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After 250,000 miles (Update: now 293,000), should I just drive it 'til it drops?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Priusyipee, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    2005 Prius over 250,000 miles purchased 11/05/2005. Currently, the car runs fine on original Hybrid battery. Mileage is stable. May need new bearings again (already replaced 4 times over its life). Two areas of the body developing rust. One obvious, the other just bubbled paint - both near wheel wells on the rocker panels. Rest of the body in great condition, interior mint condition (heated leather seats) all carpeting and seats spotless (kept covered) over its lifetime. The engine does not burn oil at all (unusual, I think) - Mobil 1 every 5,000mi. Mostly high highway driving over its lifetime with the exception of driving a mail route part time 2007 - 2010 and full time 2011. No problems with anything else mechanically or electrically. The car has been driven roughly 31,000 miles annually since 2012.

    I am at the point where I need to do complete fluid changes on all systems (brake, coolant: hybrid & engine, transaxle), new plugs, PCV, front bearings, brakes, struts, and tires (next spring as I have a winter set). The 12V is over 4 years old. My concern is getting all this maintenance done only to have the hybrid battery give out within the next 6 months. It has been a very reliable car and the ONLY car that I've ever owned that has attained such high mileage with no mechanical issues.

    I would love to part it out since cosmetically, the car is looking good and I have had the 3-M plastic covering the hood, bumper and front fenders... Is there interest in parts?

    What's the overall opinion out there? Drive it til it drops or keep maintaining it with the possibility that the hybrid battery will give up at any time? I am sure this issue is one that we are all facing as these cars age.
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    You have taken care of it, and it has taken care of you. Why change?

    If the battery goes, you could blow a grand on a ebay battery every 100,000 miles until it is really dead.
    Toyota Prius 09 battery | eBay

    Once you no longer want your car, (this may be now) you will quit caring for it and it will become unreliable. If this is your case, that is far more a time to get rid of it than any mile points you achieve.
     
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  3. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Keep on driving it of course. It has served you well and will continue to do so I'd wager.

    My 05 has 243K miles - 109K that I've put on it in the 5 years I've owned it. I plan on keeping it at least until
    the HV battery fails - hopefully it won't for a few more years.
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I take it from your profile that this is NOT your only car.
    Unless you just want change for changes sake,- which is valid,- then I'd keep it.

    At this point, it's value as a used car is minimal anyway. It's value to you personally as a usable vehicle is it's greatest value.

    Could the hybrid battery fail? Sure.
    But since it's very difficult to predict this happening, I'd keep driving it at least until it does, then revisit what you want to do.

    You've owned it since new, or nearly new, so you know what you are investing into.

    If a lot of this maintenance is something you DIY? Then the investment into that is also minimal.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    dump it, before it dumps you.;)
     
  6. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    I'll do the regular maintenance before winter really sets in and revisit the issue next Spring when the bigger issues will need to be addressed. Since I have an '08 Prius (my son drives it) with 120,000 miles, I guess it may be worth it to keep it running as long as possible. I could always use it as a parts car and part out what I may not need.
    If the traction battery on the '08 does not fail before or shortly after 150,000 miles, then the investment in a new battery for the '05 would not only keep my current car going, but can supply a battery in the event his fails out of warranty. The '05 has more value as a source of cheap transportation than anything else since I put so many miles on it each year!
     
  7. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    6 months later and the car continues to drive with no problems. Far outpaced my expectations. Creeping up on 270,000 miles! Ordering the new tires this weekend and keeping up on routine oil changes with Mobil 1 every 5000 miles and recently replaced another HID headlight bulb on the passenger side. I will change out the other fluids in August / September before cold weather arrives. What are the chances that this thing will make it through another winter?
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  9. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    Well, I guess the tires and (and now) muffler could be transferred to the '08 if it dies...

