Gen 2 2008 Prius - next stage of life?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Taeriel, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    I haven't been a regular visitor to this site over the past 9 years with my Gen2 2008 Prius, something that I regret. I would have loved to have been more involved, but life gets busy and there aren't enough hours in the day for everything. But I will say that every time I have come to the site I've learned valuable information and have been impressed by the mass of knowledge here.

    I'm hoping to ask for advice regarding the next stage of life for my 2008 Gen2 Prius. I bought it used in 2010 with 58k miles. Over the last 9 years it has been a wonderful car for me with relatively light maintenance. I've had the inverter pump replaced under warranty, a few other regular maintenance and repair odds and ends. The car is just shy of 222k miles now. It still gets 47-51mpg. I was about to DIY replace the brakes, but that's as easy as considered done. The front wheel bearings were recently replaced thanks to a nasty pothole. And then, sadly, the hybrid battery failed. I was seriously bummed, as I had hoped to get another 2-3yrs before moving to a new car. Unfortunately the failure caught me by surprise and at a time when I didn't have the capacity to research options as I should have. My mechanic estimated the dealer would charge $4-5k with installation. A friend put me in touch with someone who does refurbished batteries, but while they were lovely, as someone working in reliability and FA I couldn't justify the cost vs risk ($1500 with 5k mile warranty). I wish I had gotten onto the forum and read about options such as the new battery sold by 2k1Toaster / newpriusbatteries.com. I would have given very serious consideration to that option. But I was overloaded and instead, I went ahead and made the jump to all EV, purchasing a Chevy Bolt.

    I am left considering what might be the best course of action for the next stage of life for my 2008 Prius. I hate the thought of it just going for scrap due to this one failed (abet critical) part. Part of the reason I went with a Prius in the first place was a desire to promote sustainability. I would love for the car to have some more useful purpose left for it. And so, I was hoping some members here, being much more versed in all things Prius than I am, might be able to give some realistic guidance.

    Does it make sense to purchase a new battery such as from 2k1Toaster, pay someone in the Ca Bay Area to install it, and then sell the car? (The physical aspects of swapping out the battery ourselves sounds straightforward. However I am unsure about the safety aspect since we don't have experience with the hybrid battery.) I'm not looking to make a real profit; just to not lose money, have it be worth the time and to see the car serve a better use for a while longer.

    The Chevy dealer (of course) said that in terms of trade-in it was only worth the scrap metal value. I opted not to do that because it felt like a waste. He did suggest donating the car to a local community college's auto program, to help students learn. I can see some service and use in that, though I guess I'd hope for that to be further in the future after some further driving use.

    Option 3 I've considered is to sell the car to the local Pick N Pull yard. If it weren't reasonable for the car to be driven farther, I'd like to at least see the parts recycled. Again, some sense of sustainability. But again, I'd love to see this come further in the future if reasonable.

    I've also thought about maintaining it as a second car for the purpose of long road trips in areas where EV charging might be iffy as yet, but I suspect the cost of maintaining insurance on two cars wouldn't be worth it for me as a single driver.

    One other issue with the car: there is an intermittent, temporary failure which I think may be the combination meter. Every so often I get the classic symptoms - dashboard lights don't come on, only partial info on the center screen, mileage doesn't track, etc. It has thus far always been temporary though. Sometime later, after driving, stopping and powering off, then later starting up again, everything is back to normal. Other than this, the only real issues are cosmetic. The cloth interior is worn. There are a few areas where the protective layer on the paint has peeled. I need to glue a part on the hatch latch area that snapped such that it comes loose easily.

    What advice would you all give me? What makes realistic sense? Is 220k too many miles to be worth a next stage of life use? Does the possible combination meter issue make it not worth it? I had (foolishly) hoped to drive it a lot longer, but perhaps others might consider it too used?

