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Toyota Prius: Problems & Solutions



  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "One thing to check on with the Civic- Make sure that if the front tires start to spin, you don't lose all power, which is what the Prius does."

    Two things - the Prius was first sold in the late 1990's - in Japan. First sold as a 2000 model here in the US (with a lot of teething pains).

    The Honda IMA system always uses the ICE to move the wheels from a standing start (with electric boost if available), thus it will not "freeze" like the Prius. In fact, it will run without the electric motor at all, unlike the Prius, which must have the electric side available, at above 20% charge, to run at all. This is one of the advantages of the IMA system, the other being that it is easy to adapt to an existing vehicle design.

    Of course, it won't start up on electric power only - a disadvantage for max MPG, but an advantage in snow, apparently.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The problem with the Prius for certain drivers is that the Traction Control can take over in heavy acceleration/slippage. By take over it senses too much slippage and puts the brakes on as it should, but you end up not going anywhere. In other 2WD Toyota's there is a disable button to cancel this out in heavy snow.

    However Traction Control is an integral part of the Prius because of the extreme torque from the electric motor from the first instant. The Prius has 295 lb-ft of torque at revolution one from the electic motor ( instantaneous massive torque ). For example the new V6 Avalon and Camry only have 248 lb-ft of torque @ 4700 rpm's.

    Without Trac being there to dampen wheel spin all the time a driver would likely wear out a set of front tires in several months. Thus there is no disable button as in other Toyota vehicles.

    However for some drivers in snow this may cause difficulty in driving. For others it doesn't ( search on PriusChat for driving in snow )
  • psicottepsicotte Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 prius which I bought new and have maintained well. I had no major problems until recently when the motor assist went out on the steering for no reason. The motor is electrical and an integral part of the linkage. Cost to repair $2000.00.
    This last week a loud noise came from the engine compartment that sounded like a bomb going off. A piston rod broke and drove itself through the block and the oil pan leaving a four inch hole through everything that is vital. I have had a coolant leak that the dealership has been unable to find and fix for a least 9 months.
    Cost to repair this last problem is in excess of $7000.00
    odometer reading is 60,001 miles
    This doesn't sound like what you would expect from a toyota. every one has no problems with them. In Vancouver B.C. they use the prius for taxis and put on over 150,000 miles without a problem.
    I think Toyota Motor Company should help make this right, How about you?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    There has been no problem for over 60K and all of a sudden it goes. I wonder what you did to help it along. 60K of rodding comes to mind, lack of oil/change. I think you are asking alot for a vehicle outof warranty. Also $7000 on another engine seems high but it always is on a foregn car.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well this is the first report I've seen about any recent ( 15 yrs ) Toyota having an engine problem this serious. but stuff happens. I am frankly a little suspicious of your post since the odometer reads exactly 60001 miles. Hmmmm ???

    Are there other intents to this post. It sounds like a skeptical competitor trying to troll for reactions.

    In my experience, 600,000 miles in Camry's and other vehicles none has ever had even one of these happen. curious post ( subjecting to smell test ).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    Please try not to impune other posters' motives. Starts fights. thank you



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I think Toyota Motor Company should help make this right, How about you?

    Have you written to Toyota asking for help? I would think they would be interested in that kind of catastrophic failure. If they show no interest you should at least file a complaint with the NHTSA Office of defects investigations. I don't see any other failures of that nature listed.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    OK, I will respect your input but continue to subject this ( first post ), and possible subsequent others, to my own personal 'smell test'.

    If the poster has a legitimate problem then certainly he is due some advice and there is a lot of very skilled people here. As a current owner I'd certainly be interested in the details of what happened. Some additonal details might be worthwhile also such the local dealer's reaction to not finding the purported leak and if he has taken it elsewhere. What has been the local dealer's reaction to such a catastrophic event; Toyota's reaction ( I know already what it would be ) to such an event.

    I'm certain however that you dont want the Edmunds Forums to become the home of unsubstantiated attacks either. ( "Fusion blows up destroys school bus" "Cadillac accelerates uncontrollably through department store window" "Honda.... " etc.)
  • mk004mk004 Posts: 5
    The least no of miles I have ever seen on a new car was 2. Most new cars have 10-20 miles on the odometer when they are delivered. The warranty starts at whatever miles are on the odometer at delivery. Therefore, with 60,001 miles on the odometer the vehicle is still under the 5 year 60,000 mile warranty and Toyota would have to honor the claim, assuming proper maintenance was performed. Makes the smell test even more interesting.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Therefore, with 60,001 miles on the odometer the vehicle is still under the 5 year 60,000 mile warranty and Toyota would have to honor the claim

    I didn't know that. I just assumed the new owner gave up the 10-20 miles. You learn something new every day.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    I definitely hear what you are saying, but people are responsible for their own opinions. We don't censor content unless it is profane or insulting. If the person keeps hammering and bashing a make, sure that's different. But reporting a bad problem is their business, we aren't in the verifying business. Telling someone their post "smells" is not a good idea for peace and harmony on the boards though. How can we ever know what's up?

