prius 2010 hybrid batteries dead at 126000km and up on atleast 3 taxis i know of

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by socratesthecabdriver, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    First, there must be something very different about driving in Greece, as we don't see batteries failing every 100,000 miles in taxi service in north America.

    Second, can you explain your calculation, as I can't follow. I especially don't see the 18000 euros every 200 km part.
     
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I was sold the Prius on the super reliability experienced by taxi drivers (and others) on this forum. But I am now starting to believe that American and European taxi work must be completely different. Start stop on a city block compared to continuously crawling in 500 year old narrow city streets. The bad experiences from Greece and my less than fabulous experience of my Prius makes me think they're just not cut out for taxi work. People who follow the forum regularly know the huge number of expensive parts my car has had fitted, thankfully all under warranty (UK warranties cover commercial use) and even the new inverter (failed at 71k miles) paid for my Toyota when I was outside warranty (UK warranty was 60k miles at the time). I no longer use the car as a taxi and haven't done since 64k miles and am now upto 73k miles.

    This thread is quite apt as today when heading off to collect my kids, the battery fan was going like crazy (only ever did it once before on a hot day a couple years ago) and was sat at 2/8 bars. It since climbed upto normal and ran ok later, but does seem to drop quickly again. Oh, the temperature today? 4 degrees c or 39f. I have a dreadful idea what that could be the start of and think it's time to trade the car in!

    The Prius is a great car, but is way too much of a thoroughbred.
     
  3. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Here in sunny, hot Southern California they are many Prius taxis. There are swarms of them at LAX and other airports in the area. I guess they make much more sense that using a gas guzzling Ford Crown Victoria. Anyway, the operational cost is probably no more for a Prius vs the Ford.
     
  4. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Perhaps the difference between 15 mpg US and 40 mpg US make it viable. The difference between a 38 mpg UK diesel and the 50 mpg UK Prius isn't that great. Diesels suffer with diesel particle filter and high pressure diesel pump issues, both of which are expensive fixes, but the Prius seems to suffer from HV battery issues, inverters and steering motors, all of which are expensive fixes requiring a visit to the Toyota dealer.

    There are still some tax benefits for hybrids here and petrol is cheaper than diesel in the UK (though not in other European Countries), so it's a close run thing. I think the Skoda Octavia and Ford Mondeo's are probably still best for UK taxi work. Cheap, plentiful parts, can be worked on easily and are larger. They do pollute more though.
     
  5. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    Are you saying that taxis in Europe mostly creep in slow motion in EV and go though many recharge cycles every day? How many recharge cycles a day do you think?
     
  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Yes and lots and lots. It was often down to 2/8 bars, then up, then down, then almost back up again etc etc. If I ever managed to get upto or over 30 mph in an average day, then it was an exception. Most inner city/town limits are 30 mph and slow moving, meaning the car is often on electric and isn't going quick enough to switch the engine on for any significant length of time. Obviously all towns and road networks are different, but my town was rather compact with lots of congested arterial routes and slow(er) side roads with lots of speed humps and 20 mph speed limits. By the time you ever get upto 30 mph, you're slowing down for a speed bump or a junction.

    I assumed your use of EV means electric rather than 'EV' mode.
     
  7. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    Yes, that's what I meant. If use of Prius is similar in Greece, this is what kills the traction battery and inverter: too many battery cycles and too much use of battery for traction. I also drive city 100% for my commuting in USA, but it's more like suburban driving with speed limits ranging from 35-40 MPH (I speed up to 10 over the limit). I exclusively drive pulse and glide (either accelerating at ~2000 RPM or coasting at 0 RPM) and almost never use traction battery for anything short of regenerative braking or brief driving when ICE is warming up. I only see 2 bars of charge maybe once a week or less when I hit some unfavorable traffic pattern. 90% of the time it seats at the usual 7-8 bars.
     
  8. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    It is hard to know what is going on with European taxis without someone doing a few battery autopsies. The hallmark of heat damage is that the modules in the middle of the pack have almost no capacity left, <1 amp-hour, while the modules on the ends of the pack are still pretty good (3-5 amp-hours). If it is just one module in one cell, then that is a possible battery management problem that could be happening due to the chronically low speeds experienced by the cabs.

    All batteries lose capacity over time. In normal driving, there is very little difference in mileage, but there can be some driveability problems, like the person who managed to get theirs replaced in the Gen II car that was failing to maintain speed over Donner Pass in California. It is possible that unusual combination of low speeds and reduced capacity due to age can put the battery management system into a state where a cell either gets reversed or overcharged.
     
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  9. AussieOwner

    AussieOwner Active Member

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    An update on my experience so far.

    Briefly, car has now run 120,000 kms. Service has been done every 10,000 kms, as per the manual (as produced in Australia) and all have been done by the dealer team. I generally do a 12 hour shift, 5 days a week, running up approx 300 kms per day. I keep the windows up, and the power on all day. We have upgraded our radio/computer system, and this has resulted in my not needing to have the window open while on a rank as we have a little hand device that beeps when we get a radio job, so now I keep the window up even on the rank.

    I have had the dealer check and clean the hv fan - minimal dirt present and they really questioned the need for the exercise - but it has given me a little peace of mind.

    I have noticed that I probably cycle the battery from 2 bars to all bars about 10 times per day - it gets down to 2 bars while sitting on the rank, then when I do a job, which generally involves running up a hill the return trip down the hill will result in a charge to all bars and the car automatically putting the car into B mode for the final 100 metres. If I get a run of jobs, so do not sit on a rank, then the battery level remains fairly constant at around 5-6 bars, but the current situation is that there are just not enough jobs. My income is down 20% on last year's figures, which is an indication of the downturn in business.

