Prius V/+ 2012-2015 unreliable?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Mark10V, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Mark10V

    Mark10V New Member

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    I'm looking towards a reliable and economical roomy car, preferably a 7 seater.
    Being in the Netherlands all Prius wagons (V/+) are 7 seaters.

    Cars in my range are typically 2012-2014 cars with a 100-150k miles. About 8-11K Euro.

    I was drawn to the Prius because of the reputation of it being very reliable. However on reading on this forum it would seem this is not the case for this model. I'm reading a lot of issues, Oil burning, Inverter, Water pump, EGR, Headgasket.

    Is this model that was produced between 2012-2014 best left alone or is my image of the car being skewed because of a few unlucky and subsequently salty owners?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    here's the thing, we have no idea what the overall numbers are, we only see what comes here. often, it is because of a problem.
    what we do know is that some percentage go bad, but we don't know why. (luck, driving style, maintenance?)
    we also know that toyota changed the pistons and rings in later years, so there must have been a significant issue.
    idk if the european setup is the same as u.s., but in the end, only you can decide if it is worth the risk or not.
    personally, i wouldn't buy one.

    all the best with your decision!
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I think Prius v pistons/rings were revised model year 2015, specifically to reduce oil consumption issues.

    Any and all years, you HAVE to keep on top of of thorough/complete EGR and intake manifold cleaning, to (hopefully) avoid blown head gasket. A clogged EGR sytem (and or intake, it's part-and-parcel) will raise combustion chamber temperatures, and that typically ends badly.

    Do the cleaning minimum every 100K miles, and I suspect 50K is much better. @NutzAboutBolts has THE video on how to accomplish this.

    Some info and links here:

    Bad Flywheel | PriusChat
     
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  4. Mark10V

    Mark10V New Member

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    That all sounds pretty bad actually... i’m guessing this goes for all cars with the 1.8 synergy from that era right?
     
  5. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    I don't think a Gen-3 Prius (including the V wagon) with 150K miles is a good buy unless you are willing to DIY -- even then I don't think I could recommend it. These problems mentioned above are unique to the Prius. The other 1.8 litre Toyotas don't have these problems.
    Inverter: other Toyotas don't have them.
    EGR: other Toyotas don't have them.
    Brake actuator: This is unique to the regen braking on a Prius
    Water pump: this is the electric pump required by the hybrid system to keep coolant flowing while the engine cycles on/off during regular operation.
    Oil burning & head gasket: We're not 100% sure what causes these. They're not inherantly "hybrid-specific" problems, but they don't seem to be problems on non-hybrid Toyotas using the same 1.8 litre power plant.
    Then there's the potential need for battery replacement once you approach the age/mileage we're discussing here. We haven't seen a lot of battery failures yet, but battery technology is pretty well understood -- and 10-12 years is probably a reasonable life expectancy for one. So with 2010 models now 11 years old, and I think we can reasonably expect to see an increase in battery failure rates.

    My daughter's Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix) has the 1.8 litre engine with almost 170K miles on it. Doesn't burn a drop of oil, and runs like a top. This is the kind of performance I have come to expect from a high mileage Toyota product. I would have no problem recommending a 200K mile non-hybrid Toyota if it was well maintained and the price was right. I cannot say the same for a 3rd Gen Prius.
     
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  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Unlike Alfred above, some of do know what causes oil burning and head gaskets in the 2010-2014 Prius and Prius v 1.8L. Bad design. In pistons and piston rings. Toyota acknowledged the flaw and it is enough to make the informed buyer pass. Blowby from the rings clogs a badly designed egr system. Toyota admitted this by rerouting the egr intake to a much cleaner location downstream of the cat in the next gen4s. Which are the Prii to buy.

    Inverters and Brake Actuators. Bad design. Toyota is still replacing these free to selected customers. Still not great when the inverter strands you or the brakes fail to prevent a crash.

