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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • I only need two (as I've had two flats and thus had 2 replaced by the dealership) ... I can't stand the Bridgestone Potenza RE92's that the dealership insists are the ONLY tire I can use on this car. HELP! Anyone have any other recommendations that I can use when only replacing 2 tires? Or do I need to replace all 4 to use a different tire? Thanks for the help!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    You might also want to consult our expert in the topic called Ask Connor at The Tire Rack. Just click on my link to visit that topic.

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  • I was just advised that my 2003 Pruis tires needed 45 pounds of pressure to stop the Whomp, Whomp noise. Is this correct.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    errr....wassa whomp whomp noise yogie?

    Anyway not sure if this is related, but there were times when ice froze on my rims. The resulting imbalance caused the car to shudder at higher speeds (removing all the ice/snow between the spokes fixed the problem), at lower speeds it prolly felt similar to what you discribe.

    If cleaning your rims won't take care of the problem, try to have them balanced. Hopefully they won't discover something more serious with your tires or rims.

    Btw, just so people don't think Prius is prone to ice freezing on its rims, the ice on the rims were caused by my having to drive thru snow as deep as the underside of my '01 Prius. As long as you keep a good momentum and the tires touch the road, snow can't seem to stop this car.
  • yogieyogie Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. Marcb-The dealer did add 45 psi per tire and the strange noise did stop.
    I am on the 2nd set of front Toyota Bridgestone EL on my 2003 Pruis, the first time I heard the noise they gave my new front tires. The second time the up the psi to 45. So far no noise.
  • The Honda, Ford, and Toyota Hybrids are parallel "mild" hybrids.

    But here is a true parallel "full" hybrid.
    - Electric Motor at highway speed (>65mph)
    - -or- Combustion Engine at highway speed
    - -and- has a plug for recharging, so people can drive to work every day without burning a single drop of mideast oil

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is hoping to talk with Southern California residents who own a first- generation Toyota Prius, or who upgraded from a first-generation Toyota Prius to a newer one.

    Please respond to with your daytime contact info by 12pm Friday, May 27, 2005.

    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
  • dgreenedgreene Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Prius and I also love my Prius. I am on the 2nd set of tires and was told today, a year after I bot my 2nd set that I need a new set of tires. I am not happy and it seems that no-one wants to accept responsibility for this problem. Maybe it will take a lawsuit for someone to correct this problem.

  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    We just put the third set of RE92s on our 2002. (It has just over 60K miles). The first set wore very badly, Toyota replaced them (and did an alignment) under warranty. The second set wore quickly (we got about 33K out of them) but evenly, in part because I inflate the tires to 44psi front, 42psi rear. I and others believe the Toyota specified pressures of 37/35 psi are way too low for this vehicle. Of course YMMV and all that. Since the RE92s are XL rated tires they can handle up to 50psi cold pressure, so 44psi is well within the capability of the tire.

    AFAIK there are only 2 XL rated tires in the size the Prius uses, the RE92 and the Dunlop SP10. Both are claimed to be OE fitments according to Tire Rack...
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    I would be much more confident about maximum road grip in both wet and dry conditions if I did not over-inflate my tires by seven pounds. That's just plain dangerous, and could cause an accident, since you are not presenting a complete tire patch to the road, just a narrow strip in the center of your tires. That would result in premature wear on the center of your tread as well as a harsher ride.

    It's not worth the tradeoff for a few more mpg.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I would be much more confident about maximum road grip in both wet and dry conditions if I did not over-inflate my tires by seven pounds. That's just plain dangerous, and could cause an accident, since you are not presenting a complete tire patch to the road, just a narrow strip in the center of your tires. That would result in premature wear on the center of your tread as well as a harsher ride."

    The original poster said the tires "wore evenly". Could he elaborate: Did the tires wear in the center first, or did they wear all the way across the tire?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here is a VERY INTERESTING page talking about fleet performance of a group of 2001 Prius cars in Canada.

    "There were no costs identified that were specific to the hybrid components of the vehicles."

    Battery Life
    A few Prius owners have commented that the vehicle’s 12 V battery has died when the car hasn’t been driven for a few days. Note: The 2001 Prius owners manual specifically states that the vehicle should be driven for 30 consecutive minutes at least once a week to ensure the battery remains properly charged.

    For many consumers the life and replacement cost of the hybrid battery pack has been of concern. Toyota has issued the following statement about battery life:

    "The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.”
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    More from this website...

    Canada’s highest mileage Prius, a 2001 model, has operated for over 366,182 kilometres with only a few maintenance repair issues. Jatinder Parhar, owner of a Empress Taxi in Victoria, British Columbia, operates this vehicle.

    That's 227,535 miles for those counting at home.... :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    That's 227,535 miles for those counting at home

    It looks like he made the grade with that first Prius. Taxi cabs are expected to have a 200k-300k mile life cycle without major repair. Passenger shuttle vans are expected to last 250k to 400k miles. If he can get 250k miles out of the 2004 Prius that will be a good test.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    The original tires (at toyota's specified 37/35 PSI) wore shoulders first. Classic symptom of UNDER inflation.

