What problem is the Prius killer? What is the most common thing to take a Prius off the road?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by JefJef, Apr 20, 2016.

?
  1. 100,000 miles

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 150,000 miles

    28.6%
  3. 200,000 miles

    35.7%
  4. 250,000 miles

    7.1%
  5. 300,000+ miles

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. miles not a significant factor

    21.4%
  7. 10 years

    28.6%
  8. 15 years

    14.3%
  9. 20+ years

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. time not a significant factor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JefJef

    JefJef Junior Member

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    I have been trying to figure out what problem is the kiss of death to a Prius. The only thing that seems to kill a Prius for good is having the battery go bad on a high mileage older Prius. I have been all over this website reading multiple threads revolved around battery lifespan, the factors that impact it, replacement options, etc. I am still very confused by what I have learned. I am looking to buy a used gen ii Prius which are getting high in age and miles and I want to know what repairs I should budget for or factor into the price of a used one. Here is what information I have picked up (I am not sure how much of it is accurate):

    I have read stats on multiple sites that say the gen ii Prius battery has a failure rate of less than 1%. But from what I have seen and read that doesn't seem accurate. Some places say finding batteries from junkyards are easy because they never fail and have a surplus of them. Other places say that there is a shortage of batteries and you have to go on multiple week waiting lists to get one. Is that 1% stat just counting the batteries that fail before their warranty period is up? If that is the case I can understand that figure. If not is seems like there is cars on the market that either have a dead battery or have recently had theirs replaced to make the 1% figure accurate.

    If that is the case and the batteries don't fail before their warranty but will fail eventually (that coming before someone would junk a car) when about would you expect that to happen? I know there is a lot of factors, but is that an accurate assumption or not? I am just trying to figure out what the odds are of a battery failing before (say 300,000 miles). Is it 100%, 1%? I have not been able to tell. I would appreciate any clarification on this, and if there is anything else I should be looking for in a used car or be budgeting for?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Toyota has designed the Prius to go 180k miles, that's the life of the vehicle. The battery pack is designed to last the life of the car.

    If you're planning to buy a car that has over 180k miles and want to reach 300k miles with it, then you are basically buying a car that's already past their designed useful life. Anything can break and it can be the kiss of death. But replacement parts are everywhere, if you're good at DIY, it may not be a kiss of death.
     
  3. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! the problem is always when the repair seems more than the car is worth, or it's so old, you start thinking one problem will follow another. if you can diy, the mileage is a lot higher than if you have to pay a dealer.
     
  5. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Rather than absolutes, you might have given ranges e.g., 150K - 200K miles. Personally I think the average will be between 150,000 and 200,000 miles. But it could be lower when you factor in Prii with low mileage totaled in accidents.
     
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  6. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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    Premature postage above. Here's my personal experience:

    2003, 162K, failed, 36 of 38 modules completely dead (AZ)
    2008, 130K, failed, HV leak, KOH leaking from 1 module (AZ)
    2008, 142K (caught before failure, but capacity was so low, failure was likely to happen soon, AZ)
    2006, 130K (caught before failure, but capacity was so low, failure was likely to happen soon, AZ)
    2006, 154K failed, one module low voltage (most of its life in San Jose, 6 mos in AZ)
     
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  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    We do not know battery life data, Toyota probably does know for Gen2.

    About the same time as Consumer Reports 2013 (which is a long time ago now) we had started several surveys here. I think Post #106 sums up my survey compared against Consumer Reports.
    Hybrid Battery Survey-Gen2 Prius 2004-2009 | PriusChat

    About this same time, @uart attempted to structure here a survey to remove the bias associated with the fact that those clicking on PriusChat may have battery issues.

    In both cases we saw, in a minor sampling here, higher batt failure rates than Consumer Reports noted. However, the Consumer Reports data seemed consistent with Toyota claims of <1% failed. Note that was easy to say back then due to so many new Prii on the road. I have not heard Toyota repeat that number with updated figures so mushroom city (kept in the dark).

    I am thinking failure rates could be 10% by 10 years old and may level off...not sure.
     
