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Prius Owners w/50K - What We Think Now



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    100,000 miles or so is about young middle age for a Toyota. At 250,000 miles they probably ready for retirement. I've had several that have needed nothing but normal maintenance until well above 100,000 mi.

    Regards the Prius the actual maintenance is probably less than any traditional car; no timing belts, plugs at 100K+, brakes lasting upwards of 200,000 mi. Basically it's oil/filters and air filters on a regular basis. Then wear items.

    But... all new vehicles are just an assembly of mini-computers. These ECU units are just like your laptop. There might be as many as 20-40 of them in any modern vehicle....and the warranty on these units is limited to 36 mos / 36000 miles. The Prius units have been remarkably failure-free. But this is a personal decision of whether to get a 7 yr / 100,000 mile wrap around Vehicle Service Agreement or to self-insure your vehicle.

    At 72000 mi I've done nothing to mine except repair phycial damange from being hit.
  • One major factor that stood out when deciding as to purchasing or not, a Prius in the early yrs, was ..."will the complex and computer filled Prius prove reliable long after the warrantee is expired?" I'm releaved to report (as most other owners) It is a tried & true car of a very high degree of longevity and dependability. I have 75K and nary a problem to report. I just hope the 3rd Generation comes along soon and excites me as much as this one. Those seriously considering one should give the Prius a test drive. It is the key to seeing how worthy the car is.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    We have a 2008 Prius and the display screen has (of course) lots of fingerprints on it, but also has a real static/dust problem. Anybody have any good ideas to keep that clingy dust off the screen and dash, for that matter? :confuse:
  • I have the same problem. At Costco or other club store you can buy a large box of the small eye glasses wipes. I keep them in my car and wipe down the screen as needed.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Thanks! Someone has suggested used fabric softener sheets, but that didn't really do it. I hadn't thought of eyeglass wipes. Great idea!
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I just found this site last week and I surely do enjoy all of your comments. I know that my new Prius is a very complicated machine and it is a bit scary to think what "could" happen. But so many of your comments are reassuring as to reliability and longevity of the Prius that my mind is now at ease. I can fully relax and enjoy our new car. Love that Barcelona red! We traded a 2005 Corolla that had over 80k miles on it (we bought it new) for the Prius. We really likedthe Corolla, but it was a CE model with no options and the Prius is well equipped by comparison, so It's been a real treat for us. The interior is beautiful, but that upholstery does look fragile, doesn't it? Apparently, from what some of you have written, though, that it's actually easy to clean. We have the biscuit-colored fabric. I kind of wince when I get in to sit down with my blue jeans on. Almost like it's too nice to sit on. Toyota quality is legendary and we are happy owners. Keep on posting!
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I didn't know that the complete battery replacement charge had dropped to $3200, and sure didn't know that the individual cells can be replaced as opposed to the entire thing. Enjoy your positive outlook throughout your postings. :)
  • The seats are great and the car is easy to keep clean, however be very very carefull of the interior plastics. They scratch very easy. The insides of my doors are all scratched up as well as the plastic in the hatch area. The paint also chips very easy. In defense of the car I drive 100-200 miles a day and get in and out of it many times a day, but the plastic and paint are still cheap.
  • I started this particular "Topic" for everyone to appreciate the perspectives of "owners with high milage Prius's." I found myself very much interested in what owners of high milage cars had to say about this unique hybrid car both pro & con. I first came across owner/operaters of taxi cab Prius's in Vancouver B.C. With very high miles (120K - 150K) They were extreamly pleased with their hybrids. Literally exclaiming how the Prius saved their jobs when gas went ballistic. Recently I met someone actually older than me at a movie parking lot sitting next to my '04 Prius with his '04 Prius (thought they might mate and make baby Prii's ha! ha!). He had 132K and spouted what I always seem to hear...."Great Car!!" I've learned alot from other owners and it seems to be a bottomless pit of happy owners. Seems to be a pattern of smiling folks in "Hybridland."
  • gwmortgwmort Posts: 22
    5-1/2 years and 98,000 miles, no mechanical issues or complaints, but I am on my 4th set of tires.

    I find if I go too fast they fail, so I never push the rated speed anymore. I have always loved it and knew from early on with the Prius that my next car would be a Prius.

