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Prius Owners w/50K - What We Think Now



  • 04 Prius with 107K miles and just finished a near 3K trip to the East Coast. The car has been phenominal in so many ways. I can't begin to praise the little blue hybrid enough. Tranny has been flawless. Milage consistantly 45-48 mpg's. My only complaint....the interior beige cloth shows alot of dirt and I try to keep it clean but seem to be losing the battle and the darn Rr rug just won't stay put. It crimps up and won't stay in it's place. I started this topic way back and have enjoyed the input of so many Prius owners. I really can't think of a car from my past (50 plus) that ever achieved this satisfaction level. ;) Happy Motoring!
  • We have an '08 Prius that we love, as well. We live in a rural area and track dirt and junk into our vehicles on a regular basis, so early on I invested in a set of Weathertech floor liners. They're expensive, but boy do they work. Check I took out our factory carpet mats and have them stored away. I also took off those plastic trim rings on the alloy wheels. Why they put them on there I sure don't know. I think the car looks better without them. We also have that beige cloth interior. Yes, it sure does pick up dirt if you don't watch it. My mother in law liked our Prius so much, she bought one for herself, but she has the charcoal interior. Sure wish we did. Ours is Barcelona red with the beige interior. Maybe you should remove the mat(s) that curl up and lay them on a flat surface upside down with a heavy weight on them. Worth a try.
  • Bought used with 49k miles, our 2003 Prius is just passing 121k miles. Lifetime: 52.1 MPG on the original traction battery; replaced the 12 VDC battery last year; now on second set of tires. It is quiet, efficient, and just works.

    My wife's car is the 2010 Prius just coming upon 5k miles. It is getting 53.2 MPG and is a much, much roomier and more comfortable ride. It does great cross-country drives.

    So we are a two Prius family with a Coachman RV ... need to run it about once a year just to keep it from rusting up solid.

    Bob Wilson
  • I've got a new 2009 Prius. At just over 3000 miles it began to exude an odor like burning plastic. Odor got strong enough to permeate clothing and make my eyes burn. Dealer has tried 3X to figure out what's causing it. Third time they had the car a week...Toyota tech suggested they use an odonizer (device to remove odors, normally used on homes w/flood damage). An hour after I got the car back, the odor returned.

    I contacted Toyota corporate, and they've advised me that their position is that this is considered normal. This in spite of the fact that my dealer's service manager states that this is not what he considers a normal or typical odor for a Prius. (I've seen reports of odors from battery gassing and mildew in the A/C....this is neither.)

    Toyota's stance is that my burning eyes and other adverse reactions are my own personal health issues, despite the svc mgr confirming that the car gave =him= a headache. Toyota has agreed to schedule a field svc tech to look at the car, which could take up to a month. In the interim, they've stated it's my problem, and they will neither provide a loaner vehicle nor otherwise help.

    I've only found one other report of this type of odor, and am hoping others can confirm the experience. Toytota's stance is that I'm welcome to file suit and/or go to the media, but they are unwilling to do anything more. :lemon:
  • Now, with over 110K miles on my '04 Prius, I give this blog a status report of my hybrid car.
    3rd set of tires....3rd set of wipers (all around)....regular oil changes every 5-6K miles.....(to my amazment) same brakes.....tranny is super smooth and that too is so unexpected by comparison with other cars I've had thru the yrs. I've heard of several PRIUS hybrids with over 150K miles and running strong. One last note....This is the 1st car that I've owned that has litterally been trouble free for 6 yrs. Can't say that of any other of my 50 plus cars from the past. Oh! I still get 47-49 mpg's most of the time. Take good care of a Prius and it will take good care of you. ;)
  • I have nothing really significant against Toyota (I'm looking at a Prius), except when I hear stories such as this. Keep us informed. Toyota has developed a reputation for reliability and cust service that puts them on a pedestal. It results in better than average resale value. It doesn't mean the stories are all positive and true, just that Toyota image comes across as better than the others.

