Advice on my Lemon, Please

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Kumu in Paradise, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Kumu in Paradise

    Kumu in Paradise New Member

    Feb 21, 2018
    2005 Prius
    This is a bit lengthy so skip to the end for my question if you don't feel like hearing my story of woe.
    I purchased this car so that I would not have a car payment and could put that money into tuition.
    2005 Prius lots of dents
    188,437 @ time of purchase (I've put less than 3K miles and another $2K in the 4.5 months I've owned it.)
    location: Maui
    purchased 1/31/18 $2,100
    Reconditioned battery Jan 2017

    Feb 2018 (exactly 2 weeks after purchase) car dies, tow, replaced Inverter pump & fan motor $1,125
    Mar 2018 all warning lights, don't know codes, pay for test (Midas) fails pressure test, conclusion new radiator $575 (Midas wanted double this)
    April 2018 still no real power, continued lights, codes say sensors, upon tearing the engine apart find belt missing. Replace belt and a few small misc. safety issues $172
    May 2018 code indicates misfire, spark plugs replaced $40
    June 2018 Lights, hybrid battery fan comes on, loudly in the back of the car (first time that's happened) P0A80 - This has been coming up repeatedly since I got the car but the battery had been functioning within acceptable limits, until now.
    New Battery $2700 + install
    mainland discount places won't ship to Hawaii

    Backstory: I don't know if the guy was a con man or clueless but I basically got lied to about several facts. I was told that the car was well maintained and I would be the 3rd owner. The rebuilt battery was just a year old and should last for at least another year. Wrong on all counts. Repeated attempts to contact previous owner have met with limited success and few answers. After exhaustive attempts to get records from the dealership I learn I'm the 5th owner. Turns out the 2017 rebuild was a second attempt at a 2014 rebuild. Unable to contact either person who rebuilt the battery. Email only source of contact for either supposed rebuilder and there has been no response.

    I'm at my wits end. I need this car to last until Jan 2018. School will be done and paid for, and I'll get a raise at work.

    Question: what is my best course of action for P0A80?
    1. Salvage battery - you can't throw a rock without hitting a Prius around here. Cost?? Can it last 6 months?
    2. Prolong Battery Reconditioning System $460
    3. Throw in the towel and try and get another car?
    This is my first & last Toyota or used hybrid

    I've been lurking on this board since before I bought this beast and it's been very helpful. I'd be very interested to hear what you have to say about my particular situation.

    Mahalo (Thank you)
  2. Tommerdoo

    Tommerdoo Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    Superior, WI
    2007 Prius
    Hi Kumu, sorry to hear about your bad experience getting into the Prius world.

    First some of my Hawaii backstory.....I bought my first Prius on the Big Island when I lived there a few years ago. It was a 2004 and in retrospect, I was really gambling at the time for buying it in the first place. I'm very lucky that I didn't have any cell failures from my traction battery during that time because Hawaii generally is quite hot (which takes it's toll on batteries in general) plus I went up and down from the mountain above Kailua-Kona up to our place above the airport and I've learned that I put quite a bit of stress on that battery (evidenced by the loud fan noises I would get at times from the rear passenger seat). When I moved to the mainland, I think I dodged a bullet by selling the car when I did. But I loved the Prius and bought a 2007 in Washington state north of Seattle. The weather there is nearly perfect for hybrids. Cool temperate climate without extremes and I started to worry less and less about a failure.

    Back to your car.....
    I thought that the inverter pump was recalled on the Gen 2 Prii so I never gave them much thought as to a possible failure. Was yours replaced during the recall campaign? Having a blown radiator and spark plugs, belt and headlights (had to replace my xenon lights shortly after purchasing my 2007) are just normal wear and tear vehicle least your purchase price for the Prius was seemingly low, which may offset some of the costs you are incurring.

    Traction batteries.....
    After buying my Prius, I did all the maintenance that wasn't documented, because this vehicle actually has very few maintenance items compared to cars like my wife's Honda Pilot. The biggest issue though is getting a decent traction battery in Maui (Hawaii is like living in another nation when it comes to getting parts and goods shipped there). Prius batteries after 10 years have basically served their purpose and by choosing to buy a Prius that is 10 years old, you really should not purchase one unless you have money put aside for battery replacement, or are DIYer that wants to tear into the battery and replace / rehabilitate modules. A lot of it also depends on your finances. If it were me and my battery died tonight, I would simply buy the $1600 one from one of PriusChat's website ( | Home) because I've had him help me on Priuschat and he is extremely active on this website and I believe that he has a lot of knowledge about batteries and can deliver them at a very affordable price (on the mainland anyways) to your door (without a core charge--you get to keep your core and sell it to recoup $$$) I would buy his battery and install it myself after watching enough videos then I would learn about the old battery modules and sell them on ebay to recover part of the costs of the new battery (you might make $600 back by selling your old pack modules off). But shipping to Hawaii by air may be quite expensive, and slow boat may not be something you can wait for (down a car for a month wouldn't be fun). If the costs were too high and I had very little money, I would be tempted to temporarily fix the bad modules in the pack with good modules from a reputable source but that module replacing game may burn you out quickly. Just for fun I found you a thread about a guy in Hawaii having a similar battery experience (below). Hawaii is tough place to purchase an old Prius. You are brave my friend!

    Thread to read......
    Buying new Battery/ Core Credit | PriusChat

    Oh, I found another good thread......maybe interesting?
    My P0A080 fault code and battery rebuild | PriusChat
    #2 Tommerdoo, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  3. dubit

    dubit Senior Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    2016 Prius c
    With all the issues you've posted and a "reconditioned battery" that is guaranteed to be an issue, your option #3 would be my recommendation.

    While this has obviously put a stain on hybrids and Toyota's in particular for you, please try not to hold a grudge against either. You've got an old car there with a bunch of miles. Any hybrid / car that age will have issues. Personally, I would only buy a hybrid new or new enough that it was still in warranty. Lots of people here disagree with me on this, but it seems like every other day someone like yourself posts here about issues with their car at about the same mileage/age. I feel sorry for each one...