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I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunk the Priuschat myths

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Ray Moore, Mar 29, 2012.

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  1. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    I used to visit this forum daily. I haven't been around in a few years and just dropped by to see about a headlight issue that turned out to be a bad relay. I poked around a little and quickly read some of the same fear filled myths that used to permeate this website when I was a regular. Please let me share my experiences based on 8 years of ownership and 182,000 miles. My wife also has a Prius. Hers has 7 years and 184,000 miles of faithful service.

    My sum total of repairs consist of a MFD that went out at 116,000 miles due to the infamous bad solder joint. Toyota fixed it for free though it was 80,000 miles out of warranty. I had to replace both front axles at a cost of 1400$ due to the abuse of high speeds on our country roads. I'm a bit more careful now.

    I have never done a single thing for my brakes and the fluid still looks new.

    I change the oil with 3 quarts of mobil1 every 12,000 to 14,000 miles. The car recently started to use a little oil. I know this because the oil light flickered on and when I checked, I had to add over 2 quarts to get it to the level that is shown when 3 quarts are used at an oil change. This indicates to me that over the hottest summer on record, I was running on less than a quart of oil without any apparent effect. It had been over 18,000 miles since the last oil change. Kudos to Toyota and Mobil1 for exceeding expectations.

    Finally for some bs priuschat myths. I have heard for years that you shouldn't add fuel after the pump clicks off because it will flood the charcoal canister and reduce your mileage. BS, my wife and I have done this for over 300 fillups each. We add 1 gallon after the pump shuts off and we both have long term fuel economy of well over 50 mpg.

    The other one is the dreaded, don't drive it if you run out of gas because you will ruin the battery. My wife has little to no experience with this but I've run out of gas numerous times and run the battery to empty on many occasions without the dreaded killing of the battery. Not a good idea but the battery management will not let it run down to zero regardless of what the gauge says.

    I'm thrilled with my car and am first in line for a plugin in my area. I got rid of an f150 8 years ago and since then my savings in fuel alone have completely paid for the purchase cost of the Prius. If you figure in maintenance that I haven't had to pay for I'm even further ahead.

    I use the Prius like a truck and regularly haul lumber, conduit, concrete, tools, cabinets, you name it. The car is amazing and if it died today I would feel I got a great deal out of it. I would run right down and buy another one but I hope it will last till the new one comes out. It still drives like new and has never needed an alignment. It has never pulled or had any bad tendencies. When I am forced to drive anything else, it is a disappointment.
    18 people like this.
  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Cheers, Ray.
    It is becoming clear that not only is the Prius reliable, it is the king of reliable. The very small fraction of cars that do have an HSD specific component failure are easily and inexpensively served by the secondary market from totaled cars. Happy irony, considering all the FUD stating that the fuel savings would be wiped out by battery failure etc.

    I'm curious, did you replace two axles on one car, or did each car get an axle ?
  3. HaroldW

    HaroldW Active Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Good article Ray. I agree with you 100%. More bad is talked about rather than good. Keep on trucken, H
  4. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    both axles on my car at one time.
  5. Cory151

    Cory151 Junior Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Good stuff, thats what I like to hear.
  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Keep an eye on your oil. Wife's car too. Once it starts consuming, it only gets worse -- especially if the oil light was your first indication.

    I am surprised that no one has suggested that you need to replace your 12V batteries (with Optima).
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Thanks for your post.


    I don't know of the myth about it reducing your mileage but the other one about potentially causing damage isn't a myth. See http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-technical-discussion/30593-gas-bladder-exposed.html and search for overfill at http://autoshop101.com/forms/Hybrid13.pdf.
  8. Silver bullit

    Silver bullit Right Lane Cruiser

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Thanks for this post. How many 12 volt batteries have you used?
  9. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    one at 4.5 years old
  10. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    The article cwerdna links to is very interesting. It may be the source of the myth I spoke of. It is, I'm sure, widely quoted by service techs. It contains contradictory information. It states that damage may occur due to overfilling but also points to two systems that make overfilling impossible.