    It takes a long time to develop a reputation but only a short time to lose it and that is a truism. Toyota developed their reputation before the internet was as pervasive. Stories on forums such as this at Edmunds and those such as the floor mats jamming accelerator, etc will chip away very quickly at the reputation. If I was Toyota I'd have someone on this and resolve it to your total satisfaction. Those who have problems today have a voice and if they feel wronged they will use it again and again.
  • While we're on this subject I'd like to point out a few things. 6 yrs plus on an '04 Prius and I know a few things about the floor mats. As I see it, there are a few issues to address. One, the Prius stock mats are designed with hold hooks to keep the mats set in proper place. If the owner chooses and fails to properly set the mats in the "hooks" then it is possible for the mats to ride up under the accellerater pedal. Two, the issue of adding additional "winter" mats that can move from repeated wear & tear can become part of the problem too.
    If there is another problem I'm not aware of then perhaps there in lies other issues. I would also note that the Lexus seems to have other technical issues that I've seen in other bulletins.
  • Not long after we bought our 08 Prius a couple years ago, I ordered a full set of WeatherTech floor liners. ( By so doing, I removed the factory carpet mats and eliminated any potential carpet sliding issues. We live where there are no paved streets and we tend to track in dirt, so we really needed the floor liners. They are custom formed for each vehicle. They are also pricey, around $180 or so for a full set. I really am glad I bought them, they save the carpets.
  • We bought a 2003 Prius, used, in 2005 and since then, added 75,000 miles. So far, I keep on smiling. We're going through the winter slump but last October on the 4th anniversary year, the lifetime mileage was still above 52 MPG.

    We also bought a 2010 Prius, new last Spring, my wife's car. We're only at 9.5k miles but couldn't be happier. It is the errands and out of town trip car.

    Bob Wilson
  • johng16johng16 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    Bought new, I finally got to start driving it last Fall when we got my wife another car (2010 Corolla, couldn't afford another Prius - darn!). Except for an accident it was in, I have NEVER had to take it to the dealer for any repairs or defects. Still on 2nd set of tires. Have replaced wiper blades once, and air filter a few times. Oil changes every 5K miles rounds it out. I thought I would have to replace the front brake disc pads after 100K miles, as my wife hits the brakes pretty heavily, but they were hardly worn. I didn't think about the regenerative braking taking most of the force. I drive different places for my job, and get reimbursed mileage, so I am really profiting from this car compared to my old Nissan Pickup that only got about 25 mpg. Without ever trying to drive the Prius to get better mileage, my wife averaged 47 - 48 mpg. I can easily get over 50 mpg by following some of the tips for driving the Prius on the hypermiling websites, and taking it easy with acceleration.

    I agree with someone who mentioned that the beige interior shows all the dirt and stains. Mine looks pretty rough. I will not get that interior color again. I also looked at the floor mats after I got the notice from Toyota last Fall. I don't see how it could be a problem as long as you have the mats that came with the car, and keep them hooked in place.

    I wouldn't trade my Prius for anything. I'm going to keep it for as long as it runs. It has been great reading all these posts by other happy Prius owners. :)
  • I started this "Site" some time ago and have enjoyed the comments of alot of satisfied owners. I own an '04 with about 116K and am most happy to state for the record....My Prius stands far suoerior to all other cars I've owned (51 cars). What else can one say but move back in '03 buying one. ;)
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    johng16: Your posting sounds precisely like my experience with our '08 Prius. We have had NO issues of any kind. We are at about 45k miles right now. We have the same beige interior and yes, it is irritating how easily it gets dirty. Early on, I bought a set of floor liners for the car that replaces, not covers over, the factory carpet mats. They work really well. We average around 45-46 most of the time, with an occasional 50+ or 39 during bad weather. We love our Prius. Our former 05 Corolla would, on occasion, get in the high 40 mpg area, so when we eventually need to replace the Prius, a Corolla might once again work for us. However, given the current situations with Toyota, a Hyundai Elantra or Sonata might be a possibility. Or Honda Fit.
  • John hello!

