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Common Problems with the Prius

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by boostin, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. boostin

    boostin New Member

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    Hello. I'm looking to get a toyota prius but i wanted to do some research before acutally investing in one. I wanted to know what the most common problems were with the prius. Is there are precautions i should take? What are the pro's and cons of the prius. Thanks in advance.
  2. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    [font=Comic Sans MS:872576247e]Hi Boostin. The full and complete answer to your questions is found on this web site and others you may find referenced here. Please read all threads and all comments. Feel free to use the search function at the bottom of the left column and in the nav buttons on the right of the banner.

    If you have any specific questions you don't find answers to, just ask. Your education awaits you.[/font:872576247e]
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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  4. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    Common problems include:

    1) Everyone wants you to drive to lunch.
    2) You have to tell everyone individually that no, you do not have to plug it in.
    3) You can not stay mad when driving a Prius.
    4) Other drivers are jealous.
    5) You lose report with the gas station attendant you used to chat with every 4 days.
    6) Saved gas money burns a hole in your pocket.
    7) More time spent washing car; no one likes a dirty Prius.

    I could go on, but I really don't like pointing out the Prius' flaws.

    Buy a Prius and then tell us if you can find a downside.
  5. jo

    jo New Member

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    I LOVE my Prius except, here is a letter I wrote to Toyota:
    Toyota Motor Sales USA
    19001 South Western Ave.
    Dept. WC11
    Torrance, CA 90509

    Dear Sir/ Madam

    We are a 2 Prius household, and love them. Mine is a 2005 which I purchased in March of 2005.

    Since that purchase, lights functioning properly has been a problem too often. Below is the record of service for light problems
    02/13/2007 AIM HEADLIGHTS AIM HEADLIGHTS ~|~AIM HEADLAMPS

    06/24/2008 R E A R L I G H T R E A R L I G H T ~|~LEFT REAR TAIL LIGHT INOPT ~|~ ~|~R&R BULB

    08/08/2008 F R O N T L I G H T F R O N T L I G H T ~|~INSTALL SOP HEADLIGHT LEVELER SENSOR ~|~HEADLAMP WARNING LIGHT ON, CHECKED SYSTEM, SCANNED MAIN BODY ECU, CHECKED ALL COMPONENTS, LEVELER SHORTED ~|~R&R HEADLAMP LEVELER

    08/08/2008 EXT. BODY ELECTRICAL EXT. BODY ELECTRICAL ~|~50/50 SPLIT W/ WARRANTY ON LIGHT LEVELER


    :09/22/2009 R E A R L I G H T R E A R L I G H T ~|~PS TAILIGHT OUT ~|~ ~|~R&R TAILIGHT BULB

    In addition to these fixed light problems, both of my fog lights no longer work, and now, the amber front marker lights on Left and Right no longer work.

    As I stated before, I love everything else about my Prius, however, not being able to trust the integrity of the lights really bothers me. Fortunately, the cop didn’t give me a ticket when he stopped and notified me that my tail light was out. Why hasn’t Toyota been able to produce this fabulous car with lights that can be trusted?
    If I have to continue to spend so much money to keep the lights working, I’ll have to rethink my loyalty to the Prius. I NEVER had such a problem with any Chrysler, Subaru or Ford (my previous loyalties until I found the Prius) that I have owned in my 54 years of owning and driving cars.




    Their response was by a "trained customer service person", " Gosh, you seem to have some concerns." all said with no apparent sincerity. After speaking with 3 other "trained customer service persons", I was only told that my concerns would be noted. then, "Is there any other concerns you have?"
  6. brick

    brick Active Member

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    You're jerking our chains, right?
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Sounds like you had a problem with the HID headlight leveling system, which is a known weak area. Besides that, you've had more than your share of bulbs burning out. For a five year old car, this does seem a bit unusual. Look at the bright side and be glad that you haven't had problems with the HID light bulbs, transaxle, inverter, traction battery, MFD, steering gear, etc etc. There are many more problems that your car could have had that are much more serious in terms of cost and impact.

    It is possible that the voltage on the 12V bus is higher than it should be, causing the bulbs to have a shorter service life. If you want to look into that you would use a digital voltmeter to measure voltage across the 12V battery when the Prius is READY. The correct voltage is ~13.8V. If the measured voltage is much greater, then that is the reason why your bulbs have a short life. The fix would be to replace the inverter (which is covered by the hybrid system warranty, 8 yr/100K miles.)

    If the voltage is OK, then I would have to assume that your car had a batch of bad bulbs installed, you leave the lights on at all times, or that you are unlucky with regard to bulb service life.
  8. spinkao

    spinkao New Member

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    :welcome:. The best thing to do is to look & search around a bit, you will gain some insight (pun intended :)) pretty soon. Regarding some common problems, depends on which generation you are asking. The newest gen III Prius is out for a relatively short time, so it is very much an unknown beast, but as far as the experience allows us to tell the pretty comon problem seems to be that it develops some dashboard sqeaks/rattles relatively soon. Otherwise, it seems to be reliable so far.

    The gen II Priuses are very reliable cars overall; known problems include inverter coolant pump failures after some 100 000 miles (pretty simple and cheap to replace), MFD (Multi-Function Display) failures in the early versions (2004 and 2005) - might be pretty costly to fix if you do it the "official" way with the dealersip, but relatively simple and costless to fix yourself (if you are not afraid of electronic and have some experience with soldering iron).Threads on this issue are floating all around. The 2006 and later cars do not have this problem (it was fixed at the factory). The 12V battery may fail after couple of years and also the HV (traction) battery may fail after some 100 - 200 000 miles, but it is relatively rare. It is not so hard to replace and salvage batteries can be obtained relatively cheaply.

    I cannot tell you much about the first generation "classic" Prius, as I never had that car nor do I know anybody who had. But you can find wealth of information in the "gen I" section of the gen II forum here on the Prius Chat.
  9. Priusphev2010

    Priusphev2010 New Member

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    Biggest problem: you are going to want to drive more.
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