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Toyota Prius: Problems & Solutions



  • I have an 04 (Aug 04)and have never been able to put more than 7 gallons in the tank. Last tank with low fuel light flashing only took 5 gallons. Dealer told me to bring it in for three days to order and install parts. He then called me to say my car was built after the problem and has new parts so he would not do anything. He wants me to bring it back when the low fuel light is flashing so he can evaluate.

    Can anyone help me solve this problem?
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    you have become accustomed to your Pruis, and are indeed driving it as you did the old have taken the edge off of the mileage way of driving.
    So, do this; return to the way you drove it when you first got it...and . wash and wax it, and it will have less drag as the air passes over it...and air up the tires...I am very sure if you do these little things, your mileage will increase..
    In the early 80's I bought a Nissan Maxima diesel wagon to get off the the poor mileage of my Ford Squire wagon..the Maxima gave me 33 miles per gallon but I was soon pushing it over 80 on the highwawy..the mieage dropped.
    After every oil change, washing and checking the tires it incrseased the mileage back up dto the 33....
    If you =___________make the effort to improve the mileage, I am sure it will increase
  • My 2001 Prius wouldn't start, and the lack of any lights coming on indicated a dead starter battery. The Toyota dealer said not to try jumping it, but to have it towed in to them. I did so and now am told I need a new battery, to the tune of almost $300.00! This (plus the towing charge) is shocking. The car has 48,000 miles on it. Could someone tell me if this is likely - the requirement of a new battery at this point and the exorbitant price? This is the third time I've had to have a tow in the last 6 months. (The other things related to the still under warantee hybrid system, fortunately. But this is still a bit scary, as I get closer to the warantee being up.) Thanks!
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I would have thought people would be all over this, seen on The Car Connection, daily edition: Nov. 19, 2004 then scroll down - snip - Toyota will recall twelve vehicle lines and a total of 544,172 cars worldwide, according to a late report from Reuters. Among the vehicles included in the recall is the hybrid Prius. The vehicles have brake lights that could fail as a result of faulty switches. The vehicles affected by the recall include those manufactured from January 1999 to August of 2004. - rticle=7756
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,852
    Welcome to the forum.
    I would say 3 years and 48k miles is about the life of a standard OEM lead acid car battery. $300 seems like a very big ripoff. You can get the best car battery going for under $100 with a 6 year unlimited mileage warranty. Unless Toyota has put in some oddball battery I would go to Sears to have it replaced. I have not had a vehicle towed for over 15 years. I have only had Chevy Trucks which are very reliable. Three times in 6 months and I would be looking for the lemon law lawyer.
  • aropcaropc Posts: 1
    This question is regarding 2002 Prius, which has about 30000 miles. What happens is, when I drive the car on a slight uphill (which Corolla or Camry climbs easily at around 50 miles per hour), Prius makes noticeable noise and seems to struggle to climb..the speed limit in that segment of the road is 45 mph, and Prius seems to have great difficulty climbing at that speed. Does any one have similar experience? Is this a normal behavior, or should I take this to the dealer and try to get something fixed? Any insight would be very much appreciated.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I don't have hybrid yet but would like to think alot of the troubleshooting is the same, can you tell if noise is related to engine speed (loose belt etc) or not (wheel bearing, tire related) ?

    Any out of the ordinary service needed, visual under the hood okay (no loose/cracked vacuum hoses or corroded cables) this a new problem or always been there, A/C or defrost etc needed to dup problem, any idiot lights on, code stored, noise coming from engine, CVT, front or back, fluid levels okay ?
  • Just got notified via mail about this Navigation FREE update . There were reports of localized anomalies in the map details of this model year compared to 2003 models?? Anyway my vers now I checked is Ver 03.3 (hit the MAP DVD) button on menu screen. They say this FREE offer will run till Dec 31,2005. Oh shoot I thought it said 2004! lol I might as well wait then cause there may be another update available by Dec 2005. I think I will take it in in the Spring of 2005...It says it is a ONE TIME software update so might as well wait the year .
  • We have a 2001 Prius with almost 92,000 miles (we drive alot!). We have had 2 computers replaced ( under warranty) and in Sept. 04 we paid $600.00 to replace a faulty accelerator sensor. Just this past weekend we were on vacation and our engine light came on. A Toyota dealer in Chico,CA., said our catalytic converter was going out and it would cost $2,100.00 to replace. Although we love our car we are becoming very concerned about future, expensive repairs. Does anyone have any recommendations for us? Has anyone had any luck getting Toyota to pay for something that is out of warranty? Reportedly, the converter is covered for 8 years or 80,000 miles.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,852
    Does anyone have any recommendations for us?

    First welcome to the Forum..
    For Toyota to claim AT-PZEV in CA, they have to warranty the emissions for 15 years or 150k miles. This is a good case to find out how well that law is enforced. Without the catalytic convertor there is no clean emissions. The car will not pass inspection. I would give the Toyota dealer a chance to fix the problem under warranty. If they refuse, go to CARB that set the standards. Toyota is using this car to get away with horrible pollution on their big dollar cars. They need to be held accountable. Hope to hear more on this case... Good Luck
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,852
    After doing additional reading. I do not think the 2001 had AT-PZEV rating. If it had only SULEV you are on your own after the Toyota Warranty. In other words you are screwed. This is what many of us have asked. What happens when all the high tech complex hybrid gear goes bad. We get a lot of hype how it will last forever. Sounds like you are the guinea pigs that Toyota is looking for. It is a shame that so many people that are trying to be good citizens are going to be taken advantage of by big corporate greed.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    Dear gagrice;
    What dribble!
    "many of us have been asking"
    who are the many?
    You better go buy a Ford, IMO.
    or better yet, a Chrysler product.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,852
    Dear gagrice;
    What dribble!
    "many of us have been asking"
    who are the many?