    Not convinced yet? I don't even care about the hv battery. Everybody knew going in it had a lifespan.

    But how about bent rods and or holes in the block caused by hydrolocking? Coolant slowly and occasionally leaking (at first) past the head gasket? Piston ring blowby leading to carbonized valves and cylinders creating pings and knocking. Known to occur. Egrs clogs, leading to higher cylinder temps and more preignition. Add a slug of oil now and then from the intake via the pcv, an easily observable condition aggravated by excessive blowby.

    Then you have a hybrid system specialty, stop start thermal cycling, recently documented to vary frequently from 150f to 195f with the system in Ready mode. Steel head bolts securing a head gasket between aluminum parts.

    Some report high speed driving increases oil consumption. In the US, Eisenhower's Interstate highways are often used as Autobahns. In Central Texas we have one with an 85 mph speed limit. Of course many drive faster. Prius drivers are keeping up with traffic to avoid the equivalent of Mad Max's Thunderdome.

    So poor piston ring design and a host of other factors often lead to head gaskets or total engine replacements for high mile Prius 1.8 engines with 2010-14 being the worst combination of factors. There is a cottage industry developing to support the head gasket issue from mobile repairs while you wait to imported engines from Japan. So diyers, mechanics and taxi companies often keep them on the road, especially given 2020's high prices on used car inventories.
     
    #6 rjparker, Dec 28, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  7. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    I'm smart enough to know there's a lot a don't know. There are known knowns... known unknowns... and unknown unknowns.

     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  9. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Whistling by the graveyard with our no issues 2012 v Five... knock wood.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Doing the Exhaust Gas Recirculation and intake manifold cleaning is the whistling?
     
  11. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Just a saying... No condition-based need, at 45000 miles.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Yeah pretty early. But sooner-than-later is good. Shallow end of the pool is to get an OCC installed and check the EGR pipe at least.
     
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  13. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Its a babe in the woods, barely broken in. I had more miles than that in 2013.
    6C261BA6-88AE-49E4-A85B-01EF8DCEB3B1.jpeg
     
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  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Reliable compared to what?

    1998 Dodge neon?
    2009 Prius
    2002 Jetta that by 90,000 miles had a falling apart glovebox, failed injection pump, failing transmission, needed a timing belt and had rusted out wheelends/ brakes/calipers

    It’s all relative, for the economy and space of a V how reliable are the alternatives?
     
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  15. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Far more reliable than the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee or 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. (Never another Chrysler product... ever, ever.)

    As reliable as the 1978 Honda Accord LX Hatch, 1986 Honda Civic DX, 1988 Honda Accord LXi Sedan, 2005 Honda CR-V SE.
     
  16. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Checked mine, this morning; 24,375 miles.
     
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  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Yeah saw an early-eighties Accord roll by this morning, looked to be in great shape. That was one of our first cars. And with heat/vent controls you could operate without taking your eyes off the road (to fight with little buttons and touch screens), priceless.
     
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  18. Mark10V

    Mark10V New Member

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    Thanks for all the reply’s. Like i mentioned before my current car is a 2001 volvo S80, 2.4 5 cyl. Over 200k miles Nothing special, reliable as a old hammer, just routine maintenance apart from the strut bearings which i do once every couple of years.

    Very sad to see this generation of prius is so badly made, i want a economical, non diesel, family car that seats 7 and that doesn’t need an extreme amount of maintenance.

    Based on RJparkers comments it would seem the Gen3 is a hobby car at best that could leave you stranded without notice even if you keep up on regular maintenance. I got a '78 Land Rover for that.

    Post 2015's V's are about 16k euro or about 19.5k dollars over here, just too rich for my blood.

    It would seem i'm better off looking at other brands. I do wonder how toyota got it’s reputation if it is really that bad.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Very droll. (y)
     
  20. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Still in the Lucas electrics era. Packaged smoke, dispersed on command.
     
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