Last post on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#3598 of 4026 Reasonable methods, improve gas mileage
May 29, 2008 (10:20 am)
Does Toyota, the people who designed the Highlander Hybrid, or others offer tips on reasonable, safe, and legal methods to improve the gas mileage in Highlander Hybrids, methods that also do not void the warranty (or extended warranty)?
What I have: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with front wheel drive (no EV mode to my knowledge); I purchased and plugged in a Scangauge II for additional information last year. I also realize there are many articles on improving driving habits to improve gas mileage, many of which I am doing and work quite well. Are there any tips that might apply to Highlander Hybrids or similar vehicles that may not apply to other vehicles?
What else may I do? Are there any after market modifications that may help, for example a higher flow exhaust system? I have not found any catback systems for Highlanders. Would any catback system work or could this make the MPG worse? While I already have a K&N "oiled" cotton filter, I purchased this as I like to clean the air filter every other oil change. I will switch to synthetic oil during the next oil change (ex. maybe 0-30W or 5-30W).
I am looking for what I consider "reasonable" methods and tips. I am aware of "hypermilers techniques to overinflate tires (sorry, I keep my tires consistently inflated to what is listed on the door ), consideration to closely tailgate large trucks (I prefer to see the side mirrors on large trucks so the driver can SEE my vehicle). I do drive slower, when possible. MPG is more important than average speed.
A little knowledge about how the propulsion system works in Highlander Hybrids work may also be useful (ex. what could be the ideal throttle position setting and ideal engine RPMs for acclerating under various conditions). I am also watching the instanteous mileage display to try to determine this. I also need to watch for other traffic, bicyclists and pedistrians.
Yes, riding my bicycle yields the best MPG
#3599 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [stevedebi]
May 29, 2008 (10:34 am)
VDIM is just a fancy marketing term to describe the "integration" of all the ABS associated systems, BA/EBD/VSC/etc.
FEH/MMH does not yet have an equivalent system to VSC, only something called rollover protection.
I fully expect I will be buying an MMH as soon as a VSC equivalent system becomes available. I will immediately convert the MMH to only RWD by removing a front halfshaft and applying a constant voltage to the rear drive clutch.
Will probably have to modify the OAT sensor so the MMH will continue to use full regenerative braking during the wintertime. With RWD the safety hazards of front regenerative braking will not be present.
#3600 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [lynnkushnir]
May 29, 2008 (10:40 am)
As I nearly killed myself in a SUV rollover accident, and totaled my previous SUV, I was very concerned with VSC. A vehicle with VSC *might* have kept my SUV on the road. My accident was similar to the animated rollover videos at various web sites.
On a Toyota 2006 Highlander Hybrid, I tested the VDIM/VSC many times in several snow covered, unplowed, large parking lots. This is easy for me to do during Minnesota winters.
VDIM/VSC works great in the Toyota Highlander, especially in comparison to my previous SUV. My previous SUV had anti-lock brakes, but no VSC. I tried to spin out the Highlander many times, safely in snow covered parking lots. The VDIM kicked many times, including the beep-beep-beep traction control warning light. As I read, the steering wheel can be come increasingly difficult to turn. I believe this helps to prevent over steering.
In my near fatal accident, I over steered. On a two lane road (straight, but had quickly became icy), I steered out of the other lane, over steering and going off the road (down a steep grade, rolling over and spinning around 180 degrees). With VDIM, I believe I would had remained on the road.
In any situation, looking where you want to drive, rotating your head is preferred. This is in contrast to what I did, look through the front windshield that moved back and forth as the SUV skidded around.
#3601 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [lynnkushnir]
May 29, 2008 (10:56 am)
The VDIM does a bit more.
VDIM is different than run-of-the-mill safety systems because it integrates all the safety subsystems and the engine into a whole and it tries to anticipate dangerous situation and proactively apply these systems in a coordinated manner. Other run-of-the-mill safety systems are not integrated, they do not work as a whole or coordinate their actions and they activate only when a dangerous event occurs.
VDIM constantly senses and measures motions of the HH in x, y and z axis. It will detect a potentially dangerous situation and act preemptively to prevent a dangerous event from taking shape. It does not wait for that dangerous event to happen and then respond. It cannot overcome physics but for what it can do, it does it very well. I believe Honda/Acura, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo offer something similar.
