Prius Personal Log  #182

February 22, 2005  -  February 27, 2005

Last Updated: Sat. 4/09/2005

    page #181         page #183         BOOK         INDEX         go to bottom 

 

2-27-2005

Another Republish!  Seeing the same false information being published over and over is really a pain.  But to see the very same article, without any corrections, republished again is absolutely infuriating.  I'm sick of this spreading of misconception supply.  It's simple misunderstanding, from sources that are suppose to be trustworthy, that cause the problems.  I wonder if anyone even notices where articles come from.  Republishing is a standard practice.  Many of the articles you read in the local paper were not written by local reporters.  So make an effort to check the byline.  You will be surprised.  And if you are upset by what you read, like me, see if their is an email address included.  Sometimes, your feedback will actually be acknowledged.  Other times, they'll just republish the same garbage... like today.

2-27-2005

Discontinuing 0W-20.  The Honda hybrid owners are not happy.  The oil recommended for them had been really hard to get at first.  Only the dealers carried it.  Then Mobil-1 began to produce it.  That 0W-20 started to show up at retail stores and auto shops.  They were happy.  That didn't last long.  Mobil-1 changed their mind.  The market simply wasn't big enough.  So they stopped producing it.  Now owners are either stuck having to go to the dealer to buy it or settling for heavier weight oil (which reduces MPG).  Thank goodness Prius uses plain, old, ordinary 5W-30.

2-27-2005

Getting Hard Data.  Geez!  Some people want the world.  They expect you to spoon feed them with everything they need.  In this case, it was solid data to answer their an efficiency question about PSI in tires.  But in reality, they need to get it themselves.  Perform the identical drive on the same day (more specifically, the same wind & temperature), one right after another, both starting with a hot engine.  Unfortunately, that test can only be performed twice... since you need to measure PSI with the tires cold.  That means take a high PSI measurement before beginning any of the driving.  Then let out a specific amount of PSI and perform the test again.  But due to the tires already being warm, you have to wait until they cool down again to confirm that you were really using the PSI you thought you did.  Needless to say, very few ever go to that length to get "hard" data like that... and they just can't seem to settle for the observations we make.  Owners don't bother to be that meticulous.  They just want to enjoy their Prius.  After all, they are aware of just how easily data can be tainted.  A simply stoplight can completely screw up your carefully timed measurements.  If you want "hard" data, don't expect it to be "easy" to get.

2-27-2005

User-Guide, Second Edition.  There's a brand new edition now available.  This one has photos.  I went all out, feeling free to bloat the size of the file to make the understanding of detail easier.  Seeing it instead, is much better than text alone.  Though, the text itself is now better too.  Owners had done a good job of providing feedback for update.  There is a new section for tires too.  In short, you really need to check out this new one... User-Guide

2-26-2005

More IMA Shortcomings.  Have you noticed how Honda no longer lists their motor size in any specification lists anymore?  I guess the 10kW for Civic-Hybrid and 14kW for Accord-Hybrid is rather embarrassing compared to the 50kW motor Prius has.  But taking a less emotional and more constructive look at the situation, how much electricity do you think those smaller motors are actually able to capture?  The jump from 33kW to 50kW with my Prius upgrade (from Classic to HSD) was difficult not to notice.  It was pretty obvious how many more regen-symbols appear.  So, I bet the Honda values are rather small.  In other words, I figured that someday the size of the "kW" spec would become more important than horsepower.  Well, it's about dang time!

2-24-2005

$51.49 per barrel.  The price of oil is still riding high.  The predictions are coming true.  Oh! Oh!

2-25-2005

Air-Quality Alert.  Again.  I'm really get sick of this.  But what's worse is those claims that SULEV isn't necessary.  The smog problem is obviously growing worse.  The ULEV hybrids aren't helping the situation at all.  Some traditional vehicles are actually cleaner.  SULEV is important, period.  No excuses.  These air-quality alerts, like the one today, is proof of that.

2-25-2005

That's not fog!  I couldn't believe it.  The night was heavy, so seeing fog over the creek was no surprise.  But after I drove past it, the "fog" continued.  After a mile, a light smell began to penetrate the car.  It was smoke!  And the source was no where to be seen!  The idiot drove his vehicle at least 2 miles with the smoke growing as he went.  The entire street was enveloped by the time he finally pulled over.  What is wrong with some people!?!  That one incident was more pollution then my Prius will ever create its entire lifetime.  But compared to the damage that caused to the car, or the accident he could have caused, pales in comparison.  Pull over immediately!

2-25-2005

Optimum Tire Pressure.  We've been through this a couple of times now...  The suggestion from the "automaker" is for the best balance of performance & comfort.  In other words, it's a compromise.  So don't expect them to wander from the norm much.  If you desire greater performance (handling & efficiency), you have the option to increase pressure up to the "tiremaker" maximum.  The tires are designed to handle that.  You have the choice whether or not you want to take advantage of it by giving up some of the comfort (feel & sound).  The "tiremaker" ensures you get proper traction within the PSI range they offer.  That means anywhere from 35 to 44 is available for most tires.  And yes, the "tiremaker" does take the weight & balance of the vehicle into account for each tire.  It's part of the size requirement, along with load & speed rating.  So as long as you choose a tire that closely matches that criteria, you're ok.  Don't feel you have to use what the "automaker" suggests.