    The second set of tires ran their whole life at 44/42 PSI and wore evenly across the entire tread surface. To me that says 37/35 is too low.

    Car makers often choose the lowest pressure that will allow a tire to meet the weight requirements for the vehicle, to promote a "softer" ride. Sometimes they choose a pressure that's too low (Explorer/Firestone debacle, anyone?). I believe the 37/35 pressure for the Prius was too low and the tire wear seems to bear that out.

    Ironically, the boneheads that installed the new tires horribly under inflated them (they said they would only inflate to the factory reccomendation, but the highest pressure I found on their "work" was 30 PSI and the lowest 26PSI) This after making a big deal of using "pure nitrogen" to inflate the tires...

    YMMV of course.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    This after making a big deal of using "pure nitrogen" to inflate the tires...

    Does the nitrogen add any life to the tires? If you add air doesn't that kind of pollute the nitrogen? You bring up some interesting points. I assume when I tell the tire guy what pressure I want in my tires that is what he does.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I haven't read anything specific to the whole "nitrogen is better for your tires" issue, but keep in mind that the air that we breathe is made up of 80% nitrogen. The other 20% is Oxygen, CO2, and other mixed gasses. Personally I think its more of a way for them to make themselves different than the other 100's of tire places on the same street, but I could be wrong.

    Just my $.02

    BTW, many places will not go over the manufacturer's recomendations as corporate culture has dictated that it opens the place up to customer complaints about uneven tire wear due to pressures that are not in manufacturer specs, and of course the dredded lawsuit if anything does happen and tire pressure is found to be a contributing cause.

    Toyota Ken
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    The claim made at this warehouse store (I'll let you guess which one) is that Nitrogen fill is more stable than regular air. Sounds like pure marketing hype to you mention the minute you top up the pressure you've "contaminated" the fill, and since I doubt they mount the tires in a pure nitrogen environment (employees in space suits, anyone?) there's already air in them!

    Part of the problem in this particular case may have been that the tire installers were very busy, it was pouring down rain, and we'd been sitting there waiting more or less patiently for about 2 hours...

    I'm withholding judgement for the time being, as the price was right, but I'll wait to see what they do at the rotate/rebalance visit.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Yep, smells like a marketing gimmick to me...which is odd given the nature of this particular business (warehouse membership club).
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ....let's put this to bed. Yes, Costco uses nitrogen, and yes, Costco is absolutely hyper about tires after being sued for putting S-rated tires on a car whose OEM tires were H-rated. Now they refuse to budge from OEM speed-ratings, and OEM pressure recommendations. You are free to do what you want as soon as you drive away from the store.

    Nitrogen IS more "stable" in that it has two characteristics that help - it varies less as the temperature goes up and down [normal variation is 1 psi for every 10 degrees F - nitrogen reduces the variance], and it seems to bleed less over time through the carcass and valve - all tires lose a certain amount of pressure over time, even if they are not driven.

    None of this is revolutionary, either postively or negatively. It can hardly be a "marketing gimmick" when Costco does little or no marketing to sell their tire service. Most of their clientele couldn't pass a quiz on this topic to save their lives, either before or after their tires are installed.
  • baladbalad Posts: 1

    Thanks - very enlightening. Do you know the company that manufactures the batteries for the Prius?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The Prius batteries come from Panasonic.....a joint technology venture with Toyota created them, but Panasonic manufactures and provides them...
  • 2001-2003 US Prius had complementary (free) service at any Toyota dealer for the first 5 regularly scheduled maintenances (up to 30 months/37,500 miles). Yes, this does transfer when sold.

    This plan was not carried over onto the 2004-? Prius.

    Some individual dealers may throw in some form of free maintenance package. Or you can buy a Toyota Pre-Paid maintenance plan in increments up to 4 years/55,000 miles.

    But I have not heard of a free service for life plan before.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Some dealers will sell you a "lifetime oil change certificate" for some trivial amount of money when you buy the car from them.

    I'm sure they expect to recoup the cost with other repairs. They want you in the habit of visiting their service department...
  • jparzialejparziale Posts: 2
    I posted this a few weeks ago on another forum:
    Why doesn't someone debunk the naysayers? They haven't done the simple spreadsheet math. I did - the day I decided to retire my 14 year old audi and buy a 4 year old 2001 prius. At CURRENT gas prices, my prius will pay for itself in 10 years: My audi 80 got 18MPG (premium) and the prius (in city only driving) gets 40MPG (regular). Now consider the person who drives 20,000 miles a year instead of my 12,500. It would only take 5 years to pay for itself in original stock form. Now consider the pay back point if we can squeeze another 20-30 MPG by pluggin in. And consider that gas may go back to recent highs of what was it? $3.25/gallon?

