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Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance, Repair and Concerns



  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    We have 80k+ miles on our '06 Mariner hybrid. No problems yet. Have had only 1 brake pulsation problem ( uneven brake rotors ) in more than 5yrs. Hope they get your's fixed right the first time.
  • I was wondering if anyone knew if when a battery starts to die, will I have to replace the whole battery pack of just a small battery. I noticed the other day, it sat for about a day and a half. When I started it after it sitting, it hesitated a little. That is the first time it did that. I have heard the horror stories of the money I will have to put into it and unfortunately I still have 2 years left to pay on it. I have a feeling I will be stuck repairing it and am hoping to find some alternatives before "the big one" happens. Any suggestions or answers to my original question of the smaller battery?

    Has anyone heard of private car repair shops dealing with this yet to try and make the cost cheaper or are we still stuck with the dealer?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
  • rjqmanrjqman Posts: 6
    It just depends on the dealer. I bought a Honda van a few years ago and the dealer put motor oil in the transmission. I took it to a different Honda dealer, not understanding what the problem was, and he hesitantly told me what had taken place. It just depends on the dealership.

    I would look up the dealership on some websites and see what others are saying about it before you take your car there for service. Some are great, and some are simply awful. (But be careful of 'shills' - people from the dealership or service shop that give it a great rating when the shop is not really so great...).

    I buy my Hondas from the dealership with lousy service, because they are convenient and competitive. But I would not take a car there for service if there was any other alternative I could use.

    I am an old guy, and I have had a lot of cars over a lot of years. Problems with automotive dealership service are not in any way unique to Honda. I also have a Pontiac and the local dealership (who now had to switch to Buick) has always done an excellent job here in Fort Myers Florida. They may charge 30% more than the private shops, but they seem to always do the job right. It just varies with the way the shop is managed - not necessarily with the brand of car.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    You asked about replacing part of the battery pack?

    I'm guessing that the answer is NO; that if a replacement is necessary, the entire pack has to be replaced, not one cell.

    One reason is that the battery packs have a lot of inherent redundancy in them so that they can still function even with one or several cells dead. The battery electronics essentially takes a bad cell out of the circuit, which reduces the battery pack's capacity by a bit, but still allows it to function. This is to eliminate the need to replace a single cell.

    Also, the voltage at places inside the battery pack is several hundred volts - deadly if you don't know what you're doing. So I suspect Honda and other hybrid makers do not want technicians used to dealing with 12V systems poking around inside a battery pack.
  • dwakefdwakef Posts: 1
    Yes, my 06 Civic nav sys stick (cursor controller) stopped working for every direction except one. A dealer said that was not repairable. To replace would cost about 2K! I decided to use my android phone when I need to browse around the map. Rip off.
  • I am having the exact same problem. Have they told you what the problem is yet?
  • The same thing happened to my Escape Hybrid this morning. The dealership won't look at it until Monday. Sounds like they have a problem. Was it expensive?
  • I recently took my '08 Highlander Hybrid in for oil change and routine service at my local dealership. After inspecting the car, they told me that it needed a timing belt and water pump replacement for a cost of $795. Although I'm no expert on auto repair, this replacement seemed early for my car which only has 56k miles on it. The technician assured me that 60k was the appropriate time for this repair. Taking his word for it, I agreed to it as well as a fuel injection/throttle body emission service for $179 that was also recommended.

    After returning home and checking online while the repairs were being done, I saw that Toyota doesn't recommend the timing belt replacement until 90k miles. I talked to the dealership manager about the difference in recommendations and he said that because we live in NJ that they are following "extreme conditions" suggestions which call for the earlier replacements.

    I didn't buy his story and declined the emission service as well, thinking that it was bunk as well.

    Has anyone else heard of this "extreme conditions" clause in timing belt replacement???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Manufacturers do often have an 'extreme conditions" rule for timing belts but my impression was that this was for extremes of heat and cold, such as 110F or minus 20F, so I would say New Jersey doesn't qualify.


  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Dealers tend have a different definition of "extreme", or "severe duty" than does the manufacturer. Of course, it's the dealer that's making out if drivers are manipulated into thinking they need more maintenance than what the manufacturer thinks is warranted.

    Always gotta ask - who's going to profit from this recommendation? In other words - just follow the money!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    edited February 2012
    it makes no sense for NJ--this is simply not an extreme climate. I guess you could try to look this up in your owner's manual or call Toyota Customer Care.