    Until the 120k service, no problems encountered. However, on the 120k service, was advised that there was a report of the battery temp sensor encountering a high battery temp, but only one report. Will be monitoring this over the next couple of services (the battery is still under warrenty).

    To date, my brake pads have gone from 10mm (new value) to 7mm, so still plenty of life in the pads. I was told by other operators that the average life of brake pads on the Falcons is 20,000 kms, so I am well ahead. This probably means that my driving style limits the number of times where the pads actually have to be used. I generally keep up with the traffic flow, but do not try to burn off the other cars from the lights, and slow down when approaching a red rather than stand on the brakes.

    Still getting 4.8 litres per 100 kms, even with the extra time sitting on the rank.

    I am now getting into the range where the Greek taxi drivers have encountered battery problems, but it probably will be another 12 months before I get to the high end of the range. Will keep you all posted if any issues are encountered.
     
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  10. socratesthecabdriver

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    HEY PALL MY BATTERY JUST DIED THIS WEEK AT 159575KM AND I HAVE DONE ALL THE SERVIXES AS PER TOYOTAS SPECS AND THEN SOME MORE !! YOU WILL LOOSE YOUR BATT TO AND THE I WILL SEE WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS MIRACLE CAR XAXAXAAAAAA

    MY BATT DIED THIS WEEK AT 159.575 KM .
     
  11. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I've posted a new thread about this subject in gen3 Prius care, troubles section.

    It appears from experience that the gen3 doesn't seem to be upto the job, other than in the US and that's got me wondering if cheaper or lower capacity parts are used in markets outside the US where many States have a 150,000 mile warranty. The thinking was that if Toyota built the car to be ok in the US at 150k miles, that it'd be OK here with our 60,000 mile warranty.

    Hindsight would indicate that perhaps our models have lower capacity parts and hence Toyotas prudence in offering a lower warranty!

    Be curious if anyone outside the US can quote a HV battery part number so we can see if it's the parts that are different or just that US driving and roads are easier on the pack. Either way, I think Toyota could have a negative issue here. Their trophy car suffering significant failures in 4 years. The gen2 didn't seem to, yet the gen3 is a lemon. (n)
     
  12. co_prius_3

    co_prius_3 Member

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    Wouldn't the traction battery temp sensor throw a code if the batteries got too warm?
     
  13. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Apparently not, or at least it's not getting passed on.
     
  14. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    I just read through this discussion.
    Can someone point me to instructions on how to:
    1) remove the filter grill,
    2) access the HV battery compartment
    for the GEN III?
     
  15. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    There are some threads around that, please follow search on DIY/filter/blower/HV battery...
     
  16. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Hi Grumpy!
    Yesterday I thought of your Prius-lemon...My laptop Toshiba died on its...2nd month of nursed-service-at-home...
    I've read a lot about reliability and chosen the "top pick"...got a lemon...:confused:
     
  17. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I had a bloke in my cab in the last few months before I quit. He asked about the car and I told him my experiences (which at that point wasn't as disastrous as it is now). He laughed and said he was a driver for a taxi firm down in the capital who had a few gen3 Prii and that they had all had issues with their batteries. I laughed it off at the time and told him about the gen2 cab going to 500,000 miles etc. He was quite adamant that it was the later gen3 that had issues.

    Over two years later and I remembered the conversation I had with him. Not all gen3's are going to have issues at 80,000 miles, but I recon a higher number will. I could put it down to my car being a lemon IF it wasn't for Toyota UK only offering a 60,000 mile warranty on the hybrid system. They knew something then. Warranties are carefully calculated. Toyota know how long the parts will/should last and set their warranty accordingly. They knew the car wasn't as hardy as the gen2 otherwise why not leave the warranty at 8 years/100,000 miles? Because they'd be bankrupted in warranty payments!
    Then the recall business hit in 2010 which cost them and they then set about improving their cars again. Word is out in my town of the problems I've had with my car. There are ZERO hybrids out of 400+ taxis and it will probably remain so for some time. Bad news travels fast.
     
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my sons girlfriends samsung lcd 65" tv died after two months. we have had two bad samsung's over the years. they seem to have the best picture quality, but worst reliability.
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Yeah I hear what you're saying. I'll remember to only post positive things on this forum. My experience of the Prius is that it's a lemon.

    It's the worst car I've owned for reliability. Might be why sales of the Prius in the UK are going down year on year too?

    Combined stats (16 models) PRIUS - How Many Left? (10,000 sales in 2010 to 6,000 last year to less than 3,000 in 3/4 of the year)

    In a land of $8+ a US gallon and a car renowned for fuel economy doesn't sell more than 5,000 units out of 1 million car sales a year? I know why. It's an expensive, unreliable lemon, too highly strung for its own good. It appears others are convinced either. No point saying £1,500 in fuel a year if you have expensive repairs that can't be carried out other than your main dealer.

    If I were rich and Chinese I might take a sledge hammer to my car outside the dealers for publicity, as it is, I can't afford to do that, I'll use word of mouth instead. It's cheaper and more eager.
     
  20. GasperG

    GasperG Senior Member

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    Till Mar 2013 is 3/4 of a year?

    What is happening is that there is a whole range of Toyota hybrids (Yaris, Auris, Prius+, Lexus CT) and of course Prius sales will suffer from that. New Auris Hybrid is selling really well, many were waiting for this model and when we will see data for the whole year 2013 we can talk further.

    The search engine on http://www.howmanyleft.co.uk is very buggy, I was searching a very long time to come up with what might be new Auris Hybrid and I very much doubt that all models are included:
    TOYOTA AURIS EXCEL VVT-I CVT - How Many Left?
    TOYOTA AURIS ICON VVT-I CVT - How Many Left?
     
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