I am scared

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Stormraider007, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Stormraider007

    Stormraider007 New Member

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    Hello Prius Chat,

    I was all gun-ho into buying a 2012-2013 Prius v. But after reading some of the posts here have me second-guessing. There are two I am interested in ( I can't post links yet ) but they are a 2012 "5" with the tech package with 114K miles, 2 owners, no accidents on the report, and serviced by Toyota dealerships in California every 10k like clockwork by both owers including "Emissions system serviced" at 93k. The Carfax shows a lot of stuff "checked", which I assume is just part of the 5,10 k service requirements.

    The 2nd is a 2013 "5" with 103K miles, one owner from Joplin Mo. every 5k, no reported accidents, not a whole lot of detail compared to the other car as to what was done at the services other than an oil change and tires checked. But it was regularly serviced by the same dealer almost every 5k.

    On paper, do these sound like good cars?

    Both cars are going for $12K. I am looking for something low maintenance, I am mechanically inclined. I just don't have a garage. The Prius v ticks a lot of the boxes my wife and I are wanting in a new to us car. We love to drive and travel, but the car will be mostly used for the commute of 4-700 miles a week. The gas savings alone from this car would save us almost $200 a month, which almost covers the payment.

    Am I crazy? Almost everything I find online says these cars are one of the most dependable, reliable, cheap to run cars out there. But this site has me scared.

    thanks,
    Matt
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    if you clean the egr circuit, and add an oil catch can, i think you'll be fine.
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If you spent approximately $800 every 100,000 miles the v would be that reliable.

    Every 100,000 to 150,000 have the EGR system cleaned.

    Every 100,000 miles have the ATF WS drained and filled.

    Never jump start another car.

    Pay attention to your 12 Volt battery and replace it when it is dying. (4 to 8 years, Everett never gets THAT hot or cold, so 8 years may be a goal)

    I think that covers the issues that may bite you.

    I do not know a mechanic in Everett, but I know Harmony Motorworks in Bellingham, (360) 671-2420, if you don't know a mechanic. They are about an hour north of you and both my older brother and my daughter use them. Harmony Motorworks - 2019 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) Auto Repair - Yelp
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I think extra scary is when they have around 150K miles or more, and proclaim "always dealer serviced". Those are the ones with knackered EGR and maybe head gasket starting to come apart.

    My 2 cents on the transaxle fluid change, just judging from apearance after doing several changes: the one year mark and/or 10K miles, is a good time for first change. Then you get let it go a long time. Whatever you get, I would just change the fluid right away.
     
  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    This site has me scared too....
     
  6. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Another "fraidy cat," here. I religiously maintain my 2012 v, although I have less tan 22k miles on it. I bought and installed an oil cat can and have a totally clean EGR cooler as a spare.

    I changed the transaxle fluid at 12k miles.

    Over-maintenance has worked for me. Other than pilot error, almost all other airplane crashes have been cause by poor maintenance.
     
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  7. Stormraider007

    Stormraider007 New Member

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    Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and advice. I also talked to some mechanics today and they have had good experiences with them as well. It looks like the EGR stuff can be done without jacking the car up. and I am not afraid of car fluids It just looks like its time-consuming.

    Has anyone heard about services that can prolong the life of the HE battery by "erasing" the memory by charge cycling the battery? That was one thing that a mechanic who works on hybrids only recommends doing-especially past the 150k mark. Hopefully, that makes sense.

    Thanks again everyone for the warm welcome! I have learned a lot already!
    Matt
     
  8. Stormraider007

    Stormraider007 New Member

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    What going on with that?
     
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    In any car, after 4 years your 12 volt battery is on borrowed time. Toyota actually warrants their aftermarket batteries for 84 months, so they are not at all bad batteries.

    On most cars you can tell your 12 volt battery is getting weak by listening to it try to start the engine. That Ugh Ugh noise is a clue. The Prius does not use the 12 volt battery to start the engine, the HV Battery does that. The 12 volt battery starts the computers. So the obvious clue you are used to does not apply. A clue you can use is to roll the windows up and down in ACC, then start the car and roll them up and down again. If they are much slower with the car off, the 12 volt battery is weak. Better is to break out the voltmeter, if it is under 12 volts, start planning to replace it soon.

