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Everything posted by storky

  1. I was properly logged in, but unable to locate the Submit Prices button. I've found the buttons finally. The issue is that the Submit Prices button is below the map and not visible without scrolling. Unless you flick to scroll with a fair amount of speed, one gets only as far as the map filling the lower 2/3rds of the screen (on an iPhone 4S) and a second attempt to scroll only scrolls the map. Could you move the Submit Prices button adjacent to the price? And in keeping with that logic, move the Add to Favorite Buttons next to the address. If that is impractical or violates design standards, perhaps put the map on a node that one can expand or collapse at will or place a map button that transfers one to the Maps app because the map currently hinders one's ability to access the buttons below.
  2. I haven't figured out how to report prices from any screen!
  3. BillyK, For brevity, I chose not to include the facts that I removed the kit, restarted the engine and allowed the system to stabilize, reinstalled the kit and witnessed the malfunction a second time before removing and discarding the kit. My Prius will not issue a lean fuel warning for ethanol concentrations of 60% or less. By diluting the ethanol concentration, I removed the likelihood of compound error codes. No, I don't have a reader, but I do have 4 auto parts stores within two miles of my home whom offer free error code reading services. My 2001 Prius was subject to two recalls: incompatible fuel-injectors resulting in poor performance and poorly sealed battery cases permitting battery terminal corrosion. Each recall service was performed by the dealership more than a decade ago.
  4. I jynxed it! This morning, on startup, my Prius started misfiring. When the engine starting getting really rough the ECU turned the engine off and issued BIG warning icons spanning all displays. On the off chance it might be the fuel injection E85 modification kit, I removed it. The car started and ran well, but maintained all the warnimg icons. To prevent a lean fuel warning, I hurried out and filled the car with E10 to dilute the E85 fuel. Starting up to exit the gas station, the BIG warning icons cancelled leaving only the check engine lamp. After restarting the car after it was parked for another forty minutes, no warnings indicators remained. The car is running smoothly on an approximately E45 mix. The Change2E85 conversion kit has been discarded. It was in service or less than four years. Can someone recommend a more reliable replacement? My apologies for drifting so far off topic, but this was the topic where I shared how trouble-free my E85 conversion HAD been.
  5. It was a University of Michigan study from 2004 that convinced me to try E-85 in my 2001 Prius. It was the Prius community that determined E-60 was the maximum concentration an unmodified model could tolerate. A fuel injection pulse and timing modification kit was required to run E-85. No consequences were noted by the university team in their 2 year study. None are directly attributable in my 9 year/94,000 mile experience with ethanol fuel varying from E-40 to E-85 (depending on price and availability).
  6. This station has made E85 available on and off since 2006. Previously their E85 prices were tied to Regular Gas prices -- being merely $0.10 cheaper. A $0.40 differential would be a huge improvement for this distributor. Due to its proximity to O'Hare airport's Northern employee entrance, this station is most often frequented by employees of the airport and surrounding businesses. Similarly the BP station on Mannheim Rd near the Southeast employee entrance has even worse E85 prices ($4.09 v. $4.24 Regular as of this writing.)
  7. The study (linked below) claims that cellulosic ethanol produced from miscanthus for automotive use, consumes more CO2 than produced -- cradle to grave including land use changes. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/wang-20130122.html Is anyone aware of production scale miscanthus farming? http://miscanthus.illinois.edu/
  8. NHTSA Press Release, 01/20/2012: .nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/NHTSA+Statement+on+Conclusion+of+Chevy+Volt+Investigation The auto industry has only just standardized on charging connectors. Regulatory agencies like IEEE, ASME, SAE and NFPA are currently working to standardize other aspects of electric vehicles. These efforts include aiding informal recognition of EV's especially when severely damaged/distorted due to collision as well as multiple locations from which to de-energize circuits should one or more become inaccessible.
  9. I have no argument with that. Reduced weight with sufficient strength to protect passengers in a collision is the balance that must be struck with all passenger car designs. Increased efficiency is limited by our knowledge of the combustion processes and the capabilities of the materials to contain and redirect those forces. Extrication "drawbacks" of hybrids vehicles are a myth. Like an undeployed airbag, they need to be disabled or de-engized before performing an extraction. While the high-voltage system is automatically de-energize after an airbag has been deployed, there are several ways to manually de-energize a hybrid high-voltage system. The simplest way, since all high-voltage circuits are maintaned by non-latching low-voltage relays, is to disconnect the auxillary battery -- all relays open leaving the battery as the sole high-voltage source. Secondly, from the high-voltage battery, remove the fuse bar. The fuse bar is what connects multiple low-voltage banks of batteries in series to achieve the high-voltage. Removing the fuse bar reduces exposure to less than 24 volts for any bank of batteries. Though I am unfamiliar with the dangers posed by current lithium ion technology, I do know that the electrolyte for Nickel Metal-hydride batteries is a gel that oozes, not a liquid acid like that within common lead-acid starter batteries that can splash, spray or pour into the passenger compartment. You must evaluate the efficiency of the system, not desparate parts. The calculus most racers use is power-to-weight ratio. While low mass favors acceleration and agility, forces produced by weight distribution (mass-acceleration) favor traction. Again I don't disagree. Because they typically store just enough fuel and decelleration is not part of the race, Hotrodders forget that energy recovery is another way to improve fuel economy. Kenetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) are relatively new to racing. Formula 1 racing began permitting KERS in the 2009 race season. Again, power-to-weight ratios figure into the performance equations, but so do precession forces exhibited by high-rpm flywheels in mechanical KERS, size and space consumed by pressure vessels in hydraulic KERS. I'd love to see NASCAR adopt KERS. Imagine the difference that would make on short tracks and winding courses!