    The bottom line is that I have experience with 600 fillups in which my wife and I add 1 gallon of top off after pump shut off. We have experienced no issues. I have never heard of a fuel tank being replaced due to overfilling and I suspect that we are not the only ones that practice topping off in a Prius. Years ago I was warned repeatedly against this practice here on my beloved Priuschat by well meaning people that were simply repeating what they had heard.

    The practice has delayed stopping for gas by a combined 30,000 miles for my wife and I. I will shamefully admit I have pushed this too far on numerous occasions and when you combine that with long commutes without fueling opportunities and my forgetfullness, I have given up those time savings in delays caused by running out of gas.
  11. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    I agree with the "don't fill after click off" comments. I too have always filled until I can see fuel in the filler neck. It goes down slowly after filling BTW. You just have to be careful you don't get into a hydraulic lock situation, where the expanding fuel causes pressure to build up in the tank. This IS possible, but you have to try very hard. Oh, and liquid fuel DOES NOT harm the carbon canister. If you think I'm wrong on this, what exactly do you think the fuel vapour turns into inside the carbon canister? ;)

    As far as -fully discharging- the traction battery, you've been lucky. It appears you have a good battery. The lower you discharge the closer you get to reverse charging the worst cell (lowest capacity one). Once reverse charged it is destroyed and the battery CPU will only complain about it (if it can detect it).

    Good report, thanks.
  12. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    Good testament to the Prius Ray :) It's obvious that you're pretty passionate about these things -- Toyota needs to hire you as a sale rep. :)
    BTW -- I'm pretty impressed by ours, also.
  13. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    I totally concur Ray. It is not as finicky as people think. To me its rock solid reliable. I love it and I don't want another car. I just wish I could talk my wife into one like you did (lol). :)
  14. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    If you had been changing the oil more often it might not be burning any oil now. Driving when two quarts low is just silly.

    Topping off saturates the vapor recovery canister and increases hydrocarbon emissions (evaporated gasoline). If you don't like taking chances with the Earth, don't do it.
  15. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    Re: I'm here at 182,000 miles to debunc the Priuschat myths

    I can understand running on the original shoes, drums, pads, calipers & brake fluid, but how have the original rotors not rusted through on you yet? It rains in Texas, right?

    Are you on the original serpentine belts?
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Thanks for the report Ray and welcome back! Great to hear from you!
  17. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    Richard- OK I'm an idiot but until you corrected me I was content being blissfully ignorant of the fact. I recall you were one that perpetuated a few of these Priuschat myths along the way. Mine is the counterpoint. I respect you and your contributions here over the years. Have a good day.

    original rotors, original serpentine belt(really minor cracks just starting to form)

    Hi Tideland, quite a few familiar faces I see around here. Nice to be back though I suspect my visit will be measured in weeks this time and not years as it was before. Many other interests are using up my time. Have a great one.
  18. mattheikkila

    mattheikkila New Member

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    I've read that you shouldn't do that with any car, for numerous reasons (fuel economy, safety, environment, etc). When I lived in New Jersey it annoyed the hell out of me that every gas station attendant did it. Every single one.

    As for the rest of your post, stating your personal preferences and anecdotes isn't the same thing as debunking. For instance, in order to truly debunk just the one I quoted above you'd need to do experiments: drive in the same weather, on the same road, the same distance, etc-once with after filling your tank until it clicked off, and once overfilling.

    Just sayin'.
  19. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    but of course you are right. the Priuschat myths seem just as well founded to me. mine is just one point of empirical data. proves little. by the same reasoning, many perhaps most threads requesting or sharing personal experience with the Prius are of little value. forums are not science. thanks for playing.
  20. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Member

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    By the way. Happy Birthday to my Prius. I picked it up 8 years ago today. Due to the long waiting lists at the time, I had to go to Denver to get it and drive it home 1000 miles. If you figure the airline flight to get to Denver and the emissions produced by driving it home, any environmental impact of topping off my tank probably pales in comparison. If we were that worried about the planet, we would never drive to the grocery store to buy meat. How's that for a straw man argument? On the other hand, I replaced an f150 and since then have used approximately 8,700 fewer gallons of gasoline than I would in a truck of that size. We do what we can and none of us impact the planet at a level that is sustainable given current world population.
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