  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    edited February 2012
    I just look at the edges of the belt, and if there are some OBVIOUS cracks, i replace it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    A reporter is looking to interview parents who own a Chevy Cruze Eco, Toyota Prius V and/or Honda Civic Hybrid. If you are willing to share your experience with the car, please email no later than March 10, 2012.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I am an owner of a 2 year 3 month old 2010 Prius Five with the ATP, Nav, pretty much everything. I sold my 2007 Prius Touring to my sister who loves the car. Neither has had a dime in repairs from normal breakdown or wear items. I purchased my first Prius despite all kinds of Gloom & Doom Warnings about expensive hybrid batteries, and costly repairs. Even Edmunds review warns about buying a Used prius and expensive repairs possible. None of that nonsense has been born out by reality. In fact in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia the Prius is probably the most prevalent Taxi Cab model in the city, and has been for a long time. In case you don't know it, Taxi fleet owners are the people most averse to paying for expensive car repairs. The proliferation of the Prius as a Taxi has happened precisely because Taxi Fleet owners know what Edmunds and others obviously do not, that the Toyota Prius is, when it comes to repairs, practically Bullet Proof. Thay almost never breakdown. And nobody uses them more harshly or runs up the mileage higher than a fleet Taxi Cab. So by all means Buy a Used Prius, they exceed 300,000 miles routinely, and the Gen 3 models (2010 0nward) have even fewer moving parts to break than the older versions of the car. Don't give a moments thought to buying a properly maintained Prius as a used car.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    Is it necessary to take the Prius to Toyota dealers for regular services? If one buys a "regular" Toyota, that answer is never, be it 300K or 500K miles after. But is there any kind of service for Prius (all HSD for that matter) that is better to be done at the dealers?
  • I bought a 2010 Prius 3 in 2010 and now have abut 63000 miles on it. I love this car. I have had no mechanical problems except one that made itself known just past the 36 month warranty period.
    I noticed that my solar driven cooling fan wasn't working this summer. I thought the fan had maybe died but then I looked at the solar panel and saw that green copper corrosion caused by long term moisture infiltration had shorted out the solar panel and it was unable to produce electricity anymore.
    I had the Dealer look at the panel and by looking at the panel from a ladder he ascertained that the moisture infiltration had reached all the way across the panel to the rear as evidenced by the green corrosion of the wiring in the panel.
    Now this just didn't happen overnight, but most likely, moisture had been infiltrating the panel for several years. There was no moisture visible in the pane, just the evidence of long term corrosion throughout the panel.
    What I am saying is this. These panels were manufactured by an outside vendor for Toyota. If made properly, a solar panel should be hermetically sealed. Most solar panels normally have a useful life of 15 years. This panel was defective the day it was made and it just took 3 years for the corrosion to infiltrate deep enough to disable enough of the solar cells to render it inoperative.
    The reason I tell you this is the solar option is an expensive option.($2000 replacement cost) If you are still in your warranty period I would suggest having the panel inspected for corrosion before you experience a failure. Once you know what to look for you can examine it yourself. Much like a hermetically sealed double pane house window there will be some clouding of the glass panel where the moisture has infiltrated.
    In my case the infiltration appears to have been going on for years before total failure. Since it is tinted and part of the roof design you won't notice the subtle changes in the color unless you inspect the panel closely.

    In conclusion, these panels should be waterproof and sealed during manufacture. If any moisture infiltrates by means other than from damage it is a design and/or manufacturing error.
  • Well, Just got off the phone with Toyota Corporate. Basically they told me that they will give me $750 towards my repair of $2000 for the defective solar panel on my 2010 Prius. I told them I was surprised that they weren't at least offering to supply the part and I could pay for the labor(about $350) for repair as most all other car manufacturers would have done. Even Ford has been known to do this. Sadly, It appears Toyota's customer service quality is well below Ford's.

    I guess Toyota has made a corporate decision of "Buyer Beware". If Toyota installs a defective part in your new car and you don't find out until 9 days after the 3 years warranty is up it is just to bad for you. Even if it was defective before the warranty expired. Amazing! It is disappointing to see this attitude from a company I thought was known for quality and great customer service.

    I asked them if I could appeal the decision and was told "No, I would have to pursue a remedy outside Toyota". In other words hire a lawyer or file in small claims court. What a craven answer.

    I hope you folks don't have any problems with your Toyota after the paper warranty is up. Toyota appears not to care about or understand their customers. I t has become , in my opinion, a company run by bean counters and Lawyers.

    I like my dealer and had planned on making Toyota my car of choice for the future , but after this experience I think I won't be buying any more of their cars.
  • Hello Everybody,

    We just purchased this car 2 days ago, and were given the "HARD sell" to purchase an extended warranty. What does anybody have for an opinion on this matter?

  • Tommy, depending on how long you plan to keep the car, I would recommend you contact your credit union or Bank an see if they offer extended warranty protection contracts. I got a 48k mile 4 year extended warrant form my Credit union 3 thousand miles before my factory warranty expired. It cost me $1073 and was issued by Travelers insurance. The Toyota dealer policy was $2300 and he wanted to add it now at point of sale, 3 years before I needed it. It is a big mark up profit item for the dealer. Skip it and buy one later.
  • Hello Skycaptain,
    Can I still go to my bank if I paid cash for the car? Can I go to your bank too?
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