    Note (as a computer tech) I drive for a living so my MPG is only 40. I did once get 70MPG on a 27 mile trip up then down Topanga Canyon Mountain! I love my prius. I haven't been this excited about a car of mine since I was 18. I have even started to commute and perform some of my service calls by bicycle now that I see how much gas I am using on the dash board. I will, of course, refrain from calculating that mile/calorie anomaly into the equation.
  • jparzialejparziale Posts: 2
    Here's is my 2 cents. Though Daimler (benz) and Chrysler are making a hybrid diesel work-van this year, I just don't trust diesel long term. I calculate that we can do better. No diesel will come close to a Hybrid in the area that really matters: pollution. This is more important than wars and economies. In 1989 I wrote a thesis while in engineering school on what I considered the smartest energy plan for the future of the U.S.A., sub-focusing on automobiles. My main concerns were pollution and long term independance from oil, in that order. I felt that CNG (compressed natural gas) was a logical intermediate step to full electric cars. Very easy to install in a car for a few hundred dollars and virtually no pollution out. The only thing we would need is the infrastructure. Remember when you got stuck behind an old Diesel bus? Have you noticed how nice it is to be behind the new CNG type in your city? Well, I have here in Los Angeles. But I find few who even notice the diamond stickers on our new fleet. I also thought it was odd that natural gas prices doubled the month they annouced them.

    Well, no one, including my friends who made an electric car back then, predicted hybrids, we just assumed batteries would evolve much faster I guess. But in 1994, while starting an enviromentally minded company in eastern Europe, I noticed how many cars in Western Europe had those small scuba tanks in the trunk. Everywhere you went in Holland, you could fill up with CNG. Now, consider a hybrid CNG/Electic. Now we are getting closer, If I can convert my car to CNG for a few hundred and there were refill stations everywhere, we would have something. One problem. I calculated that we could only run for a few decades on the reserves of Natural Gas known today. It is a stop gap solution, but until hydrogen is on every corner, it may be worth it. Especially because the same pump for CNG today could pump Hydrogen tomorrow. So how hard would it be to burn Hydrogen, the most explosive gas there is, in your existing engine? Especially if CNG is was so easily converted and tested overseas. What would it cost to convert a car from CNG to Hydrogen? $20? Shouldn’t it be the same cost to convert from Gasoline to Hydrogen? Anyone know?

    A quick refresher for the uninitiated: Electricity makes sense for two simple reasons: pollution and simple, unlimited power at any RPM. First, electricity can be produced very cleanly. Whether by putting a million dollar scrubber on a coal smoke stack, (instead of a $300 catalytic converter on each car). Or by putting up windmills or solar collectors. Now consider the parts a normal car could drop if it were electic: Radiator, Water pump, water: hoses, gaskets and reserviors, Oil pump, filter, pan, pistons, rods, cams, valves, injectors, distributors, polllution equipment up the ying yang: ecr valves, air cleaners, fuel systems: pumps, tanks, lines, filters. Mufflers and CATs. Alternator, starter and the solenoids thereof, condensors, spark plugs and wires. Transmissions, clutches and their fluids, (transmissions are only needed to overcome the inherent weaknes that most engines are only powerfull within a small range of RPM’s.) Wow, I never listed them all!! Ok, let’s say we all get electic cars next year. The only problem is that batteries currently take hours to refill vs. Minutes at the gasoline pump. So to remain free to move about the country, I see a Hybrid Hydrogen/electic as the ultimate goal. It could be done very easily. We could make our own H at home. All day long you could be separating water into Hydrogen and Oxygen using electrolosys via slow but steady electicity provided by solar panels on your roof. Your modern, asthetically pleasing solar panels would also keep your roof cooler and save you money in AC costs. Then you would pump it into your car. I don’t think Mobile will like the sound of that so they will encourage us to buy thier H at the local H-station. Think of a gas stove or a outdoor grill with it’s pressurized tank. This is safe and tested technology. Safer than gasoline in liquid form- if I am not mistaken.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Very easy to install in a car for a few hundred dollars and virtually no pollution out.

    Welcome to the forum,
    I agree with some of your post. The CNG conversion is a few thousand, not hundreds. The tank alone is a couple grand and has to be tested by a certified technician on a regular basis.

    There is a forum here at Edmund's specifically for CNG. It is not all roses for the owners of CNG cars.
  • I recently needed to replace my Prius 2002 steering rack. I reported the shudder about a year ago and the Toyota Service couldn't find it. It got worse recently and Toyota dealership expressed surprise. I paid for it $1600.00 just a few weeks ago. Is there an official written announcement regarding the warranty? I read that it is good for 5 years unlimited. Does anyone have an idea what I should do now?

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    If you reported the problem, or at least the symptoms, only once, a year ago, and a year later it went out, you might be out of luck. If you can produce the paperwork from your original visit, you might have something. Better still would be that you re-visited service an additional time or two for the same problem, clearly showing you were trying to get them to recognize the problem.

    Speak to the Service Manager only, and express your concerns.... ;)
  • Thank you for your reply. I have read that there is a warranty for five years and unlimited mileage out there somewhere. Since this is a 2002 Prius I seem to still be within the warranty. Where can I verify the existence of this warranty? Is there a site that will show me the actual warranty?


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