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Problems with 2001 prius or prius in general and maintenance costs? need help ASAP

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by pria, May 2, 2009.

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  1. pria

    pria New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    I'm looking to buy a 2001 prius today and would like to know what kind of problems I can expect and what I need to look at to make sure the car is running good. I have driven 2007-2008 prius and love the ride but I am looking at the older 2001 prius right now. How much does it cost to replace the battery and is it more expensive to buy parts for these prius' along with higher repair costs? Can a general mechanic work out most issues with the prius? The car has under 100k miles on it right now.

    lastly have there been any recalls or any major things I should be concerned about.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
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    There were several SSCs (aka 'recalls') on the '01, so you should confirm in writing that all those have been done.

    There seems to be a somewhat higher early battery failure rate in the 1G than in the 2G Prii and at 100k miles you're certainly at a bit more risk. That said, several 1G prii have gone as far as 250-300k miles on the original battery.

    IF you should later have to replace the battery it can be done using a salvage battery for around $1000 or with a brand new one from the dealer with them doing the install for around $3000. About the same as the average replacement cost of an engine or transmission.

    There have also been some transaxle failures in the 1G and it would be nice to see the maintenance manual for the car to assure that the transaxle fluid was changed at least by the book if not more often.
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    A general mechanic should not be relied upon to deal with Prius issues which generally are electrical in nature (not mechanical). Therefore you probably have to utilize Toyota dealer labor unless you happen to live in an area where Prius independent specialist repair shops exist (such as the SF Bay Area.)

    It is more expensive to buy Prius parts as an aftermarket does not really exist. Hence you must either buy new parts from the dealer or salvage parts (to the extent available).

    I would be less worried about whether SSCs (aka recalls) were applied because once you acquire the vehicle, you can take it to any Toyota dealer. If any SSCs are outstanding, that dealer will perform the service at no charge (assuming your car does not have a salvage title.)

    The major Classic trouble areas that can result in a four-digit repair bill (if you have to rely upon dealer service and new parts) include the transaxle, inverter, traction battery, and MFD. A common trouble area is an engine no-start problem which manifests itself especially in cold weather. Assuming that there are no pre-existing ignition or fuel system problems, the normal fix for this problem is to replace the engine ECU with the current revision part number, which will cost >$1,000 at the dealer but if you can buy the correct part from a salvage yard and replace yourself, will cost ~$300.

    It would be much better if the vehicle has a complete service history that shows regular maintenance according to Toyota recommendations. I suggest that you have the Prius tech specialist at your local Toyota dealer inspect any used Prius that you wish to purchase. Good luck.
  4. pria

    pria New Member

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    Thanks guys. I just purchased my first Prius! I'll be on here a lot more now. I originally signed up when I was in a 2008 Prius as a company car. Now I have this new to me 2001 :)

    The owners were very friendly original owners with full vehicle history and service from toyota dealership. The battery was changed 20k miles ago. New tires and great interior condition. Full service was done at 90k. Outside have one or two slight golf ball size damage but hardly noticable and I'll get it fixed up. I hope this car lasts me a long time without any major problems. I have a LOT of reading to do.
  5. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2001 Prius
    Hi pria, congrats. Now *which* battery was changed, and please summarize the car's service history.

    Also the details of the 90k full service. You are bound to get suggestions to replace the transaxle fluid if that wasn't done. Also a few other minor points.

    What type of tires are there, and at what inflation pressure?
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