I once tried to merge into a carpool lane with a sharp left and a simultaneous sharp stab at the throttle, the VDIM refused to do it. I now wait for a clear stretch, merge into the lane first and then accelerate when the steering was no longer at any severe turn-angle. It is a lot safer too.
The VDIM also negotiates curves wonderfully along a familiar local hilly freeway. We discovered this by accident. We had it in cruise, got into a well known curve a bit fast, felt the car slowed itself and then picked up again exiting the curve; all before we could do anything except to steer. It felt precisely like what we would do but the VDIM took care of it. Of course, VDIM cannot overcome physics so I won't set cruise and race down HWY 1.
#3602 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [cdptrap]
May 29, 2008 (2:33 pm)
"..VDIM does a bit more..."
VDIM is just a term newly adopted by Toyota. These systems, ABS/TC(TRAC)/BA/EBD/VSC/etc, have ALWAYS been integrated, out of pure necessaty, to prevent them from negatively interacting with each other. If you read all the theory and diagnostic procedures for VDIM and then go back a few years and read the same for the earlier system(s), then called the "Star Safety System, you will find, mostly, exacting functionality throughout.
And VDIM, as good as it is, and it is REALLY good, still cannot predict the future and so it can only REACT after the fact. It would be ideal if VSC could sense that the "moment", lateral inertia, of the vehicle will exceed, "soon" exceed,the traction coefficient of the tire tread to the roadbed but in order to do that it must know the CURRENT frictional coefficient of the roadbed surface.
So VSC can only REACT once traction, partially, say front or rear, is actually LOST.
#3603 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [sebemismnusa]
May 29, 2008 (2:49 pm)
"..I tested the VDIM/VSC many times in several snow covered, unplowed, large parking lots..."
"...I tried to spin out...."
No, it is much more likely than otherwise that what you tested was VDIM's TC/TRAC "component".
Even the RX AWD series is heavily front torque biased, 95/5, and so the vehicle is much more subject to understearing, "plowing", making it extremely difficult to "spin" at a low enough speed to be comfortable with the safety factor.
My experiments ('01 AWD RX300) in this vein resulted, EVERY time, in TC/TRAC kicking in the instant I tried to accelerate quickly enough that I could then yank the stearing sideways and cause the rear end to break loose and come about.
So the "beep-beep-beep" you heard was more likely an indication that VSC/TC was "in play".
#3604 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [wwest]
May 29, 2008 (6:38 pm)
So VSC can only REACT once traction, partially, say front or rear, is actually LOST.
I hear what you are saying but our experience says otherwise. I have had VSC on various other types of vehicles, never thought they were useful but none of them behaved as the VDIM. Not in the Mercury, not in the Sienna, not in the Chevy and not in Honda and not in Ford.
None of them ever stopped me from being able to change lane, none of them could handle a curve exactly as I had experienced. So we will continue to share our experience of VDIM being different than normal VSC.
I guess we have to agree to disagree .
#3606 of 4026 Re: VDIM Description from Toyota [cdptrap]
May 30, 2008 (9:36 am)
The phrase, statement, in the linked document that gets my attention is that VDIM detects that the vehicle is experiencing "TOO MUCH YAW whereas the "OLD" VSC system waited for the "break" into actual overstearing or understearing.
But then the statement continues.."too much yaw (rotation around the car's centre of gravity)"
By this extended definition of "too much yaw" the only difference between VDIM and VSC becomes the addition of the variable stearing ratio coupling and its integration into the "mix".
So, apparently, the VDIM system remains REACTIVE just as was/is VSC.
I suspect the real difference is that the VDIM/VSC intervention is now much more noticeable by the driver due to the sudden change in stearing ratio, resistance to stearing in the "wrong" direction.
#3607 of 4026 Re: VDIM MAKES HH GREAT IN INCLEMENT WEATHER [wwest]
May 30, 2008 (9:57 am)
"FEH/MMH does not yet have an equivalent system to VSC, only something called rollover protection. "
RSC, Rollover stability control. This steps in when there is risk of the SUV rolling over, which is the greatest risk for an SUV.
I personally am not a fan of VSC; I prefer to manage my own turns. Of course, I'm a VERY careful driver, and my care increases as the temperature decreases.