    Since the 12 volt battery does not start the engine, Toyota sized it very small, so leaving your lights on, or a door ajar, can drain it fast.

    Very hot temps are bad for batteries, and very cold temps can thicken lubricants, making the battery do more work. You have mild temperatures.
     
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  10. Stormraider007

    Stormraider007 New Member

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    Thank you Jimbo!

    My wife and I like to go to drive-in movies a lot. Does the radio and such use the 12v battery? Or does turning the car "on" bypass the 12v system?
     
  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    There is a small number of owners on here that swear by "battery conditioning" products but there really is no way to tell if the really accomplish anything useful or not. And the "real" battery experts seem to think not. And the equipment is fairly expensive. And this type of battery really does NOT have the dreaded memory effect that the old ni-cad's did.

    Simple fact: A hybrid vehicle is more complicated that a plain gas engine car. The odds are with a LOT of miles, the total maintenance expenses will be higher.

    Have you considered a "good" low mileage used Corolla.....or similar ?
    The real world gas mileage difference might not be that much.
    And the odds are that the maintenance will be less.

    My family loves our Prii......but won't be keeping either of them anywhere near 100K miles.
    If we were on a tight budget, we wouldn't have them in the first place.

    P.S. Sites like this tend to draw a disproportionate amount of people who HAVE problems......and a very small number of those who do not. It makes things look much worse than they really ARE......in most cases.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    It's an iffy thing. I would try to find a way to raise the car, get comfortable with it, whether or not you end up needing to. If I recall correctly I did most everything from above, but if you drop anything, you'll wish you had the car raised and the engine under panel removed. There's a 50/50 chance the dropped item will hang up somewhere, or it might fall right through. Either way.

    You could go with ramps, but best to do that at the outset, before you have the car partially mechanically disassembled. A floor jack and at least a pair of safety stands would be my preference, you can raise the front with the front jacking point, settle it onto safety stands.

    It would be best to also have solid rubber wheel chocks (4 in total), wedged on either side of the rear wheels. I would leave the safety brake off when doing that. If not using chocks, make sure the safety brake is solidly locked.

    I did the whole thing with the front raised, but in hindsight, it would have been easier to only raise it if and when needed, since it makes it harder to reach into the engine bay, you sometimes need to resort to a stepping stool.

    I've found these good places to place the safety stands (marked in red), better than the scissor jack lift points shown in Owner's Manual, much more solid and stable:

    upload_2019-12-5_9-42-57.png
    Some pics of safety stands in position:
    jackstand01.JPG
    jackstand02.JPG
    jackstand03.JPG
    jackstand04.JPG
    (The L-shaped bracket should help you orient.)
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    research the battery balancing threads, and possibly youtube using the prolong conditioner from hybrid automotive
     
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  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This is neither the battery chemistry, nor the type of usage, that leads to battery 'memory' issues.

    Other battery aging issues are another matter ...
     
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  15. Centerpunch

    Centerpunch Junior Member

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    I'm sure a lot of 100K mile cars are fine, but lower mile cars are around, for not too much more money.

    A couple months ago I bought a mint one-owner 23K mile 2013 V with the Certified warranty (good through Sept 2026 and transferable if I sell the car) from a local Toyota dealer for $15.5K.

    The certified warranty doesn't really cover a lot (for example, it doesn't cover the hybrid battery), but it can't hurt.
     
  16. bostonbruins8703

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    6200A60F-6590-45F1-8E89-750420E0CC9A.jpeg
    Best advice given. I will say that I’m the type that gets over paranoid on “what if” possibilities. Especially if I let them ponder around my head for to long. I find that this forum is extremely helpful when it comes to advice and how toos however it can drive people like me nuts where you worry about what will go wrong, when it will and what do to do. I’m super appreciative of everyone on here who has given me advice

    but I also find if you spend to much time reading topics and posts, it will make you second guess on getting the Prius. The likelyhood of all Prius issues that pop up on this forum to your car is extremely unlikely. Unless you are that unlucky then I don’t know what to say.

