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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    I too have heard a high pitched noise ever since I picked up the vehicle. No body else seems to hear it. I am atuned to it so I hear it quite often and I can be driving at low speeds when I do hear it. I can only assume it is part of the mechanics and the electrical stuff. I have no idea what it relates too and no one can give me a good answer because they don't hear it.
  • Love my '01 Prius. BUT am not pleased with highway handling. Steering wheel does not return to center in slow turns. It doesn't hold a straight line and persists running off center. It is prone to lose tracking with wind and irregular road surfaces.

    Could this be a caster set up situation? The car handles like a dream in town, quick and easy steering, tight radius. Could this mean caster is 180 degrees to produce light steering at the expense of tracking ability on the road?

    Consumer Reports says handlling is "vague"

    Any comments?

    My dealer service dep't checked tire pressure. No other fix or recommendation.

    I repeat, I love my Prius!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 most likely due to the narrow, hard tires that are used on this car [and similarly, the Honda Insight] to minimize fuel consumption. They help in this respect, but hurt when it comes to straight-line tracking.
  • teddy11teddy11 Posts: 4
    I have now had my Prius six months and added on 7500 miles. Time for my first maintenance check. The service dept. performed the oil change and tire rotation although they were unsure how to charge Toyota. (their first warranty service, obviously) They mailed my invoice, which I received today. I was disappointed to find that they used bulk 30 weight oil instead of 10w30. I never thought of mentioning oil viscosity prior to the oil change because when I took the car in for a 3500 mile oil change, they said that they always use 10w30. I'll be ready for them the next time. My dealership is Dayton Toyota of South Brunswick, NJ.

    With that one exception, I am quite pleased with the dealership and very pleased with my Prius. After the Prius experience, I can't understand why anyone would settle for a car that runs its engine while the car is at rest. I find much satisfaction in the knowledge that I am not contributing to pollution when in a traffic jam.
    As to miles per gallon. I am a very conservative driver and get between 42 and 45 miles per gallon. City or highway driving does not appear to make much difference in gasolene consumption. However, I bought this car for the green, the high tech, and the pure fun of it. I have not been disappointed. Just remember, it is a small car and if you get behind a tractor trailer doing over 60 mph, expect the shakes.
  • Just a thought as I was reading about the hard, narrow tires -- how does this puppy handle in the rain, especially quick stops in rain?? We get a lot of the wet stuff in Houston, so such info is especially important to me here. If it's a little tricky, I just want to know about it. My "baby" is due to arrive in November, which I consider especially propitious since I plan to give thanks for its delivery!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Actually, narrower tires are better in the wet than wider, all other things being equal. And while the overall tread compound is indeed biased toward the hard side to provide low rolling resistance, this is not taken to an extreme. You're not going to notice any significant negative effects on wet roads with this car. But the narrow cross-section does make the car vulnerable to crosswinds, which was how this topic came up in the first place. [The relatively slab-sided body design doesn't help either, but it's the "new look" that the industry is currently in love with, so we had better get used to it.]
  • chuzukchuzuk Posts: 1
    In today’s L.A. Times there was an article about tax credits for hybrid cars buyers. Here is a small citation: "The House bill would provide credits of $250 to $4,500 to buyers of hybrids. The amount varies based on several factors, including fuel savings... Under the House bill, the hybrid Durango could qualify for a credit close to $2,500, according to industry officials"

    It does not say how much would be the tax credit for Prius. Any ideas? Also it is very important for me to know if I buy the car before the bill is passed to the law (currently it is headed to the Senate) will I still get my credit? Several thousand dollars is a significant amount to take into consideration when buying a car.

    Any information is appreciated. My Prius is coming in November.
  • At one year old my Prius has developed a thunk on medium braking at 25 mph, and a softer thunk on acceleration from a stop. Dealer can replicate the problem, has tightened and greased "all" front end parts, but thunks remain. Dealer says problem must get worse before they can really diagnose. Any like experiences or advice on what may be making the noises?