2-24-2005

4.5 days this time.  It is rather entertaining waiting to see how long it will take before the next hybrid related message is posted on that (obviously) anti-hybrid Escape group.  That's sad.  I wish they would wake up and embrace the new technology.  I wonder if Ford realized they have a conflict from within like this.  Hmm?

2-24-2005

Oscar Appearances.  Prius is turning into the "green limo" of the 21st Century!  Here's a list of celebrities that are expected to make an appearance this year by arriving at the Oscar's in a Prius: Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Charlize Theron, Robin Williams, Orlando Bloom, Salma Hayek, Tim Robbins, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Orlando Bloom, Penelope Cruz, Emmy Rossum.  Pretty cool, eh?

2-24-2005

2 Salsas.  This morning's commute to work had a surprise for me.  I spotted 2 new Salsa Red Prius on a deliver truck.  That was pretty sweet!

2-24-2005

Updating the USER-GUIDE for HSD Prius.  That document available via the homepage of my website is finally undergoing a major update.  I'll be applying the suggestions some of you have provided.  This one will include a new section for tires and photos will now be added where appropriate.  And of course, I'll be reading through the whole thing revising text to better reflect what we've learned since last summer.  The update task really scares me.  I checked the monthly stats for my web-server yesterday.  With a little over 11 months of data, the expectation for a large download count of the HSD version in PDF format was high.  But I had no idea it would be that high.  The count came to a total of 32,498.  Ahhh!  I hadn't realized just how many people were actually interested in that document.  Anywho, the point is that I'll do my best to make this one really worthwhile too.  Stay tuned.  And thanks to those of you that provided feedback about what should be updated.

2-23-2005

No need for defrost!  It's hard to believe Winter has finally subsided enough that I don't need defrost (well actually, just the windshield blower; the A/C part is rarely needed) anymore.  After warm-up is complete, the view stays clear all by itself.  In other words, the silence has returned.  Next it will be warm enough to not need any type of heat at all.  I can't wait.  That outside warmth means higher MPG.

2-23-2005

Not the same.  That attack on "full" hybrids recently was pretty ugly.  Those supporting "assist" were covertly attempting to deceive people by making them believe the various hybrids are all the same.  They aren't.  I wasn't happy to see that deception taking place.  So I ultimately responded this way:  Fortunately, there is actually a benefit to the mindless repetition that some keep shoveling... Eventually, they inadvertently reveal a weakness to their argument.  And in this case, it just emerged.  Finally!  Phew!  We have a new reply to this that is both informative & neutral.  It's so simple it should stick too.  When the "what to call it" nonsense reappears (and it will) all we have to do is reply "THEY ARE NOT THE SAME".  The point is to get acknowledgement that there are in fact differences.  That phrase accomplishes the goal.  Misrepresentation is prevented without having to express any opinion either way.  THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.  Look at it this way, in less than a month that very topic will be apply to Honda from within.  How would you like it if I called the original Civic-Hybrid and the new one the same?  You'd be pretty upset.  But certain people are pushing the belief that the automaker needs to be defended because it's incapable of improving their current product... which clearly isn't true, but they sure makes it sound like it is.  Just say, "THEY ARE NOT THE SAME".  It's really that simple.  Use whatever hybrid label you want, just don't use the same one because there are obvious operational differences that should not be dismissed.  THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

2-23-2005

Exhausted.  What a great title for an article that opened with this line, "Old diesel engines kill more than 20,000 Americans per year."  That's more than drunk driving deaths.  Did you know that?  Did you know that 400,000 visits to an emergency room result from that type of pollution too.  Thank goodness 2007 will bring about regulations to reduce those emissions.  Of course, that won't do anything to stop the 13,000,000 already on American roads.  But it is better than nothing.  Hopefully, the SULEV hybrids will draw attention to the further clean up that required... and quite practical, since the hybrids already deliver that (as well as better efficiency).

2-22-2005

"They're all hybrids"  That was the misleading quote of the day.  Lumping all types of "engine only" vehicles together, everything from a manual-diesel to a CVT-gasoline is just plain not acceptable, and never has been.  Hybrids have different types too.  But certain people don't want you to know that.  Calling them all "hybrids" is an intentional attempt to mislead.  So if you don't understand the differences, simply tell others: "They are not the same."  That makes those with ill-intend much easier to spot.

2-22-2005

Paris Photos.  Another visit to that same Toyota dealer in Paris a year later... Prius in France

2-22-2005

$51.15 per barrel.  The price continues to climb.  Makes me wonder.  Hmm?

2-22-2005

Focus on Goals.  The hiding of purpose has made it clear that focusing on goals is essential.  Far too often, people get focus so much on a particular model of hybrid that they completely forget about the big picture.  It's not all about Prius.  It's really about HSD, for Toyota, and "full" hybrids as an industry.  That design supports a very wide range of applications.  Flexibility of the physical components (engine, motor, battery-pack) is quite impressive.  You aren't bound like some other hybrid designs where the tight integration limits what can be used.  The auto industry has had a goal of being able to deliver a variety of configurations without having to reinvent.  That means the ability to swap in or out components was essential, it's how they kept production costs reasonable.  Knowing that the engine in Camry-Hybrid can be used in a more efficient version of the Highlander-Hybrid is a prime example.  Another example is how the 50kW motor in Prius be used as the motor that powers the rear-wheels in the 4-wheel drive version of the Highlander-Hybrid.  So make sure to ask what the goal actually is.  Don't get drawn into a pointless hybrid discussion.

 

back to home page       go to top