Moving from east coast to west coast on 2004 Prius 135k miles

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by JohnVPrius, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. JohnVPrius

    JohnVPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2021
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    US
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Hi everyone,

    I have a 2004 Prius with 135k miles (bought in 2018 @ 118k miles) and I just got a new job in the west coast. I currently live in the east coast and I was thinking of putting all my stuff in the car and driving there. Not for money reasons but for life experience and easier logistics.

    I bought this car around 3 years ago and its past is unknown to me. These are some remarks and issues I have had with it during all these years
    Issues:
    1) Air leaking from the rims due to corrosion (apparently solved by now; got a portable tire pump just in case)
    2) Water in the trunk (got some flex seal and fixed it)
    3) Steering wheel was completely misaligned when I bought it. If one wanted to drive straight, the steering wheel would have to be rotated around 10 degrees. It was fixed after an alignment at Toyota. This is something that concerns me a bit, since whenever I drive the car in a highway and there is cross wind, the car would get pushed out of the lane and I would have to correct its trajectory. The steering wheel feels a little loose... not sure that is normal. I don't hear any noises but it is like if I fix the steering wheel straight, the car sways a bit.
    4) The ride is rough suspension-wise. I avoid pot holes because I have a feeling the suspension is dying. Not sure I am being overly cautious. Visually, the suspension boot is disintegrated at the front driver side.

    Maintenance:
    1) No idea regarding the HV battery. The case says it is from 2003 (H21XGAQ0185A serial in the battery case). So far so good. Highway MPG around 48.
    2) 12V battery should be good as it was tested recently.
    3) Transmission and coolant fluids changed in 2018.
    4) New cabin and engine filters
    5) Spark plugs changed at 120k miles

    My main concerns are the HV battery dying on me in the highway or the suspension breaking somehow, specially with the weight of the stuff I want to carry. The idea was no drop the back seats and put clothes, kitchen stuff, etc. No furniture.

    Should I just sell my car and most of my things or should I drive to the west coast? One option is to put the things inside the car and hire a company to take it there. I think this might lead to problems because usually companies don't like to take cars with things inside.

    Sorry for the long post and I appreciate your input.
     
  2. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2020
    231
    77
    0
    Location:
    iowa
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I’d say keep it and drive it! i thinking buying and selling right now wouldn’t be fun in todays market and you’ve at least got the past three years of known maintenance. You’ve also changed the fluids. definitely an adventure!
     
    srellim234 and bisco like this.
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,309
    43,206
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    sounds like a cream puff. highway driving is easy on the hybrid battery, as it doesn't come into play much.
    any long distance trip is a risk. keep your cell phone charged, join triple a, and enjoy the adventure!

    ps, take the southern route :cool:
     
    srellim234 likes this.
  4. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    4,346
    3,911
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Welcome to PriusChat!!
    Run a carfax or take the registration/title into a dealer and ask for the "service history", as the mileage seems a tad low for the vehicle age.

    Does the vehicle have the original catalytic converter, as some states require such for emission purposes. (which state are you landing in?)
    Putting that kind of weight in the vehicle shouldn't be a problem. Once I hauled 13 buckets of paint in a gen2, though not from the east coast.

    If attempting to climb larger hills/mountains and or at elevation, you should be aware of the HV battery state of charge (SOC) and when it goes low, then you should pull over and safely perform a "forced charge" to top up the HV battery, before continuing your accent.

    If you post your location, there might be another member who could help "grid charge" and cycle your HV battery to recondition it a bit.
    Will you be needing a vehicle once you relocate, if not now is a great time to sell a used Prius.

    FYI : you're being moderated until you've posted 5 times.
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  5. JohnVPrius

    JohnVPrius New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2021
    2
    0
    0
    Location:
    US
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Not looking forward to buying and selling right now. The adventure looks much nicer.

    Do you know if phone reception is too bad? I am going from Philadelphia to San Diego. Is the southern route the old route 66?

    Great idea. I will work on that.

    From what I have noticed, yes. I took a picture of the catalyst and it has the toyota logo so I would guess it is original. I am going to San Diego, CA.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Is this necessary or just a precaution to make the battery last longer?

    I will definitely need a vehicle so that is the main reason I want to take my current car. Buying a new car in a new place with the current market, and probably in a rush, will be a nightmare $$.

    Thanks everyone for the comments.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,309
    43,206
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i don't, and it may depend on what service you have. you can look at a map of coverage. we've never had any trouble going to florida on at&t
     
  7. Frontporch

    Frontporch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    164
    37
    0
    Location:
    Nj
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Also, watch where you leave your car. Catalytic converter theft has been and probably still is a big concern. I wouldn't be careful to not leave the car in areas where someone has easy access, or.. get some kind of guard installed over the converter.
     
  8. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    4,346
    3,911
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The current HV battery is likely getting long in the tooth, and this would be a prudent precaution.
    Catalytic theft is real, best to plan accordingly. An installed replacement OEM cat (CA law) will likely set you back 2.5k or more. Once the cat has been replaced they will likely come back in a couple of weeks and borrow the newer recently replaced one.
    Wish any actually worked, we've seen pics of them cut open and the cat stolen. Not sure how many seconds it adds to an under 2 min job.

    Might read these two threads, as the expanded metal approach that @Kaptainkid1 took appears to still be holding strong :

    Preventing Catalytic Converter theft | PriusChat

    https://priuschat.com/threads/going-over-board-in-protecting-my-catalytic-converter.225693
     
  9. Another

    Another Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2021
    758
    182
    0
    Location:
    Naples, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Anyone have any experience it’s the 304 stainless MillerCat model? Looks sturdier than the predecessor aluminum model but does it have same vulnerability?
     
  10. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    752
    163
    0
    Location:
    Hutchinson Island,FL. Mt. Snow,VT
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    They have very strict 'vehicle inspections' on the west coast
    Your Prius might not pass inspection there.
     
  11. Merkey

    Merkey Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    189
    159
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Check for recalls on the steering. A steering component was replaced on my 2006 under recall.
     
Loading...