    Mike DZ
  • I would like to know if anyone has run into the problems I have with my Toyota dealer. I went to him this past May to place an order for the Prius. The sales person, did not know how much it would cost, what options if any I could get or when the car would be here.
    I placed the order on the 25th of May and found out that the 2002 models started on the 28th of May. My sales person only knew of any info on the Prius when I showed him what I had down loaded to my Palm unit. I called him about 4 weeks ago and asked him to verify what year I would be getting since the order was so close to the change date. I received a phone call that says that the consensus of the dealership was that I would be getting a 2002 but he did not know what accessories I would be getting. I originally order a cd player and cruise control which I was told had to be installed by the dealer for about $550.00. To date, I still don't know when the car is coming or anything else, I do know that we had to change the color of our car. This was 4 days after the order was placed.
    Has anyone run into this lack of knowleged by your sales people.
  • I went to the nearest Toyota dealer last May to order the Prius. This sales person and his co-workers had little if any information on this car. Fortuently I had, and down loaded Edmund's info to my palm pilot. I went ahead and ordered the car on the 25th of May. On the 28th of May Toyota started taking the orders for the 2002. Today is Sept. 19 and all I have received from Toyota is an owners manual for a 2001. I have been in contact with the sales person and he said that by a group agreement of his co-workers I should be getting a 2002. I had already informed him that I wanted to cancel the order and put my order for the 2002 since it had all the extra's I wanted. They were going to charge me $550.00 to install the cruise control.
    I would like to know from the Prius owners if their sales person had any more knowledge of this car then mine did.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Unfortunately, your experience is not unique. It is quite possible that you will end up with a 2002, but if you do, it will be equipped exactly as your order for the 2001 meaning no cruise control. Our dealership had a ton of 2001 orders in May and many of those have moved into the new model year since Toyota was not able to ship enough 2001s to fill the orders. This isn't a bad deal for the consumer since the price didn't increase but it does mean you are still getting one without some newly available features.

    For others thinking about an order, I will repeat advice I have given before. Shop for the right salesman and dealer. This makes all the difference in the world. There are numerous horror stories of ill-informed salesmen making this much more difficult than it needs to be. If you lack confidence in your salesman's ability to process the order correctly, find another one. Don't put your money down until you find one that knows his stuff.
  • HER stuff, Cliffy.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Oops. Sorry ma'am. ;) I stand corrected as usual.
  • Just an up date to my previous post. I called the salesman today and he said my car should be in sometime with in the next 2 weeks. Accordingly, he said that is when it should reach port. When asked which port, he didn't know.
    I got my PR number from him and called Toyota's customer service department. Here's what they said.
    They car was built in July, remember I ordered it at the end of May. The delivery is something like 3 to 4 months AFTER it is built. This places the time some where between Oct and Nov. They couldn't tell me what year as there has been no VIN number assigned the my car yet. The port is LA Beach and the vehicle will be sent either by rail or truck(?). They still don't know what is going on.
    Unfortuently, I had check with several dealers nearby and this was the only one that was dealing with the Prius.
    I will look at the car when it gets here and I will probably turn it down and reorder a 2002 with all I want. I just rechecked on the options and the one's I want will cost me less then the $550.00 for just a cruise control being put in. The vehicle I have now has no problems other then the gas, so if I keep it for a few more months, I will still be ok.
    Cliff, thanks for the feed back
  • If there is a car that was not yet assigned to you... and it has no VIN# then it is a 2002 model already. There really is only a slim chance it might be a 2001. Matter of fact, I'd bet the farm it's a 2002.
    To cancel and re-order in your state (TX?) is a 4-5 more month wait. This might be what a lot of salespeople unschooled and unskilled with Prius are not telling you, unless you have yet to ask them if a cancel and re-order makes a large impact on your obtaining a car. Shame that every single dealership can't just assign =one= person who knows their stuff, internet and otherwise, to handle Prius.
  • Yea, I know about the delay. The sales person told me about it before I originally put in the order. I also found out about it by having read a lot of this chat board on the Prius. I have no qualms in waiting another 5 months to get what I want and to save money in the long run. I realize that there is a $2000 rebate on my taxes for the federal and I am trying to find out about my state, which, by the way currently happens to be New York. Long story about the Texasowl, but I did live there for 20years..:)
    Anyway, have a nice day, or weekend.
  • Have you ever handled transfer of a prius order between regions? That is, if I move from TN to Idaho, 2000 mi.or so, in Nov. and car is supposed to arrive in Dec./Jan. [Aug. 2 order date] it would be most impractical to try to finish order back in TN at that time. Called the National Assistance Center and they referred me back to the dealer??? Thanks for any info you could provide!
    Nashville, TN
  • I was recently discussing the Prius with a mechanic friend of mine and he said that they just had one in the day before for new tires. He went on to say that he found out the tires are experimental and that they could only be purchased from Firestone and he had to give the customers name, mileage, and VIN number to be able to order them.
    Does anyone know of this or was I being BS'd to?
    Thanks for the feed back.
  • Cliffy, you seem to be one of the most knowledgeable people in the country when it comes to the Prius so I'm asking you but if anyone else wants to answer, I'd appreciate it. I've been driving carefully (slowly, not accelerating quickly) but I can't crack 40 mpg while driving around my neighborhood. I get about 43 when I'm on the highway but around town it's about 38 in general and often 28 when making short hops. Does this make sense or is it possible my battery isn't doing what it should? The dealer says it's because of additives in the gas here in California but it's a big difference between the estimates of 52 mpg and my reality of 28-38. Any thoughts? I'd be grateful.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Let me make sure I understand your situation. You ordered the car in TN but are now moving to ID right? Your move will happen before your Prius will arrive and you want to see about Toyota switching dealers for the delivery. That's a tough one and I've not run into this. Contrary to what you were told, the dealer will not have any control over this and you need to address Toyota directly. I suspect they will tell you you need to cancel your original order and place a new one but this will set you back 5 months. I wish I could help more.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Fuel additives will affect things, but your situation seems pretty extreme. My first question would be how are you calculating the mileage? I know this sounds remedial, but I've heard all kinds of similar stories where people don't do this right. If you are calculating it correctly by taking the total miles driven divided by the number of gallons you put in, you need to talk to the service DIRECTOR at your dealership. Often, the service writer will not be as "in touch" as the director is.