    (Hoping for a PHEV model soon, will keep mine a few more years if need be to wait)
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    Dear gwmort,
    Can you expand on your tire wear experience. I am awaiting my Touring Prius and have heard some issues with Tire wear. The tires seem to have a "V" speed rating which seems to indicate a higher speed tire.
    Are you running "V" rated tires?
    What do you mean by "I never push the rated speed anymore"?? Can you expand on this some more?

    Also, can anyone out there suggest a good 3 season tire for when my first set wears out?
    Good meaning: >=50K miles on a set, good 3 season traction, low rolling resistance and lower noise?

  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Go with a set of Michelin HydroEdge tires. 800 rated for treadwear, 90,000 mile tread wear out warranty. We got ours at Costco, which is cheaper than WalMart.
    HyroEdge is Michelin's lowest rolling resistance tire, by the way. They are wonderful where it rains a lot or for slushy surfaces. Combine those attributes with your traction and stability control, your ABS, and you've got a winning combination!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    So you have the older model. The first model sold in the USA?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Unless gwmort was exaggerating slightly regarding the age of his/her car, it must be the older (NHW11) model.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    The reason I asked is the tires on the first model were a real expensive oddball. I know a friend that wore out two sets before he found a good alternative. He had to special order the OEMs from the Firestone store. He ran on his spare for two weeks when one of the OEMS failed. The new Prius seems to do much better on tires.
  • ginnyernsginnyerns Posts: 2
    My 2007 Prius stopped running at 5000 miles....Toyota won't fix under warranty. Say I jump started it I get to foot the minimum $4800 bill.
    This does not make me as happy as I was the day I bought it.
    Had mechanic walk me thru the jump....and I know difference between red and black. So why did the car die in the first less than 1 yr old. How could one do $4800 worth of damage anyway on a jump start. Anyone have any ideas of how to get Toyota to fix my sick car under warranty.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    We all feel sorry for you. So, under what conditons did the Prius stop running? You came out in the morning, and it did not start? The gas engine did not some on? What happened when you pushed the start button? What error messages did you get? Why did you have to Jump the car? Did you jump the 12V battery - I assume? Was it dead? (zero volts) - I would guess you have a bad cell in the ELECTRIC battery - or more than 1 bad cell. Clearly that voltage was not up to par.. but I don't think you would try to jump start that battery.. you can't get enough voltage. What damage is the dealer saying was done? Is the battery now 'reversed polarity' from being discharged to low? Was there any warning signs before this happened? Even if you lost 1 cell in the Electric battery, I would think the car would still run under the remaining power.. but perhaps poorly.

    I'm sure we would all like to get as much info as possible on this failure.

  • peakoilpeakoil Posts: 8
    I bought a little (4" high) bottle of eyeglasses cleaner spray, and keep that and a minipak of Kleenex in the glove box. The wipes someone mentioned are probably a bit simpler to use.
  • rickoricko Posts: 22
    I am looking to buy a used Prius and needed to know if there are any model years that I need to stay away from due to problems. Thanks for you help. ricklo
  • The current generation seems to have no issues at all. Not to sure about the first model. But why used? Many are selling used for as much as a new one or more. Heck I'll sell you my 07 that has 30,000 miles for what I paid for it, and I know here in California I can get more that I paid for it right now.
  • With nearly 80K miles on an '04 Prius I'd say ..."Good Luck finding a used Prius (2nd Generation '04-08). I can't see buying an '03 or older unless it was at a great price. As with the other comment, I'd say ...put down a down-payment on a new one and wait for delivery. Used ones are going for premium prices (when you can find em).This last dollar in gas increase to over 4 bucks has made Prius owners one up on everyone else as I see it. I've saved in access of $10,000.00 in 4 plus yrs over a V8 sedan that averaged about 16 mpg.
    By the way...I've seen a few used (damaged Prius) on ebay and/or auto finder listings, that could be a handman's special and save mega bucks if you're good at auto repair. Lastly...It might not be a bad idea to wait a few months and get an '09 Prius with what ever it may hold in styling and tech. improvements.
  • ginnyernsginnyerns Posts: 2
    Have an 07 with 5000 miles on it that I want to sell. Live near Boise Idaho if any one is interested. What would be a fair price. Ginny
  • Ginny, I would put that car on E-bay with a reserve of what you paid for the car. Here in Los Angeles I'm seeing used 07's selling for $30,000. As much as I love my Prius I'm thinking it is time to sell it. The $8,000 more that I paid for it buys a lot of gas in a Honda Civic. Let me know what you get for it if you sell.
  • I have an '07 Prius with 13000 mi. A little quirk developed a couple of wks ago. If I go over a big bump there's a good chance my "Audio" screen will change to the "Consumption" screen ! I have also noticed... but not recently... a radio channel can also change over a big bump in the road ... this only happened once or twice...but my driveway has a large dip where it joins the street and if I'm not going v-e-r-y slow that screen jumps to "Consumption"! Anyboby have any ideas on this ? A friend suggests something may be loose (?)....thanks
  • Your friend is right. Sounds like something is just loose.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Consumer Reports showed the '03 Prius (last year of the first generation Prius) as having a lot of reported electrical problems. I have an '08, myself. The current version, of which the '08 is the last one, is rated very high in every category by Consumers, and in fact is their most-recommended family sedan!
  • Thanks...guess I'll have to have Toyota take a peek....B
  • kjhansenkjhansen Posts: 11
    OK, OK, it appears Prius owners are completely happy with their cars! I get it. I have read through nearly all the replys to this "Prius owners with 50K miles" posting. Isn't there ANY Prius owner who have had problems with their big Hybrid batteries?