  10. More options for automotive energy recovery: More power from bumps in the road web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/shock-absorbers-0209.html levantpower.com/genshocktech.html Ford study shows Rankine waste heat recovery system on a light-duty vehicle could almost meet full vehicle accessory load on highway cycle greencarcongress.com/2011/10/ford-study-shows-rankine-waste-heat-recovery-system-on-a-light-duty-vehicle-could-almost-meet-full-v.html
  11. 14 years of Hybrid fuel economy and reliability data falsify both claims (The Prius was introduced in Japan in 1998). Hybrids consume less fuel for multiple reasons: Regenetive braking - momentum charges batteries Idle-stop - engines shut down when unneeded Engine speed optmization - runs at most efficient RPM for a given load Majority of torque provided by electric motors - engines can be freer running (lower internal friction) due to lack of tight fits to maintain high compression ratios Engine reliability comes from: High RPM starting - engine spun to ~1200 RPM in 1/4 second before adding fuel and spark Cooler engine operation - shared load with electric motors and optimized engine speed Reduced exposure to rich fuel mixtures at startup - Thermal storage systems store hot coolant at shut down, then wash the intake manifold with warm fluid prior to restart Electronic Override - overrevving is prohibited; in nuetral, engine speed is limited to 2000 RPM There is little change in complexity. The ECU and Internal Combustion Engine for a hybrid vehicle is no more complicated than that of a convenventional vehicle. Motor/generators are dead simple -- rotor/stator/windings. Planetary gearsets that serve as Constantly Variable Transmissions are far simpler than three-speed gearboxes much less seven-speed. These characteristics are born out in real-world fuel economy, insurance premiums and consumer publication recommendations.
  12. The Ford C-MAX Hybrid debut is looking more enticing: Ford C-MAX Hybrid Earns EPA 47 City, 47 Highway, 47 Combined No news yet on whether the 2.0l 4-cyclinder can sip E-85.
  13. 56% of the Continental US is in drought. Corn crops are struggling so the raw material price is rising. If the crops fail, expect high prices until next fall -- barring another drought season.
  14. While visiting the Chicago Auto Show, I examined the Chevrolet Volt and Spark, numerous Hyundai hybrids, the Prius C and V, and the Ford Focus EV and Fusion Hybrid Energi. Regrettably, I completely missed the C-Max. Prior to purchasing our Prius, we owned a Plymouth Grand Voyager. We loved the spaciousness of the minivan, but hated the unreliability and freaky gremlins in the electronics. During a collision repair, the Ford Flex was our assigned rental. The Flex was roomy and comfortable, but 16 mpg on my commute removed it from serious consideration. Having just been introduced to the Ford C-Max Hybrid literally yesterday, I think it has just joined the list of viable new purchase candidates. Regardless of which plugin hybrid I choose, I'm staking out one of the two remaining unused charging stations at my employer. Currently those charging stations are the exclusive domain of the Chevy Volt.
  15. So . . . they've got a full six years of test data. When does Ford rollout the redesigned Escape? Is it likely to introduce an E85 hybrid to the public? I've also seen rumors of retirement of the Escape nameplate. What might be it's successor?
  16. Found more from 2008, but cannot seem to find the results of the testing: gas2.org/2008/06/13/prototype-ford-escape-plug-in-hybrid-88-mpg-on-85-ethanol/
  17. In 2006, green vehicle websites noted the debut of a flex fuel Ford Escape Hybrid research vehicle, but I've heard little since. greencarcongress.com/2006/01/ford_unveils_fl.html greencar.com/articles/fords-flex-fuel-escape-hybrid.php
  18. Often, system failures do not offer one the opportunity to prepare for a service department visit. I would be the one with the misfortune of a failure shortly after a fill up. Once the kit was removed, the sensors would scream "LEAN FUEL!" Frickin' tattle tales!
  19. Based on University of Michigan studies performed in 2004, I tried E-85 in my 2001 Toyota Prius in 2006. I diluted the fuel with E-10 to produce a 60% Ethanol blend to avoid triggering a "check engine" warning of a lean fuel condition. After installing an E-85 kit in 2010, I experienced the full increase in performance when running E-85 straight up (90hp using E-85 vs 74 hp using E-10) and the exhaust aroma is heavenly. But, since my fuel economy takes a 22% hit, E-85 prices must be at least that great an advantage or else I return to E-10 use. Only recently has that price differential reappeared with stations within 3 miles of my common commutes. Previously I had to plan trips that took me as far as 18 miles from home to take advantage of reasonably priced E-85. Until 2010, even crappily priced E-85 fuel (regular -$0.10) was no closer than 7 miles from any commute. I'm looking to pass my Prius on to my daughter when she graduates college in 2013. In the meantime, I exploring my next hybrid purchase. I'm not interested in SUV types of Hybrid large or small. I also want a plug-in hybrid so that limits me, I think, to the Toyota Prius Plug-In, Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi and the Chevy Volt. My 6'5", 260 lb frame is poorly accomodated by the Volt so that leaves the Prius or the Fusion. To my knowledge, both Ford and Toyota have E-85 models but none in the hybrid lines and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Does anyone know if dealer installed E-85 kits are available? Otherwise I'd have to wait until the engine warranty expired before installing a 3rd-party E-85 conversion kit.
  20. If you've operated your Hybrid with E-85, please share your experiences. Did you experience better performance? What happened to your overall fuel economy? Aside from limited fuel availability, were there unforeseen issues?
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