2005 Prius -- reliable transportation?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by GrannyM, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. GrannyM

    GrannyM New Member

    Jun 18, 2020
    Burke, VA
    2005 Prius
    I have a 2005 Prius with 110K miles, bought new in 2005. I like the car. I need a car that I can occasionally drive 200 miles to the next state and then back home without problems, but mostly go short distances on local errands. (I'm retired.) Can my 15-year-old Prius be that car? Combo meter is probably on its way out, and the car probably needs new tires--back tires are 10+ years old, front tires 5 yrs old, and it would be nice to have 4 that match. After that, what other big maintenance items am I likely to need?

    Some maintenance history:
    The hybrid battery was replaced in Nov 2015, at 92K miles. Recently had to replace the 12V battery. Shortly thereafter, dashboard gauges went black--probably the Gen 2 combo meter failure that others have reported at similar mileage, sometimes after replacing 12V battery. I disconnected and reconnected the positive 12V battery cable, and the combo meter now works, but for how long? I'm willing to try taking the dash apart to get to the circuit board, and to replace it with a rebuilt one, but can I really do this myself?

    We had the 12V battery replaced at a Toyota dealer. They found a long list of additional things to recommend, which I didn't have done. Their checklist has red marks next to
    1. Drive shaft boots/CV Boots/U-joints/Transmission linkage
    2. Transmission fluid
    and yellow caution marks next to rear brakes (1/8").
    They recommended clean and adjust rear brakes, brake fluid flush, throttle body and mass air flow sensor service, new plugs, and drain and refill the transmission (last done at 77K miles). It's been 35 years since I've tuned up a car, but I might try to do the throttle body service, mass air flow sensor, and plugs myself (add new PCV valve if I do that much?)

    What maintenance really needs to be done? Besides the combo meter and tires, what major repairs am I likely to need soon? Can this car be reliable transportation?
  2. johnjohnchu

    johnjohnchu Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    2006 Prius
    Prius is very reliable car. My car is 2006 with around 340K miles. I have never gotten stranded due to car issues in Prius. Was the hybrid battery replacement brand new from dealer? Rebuilt battery will cause issue in the long run. I would recommend you to perform checklist items marked in red. However, it is not necessary to be done at dealers.
    Prodigyplace likes this.
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    So. Texas
    Other Hybrid
    $150 Prius Speedometer Replacement

    Like me, you don't drive much per year and that's possibly why yours, like mine, had an early HV pack failure @ around 10 years. Hybrids need to be driven; that's why one sees so many "mine has 3xx,xxx miles and is working great!" and not from folks like you who've only averaged 3600 miles/yr over the last 5 years.

    You just need a brake accumulator failure to hit the gen 2 trifecta (pack, combo meter, accumulator).

    Since you're in VA, a 200 mile trip from there in any direction is still in heavily populated/traveled areas so I'd suggest you get a really good emergency service (AAA?) and keep some emergency supplies (don't forget extra meds) in the vehicle for peace of mind on those trips.

    You could also rent a car for that occasional trip.

    #3 fotomoto, Jun 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020