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Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance, Repair and Concerns



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I just passed 115,000 miles in 3-1/2 yrs without any problems that I didn't cause myself.

    My friend is waiting for his third Prius in 2 weeks. His 2nd Prius just passed 245,000 miles with no problems whatsoever and he's still getting 50 mpg on a daily basis. He posts here from time to time as well.

    I have heard that the HCH's have had more reliability problems than the Toyota's or Fords.

    Regarding the battery issue you only have to do some simple research on the internetz to find out about the NiMH's. There is a whole thread here about it. They are non-toxic. They can be safely disassembled in your garage. You can look it up as they say. You're probably thinking that the NiMH batteries are similar to the lead-acid batteries in most other vehicles. They're not at all the same.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I have heard that the HCH's have had more reliability problems than the Toyota's or Fords.

    I agree that Honda has had more problems with their hybrid system as it neared end of life than Toyota. I am not a fan of the centrifugal clutch type transmission. OK for a snow machine. I want gears and positive drive.

    I doubt I will ever own a vehicle with 115k miles on it. My truck I bought with 106K miles 3 years ago is just past 112K. I want my vehicles to last a long time. Hybrids are just not going to get it for 10 plus years in my opinion. Part of our throw away society.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well since the first ones delivered here are just reaching 8-1/2 years they are just reaching your magical 10 yr limit. Since the warranties in your state are at a minimum of 10 yrs / 150,000 miles there doesn't seem to be much risk of them not lasting 10 yrs or more.

    More unnecessary issues to worry about. I drive one and I expect it to go 250,000 to 300,000 miles as have many already. Nothing to see here, time to move on.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I expect it to go 250,000 to 300,000 miles as have many already. Nothing to see here, time to move on.

    For you miles are everything. To me they are unimportant. Only longevity counts. There are many other parts beside the battery that are not warranted for 10 years. The reason I bought the Platinum Toyota 7 year 75k mile warranty for my Sequoia. I doubt that I will keep it that long. All cars are expensive to maintain when the warranty expires. Hybrids have 30% more parts to break.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I realize it's all anecdotal, but I have many friends with Toyota hybrids of one sort or another, from 2003 to 2008 models, and nobody has had a stitch of trouble. Some of these cars have been cross-country a number of times.

    These cars are not my cup of tea but if someone asked me about projected reliability over the course of 10 years, I'd have to say I'd be reasonably optimistic.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    I bought a new Honda Civic Hybrid in 2004 (2004 Model).
    I did nothing but basic maintenance (Rotation, oil chg) up until I replaced 4 tires at 88,000 miles. At 130,000 miles I noticed the beginning of a shudder/bad transmission noise and brought it into the dealer at 133,000 miles.

    They replaced the "Start clutch" which apparently is the main clutch system. Bill would have been $1300 but Honda paid half under for a good faith measure.

    I thought it was exceptional Honda would pay for half my cost at 133,000 miles.

    The transmission band slips a little under moderate acceleration. When that happens I have them drain/fill the CVT fluid and it fixes it for another 15-20k miles.

    Honda offered to pay half of a repair that would replace the band and controlling valve bodies but would still cost around $1,300. I declined the repair to continue occasionally changing the fluid.

    Overall it's been a truly wonderful car.
    I've averaged about 61MPG over the life of it calculating tank to tank and that sure was nice when gas was around $5/g. I've never owned such a fun car to drive and the mileage game keeps me from getting bored.

    Other than the occasional transmission slip, the car starts/runs/drives/looks practically as it did new off the lot.

    I've never had a vehicle last over 112,000 miles and that fact alone has me floored. Our other vehicle is a 2001 Grand Caravan at 94,000 and had two cylinder heads, steering rack, sliding door motors, window regulators, cruise control and AC compressor replaced- and seems to be nearing the end of it's utility.

    My father just got a new Honda Insight and raves constantly about it. I'm sold on the Honda Hybrid line and will definetly replace mine with another someday.