    I have 115K on my 2007. My 07 is a silverpine/bisque package 6 (leather, NAV) and have had the headlamps problem - the two HIDs were replaced by Toyota (one went at 88K, the other at 92k) and when it hit 114K, my check engine light came on and stayed on. Turned out to be a bad ECU. Toyota replaced that free (the part that is, I paid labor) and otherwise, no other problems. I consider it to be almost problem free! And, for 115K high-speed miles on the 405 freeway, it's been a very reliable car!

  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    We used to have a 2005 Corolla with the same kind of so-called "carpeting" that our 2008 Prius has. It feels like paperboard with fuzzy flocking on it. That is what I visualize when I think of carpeting. Does anyone know what that stuff is? It's weird! :confuse:
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I meant to say, this stuff does NOT remind me of carpeting, traditional carpeting, like cut pile or loop pile. It looks like "how cheaply can we cover the floor and get away with it?" Disappointing from a first line auto company.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Posts: 560
    My love and appreciation of the Prius has taken me through so many yrs without a serious problem until now. My maindash computer/screen began to show false notices and pop in and out with various miss info. This particular issue was one I feared from the inception of my purchase. Cost to replace this unit (out of warrantee) nearly $ 1,000.00 and it comes with only a 1 yr warrantee. Other than that issue...NO PROBLEMS to speak of.

    Note: The dash computer issue must be addressed in one other fashon. Too complex and also way too many controls under it's computer...thus when it goes out you are helpless to operate the; fan speed, temp, AC, direction of compartment air, etc. Come on Toyota......Get smart! ...K I S S: Keep It Simple Silly. ;)
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I recall that people were complaining about having to jump through electronic hoops just to change the temp or fan speed, etc. So...for the 2010 models, Toyota took those controls off the screen. Good idea. It does make one weary of the over-the-top techie approach to everything, sometimes. I enjoy driving my old 1996 Toyota T-100 with its ordinary-everything approach. I love our Prius, however. :)
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Posts: 560
    I too think that technology can run amuck when reasonable rational gets lost in the ..."how creatively complex can I make basic controls." I wrote Toyota about my concerns when I had to replace the main screen/computer @ a cost of nearly $1,000.00 at 119 K miles (out of warrantee of course). In their letter of response they actually said how they develope and advance technology as if that the more technical the car is the better it is. DUH!!! They can't seem to see the forest for the trees. Get my drift? Simple still makes sense Toyota. Wake up!! You've got a great car in the PRIUS. Don't screw it up!!
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Thanks for the nice essay.
    Jumping the battery is easy if you use the special terminal under the hood not the actual 12V battery down under in the back. It only has to be connected for a few seconds until the computer starts when the big traction battery takes over.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I have exactly the same issues.You hit the nail on the head.That dash,especially the speedo are ridiculous when the sun hits it.I mostly use the speed on my GPS(Garmin) to see what speed I'm driving at.Mine is a 2007 and I bought it used.I guess I have a complaint about the City MPG,it's only around 30 although on the highway it's plenty good enough.Always over 45.
  • Since my last posting (#188), nothing significant happened that require Prius technician service. This summer my mileage did go down to 42mpg average. This probably is a result of the ICE showing some signs of wear, the main battery pack not holding a charge as it used to be, and also the AC was used extensively. At one point, I hear engine knock when I'm going uphill. I switch to premium grade gas which eliminated it but I also notice that my mileage did not go up. I've moved back to regular grade and did not hear any engine knock. I may have filled up with bad gas at that time.

    I've replaced another set of tires. The brake pads are still good for another 50k. For those of you that have over 100K miles, check your rear brake shoes or have them replaced.

