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Prius-120,000 miles and still going-Most mechanical failure items eliminated

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by hb06, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. hb06

    hb06 Member

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    Interesting reliability rundown check from slashdot blog:

    "It's simply not worth it to have to deal with electronics that break, batteries that die, etc."

    "That has turned out to be FUD now that they are getting lots of miles now. The battery pack is easier to change than a typical transmission and now costs less. In addition it has been proven more reliable. (Google search Prius Battery Failures). The little 12 volt battery is a much higher failure rate item needing a 3-5 year replacement cycle just like their conventional counterparts."

    "In the trade of of mechanical parts for electronic, most mechanical high failure items on the Prius has been eliminated:

    Here is a short list..
    No belts, not even for a water pump or AC.
    No Hydraulics hoses or lines except the brakes.
    No leaky AC rubber hoses or shaft seals.
    No clutches, pressure plates, bands, or hydraulics of any kind in the transmission"

    "Here is how the improvements work.
    The AC is a sealed electric unit like a home refrigerator. The compressor is body mounted eliminating Leaky shaft seals, belts, clutch, and hoses.

    The transmission has 7 moving parts. None of them is any kind of friction, shift, or hydraulic part. It's built like and as reliable as a differential. The battery pack is composed of 7.2 volt modules. A module failure does not equal a battery pack replacement.

    The Power steering is a linear electric motor for assist. This eliminates the power steering pump, hoses, and power steering fluid issues.

    The power brakes use a compressor so it is a trade off for the vacuum module for a compressor.

    The cooling system is powered by electric pumps. It traded belt driven problems for electric pump problems. I haven't seen reliability reports on these pumps yet which is a good thing.

    Even the starter moter with it's brushes, solonoid bendix gear and other failure items has been eliminated. The brushless AC Motor/Generator set in the transmission starts the engine."

    I studied all these issues before I bought a Prius. TCO is an important number to me.

    For me personally, Here are some of my stats.

    "I have 120,000 on my Prius. At 20,000 and 80,000 miles I changed tires (the originals don't wear well). At 70,000 miles I had to change the 12 volt battery in late 2005 so it lasted almost 4 years.
    At the last tire change, I had the brakes checked. I have 80% remaining. Other than give it gas and regular oil changes, it has required zero repairs except a rock chip in the windshield."

    "Most other cars I drove with over 100,000 miles were getting into needing starters, alternators, brakes, belts, power steering, Air Conditioner, and transmission service."

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/23/1352223
  2. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Watch out, I have a degree in BS!

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    This is one of the better articles I've seen.
    Thank you :)
  3. narf

    narf Member

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    Isn't there a conventional water pump on the engine that is belt driven?
  4. KD6HDX

    KD6HDX New Member

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    Nice to read that post. I just passed 67K miles on my 2005 Prius. I am on my second set of tires, though the first set were cheap and I decided to replace them at 20K. I also just replaced my 12V battery just in case, but I also did this to have the original 12V battery in my Ham Radio shack for emergency radio power. My oil changes are done at home and I started using Mobil 1 after the first 5K miles. At the current rate of miles per year, I should see 120K miles sometime in 2008 around May or June. We drive almost 3K miles per month commuting to and from work. About 90% of our driving is freeway speeds. 55 MPH in the morning, and about 70 MPH on the way home (carpool HOV lane). If I could drive 55 mph on the way home I would, but during rush hour it is a good way to draw anger from other HOV lane users.

    We average about 51-52 MPG now that I inflated the tires to 36 Front and 34 Rear. I know I could probably up the mileage if I HYPERINFLATED my tires to the magical 42 40, but I don't want the Prius to rattle apart from the increased vibration that hard tires seem to produce. At 32 pounds all around, we used to get between 45- and 50 MPG.

    I also replaced both SKS fobs with new batteries even though they were not experiencing any trouble.

