Prius owner service note

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Old 12-01-11, 05:48 AM
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Prius owner service note

Came across this the other day and thought I would pass it on:

Got a call from one of the motor clubs to tow a Prius the other day. They requested a flatbed (don't have one, I use wheel-lift), so I passed it on to my tow buddy. I didn't really think it needed a flatbed, but (a) it was raining, and (b) I knew he was about 10 miles closer to the location, so I told the motor club to call him. He went and did the call but later in the day we discussed it over coffee. He never complains when I pass him business, but he said in the future I should take any Prius tows that come along because there was no way on earth to get the prius out of "Park"!. Seems in this particular case, the car was dead electrically (suspected maybe main fusible link or similar issue), and the shifting for the tranny is totally electric, no mechanical cable. Consequently he had to haul it onto the bed in park, not a big issue but a PITA.

So, note to Prius owners: Your car can be safely wheel-lifted and in some cases it may be the only way to do it.
 
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Old 12-01-11, 09:35 AM
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Though it would need a flatbed if there was something wrong with the rear end, right? In other words, you can't tow one by lifting the rear wheels?
 
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Old 12-01-11, 12:22 PM
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Yeah, I would probably pass on that. On a regular FWD car, if it needs towing from the rear (flat tire & no spare, damage, etc) and the engine will run, I just put in neutral, strap the steering, and let it idle during the tow to circulate and cool the tranny fluid. Ditto for RWD stuff with damage/flat on front. Some makes/models are more forgiving of towing on drive wheels (with engine off) than others; GM stuff, at least, you're usually okay for 35mph for up to 50 miles, but it varies. I don't like doing the engine-idling routine for long distance, but for short hauls, no problem. The hybrids are a whole different animal, so unless I could wheel-lift it from the front, I would give it to my tow buddy and his flatbed. Rear damage AND dead electrics I guess would be stuck with being dragged aboard.
 
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Old 12-01-11, 06:05 PM
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Hybrid owner here, though my Camry has gear shifter.
Lost in jargon and complexity if issue. So, Prius can not have its front wheels lifted and towed on rear ones? It's a front wheel drive car.
 
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Old 12-01-11, 08:59 PM
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Tell your buddy thats what they make skates for and to suck it up. Hell I started out with a Manly hand crank winch and when you winch a stock truck back on its wheels and out of the ditch you dont need to go to the gym. Maybe thats why this shoulder dont work anymore?????
 
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Old 12-02-11, 05:14 AM
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Uk: Yes, Prius can be front towed with a wheel lift, the preferred method (along with flatbed). For towing backwards, in theory, if you can get it into neutral (electrics working) you could tow it from the rear. The Book lists it as 0/0 (miles per hour/miles) for rear towing. That would be one of the vehicles I would want to have engine idling if I was towing it, but given the unknown quantity of the hybrid system I would probably avoid it unless it was a very short haul.

Does the hybrid Camry have a mechanical linkage to the tranny? Haven't run across one yet.

Wrench: He wasn't really complaining, just noting the wheel lift would have made quick work of it which would have been nice since it was sitting in a travel lane. I would have been hooked up and out of the travel lanes in about 30 seconds.
 
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Old 12-02-11, 07:33 PM
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yes, I can shift gears manually, but it's not true shifting, as it's more of what they call PSD - power split device. it behaves like a CVT, but is basically a set of sun and planet gears, tied to 2 motors and engine.
Graham's Toyota Prius
How the PSD is like a Differential
Graham's Toyota Prius

system is identical to one in Prius, just slightly larger for more powerful engine and motor-generators.

read yesterday in several forums, that towing a Toyota type hybrid vehicle(Prius, Camry, and Nissan Altima Hybrid, also, future to come hybrid mazdas) with front wheels spinning, is equivalent to running charger all the time, eventually frying the system.
yes, Prius has that dinky electrical shifter that is totally relying on power supply.

Ok, for the point of this thread - yes, you can manually put it into neutral. while in neutral, battery is not charged.
 
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Old 12-03-11, 02:21 PM
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Yeah, the spinning wheels/charging issue is what would concern me. I'm not going to lose any sleep waiting on the next hybrid vehicle tow call.
 
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