    Thank you!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe try listing it with and without a battery. these cars can go 3 and 400,000 miles if maintained properly.

    should be worth something to the right buyer
     
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  3. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, Bisco. Chatting with people at work, they've typically been surprised at the amount of mileage on the car, saying it has had a good life and implying that's an end of life amount of driving. I had always thought it should be able to go a lot longer and am glad to hear that is what would be thought here as well. Heh, if things hadn't been so stressful when the battery died I might have gotten on here and traveled a different path. I'm of course happy to have reduced my carbon footprint long term with the EV, but at the same time I will miss my Prius. I'd love to see it go to a new home where someone can get another 100-200k miles use from it.

    Where would you recommend listing it?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can list it here, 'cars for sale', and craigs list, et al
     
  5. egg_salad

    egg_salad Active Member

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    The main question is, "do you need a 2nd car?" If you don't. sell the Prius as-is. Chances are that a handy flipper will buy it, install a new battery (or just replace the bad modules if he/she is deceitful) and sell it on. If you're done with it, be done with it.
     
  6. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    I've been debating the 2nd car question, definitely. As the only driver, and being unable to drive 2 cars at once, the question would be whether I need a gas car as a road trip car or backup. I don't do a huge amount of road trips; it would be just as cost effective to rent a car for those instances vs paying year round insurance and other costs I think. I do have sentimental attachment to the Prius, but I have to balance that logically against the costs to get it running again on top of new car d/p and loan payments. Logically, it makes more sense to sell it.

    I was considering craigslist, and had forgotten that there would be a section here. I'll give it a try here. Thanks!
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a new member just posted. he bought a 2008 with 280,000 miles and a new battery. he was pretty excited.
     
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  8. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    That's good to know!
     
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  9. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    My mechanic charges $120 to swap the battery in so as far as I'm concerned labor is pretty much free. Although I've found if my guy charges 2 hours @ $60/hour it probably means your guy is gonna call it 5 hours @ $110/hour. He's usually about 1/3rd of the price of what other mechanics charge.

    So start by shopping around to see what kind of rates you get for a 2 hour job....

    Lately I've been finding that the other prius mechanic (who charges me $400 parts/labor to rebuild it) isn't quite as reliable as OEM. You drive them around for 6 months and 1/4 or 1/5 of them will fail (I have a small fleet) and have experienced every single known problem ever.

    So lately I throw in a used OEM battery. LKQ is priced higher than some of the no-name junk yards. LKQ has like 40k employees, they're nationwide, they do over $3 billion in sales per year, and the company is worth over $10 billion. So they can be trusted on their parts (they don't make up miles, they offer excellent warranties, etc.).

    Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market is the junkyard database that every dealer and collision shop in the country is aware of. The no-name yards are about $500 for a battery but LKQ is a slight premium (around $800 but they sell them to me for $650).

    So when ours break we spend $650 + $120 labor = $770 with a decent mileage (around 120k) used OEM battery.

    I'm not familiar with the 2KToaster battery (although I've seen the website and has amazing reviews) but I think his is around $1500-$1700 before labor. Brand new from the toyota dealership is now about $1750.

    Long story short with brand new or from 2KToaster you won't be much higher than $2000 installed. And with a used battery probably $900-$1000.

    Either way it is much less than the $4000-$5000 your mechanic estimated it would be.

    Battery comes out in 45 minutes to an hour. Battery goes in in 45 minutes to an hour.
     
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  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Since you've already purchased a new vehicle.
    I'd sell the Prius and move on.

    Excuse me if I say, this kind of sounds like buyers remorse in buying the Chevy Bolt?
     
  11. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    I can see where you might think that, and I can't say there is none of that on the side... I might have chosen differently if I had realized that I could fix it for $2k rather than $5k or more. But for the most part, I just honestly had no good gauge as to whether the Prius was salable or not; whether it would be considered useful or not. Feedback from the Chevy dealer was that it was only good for scrap or auto-mechanic school donation, but I knew that was a bit biased. I checked Craigslist and saw one with similar mileage for sale but had no way of knowing whether it sold or not. So my main goal has been to get feedback for a reasonable expectation. I've been heartened to see that others also feel it should have more life and usage left for it. Since things have worked out such that it won't be by me, I hope to see someone else find as much use from the car as I have.
     