  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Dear MisterMe,
    You should know that eventually the friction material that wears off during the slipping process will all be worn off.
    Then you will have to bite the bullet.
    I might do the 1/2 cost deal w/Honda while they are still agreeable.

    I have never owned a Honda, but those people I know who have/do, swear nicely by them, not badly like some other cars.

    The new Insight has no back-seat legroom except for midgets. I can barely get thru the doorway, and have to strategically align my feet to enter.
    The basic model is too poorly equipped, and the next model up has too much stuff.
    Plus it is too slow to drive here in Dallas ( I would get run over ).

    Gotta go, do the deal w/Honda now and save yourself some headaches.
  • igandalf2igandalf2 Posts: 5
    How did you get Honda to pay half? I had the same issue. They told me it was normal wear and tear. I now have to replace the transmission @ $3400.. It has 160,000 miles on it. I first noticed the issue at 30,000 miles. I also noticed that replacing the trans fluid, more often, (at my cost) seemed to temporarily fix slippage.
  • I have a 2007 FEH, and love it so far!
    However, there is this annoying sound that occurs after the AC has been running for a few minutes. The best way I can describe it is the sound those "clicker toy" things make (reference ..sorry )

    After the sound is happening, if I turn the AC off and only run vent, the sound will eventually go away. It appears to be coming from some device under the dash visible on the passenger side. It's about 5" x 4". I can feel the snapping/popping sound when I place my hand on this:

    Picture of module

    Anyone else have this problem or know what the issue might be?
  • A little more accurate info-- it sounds almost like a valve or vent is popping open/closed inside the device pictured.
    My questions:
    1) What exactly is this device pictured?
    2) Could it be defective? Or are there some tubes/baffles inside it just needing adjustment?
  • tyler70tyler70 Posts: 82
    can anyone tell me if i need to "warm up " my prius engine before driving like a conventional veh? besides the oil change, is there any maintenance I need to do for the hybrid components? thanks
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No there is no special warmup period for a Prius. When you see READY on the dash just shift and go. Let the computer take care of everything else.

    The hybrid system needs no maintenance - EVER.

    Oil / filters every 5K or 6 mo's
    Engine air filter every 30K
    That's it for the first 100K miles!!!!!

    Wash, Rinse and Repeat for the next 100K miles!!!

    At 100K drain and replace the inverter coolant
    At 120K to 150K replace the spark plugs

    Your 2010 has no belts of any kind so these never need to be checked or replaced.

    Wear items as needed.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Olde cars, like those with carburetors used to almost choke me when I went out in the morning to go to work. My many neighbors would start up their cars/trucks engines and they would be on the "fast idle speed" cam on the carburetor linkage. The street sounded like an airport, but with propellers, not jets. Also, an acrid smell of exhaust wisped over the neighborhood due to the choke butterflies being misadjusted, or sticking shut. Kind of like a bevy of fireplaces spewing their foul odor. This was especially bothersome on those cars that featured no/little exhaust emission systems, like catalytic converters and such.
    More gas has been wasted warming up the car for the kids, than I would care to imagine.
    Start it up, and take off....smoothly.
  • sodaguysodaguy Posts: 84
    You also need to rotate the tires (cross-rotate if the tires are not directional) every 5,000 miles.

    Then, you need to replace the cabin air filter every 30k.

    Lastly, the transaxle fluid should be drained and refilled every 60k with Toyota WS fluid. While Toyota considers it to be a lifetime fill, the gurus on the Priuschat forum have concluded that every 60k is a reasonable interval if you want to keep the car for a long time. It is a very easy job and the process is identical to servicing a manual transaxle.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The tire rotations are a personal issue. I do mine every 10K
    Ditto the cabin air filter. I do mine every 30K