    If you don't have success with the Director, take it to another dealership if you can before proceeding further. Without progress, your next call is to Toyota to ask for their intervention. Call 800-GO-TOYOTA.
  • engin2engin2 Posts: 8
    Hello Prius Owners, what's the waiting time for an order going in till actually receiving your new car?

    Thanks for your help........Engin2
  • I love my prius, but I've had two flat tires since I bought it in February. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
  • hyde6hyde6 Posts: 4
    To nhthomps: my Prius had all four tires in need of replacement at six months into owning the car. The paperwork says Firestone covers the replacement in full for the first year.

    I just called Firestone. They say that only applies if I bought the tires directly from Firestone. They also say the tires died because the car is really heavy with the weight of the battery. Does this mean I should buy the next set of tires from them so they'll be covered under the warranty, rather than from a discounter like Costco, on the grounds that I should expect them to die fast? Meantime, this may be part of why you had your flat tires. Good luck...
  • hyde6hyde6 Posts: 4
    A correction: it was just the back tires. But to make clear: that means Firestone refuses to honor any warranty on any new Prius tires. I called another Firestone place and got told the same thing. The Toyota dealership told me to bring the car in to them, THEY'D replace the tires and bill Firestone.

    You'd think Firestone had had enough P.R. problems lately to learn not to go around dissing their customers like this.
  • I have read that the warranty is not from Firestone but from Toyota. Have you tried to submit the receipts to Toyota? It is part of their road hazard warranty on their new cars. I have read on other prius' boards that they received money back with in a month after submitting their claim.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The tires are warranted through Bridgestone/Firestone, not Toyota. The warranty is pretty basic though and just warrants against defects. There is no treadlife warranty, nor are road hazards covered.
  • I have just placed a tentative order for a Prius. I am concerned about a few things: 1) people have posted that tires have been problematic; please elaborate if this is a general problem with the car or if just one person had bad luck; 2) will purchases made in 2002 (that's when mine is supposed to arrive) qualify for tax incentives? the Toyota website said that purchases made by Dec. 31, 2001 would qualify for a $2000 tax deduction (rebate?), but there is nothing about 2002 puchases; 3) how long will HOV restrictions in VA be lifted for Prius owners; how can I know that the law won't change next year (or next month for that matter) that would take away this benefit; 4) does anyone know if Prius owners are exempted from personal property tax in Virginia?

    Thanks for any information anyone can provide. These are answers we need before deciding to make this important purchase.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Here in VA, I think the HOV benefit runs until 2004 or 2006. I can't remember which. As with any law, you are at the mercy of the legislature, but I honestly doubt there will be any negative changes. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they extended that when it does come up for renewal. Virginia is having troubles complying with clean air requirements and anything they can do to encourage more hybrid sales will be look upon favorably.

    Hybrids are not exempt from the personal property tax. If current budget plans remain in effect, all cars will escape this tax on the first $20K of assessed value by next year. The current elections could impact this pretty heavily. Early seems fairly committed to keeping the current schedule but Warner may have other ideas.
  • Let me clear up the confusion about exactly how the Prius is allocated to the customers by Toyota. Toyota does not build this vehicle to spec based on each individual customer's order. When you place your order, all you have done is reserve a vehicle. It is produced the same as any other conventional vehicle in that they are assembled in batches of colors & different configurations of equipment, then shipped to the U.S. & matched with the customer's order. That is why some are taking delivery within 30 days & some as long as 6 months. Therefore it is impossible for a dealer or salesperson to track an order & anyone who tells you they can is delusional. The dealer is not aware until the vehicle is placed in their inventory as sea stock, which means the vehicle is about 2 weeks away from being in the dealership. I contact my distributor several times a week & find out what is coming in & assist them in matching my customer's request so that nothing falls through the cracks. Our dealership has assigned myself as the Prius Account Executive & one of my jobs is to make certain that my customers receive their orders in a timely fashion. The date you receive your owners manual & calculator means nothing. Your best bet is to find a dealer that sells alot of these cars & has someone on staff that is knowledgeable & has a vested interest in making certain the orders are matched.
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