05 with 188K & reconditioned batt'y pack has problems climbing hills

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Craig Stuller, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Craig Stuller

    Craig Stuller New Member

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    first post here. We have an 05 Prius w/188K miles. Its been a great car. We live in a mountainous area, and recently experienced issues with climbing long and/or steep grades - very slow (30 mph) low power, rapid battery discharge and no recharge. Just spent $1800 to have traction batt'y reconditioned, which met specs, but still have power issue - plus we now have errors p2196 (air fuel sensor) and p0420 (catalytic converter) that seem to indicate an issue with the gas engine. The gas engine burns a fair amount of oil - about a quart every 400 miles - and has for some time. The company that did the batt'y recondition is a good outfit, but unfortunately is a 2 1/2 hour drive away...our hope is get it back to them for a cheap fix, but worst case could be a new engine and transaxle, I think. My question here is two-fold - has anyone experienced similar conditions, and where would you draw the line with putting money into this marvelous but well-used vehicle? Thanks!
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    This car must have been abused to burn a quart of oil every 400 miles. That alone should tell you the car's engine is no good.

    You would need to at least replace the engine before anything else.

    It's unfortunate you didn't think about your question "where would you draw the line with putting money into this vehicle" before spending $1800 on the battery. You could have saved $1800 bucks.......and apply it to a newer vehicle.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Knowing that the engine was consuming oil at the rate of 1 quart/400 miles, I would not have suggested that you replace the traction battery unless you were willing to spend ~$2K to have a used engine installed (the used engine itself is cheap but the labor cost may be high depending upon your locale.) Then add several hundred $s more to have a replacement catalytic converter installed, which was poisoned due to the excessive oil consumption.
     
  4. Craig Stuller

    Craig Stuller New Member

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    It certainly has never been abused. I may be overstating it at 400 miles/qt - 600 perhaps. It started burning oil many miles ago, and I asked around about that. Was told it wasn't unusual for these engines as miles accumulate. I mentioned it to the guys that did the batt'y as well, beforehand. The engine runs fine, even at high rpm. But, certainly what you're both saying does make sense.
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The guys that did your battery really has no interest in your car lasting a long time. If it dies the next day after the battery repair, they would still get paid and they won't even have to worry about offering you a warranty
     
  6. HGS

    HGS Member

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    It's difficult sometimes to know when to stop putting money into a car. Once I bought a 20 year old Corolla with 240,000 miles for $1600, then over a 6 month period put $1500 in tires, tune up, distributor, battery, and various other parts. It ran great, and the previous owner put a lot of money into it before I bought it. I thought I could drive it another 100,000 miles.

    Then the automatic transmission went out. I let it sit for a few months not knowing if I wanted to fix it. I've rebuilt/replaced transmissions in the past, but I couldn't do it this time. It would have cost $2000 to have a shop do it.

    I tried but couldn't sell it as is, so it went to the junk yard. $3000 for 6 months was not the best value, but $2000 more spent on an old car not worth half what I would have in it was not wise.

    I don't know your financial situation, but you could buy a 2 or 3 year old Prius with about 45,000 miles for $13,000 to $14,000. It would be about $200 to $250/month. You may want to make that difficult decision to cut your losses.

    I have a 17 year old truck I bought new. In the past few years I've put a few thousand into it. It's running very well right now. That gamble has paid off, but if anything major breaks it's going to the junk yard.

    Good luck, whatever you choose to do.
     
    #6 HGS, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  7. techntrek

    techntrek Member

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    In my area your Prius is worth about $2800 in Fair condition (maybe yours is Good or Excellent?). You can easily put more into it than it is worth - just the catalytic converter alone will put you over, or the mass air flow sensor. With that kind of oil burn I would look into a used engine since the rings are shot in yours.

    But, you also have to weigh the future utility to you. You should get another 100k+ out of the car. If you drive 20k a year and spend $5k to get it running (including what you already spent on the traction battery), that is only $1000 a year. You'll spend that in 2-3 months with a new car.
     
  8. HGS

    HGS Member

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    I agree with all you've said. The gamble is that if something else expensive breaks or the car is in an accident and the insurance won't cover what's in it.
     
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