    Great post HBO6
  5. p626808

    p626808 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(narf @ Aug 24 2007, 12:27 PM) [snapback]501527[/snapback]</div>


    yep.. replaced the belt about 5K miles ago.. so that part is false.. unless it is different on a gen 1
  6. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    I was just chatting with a guy at a Toyota parts counter yesterday,
    and in the background heard someone else say "EGR valve, $285". I
    said "boy, I'm *so* glad I've got a car that doesn't have an EGR
    valve" ... which is true, that's yet another high-maintenance item
    that variable valve-timing has knocked off the "pain in the ass"
    list.
    .
    I was in there picking up five quarts of WS and a pan gasket which
    will be used for transaxle-fluid service on a Classic with 314,000
    miles on it. That is NOT a typo, this guy's been written about and
    may be way past Andrew Grant's accomplishments in terms of longevity.
    .
    _H*
  7. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(KD6HDX @ Aug 24 2007, 12:44 PM) [snapback]501537[/snapback]</div>

    If you haven't changed out your ATF yet, consisder doing it soon. I refreshed mine (2004 Prius, Toyota type WS ATF) at 61,000 miles and a lab test showed that it was time to do it.

    My 2004 Prius is now at 95,000 miles, also due for its third set of tires and no problems yet.

    JeffD
  8. p626808

    p626808 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jdenenberg @ Aug 24 2007, 01:06 PM) [snapback]501559[/snapback]</div>

    How is your MFD?
  9. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(p626808 @ Aug 24 2007, 01:16 PM) [snapback]501572[/snapback]</div>

    It's still working. My Prius is a late 2004, maybe they had fixed the MFD manufacturing problem by then. If not, there's always a rebuilt or salvaged part for a few hundred dollars. (about the same price as a set of good tires.)

    JeffD
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hobbit @ Aug 24 2007, 01:01 PM) [snapback]501553[/snapback]</div>

    Wow, PSD had no problem with no WS ATF change for 314k miles! Try that with the automatic transmission!

    Please take pictures so we can see how black the fluid is. :eek:
  11. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(usbseawolf2000 @ Aug 24 2007, 01:30 PM) [snapback]501586[/snapback]</div>

    Not Type WS ATF. In a 2002 it would be Type IV ATF which is even more amazing.

    JeffD
  12. philmcneal

    philmcneal Taxi!

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    werid how can a guy who road trips like crazy have good PSD fluid at 300k miles and yet a guy who has 60k miles on his NWH20 prius says its time to change... something is not right here...
  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Well I don't know about the author's car but my Prius has an engine mounted compressor for the air conditioner so has flexable hoses but no shaft seals.
    As others have said, the main coolant pump is belt driven. I wonder about a variable speed electric conversion?
    he forgot to mention there is no gear linkages to wear, rattle and become vague.
    Throttle linkage, the throttle actuator motor would be needed for the cruise control anyway.
    The variable valve timing does not eliminate the need for a PCV valve http://replacement.car-stuff.com/parts/car...showdc=true#top But it is cheap.
  14. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(philmcneal @ Aug 30 2007, 03:38 AM) [snapback]504198[/snapback]</div>

    What about YMMV doesn't make sense. Good maintenance is about playing the odds. I am doing ATF exchanges at 60k mile intervals in my 2004 Prius; some others are doing it at 50k intervals (one consevative invidual reports doing it at 30k). Besides, the unit still alive at over 300k w/o replacing the ATF (In a NWH11) had ugly ATF fluid that just went out for lab analysis. No one said that the ATF fluid was still good, just that the Tranny still functioned.

    Just remember one thing. ALL of the reported Prius tranny failures (not a large number, and mostly in NWH11's with over 100k miles) have had never had their ATF fluids refreshed. As the old TV commercial said "pay me a little now (Motor oil change), or pay me later (Engine rebuild)"

    JeffD
  15. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Following up on this thread, Jesse's PSD fluid change is documented
    at http://techno-fandom.org/~hobbit/cars/nehg-0826/ and it did
    turn up some interesting stuff. Sample is on its way to Bob Wilson
    and thence to PdMA, and the analysis oughta be fun to read.
    .
    _H*
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