  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I've experienced the following

    2006 - failure at 149970 miles
    2005 - failure at 166800 miles
    2005 - failure at 299000 miles
    2007 - failure at 177000 miles
     
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  9. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    My '07 battery went weak (never died, did a proactive transplant) after 135K miles of desert mountain driving, but that's nearly worst case--high temps and lots of cycles. I believe the 180K number from Toyota. I also think time is a factor--a 10+ year old battery may be at some risk even with low mileage on it.
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Great data...remind me to allow users to report more than one car next survey.
     
  11. stockdaddy

    stockdaddy Member

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    The Prius HV battery pack is a total of 168 individual battery cells. One cell fails and the whole car fails as there is no redundancy built into the Prius that disables a cell once it goes bad.

    Trying to get an exact rate of failure for batteries is able like trying to get a failure rate for a business franchise. There are ways to make the numbers look a lot better than they actually are.

    Heat is the major enemy of batteries and cars in the south likely have higher failure rates.

    That being said if you are willing and able to do a little service work yourself, the Prius is very reliable and cheap to own. A complete used engines can be had for around $300.
     
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  12. JefJef

    JefJef Junior Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses. Finally getting some clarity. The 180,000 mile design stat was helpful and interesting. Is this standard for Toyota or do they make all of theirs different? And as far as that stat goes, do they design the ones that will be used for taxi service different? Because I know many of the taxi ones have gone above 300k miles. I know that is over a shorter time frame but if everything is designed to go 180k do the taxis just have a ton of new parts in them?
     
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  13. JefJef

    JefJef Junior Member

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    I didn't even think about putting in ranges for the survey, I doubt I am able to edit that now correct?
     
  14. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The best deal is to buy a car with a failed battery at a significant discount and put in a new battery. That way your battery is good for 10 years and you don't have to worry about it.

    I believe the car batteries that are fixed within a couple weeks of failure will last a while. The problem occurs when a battery module fails and the battery pack sits off to the side for a few months. This will make the other modules fail and then you end up with a battery pack that is completely useless.
     
    #14 JC91006, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  15. stockdaddy

    stockdaddy Member

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    Or for $30 fix the HV pack in 1 hour and laugh all the way to the bank with your $2000 discount on the car.

    High mileage on cars now days is a bit overrated especially for the Prius so you can find a deal on high mileage car.
     
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  16. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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    Are you 48mpg under a different name?

    For anyone believing this, there is a salt lick accompanying it...

    For a $30, 1 hour fix to work, it requires:

    1) you are extremely proficient in removing/disassembling/reassembling/installing a pack (realistically, it's 2-3 hours).
    2) you have obtained a good replacement module (eBay is not a good place).
    3) said module in #2 is at the same state of charge within 5% of the rest of the modules in the pack and especially with its block-mate. If it's outside this range, particularly with its block-mate, the lower voltage of the two will fail prematurely.

    The chances of #3 happening are very low. 5% isn't absolute, the the more it varies, the worse it gets

    Even if all of the above 3 happen, you'll be doing it again and again until the pack's usable capacity is no longer able to function effectively in the car (reduced mileage, wild swings in the SoC meter).
     
  17. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    Define high.

    The problem with modern old cars is they're stuffed with expensive systems like antilock brakes, cats, evap, and computers. There's also mechanical stuff like radiators, CV joints, and suspension bits. The Prius adds to this list.

    Buy as new as you can and good luck.
     
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  18. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    What is the most common thing to take a Prius off the road?
    Motor vehicle accidents. Far more Prius are totaled than wear out the battery, so batteries are cheap on ebay.

    prius battery -control | eBay

    Even if you have the dealer install a new replacement, the Battery is not the most expensive repair, nor is it the second most expensive repair, although it is third.

    The transaxle may fail. $5000 The only voodoo we have is to change the ATF WS periodically, I recommend 30,000 miles then 90,000 miles, then every 90,000 miles.

    The Inverter may fail. $4000 Do not jump other cars and avoid getting jumped. Every so often look for turbulence in the overflow tank, so you know the electric water pump is working.
     
    #18 JimboPalmer, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  19. Priusyipee

    Priusyipee Active Member

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    2005 Prius purchased new 11/2004 ~263,000mi, original everything except wear items. No problems yet with HV battery. Car sits outside all the time extremely cold winters (dips in the -30s), mixed driving but mostly highway, ~150mi/day daily driver. I believe that USE is a significant factor. Hope this helps.
     
    #19 Priusyipee, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    does anyone use mkaresh's data?
     
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