    I do keep a car for an average of 10 years before I replace it with another one. If no major incident happens from now till late '13, I estimate the Prius to have gone way past the 300K miles.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    :) That sounds really great! What year is your geezer Prius?
  • As I close in on 150K I have such satisfaction & praise for this $ saving, dependable hybrid vehicle I must thank my decision way back when so many nay-sayers blasted the Prius as a flash-in-the-pan concept car.
    There are some points to share about the Prius worth mentioning. Brakes seem to last forever unlike any car I've ever seen. Old school taught me to change my oil myself but in addition to that and good filters I learned to add a 1/2 can of STP. I was impressed with the story how STP made such a difference during the 2nd World War by the Germans and their mechanized equipment. A product that delivered longevity for serious wear & tear. Just a thought to share w/ you. :shades:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
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  • My 2006 Prius has 89,000 miles on it. My passenger headlight started flickering and dying about 6 months ago; it does not illuminate now. The driver light is sometimes dying; no flickering like the passenger side used to. I just turn the light off and on in order to get the illumination back (but at a lower brightness). The postings that I've read suggest that Toyota would be willing to pay for, or at least discount my costs for repair. Is it sufficient to deal just with the Toyota dealership, or do I need to talk to Toyota Corp.?


    David in San Diego
  • I'm unaware of coverage for a hd lt bulb and while I've replaced 3 hd lt bulbs in 8 yrs on my '04 Prius I must say that the method of replacing a bulb is next to brain surgury to say the least. Toyota makes it a task of major difficulty. No one ever said that they keep things simple. They just don't. Truth be known.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Oh, swell. Now I have something to look forward to... :(
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Replacing light bulbs would be considered maintenance.I seriously doubt that Toyota would pay anything.Let us know if it's otherwise.
  • No car seems to accomplish perfection (although I think if they would REALLY listen to auto owners they could come alot closer). I love and am amazed by the Prius and its inovative difference to all other cars. I have over 136K miles and original brakes, muffler, both batteries and nary any repairs or replacement of parts. Oil changes, tires, filters and wiper blades are my only expenditures after over 8 yrs of ownership. No other car has come anywhere even close to this remarkable success. That's over 50 vehicles. Nuf said.
  • gwmortgwmort Posts: 22
    My 2003 prius is now up to 164,000 miles, and still on the original HV battery, but it is dying a slow and painful death.

    For about the last 30,000 miles or so I would get random error messages when first starting the car that would disappear later in the day once the battery had built some more charge up again. I really can't afford to sink a lot into repairs so I have avoided going to the dealer.

    At some point the car started to not go into reverse "gear" any longer. Remember there is no traditional mechanical transmission and even what there is the ICE doesn't operate the car in reverse, its all electric. My research and best efforts to troubleshoot have led me to believe that reverse in particular relies on certain specific cells in the HV battery, and I may have lost some of those. Luckily, having no mechanical reverse transmission makes it effectively in neutral in reverse and I am generally able to stick my foot out the drivers door and "flintstone" out of most spots, and I learned to always look for pull throughs and what not.

    Now I am having trouble getting the car going in the mornings (especially since winter came back this year). The ICE stalls shortly after starting, and not the normal going in to standby until needed, if I pull away in electric it never comes on no matter how fast I try to go it just depletes the battery. So I pull over and restart it.

    My morning routine is then: 1. Start car, it stalls but is still "on"; 2. Try to put it in reverse (chances are presently 1 in 3); 3. regardless of whether it actually goes in reverse my driveway is steep enough to roll on gravity into the street, then pull in front of house on electric power; 4. Turn off car, wait about 30 sec and restart, get into drive and gun it to have some gas flowing and things go fine from there.

    If I drive for 2-3 hours in a particular day I can usually restart it and have no warnings or alarms and actually have reverse the rest of that day, but it starts all over the next.

    I really love my Prius, other than the above its never given me a bit of mechanical trouble, and its been paid off for years. I'm thinking if I never replace the HV battery it will eventually just become more or less a 4 cylinder conventional car with no reverse. I have a Volt on order and now need to decide to sell the Prius or get it fixed up and given to my son. I'm thinking spending a few grand on the repairs might be better investment in an otherwise reliable old car then taking some unknown for him off a used car lot. Either way I am just hoping she can make it another 8 months til my Volt arrives.

    This is the longest I have ever owned a car and do not regret my purchase at all.
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