The results may surprise you.
Your Prius Battery Is Telling You Something
If you have a Prius that is around 10 years old, it is time to think about what the battery is doing. A weak battery will not give you the proper amount of electron flow. Without the flow of electrons, your Prius will feel incredibly sluggish.
Batteries and especially nickel-metal hydride, over time, lose their full capacity. It is merely a fact of life. However, there are things you can do about it, and I have written quite a few articles explaining what can be done. Check out this free training here to see how you can improve your Prius battery performance.
The good thing about NiMH is that if you catch it degrading early enough, you can recondition the battery. This process will add years of life and help reduce the overall costs of ownership.
Give Your Engine And Fuel System A Good Cleaning
A dirty engine is a poor performing one. Our Prius cars are continually being put through the wringer. The abuse that many of these cars see is merely unreal. I once bought a Prius where the oil had not been changed in over 2 years. Somehow magically, it was still running strong.
My point here is, Prius does need to have maintenance done periodically and much more than a simple oil change. Over time our cars get build-up inside the engine and throughout the fuel system. This build-up can rob our vehicles of power and fuel economy. With a dirty engine, you are almost guaranteed to see things like low mpg, stolen power, and oil consumption.
There are many fixes for this issue, but one imparticular I like the best is the BG hybrid treatment kit. This three-part kit actively works to unclog oil passages and free up sticking piston rings. The fuel supplement breaks down deposits in the fuel system and in the engine as well. The oil additive helps restore lost performance and rejuvenate worn seals.
I have used other methods as well to help clean out my engine. I have used the motor flush that NAPA has on their shelf and a good ATF (automatic transmission fluid). I have used products like Seafoam, Lucas, and many others as well. I am partial to the BG products mainly because it is convenient and very effective.
A clean engine is a happy engine, and also one that will provide consistent results. After my engine cleaning with my first '07 Prius, I gained a staggering 5 miles per gallon.
Whether it is in your head or your Prius needs some maintenance, pay attention to what the car is telling you. Establishing a solid baseline for your problem will help you tackle it head-on to avoid wasting time and money.
That is all for today. Thank you all for reading, and I look forward to seeing you again in the next story. Why Your Toyota Prius Battery Meter Is Just Nothing More Than A Feel Good Indicator
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.