comments on "drive" vs "brake" please...

my wife owns a 2005 prius, & really is enjoying; we live in central arizona, & have a few "hills" around here.
it seems to me ( & i don't drive it often) that it used to be that we would descend a "big" hill, and, if transmission left in "d" we would accelerate w/ gravity - also, when letting off the "gas" pedal, we would free-wheel, or pretty much "coast" now, after she took it to prescott for her 5k checkup, it seems that letting off the "gas" there is no longer any "coasting" at all! on "big hills" we still pickup speed, so, coasting is pretty obvious, and the "b" will hold us pretty nicely... am i wrong? did i just imagine that letting off the pedal there was free wheel, even on flat ground? for those of you in az, the "hills" i'm talking about are copper canyon & flagstaff down to lake montezuma (both on i-17) thanks for any insight into the matter! jeff
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Greetings from Flagstaff!
I think your memory is playing tricks - our 2002 has always had more lift-throttle drag than either of the automatic trannies in our garage but less than manual gears.
I just use the brakes lightly for the grades each side of the Verde Valley. The battery is just about "full" by the time we reach the bottom and the charge gets used quickly when going up the other side. I'm pretty sure the friction brakes are never used in that stretch. Same thing from Sunset Point down to Phoenix - although it looks like Sunset Point may become part of Phoenix in 10 years or so :-(
It takes some willpower to use the brakes for those long descents. Old habits die hard, and I'd never drive a conventional vehicle that way - downshifting is so much better. In hybrids, "riding the brake" is better for all but really long grades. We had to use "B" on some of the mountains in Colorado.
Mike
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On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 08:59:53 -0700, "Michael Pardee"
<snip>

Hi Mike, & Thanks for the reply! I grew up in Colorado (Montrose) & those mountains down south of there were my backyard growing up; it was gears or nothing! Also, drove for the national park service in Estes Park a few summers, learned from the "old timer" truck drivers; "the same or one gear lower" to get down the same hill you climbed....
glad to hear (& not surprised) that my memory may be playing tricks! it just "seemed" like you could let off the pedal, & get total free-wheel coast-even on flat ground.... there is at least a good deal more of the "hold back" when we use the "b" "gear"..... as w/ driving the old-style trucks, my mentors taught me to use "just enuff" brake to hold the downhill speed to within about 5mph of your desired speed; no hard braking, just gently, & occasional enuff to maintain an even speed. sound about the same for prius? i think we "have been" so far using the "b" pretty regularly, will try to stop that..
so far, she's keeping 45-48mpg, mostly driving around cottonwood....
we've got a lot to learn about the car, & so far, it's all been good going for us! i like it when she "lets me drive!" thanks again for reply!! jeff
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It won't "free-wheel" all by itself; the driver has to apply just the right amount of gas pedal. Turn on the "energy" display and watch for the no-arrows condition.
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