    When I read the post about the Prius engine blowing up, what struck me was mention of the coolant leak that was unsolved. This suggests that there is going to be sticky business between dealer and owner. If the coolant leak was reported numerous times and not fixed, and then the engine overheated and self-destructed (which is one good way to throw a rod), then who is at fault? The dealer who failed to find the problem or the owner who failed to shut down an overheating car?

    ANY car can blow an engine at any moment in time. It happens to Rolls Royces, Benzes, Ferraris, you name it. Statistically it is inevitable that some engines will blow up prematurely. What is made by man will perish sooner or later, and with cars, sometimes sooner.


  • psicottepsicotte Posts: 2
    Powertrain: 60 months/60,000 miles (engine, transmission/transaxle, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, seatbelts and airbags).
    Unfortunately the warranty is either or not both
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I think what was pointed out is the fact that the car had a few miles when you bought it. That would have you still under warranty at 60,001 as you stated. You really need to contact Toyota if the dealer is not willing to do it for you. I have seen cases where people were a lot further past than 1 mile and Toyota covered the repair.
  • mk004mk004 Posts: 5
    I was assuming a 2003 Prius was less than 60 months old.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Fortunately in your case there is a more overriding concept.

    However as the previous poster stated the original odometer statement from you original contract is what governs the mileage limiter. Thus you have..

    A) until some time in the year 2008
    B) some mileage 60000 greater than the original odomer statement. If you started with 20 miles on the new vehicle you have 60020. But in this regard if you have done all the maintenance as you stated, and there was no accident involved, there is a bigger concept.


    .. how did the leaking coolant issue get resolved? Since the local dealer didnt find it did you take it elsewhere and have it fixed or just let it continue to leak?
    .. what was the local dealers reaction to the $7000 bill for your 'blown engine'?
    .. what was the regional Toyota rep's response to the $7000 warranty claim?

    We need to know the answers here in order to help you solve this.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    On a lot of cars by the time the light comes on that it is over heating it's already to late more so on alm. block engines.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    that might be true for say a head gasket, yes, you're right...but to throw a rod, that requires a severe overheat for a length of time. I'm surprised more cars are not equipped with overheat alarms...


  • alonzo2alonzo2 Posts: 46
    No the 2005 model has the same problem as I just bought one. I note that as the front tires wear down the problem gets better. I think it has to do with the very tall profile of the car combined with the narrow wheel base. It just doesn't track at all. In my Q45 I can take my hands off the wheel and go 100 yards without a correction on a flat road. In that same stretch I bet I've made 30 course corrections in my Prius. If you buy this car be prepared to sue two hands at all times.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "t just doesn't track at all. In my Q45 I can take my hands off the wheel and go 100 yards without a correction on a flat road. In that same stretch I bet I've made 30 course corrections in my Prius. If you buy this car be prepared to sue two hands at all times."

    I would bet your Q45 has conventional steering. The hydraulic fluid has a tension to it that keeps the wheel steady. Electric steering has no such tension, although I suppose one could program it to simulate the effect, similar to the way that come manufacturers have "simulated" a conventional transmission shifting feel with CVTs.
  • vtinio45vtinio45 Posts: 8
    Wow! I have a brand new 2006 Prius with all the options and barely 2500 miles on the car. I was driving with my wife freeway speed 65-70 mph early evening in Northern California, raining and then... bang! I thought I hit a major pothole but then the big red engine light and oil pressure lamp went went on. So I move to the side from harms way and eventually had the car towed with the 24 hours assist and service was fair. Car was towed to the nearest Toyota dealer and then they told me I broke a connecting rod and punched a hole in the engine block. Can you believe that! On a vaunted Toyota with barely 2500 miles? Toyota engineer supposedly inspected and took pictures of the engine and they tell me they are replacing the lower half of the engine (engine block, crankshaft, rods, pistons) but not the top half. I thought they will just replace the whole engine because the cylinder head and camshaft(s) might have also sustained damage because of no oil pressure and the car did run for about a mile after the incident. It was my first Toyota (had Honda's, Benz, Infinity, VWs and BMW X5), I had a short happiness with the Prius and I don't know if I will stay happy :(
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