    I own a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. The "Integrated Motor Assist" battery had to be replaced after only 60K miles. Of course this was covered under warranty by Honda. However, the next replacement will have to be covered by my at a cost of $2000.00!! In addition to this I have had the car in to the dealer for at least a dozen other warranty repairs. Also, the local dealer is quite inept at repairs and needs to do them multiple times to get them correct.

    Anyway, I really like the idea of a Hybrid car and I would like to replace my Civic Hybrid with one of Toyota's Hybrids, but I'm skeptical about Hybrid reliability, etc from the bad experience with the Civic Hybrid. I'm wondering why Toyota's Hybrid batteries seem to last longer than Honda's. They are the same Nickel Metal Hydride type of battery.
  • I bought mine used. It's actually worth more than I bought it for now, which is unheard of for a used vehicle.

    It's a 2004 model with about 65K on it. When we bought it last year, it had about 40K. So you can see that we're big drivers.

    What I've seen is that get's much worse gas mileage in the winter than in the summer. Not that it's bad. I get between 40 and 45 mpg during the winter and between 55 and 60 mpg in the summer time between fill-ups. This is probably because the car has to take longer to warm up and Utah puts ethanol in the gasoline during the winter to cut down on greenhouse gases while we have the inversion layer in the Utah and Salt Lake valleys. I suspect that the ethanol is about half the reason for the dramatic drop in mpg. Then again, short trips really kill the mileage because the car never gets a chance to warm and it continually tries to warm up every time you turn it on, wasting gas (which drives me nuts).

    Everything else is great but I think that if the warm-up period were more efficient, it would greatly increase the efficiency of the system as a whole.

    The only maintenance I've had to do on the car is that I accidentally put the wrong kind of coolant in the system and had to have it flushed -- very expensive.

    I've also replaced in the cabin air filter, also more expensive that I like. Let's just say it cost more than the $5 I wanted to spend, but when it's full of leaves and dust, you kind of have to think it might be a must. No, the thing was $25 -- not expensive but way over priced for some fibers and plastic.

    As for the person who has only changed their air filter for the engine air intake, not changing that regularly can shorten your vehicles life due to increased stress on the system. Since the Prius only needs an oil change every 5,000 miles, you should check your air filter every time you change your oil. Still, I need to consult my manual about what routine maintenance I'm due for, particularly how often I should change the air filter.

    One piece of advice for saving just a little more on gas, keep your tank full. Then you'll only pay the higher prices to top off your tank. It's a difference of paying extra $.05 more for 2 to 4 gallons instead of 7 to 10 gallons.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    I'm wondering why Toyota's Hybrid batteries seem to last longer than Honda's. They are the same Nickel Metal Hydride type of battery.

    It could be that you were just very unlucky to need a replacement battery. It's also possible that Toyota is able to do a better job of keeping the battery charge level within the range that promotes long battery life.

    I've never really considered this before but Toyota have the ability to charge the battery almost any time they want to whereas, as far as I'm aware, Honda only charges the battery with energy recaptured from braking/deceleration. It's also reasonable to assume though that if Honda has a battery at or near the lower limit of charge they won't call on it to deliver power.
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