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new Prius at a car wash

ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
edited March 2009 in Parent Cafe
So to celebrate above-freezing weather (finally!) in Minnesota, I took my new Prius to the local car wash - one of those where a conveyor belt moves your car through it.

The guy says to me "We've been having trouble with Prius drivers. Do you know how to put your car into neutral?"

"Of course!" I say indignantly.

"Show me - put it into neutral." So I moved the little stick to the middle left. "Now take your foot off the break", he says. I did, and the car moved forward. It was still in drive.

I tried it again, and still the car moved forward when I took my foot off the break. Very sheepish look on my face now.

So he says "I think the trick is that you have to move it to the neutral position and hold it there several seconds."

So I tried that, and sure enough, that is what it took to get it into neutral. A lesson learned. I guess Prius drivers don't have much cause to put their cars into neutral. Try this out before you drive into a car wash!!

By the way, does anyone know where the Low Tire Pressure indicator is?
Post edited by ChiSquare on

Replies to: new Prius at a car wash

  • geezermomgeezermom Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    Learning the Prius ropes is interesting, isn't it? The first time I parked in a garage where the attendant parked the car for me, he forgot to turn it off (or did not know how). So the next time I found myself in that situation, I reminded the guy to turn the car off. He was very irritated with me.

    I think there's a light on the instrument panel for low tire pressure, but I'd have to check the manual. Before the Prius, I had never read an entire car manual, cover to cover.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    Its my wife's car. I barely know to start it even though I know how to drive it. Wife tells me to "Read The Manual".

    Yeh, right. :)
  • Indiana91Indiana91 Registered User Posts: 590 Member
    Hee -- the exact same thing happened to me, but the car wash people were not helpful at all. They kept insisting that the car wasn't on and I had to start it first.

    I finally managed to get it into neutral as I was trying everything, but I had to read the manual to figure out what trick I'd used to make it work.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,483 Senior Member
    Low tire pressure indicator- we have Lexuses, but it's all Toyota engineering.

    My RX330 has it and it's wonderful- when the tire pressure drops on a tire so many # below the rest the light comes on. It could mean just a bit of deflation over time, or a slow leak such as a nail, that caused the change (or a rapid deflation). A slow leak that wasn't cured by reinflation was a nail- good alarm.

    My H's newer ES350 has a different type of sensor- the spare tire is included in the sensing function- and the dashboard light doesn't tell us which tire is low. A radical temperature change since the spare was last calibrated can set off the alarm. Also- the alarm goes off when a tire is below 30# pressure- the dealer actually said to set the spare higher so it wouldn't drop pressure enough over time to set off the dash light. More annoyances than help so far- it kicked in in very cold weather, just when you want to be checking tire pressures, including accessing the trunk spare...

    A truly unhelpful/annoying dash alarm light is that one that calculates you will be due for an oil change soon- but your dealer can tell you how to disable it.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Regarding tire pressure monitor indicators - I don't know what's on the Prius but a lot of them only will turn on if it detects low pressure - the ones that indicate that actual pressure in PSI are often on the more expensive vehicles. Some of the less expensive detectors aren't actually sensing pressure at all but rather the rotation of the wheel relative to other wheels (the one with a lower pressure will rotate at a different rate since the circumferance of the tire is less).

    Regardless, don't rely on the indicator for tire pressure or else you could be driving on less than ideal tire pressure conditions. Periodically (monthly is good) check the pressure in each tire with a decent guage against the specs which are usually pasted somewhere around the driver door jamb or door edge itself. Properly pressurized tires will ride better, increase mpg, last longer, and could prevent a possible blowout from an underpressurized tire. While you're checking the pressure, check the tire for nails or screws embedded in them. It's surprising how frequently there can be a nail in a tire with no noticable pressure loss but still not a safe condition.

    Okay, lesson over now.
  • SethcolbySethcolby - Posts: 120 New Member
    This is off topic but Prius just took a bath (not at car wash) but from drop in gasoline prices. Many may never get their investments back. My local Toy dealers got a row of unsold prius up front.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    And she, the W, paid $ ( banking troubles) for the P. Ordered the P in August. Delivered in Nov. Saw the P rebate ad on SuperBowl. She is P'd.
  • lilyrobinlilyrobin Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    Weird, we've never had that issue with our Prius. Had it since 2005. Maybe it's something with the newer ones? Odd.
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Registered User Posts: 5,888 Senior Member
    The Prius is still a good car. I've been impressed with how well its done over the past few years in Consumer Reports.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    I took a look at one in the showroom this morning.

    I was impressed with the legroom in the front seat. Back seat is okay. The lack of a dash was odd. I assume that there are a bunch of indicators very far in front of the steering wheel.

    I definitely wasn't impressed with the trunk space.
  • ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    BCEagle, I had just the opposite impression (re: trunk space). With the hatchback design and 60-40 seats, it's one of the few cars that we can haul a harp in.

    ucsd_ucla_dad, nag, nag, nag! I get enough of that from my husband. I hate checking tire pressure - which is why I was happy to have a car with a low pressure indicator. I just haven't found it yet.
  • NovelistoNovelisto Registered User Posts: 2,955 Senior Member
    I have a 2003. Still love it. I bought it more for the low, low emissions than for the gas savings, although that's nice too.

    And gas prices aren't going to stay low forever. Last summer was a preview of coming events.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    We frequently have four in the car and adding a lot of luggage or even a lot of grocery bags looks like it would be tight. We're coming from an Avalon which has a very spacious trunk which can carry a lot of passengers and luggage at the same time.
  • NovelistoNovelisto Registered User Posts: 2,955 Senior Member
    BcEagle91 -- The new Toyota Versa is worth a look. Very nice. It's about halfway between a Camry and an Avalon but with a longer body.

    has a very spacious trunk which can carry a lot of passengers and luggage at the same time You gotta stop carrying your passengers in the trunk!
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    I had a look and it is very nice.

    I don't ever know if I could drive an SUV/Crossover. I wish that they could put the Venza 4-cylinder engine in the Avalon to up the mileage a bit.
This discussion has been closed.