Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Extreme Cold Temperatures and The Prius

Trees Full of Bald Eagles at Reads Landing on the Upper Mississippi River

For the past week the temperature here in west-central Wisconsin has stayed way below zero (between -5 and -25) outdoors and in the negative single digits inside my unheated garage.  That's made me nervous about my Prius.   This has been its first exposure to extreme cold.

I hopped in the Prius today and was relieved when it started - no problem.  The car's outside temperature sensor read -10ºF, so I let the engine "warm up" outside the garage in the sun, while I filled my bird feeders.   When I drove off, the temperature sensor warmed up to -2º F.  The Prius "felt" normal and the heater worked just fine.  

After driving down to Alma, Wisconsin to check on the Bald Eagles on the ice, I headed across the Mississippi River to Reads Landing in Minnesota.  Easily a hundred Bald Eagles fishing and loafing in the trees.  Hundreds of Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes, and a surprise handful of swans.

The snow was piled so high on the road along the river and my Prius sits so low.  I had to get out of the car to watch birds.  Brrr.  While the eagle numbers are similar, the viewing experience is way more comfortable at Wings Over Alma Nature and Art Center.

And the Prius... after driving 60+ miles today, the only "problem" I noticed with the hybrid is that the side windows seem to fog up easily.  A couple of minutes with the heater fan cranked up seems to take care of that.    The MPG dropped from my normal 50+ to mid 40s, but that's to be expected in the cold.

My hybrid in extreme cold:  so far, so good.

No comments:

Post a Comment