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Tips for maximizing the fuel economy of your Hybrid car

Toyota & Lexus make some of the most reliable vehicles on the planet. This also goes for their hybrid models as well, such as the Prius, Prius V, Prius C, CT200h, Highlander, RX450h, Camry, Corolla, ES350h, and RAV4. We at Evergreen Auto Solutions highly recommend a second or third hand Toyota or Lexus Hybrid as a cost effective alternative to a traditional gas gulping ICE ( Internal Combustion Engine ) vehicle. With that in mind, these excellent and reliable vehicles still require regular maintenance and “tune ups” just like their ICE counterparts.


Fuel Economy:


Pictured: Toyota Prius instrument cluster


With fuel prices at record levels, fuel economy tops just about any vehicle owner’s list of priorities. What most don’t realize is that their fuel economy can be seriously degraded by aging components such as spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors preventing proper fuel atomization, carbonized intake runners and valves, dirty throttle body plates, and dirty or defective air/fuel metering sensors. If this sounds pretty similar to a traditional ICE vehicle, that's because it is! To ensure you're able to reach the max potential from every drop of gasoline you put in your car you’ll need to stay on top of these items every couple of years.



Pictured: Excessively dirt throttle body with carbon build up, common on hybrid engines.


The Problem:


A traditional misfire leading to a P0300, P0301, P0302, etc.. will illuminate the “Check Engine” light almost immediately, and depending on severity may flash in the instrument cluster. But the majority of degraded or dirty internal engine components won't set a diagnostic trouble code until a failure point has been reached, long after you’ve been experiencing a reduction in fuel economy and potential damage to other costly components such as your catalytic converter.



Pictured: A dirty intake manifold valve covered in oil and carbon deposits



The Solution:


1. Throttle Body Cleaning - Throttle body plates and position sensors decarbonized and tested, increases fuel economy.


2. Intake Manifold Induction Cleaning - Eliminates all carbon build up inside the intake manifold, allowing for better fuel atomization and increased fuel economy.


3. Combustion Chamber Decarbonization - Similar to intake decarbonization, allowing more air to fill the combustion chamber and ensure proper fuel atomization, increasing fuel economy.


4. Air Metering Sensor Cleaning - Cleaning of the Mass Airflow Sensor, Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor (MAP), and/or Boost sensors allowing the engine computer to properly meter fuel and air during the combustion process, increasing fuel economy.


5. Engine Air Filter Replacement - New and clean engine air filters allow the engine to breathe freely while protecting the internals of the induction and combustion system without restriction, increasing fuel economy.


6. Injector Cleaning and Volumetric Testing - Decarbonizes all injector pintle valves preventing excessively open or clogged injectors from costly replacements and potential damage to the catalytic converters.


7. Spark Plugs - Spark plug replacement is one of the most commonly overlooked services critical to maintaining and increasing your fuel economy. Without proper spark the fuel will hesitate to combust in the chamber and exit through the exhaust valves into the catalytic converter leading to catalyst damage and oxygen sensor contamination.


8. Oxygen Sensors (o2 and Air/Fuel/Lambda) - Some oxygen sensors have been known to last 20 years without replacement albeit with degraded performance and poor fuel economy, but we always recommend a maximum of 8 to 10 years. Replacing your Oxygen Sensors are the last reporting sensors to the engine computer that determine the overall health of the combustion process, and ultimately fuel metering, increasing fuel economy when new and uncontaminated.


These services can be lumped together every couple years or spread out over time during regular oil change intervals for a quicker turnaround time and lower economic impact.



Give us a call today to learn more about what we can offer your Hybrid vehicle and maximize your fuel economy to the fullest extent!


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