    Just keeps on going... :eek:
     
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  10. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    Well, we made it to August and just took a 600 mile round trip to Massachusetts. The car averaged 51.9mpg with the a/c on the whole trip. The battery is still performing like a champ. Muffler heat shield fell off a few days after my return and was able to retrieve it. Nothing that an oversized washer won't cure with a reinstall. The muffler itself now needs replacement as it leaks. I guess that I'll buy another round of winter tires (last set purchased for winter 2011 - 2012 and lasted 4 winters) and do the recommended fluid changes. Currently, the mileage is 270,450 miles

    It keeps going...and going...
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    love the bunny!(y)
     
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  12. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    We could be nearing the end of the road for this guy. Made it past 273,000 miles. The hybrid battery, however, may be on its way out. After starting in the morning, the battery charge drops from blue to purple range within the first few miles of driving - down to 2 bars... and slowly recharges back into the blue range. The rear passenger seat fan has not yet been triggered to start. No lights or warnings but I believe that the car is now telling me that I have to either buy a new Prius or prepare to install a new hybrid battery. I know these are the classic symptoms and it could be days, weeks or months until the hybrid battery gives in.

    I've decided to drive it as is without additional maintenance except for oil changes as needed. Let's see how long it lasts. The car will be in service 11 years on November 4th. The sad thing is that aside from some rust on a rocker panel (from a bad repair), a bit of rust showing through the rear quarter panel and no door over the gas cap, the car is in excellent condition. The interior is also in excellent condition and super clean with bisque leather seats. The engine does not burn oil and the CVT is in great shape. I had the car inspected for rust underneath and was told that the frame and suspension were solid and in good condition. It would be a gamble to put another (new) hybrid battery in the vehicle but then again, we do have a 2008 Prius with 142,000 miles on it which will be out of warranty within a year.

    Like the idea of having a "beater" that I don't have to worry about, cheaper insurance, and no monthly car payment. I could afford the 3,000. It would be worth it if I could get at least another 3 years out of the car. As I am typing this, I feel that I am talking myself into getting a battery for the car and calling it a day. Any opinions out there?
     
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  13. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Since a new battery will transfer into the '08 when it needs it, I'd say it's a no-brainer. It seems I've heard of batteries available for under $2500 somewhere if you DIY.
     
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  14. bikes4u

    bikes4u Member

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    just keep driving it. When the battery goes bad fix the bad modules and keep on driving it. Long live the prius
     
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  15. 09Prius2

    09Prius2 Member

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    Just a reminder type suggestion, what is the condition of the 12v battery? While I'm sure the high voltage battery is not good as new, it may not be worth throwing in the towel on it just yet.

    I'm also under the impression that an ageing battery can operate just fine on a short cycle even if it doesn't hold a strong charge overnight. While the car is being driven, the battery only needs to hold a regenerative charge for a couple minutes in order to have usable power from the next stop.
     
  16. eman08

    eman08 Active Member

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    That kind of question is really up to you to decide not the community. Keep it and keep matianing it or trade in and upscale for a newer gen Prius or what ever. The longer you keep it the lower sale value. My 09 Prius has 162k miles getting ready to to hit 163k miles on it in a couple days with all original parts and battery. I don't go by how many miles it has on it as the car is still young. I may keep mine for awhile and probably upscale for the third gen. By the time I trade mine in, it would be worth far less while the third gen would be worth nearly the same saling price as an 09 Prius currently today as these cars depreciate.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  17. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    +1

    Easiest question I'll answer today!!! :D
     
  18. dstahre

    dstahre Member

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    Which bearings?
     
  19. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    It's value as a working used car is low. So if it takes a dump on you tomorrow, you won't be out much money. If I were a single car family, I'd replace it now for peace of mind. If I were a multi car family, I'd keep driving it.

    I wouldn't stop repairs on it though. Say the car is worth $1000 while it's working and it's worth $500 while broken. I'd put up to $500 in any repairs or maintenance on the car.
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Seems like Prius need more bearing than brake pad changes. o_O
     
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