    Just get the car serviced as needed and do those three major maintenance items (EGR cleaning, ATF drained and filled, check your 12volt) and you should be fine. Keep the car for a long time, watch the DYI videos on YouTube and save some money and maybe look into eventually changing any battery cells that have gone bad overtime. Also installing an oil catch can is a must!


    From my experience with my V. I’ve had it for 2 and a half years. Got her at 78k, now I’m at 130,000. I haven’t had any issues and I’ve done two separate 1,300 mile road trips, fully loaded with my family and luggage. Averaged around 45mpg for both trips. It’s a fantastic road trip car. Did a road trip last winter, trunk loaded with 5 large carry on suitcases, 3 adults and two kids on a mini road trip for a weekend and still averaged 45 mpg and everyone was comfortable during the ride.

    My previous job had me commuting 550+ miles a week. About 90% highway miles and I averaged 49-50 mpg. All calculated by Fuelly. My new work commute is around 300 miles a week, but I drive up more hills on this commute so I’ve been averaging between 44-47 mpg. Still way better than the advertised numbers.

    Last winter, my hot water heater kicked the bucket. So with the help of YouTube and a friend of mine, we went down to the local Lowe’s, loaded up the new 44 gallon, nearly 5ft tall water heater in the back with some plywood and went back to my place to install. The water heater fit in the back (seats folded down) without a problem and still had plenty of room to spare. There was a guy parked next to me; loading up his work truck and the look on his face was priceless and he said “I can’t believe how much room your car has and how it fit.” I posted the picture above.

    I do most of my commutes by myself and I don’t use the extra space that often but it does come in handy when you’d get in a bind like I did with my water heater. I don’t think a regular Prius would of been able to accommodate the family road trips as well as the V is able to.

    Sitting in a regular third gen vs the V. The V wins, no center flying console, the ride height is higher, the ride is smoother, pitch and bounce control, control/dash read out is more easy to read (in my opinion). The extra room for a tall person is well worth it. I felt confined when I test drove the regular gen3.


    Sorry for running on, lol it’s 2am here and I can’t sleep.
     
  17. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    It would be helpful if you told the OP where he could find a selection of 2016 Prius v Five for $12,000. Or just one at that price.

    I just looked at a massive number of for sale listings on cars.com and the lowest asking price I found for a 2016 Prius v Five was $16,488 and that one had 158,000 miles on it. A number of 2016 v Five's with the ATP were listed above $20,000 and as high as $23,000.

    As a point of reference, I was going to list our 2012 Prius v Five/ATP (43,xxx miles) a couple of months ago at $13,500. Other than two minor paint scratches from rocks, it's visually perfect and has been serviced by a Toyota dealership every 5,000 miles including 5,000 mile oil changes. We were going to sell it due to buying a 2020 RAV4 Hybrid Limited but decided to wait for the 2021 RAV4 plug-in hybrid.
     
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  18. Centerpunch

    Centerpunch Junior Member

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    I am a newbie here, and not averse to searching for threads, but with eight years of discussions, that is easier said than done.

    It would be VERY useful for new owners (and potential owners) if there was a sticky thread titled something like:

    Important maintenance tips for reliable long life of the Prius V

    That thread would show a list of the important items, and links to the best thread(s) that cover each. From my short time here, seems like the top three would be:

    1) The engine EGR cooler will clog over time, and that can lead to big and expensive engine problems. Read these threads (links here) for more details on the problem, how to clean or replace the cooler, and how to add an oil catch tank to reduce the problem.

    2) The ATF fluid (transmission fluid) should be replaced after XXXXX miles, and then every XXXXXX miles. Read this thread (link here) to learn more.

    3) 12 volt battery- since it's not used to start the car, you may not know it needs to be replaced. But it's very important- read this thread (link here) to learn more.
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there are a lot of stickies that should replace most of the useless existing stickies
     
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  20. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If someone was making a sticky, I really would add:

    4) Never jump start another car, try not to jump start your Prius repeatedly. Cross posting the cables, even briefly, can cost $500.

    5) The Prius braking system is complex, not a shade tree afternoon. If you are an expert, read up on Prius precautions, if you are not, get a professional.

    All of these would apply to the Gen 3 liftback as well