  12. Taeriel

    Taeriel Junior Member

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    Thanks for the feedback on battery replacement costs! When I did a search online for a new Toyota OEM battery, I was finding around $3k (such as here) and my mechanic thought installation would be around $1k. It wasn't something his shop did, and I am now thinking that his estimate was probably out of date, not well informed or he might have been thinking specifically dealer labor.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a hybrid mechanic who can swap batteries in the Ca South Bay Area? I will start calling around, but if anyone has a favorite that would be a great place to start.

    Looking ahead, I'll need to get some non-raining daylight hours where the car is being storedto take some photos, and then I'll go ahead and post on the for sale area.

    Thanks!

     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    to get a $2,000. oem battery, you have to live near a dealer willing to sell one for that price. it is not fixed, although toyota has a suggested retail price.

    if you find one to your liking, or want to go with toasters $1,600. aftermarket, ask luscious garage how much to install. i think there is another hybrid specialist out there as well. cant think of the name off the top of my head, maybe someone else knows.

    be cautious of battery rebuilders, there are a lot of them around you.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    art's automotive. he is in berkeley though
     
  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Excuse my ignorance if I've missed a post.
    So you've decided to replace the battery?
    Replace and keep the Prius as a 2nd vehicle? Or replace to sell?

    I would highly recommend NOT replacing the battery if your intent is just to sell it. From a value to dollars standpoint, it just doesn't work out in your favor.

    It seems a priority of yours is the idea that the vehicle continues on...as a useful vehicle.
    I would offer the opinion that if you sell it, openly and as the vehicle it is, in it's current state, you are promoting it's continuation. It's not guaranteed but very likely anyone who would buy the vehicle from you, would be buying it to repair/replace the Hybrid Battery and thus the vehicles life...would continue. The other possible scenario would be someone buying it as a parts car, and even if that scenario was the reality, that in of itself is a form of recycling and continuation.

    The choice of course is entirely yours.
    There is no wrong answer.

    Good Luck either moving on from your Prius, or continuing the venture.
     
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  16. Spudh

    Spudh Junior Member

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    I'm in a similar situation except that my HV battery is (at least it was 12 months ago !) still 70%. The rest of the car is pretty much clapped out after 229,000 miles. I've replaced it with a plug-in hybrid BMW 225Xe.

    I was mulling over what to do when it occurred to me lately that I might use it as a backup generator for the house. I'm currently building a new house which will be quite efficient but will still need electricity to heat it, even with a wood stove with a back boiler I need electricity to run a pump.

    What I'm wondering is what's the maximum size inverter I could reasonably run off the 12V system or has anyone hacked into the HV system.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of re-purposing the car as a backup generator. I was going to buy a diesel generator but then it struck me that the Prius was just sitting there with all its electrickery destined for a crusher.

    I've seen lots of videos of people putting 1000watt inverters and such but I'm thinking more like 3,500W.
     
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  17. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Your query is pretty much a FAQ so a forum search will results in plenty of threads (tip: add hurricane or storms to the search terms too). Basically 1,000 watts when connected to the 12v.

    Thinking outside the box:
    :)
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, for a dedicated back up gen, you definitely want to hack the hybrid battery. i think if you do some serious research, you'll find some help.
    there used to be a company that sold inverters for the hybrid battery, but they didnt get enough takers and went bust.
    but those threads are here and might be helpful too.
     
  19. Spudh

    Spudh Junior Member

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    I found that company but like you said, they are no longer in business so I was wondering what the current thinking was.

    Interestingly my wife's Estima Hybrid has a built in inverter with 100V AC output. It's switched from a button on the dash with a 1500W limit. Not bad for a standard feature.

    1000W from the 12V system is not bad and would be enough to run a central heating circulation pump ( or a flat screen TV if a critical match was imminent )

    Thanks for the replies!
     

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  20. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow New Member

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    Hey man. Pm me I travel every week and I have a few ideas.
     
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