    Would you like me to name the posters that have questioned the reliability of the hybrids? I can research that for you. My reference is to this person that has already found that the hybrid is expensive to own after the warranty is gone. Do you you consider these charges fair on a 3 year old vehicle? A $600 sensor & $2100 catalytic convertor. I just replaced the catalytic convertor on our 1990 Mazda 626, along with the muffler and tail pipe, and the total was $154 with a lifetime warranty. We have spent less than $2100 on that Mazda over 15 years including brakes, batteries & tires. I'll tell you what I tell all the leading edge hybrid explorers "Good Luck" your going to need it.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    please accept my apology for my dribble was out of line.....My 90 Mazda also had the converter go bad at 148,000 miles and Mazda replaced it at no charge...I would expect no less from Toyota. have a much more optimistic outlook on cars... usually on the Nissan, Toyota, Mazda and Honda etc., and much less on the American names as a result of many many years of experience with all of them and many many cars..I have also learned the importance of how I deal with the individual dealers as being a most important item in how problems were handled..I suspect that the dealer who told the owner with the bad converter that it would cost him $2100.... was being very prompt in jumping on a fast buck...and that the real replacement cost from a proper dealer would be much less if handled correctly. In speaking with management at a dealership, I was told that the Prius has had the lowest cost warranty repairs of all their cars....I suspect that the car's converter didn't just "go out" all of a sudden....As I said, I am optimistic on how this car will be treated by the Toyota Co. and each dealer.The rise of Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc is not just an accident, no more than the fall of GM, Ford or Chrysler is just and accident..If it is the big greed of the big company's it's the latter that have allowed it. Toyota, Honda etc have done a whale of a job in product and service. The Toyota Prius has been beautifully conceived and very well marketed.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,852
    Apology accepted. I know you are excited about the Prius as I was 4 years ago. One of the things that would have clinched the deal in 2000 was the bumper to bumper 8 year 100k mile warranty. As I said before my now ex-wife hated the looks and that ended it. Now on the realistic side. It would be difficult to get anyone except a Toyota dealer to work on the Prius. I am reading where dealers are charging $300 for a new 12 volt battery for the Prius. I don't know but that sounds steep to me. $600 for a sensor that I assume was essential for the car to run. $2100 for a catalytic convertor. This may be a case of greed at the dealer level. Hopefully it is an isolated case. We have not seen too many Prius with close to 100k miles. I don't expect, as some do, that we will have lots of expense just because the car passes that milestone. Especially in 3 years.

    I never even thought of asking Mazda to replace our convertor. We only have 84k miles on our 1990. It has been very reliable. We use it to run errands and as a loaner to friends and relatives that come to town.
  • My wife and I also live in the Sierras. Specifically in the foothills, around 5000 ft., but anyway. We recently purchased a 2005 Prius, and the only problem noticed is that the tires have bad traction when wet. Easy enough to fix. The car itself has performed quite well. There's enough power to handle the climbs, and we haven't had any problems starting it in the cold, going down to single digit (still positive) temperatures. Haven't had anything lower yet, so no experience there. The gas mileage (expectedly) drops when going over piles of snow, or going up an icy hill, but even with that, we've still averaged ~45 mpg for almost 1000 miles. When watching the energy monitor, I haven't seen the battery drop much below half charge at any time.

    I hope this helps, if you need any more info, just ask.
  • Our 2005 Prius is in the shop for the 2nd time. After having the entire computer replaced, we noticed that the horn would honk intermittently by itself. There seems to be no particular pattern to this honking. It occurs when turning, on the straightaway, going over bumps, or on smooth pavement. It involves single or multiple beeps, long or short. Service has not heard the honking after nearly a week, but they aren't driving it. Anybody know what's causing this - a short or computer programming?
  • I had the same issue with my 2001 Prius. I know I left my interior lights on before it happened. It's something I do somewhat frequently. My neighbors usually tell me when this occurs.


    The cost to fix it was about the same as yours. My dealer is only 2 blocks away, and it was only afterwards that i realized I could have rolled it into the dealership myself, given that the car is so light.
  • I purchased a 2004 Prius in July of this year after having owned a 2001 Prius for almost 4 years. Compared to the old one, I have had numerous quality problems with the 2004. A list of issues include:


    - Replacement of navigation system

    - Work on dashboard to stop noises coming from center speaker

    - Additional noises coming from dashboard that dealer cannot find or fix

    - Vibrations coming from hatchback that makes car sound like an old pickup truck going over bumps

    - Check engine light coming on for no reason

    - Left rear seat having to be locked in place every once in a while to keep noises from occurring

    - Outside thermometer has a wide margin of error

    - I think the driver side mirror warped the first time I took it to a car wash


    Nothing major unfortunately. I'm hoping for the transmission to fall out so I can press a "lemon law" case.


    Has anyone else had these problems? I bought Option Package #9 which is $26K MSRP. I find the fit and finish of this car at that price to be terrible. I never had those issues with my old Prius. Would love to hear others' experience.
  • carln3carln3 Posts: 1
    How about tis: Rav 4 catalytic converter $1000

    Volvo ABS sensor $650

    1990 Cutlas cierra A/C compressor $900

    1990 Cutlass cierra alternator $450


    Prius parts are all made and imported from Japan..

    Good luck to all of us...
This discussion has been closed.