Best fuel economy mod? Try a major service

The Prius major service occurs at 80,000km.  That seems a bit early compared to 90-120,000km major service on my previous cars.  One big difference is that I didn’t have to replace the water pump and timing belt.  The Prius has a timing chain and there’s no set interval to replace it, just like old V8s.

Instead the parts to be replaced were fuel filter, including in-tank fuel filter, oil and filter and brake fluid.  I’m slightly concerned that they used 10W-30 instead of 0W-20 oil considering how cold it has been and will continue to be.  But at least the car got a proper service and now I’m starting to see fuel consumption in the threes.

Drove from home to Civic tonight on a warm engine.  At the intersection of Northbourne and Antill Streets the HSI read 9.1km 2.8l/100km average speed 50km/h.  That’s 100.9mpg(UK), 84.4mpg(US) and 35.7km/l.  I reached Civic at 2.9l/100km and the round trip settled at 3.4l/100km.  That is 1l/100km better than several comparable trips I’ve taken in a warmed car on a Friday night.

Clockwise from bottom right: From home; at Civic; return journey via different route

It’s no surprise that a major service should restore some vigour to the car.  But since the change (on a sample size n=1) is so great… how was the car treated before I got it?!?


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