    The transaxel issue concerns the Gen 1's primarily. There is nothing specified about the Gen 2s or 3s. I've followed the PC threads on the subject. It's not required but it can't hurt.
  • the navigation system in honda is acting up, the map navigation stick in the corner no longer works. has this happened to anyone? my honda is a 2007.
  • I'd have to agree. In the beginning when the 2004 was released and the Prius went mainstream all the naysayers were knocking the cost of the battery when it needs replacement. That myth has been put to bed as evidenced by the taxis in service in British Columbia. Some of them have over 300,000 miles (MILES NOT KILOMETERS). That in conjunction with long lasting brakes make a compelling argument that hybrids are indeed very reliable (at least the Prius hybrid). It is safe to say that hybrids are going mainstream and diesels aren't getting any traction whatsoever. Americans want hybrids and it shows.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I couldn't disagree with you less. It's kinda like healthcare reform. There is so much misinformation, and disinformation it can scare those who are affected.

    Everyone thot I had to plug in my '07.
    Everyone heard the battery pack cost $3000.
    Everyone heard the battery pack wears out in 50-60K mi.

    One Ford salesman, whose dealership didn't handle hybrid Escapes, told me the brakes would wear out "twice as fast" because of the regenerative braking system.

    Although these days it is difficult to find ANY salesman who knows much of anything about the cars that are on the lot.

    Everyone was misinformed.
  • so my shifter is stuck btw. Reverse and Park...when you depress the button on the shifter to move it fr. gear to gear nothing happens, i can't press it down so the car is stuck in the driveway, therefore my keys are stuck in the ignition. the steering wheel moves just a bit but that's it...
    has this happened to anyone? i'm thinking it's a transmission issue? ugh....the car is only a few yrs old....
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Check to see if the brake light switch is working. If you put on the brakes, do the rear brake lights turn on, releasing the brakes the brake lights turn off.
  • im not home at the moment but i will check that out...if the rear brake lights do come on?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    There are interlocks on transmissions, which prevent putting into gear unless the computer has sensed that the brake is on. It knows the brake is on, based upon the brake switch. If your brake switch isn't working, big clue where to start and may be your problem.
  • great, so if the brake lights don't come on then it could be the interlocks? possibly? i appreciate your time :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think what he means (if I may speak for him) is that the brake light switch is bad, preventing the interlock from working. Having no brake lights would suggest a bad brake light switch. That would be a simple fix. If you have brake lights, then the interlock solenoid itself might be defective, requiring a more involved repair at the gearshift area. Also the brake light switch is fuse-regulated, so check all your fuses.
  • thanks, i appreciate your help...i'll check that out first thing!
  • ok so my brake lights do come on and you can hear the "clicking" the solenoid what is the possibility of corrosion? how about a linkage issue? i live in massachusetts so corrosion would sorta make sense, salt air etc...
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    might be time for a flatbed tow to the dealership
  • Looking for information on the maintenance needed at 85K. What do I need to check, and replace? What do I need to check on the braking and charging system? Is there a manual out for the car yet? Where can I buy the air filter for the battery cooling system besides the dealer? I'd like to do the work myself if I can. Any help would be great
  • I purchased my 2003 Hybrid, used, about 2 years ago. Since then, the IMA and check engine lines have gone on and off intermittenly. When I brought the car to Honda, they told me I needed a brand new hybrid system, at a cost of $4,000. Since the car is still getting well over 40MPG, that was not a cost I was willing to incur. Now, I recently needed to have my car pass emissions testing. They refuse to just hook the car up the old fashioned way, and actually test the output. Instead, they hook they read the computer, and have failed my car because of the check engine and IMA lights.
    When I hooked the car up to a computer, the mechanic asked if my A/C was working (A/C does indeed work just fine) because the external temp gauge was reading incorrectly. Clearly the car just has a ton of computer issues, but given the fact that it drives absolutely fine and my MPG is in the mid to high 40s, I see no reason to dump a ton of money into it to fix a computer problem that has affected nothing other than turning on 2 dashboard lights.

    I am located in CT, and have not been able to come up with any resolution, even when speaking directly to the head of the emissions dept. Has anyone else had a similar problem, or found a resolution?
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