What should I most worry about

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by MeghanC, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. MeghanC

    MeghanC New Member

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    I have kind of a blissful naïveté concerning my Gen 3, insofar as, if there’s no warning lights and no smoke, all is copacetic in PriusLand. However, I’ve been reading up on some pretty scary problems. Car has 200,500 miles on it, I’m taking it on tour and it’s got to get up CA and back to NY in the next month and a half and I’m wondering if it’s capable. Just had the oil changed, some replacements and maintenance done, too. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Do you guys think it’ll make it another 6k miles?
    (I included a pic of the car in question somewhere in Texas, en route to a show)
     

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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    keep a weather eye on the oil level, maybe carry a spare inverter pump
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    My first opinion is always "Just Drive It."

    I assume you have been doing the maintenance in the manual.
    https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-12Prius/pdf/2012_Toyota_Prius_WMG.pdf
    The manual only goes to 120,000 miles so you should be on the second pass at 80,000 miles.

    [I am assuming you are using a mechanic, if not we can link lots of DIY videos, just say the word, some of these are easy]

    Toyota tries new ideas in the Prius (They claim it is Latin for 'it goes before' so it should be where they test ideas.) In the Gen 3 like yours, one idea that did not work out perfectly was the Exhaust Gas Recirculation system. It tends to clog over miles, and when it does, it can cause a failure of the Head Gasket. . (it seals the top of the engine where the valves are to the middle of the engine where the pistons are) You are at a point where I would budget a $1000 to have the EGR system cleaned, so you don't suddenly need a new engine. (or more likely a rebuilt engine)

    Both the coolant loops, engine and Inverter should get new SLLC antifreeze. It may be time to have the Brake fluid bled, I would have an expert do that, it is not as easy as most cars. Brake fluid absorbs water, so Lake Placid would need new Brake fluid less often then Manhattan. There are test strips to check if you need it.

    Next time it is in the shop have them drain and fill (not flush) the ATF WS, it should be under $150. Do it about every 100,000 miles.

    www.amazon.com/Toyota-Scion-Coolant-Antifreeze-Genuine-00272SLLC2/dp/B018Y2WQRK
    www.amazon.com/CREACLE-Diagnostic-Testing-Calibrated-Indicator/dp/B07CG89L4P

    So take the trip, then start budgeting the rarer maintenance items you may have missed. (In 40,000 miles, new spark plugs)

    It is possible you are still on the original 12 Volt battery, but as a rule, car batteries last 5 years. Budget $250 for that when it goes, it is an odd size. The buzzword is Group Size 46B24R. Since the 12 volt battery does not turn the engine, you may not notice when it is weak.
     
    #3 JimboPalmer, Jan 31, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
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  4. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    I'd just drive it and not "worry" about anything happening just because you're going on a long trip. If something happens, it was going to happen anyway, not because you're going on a trip.
    No reason to think it won't do another 6k miles or even another 60k or more as long as normal maintenance has been done along the way.
    Good Luck!
     
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  5. MeghanC

    MeghanC New Member

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    Three hours ago, I didn’t even know what an inverter pump was, thank you! I’ll try and pick one up in the next few days :)
     
  6. MeghanC

    MeghanC New Member

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    As far as I know, it still has both the OG batteries in it, which amazes me, frankly. My brother is a mechanic, albeit a classic VW one, so he does all the regular maintenance, but anything more in depth may be out of his area of expertise. I’ll definitely keep everything you mentioned in mind the next time I take it in! I’ve always got a spare $2,000 “in case something goes wrong” fund where my cars are concerned. Although, I’ve done three east coast tours with this one (previously had a 2008 Prius) and I’m stupidly attached, so I’d probably be willing to pay more if needed! Fingers crossed, it gets me back to NYC in March and I’ll be able to come back here and tell the triumphant tale
     
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  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    If you visit sites dedicated to almost ANY car brand you will see various horror stories about mechanical failures.
    I think the Prius is no more likely to have a melt down than any other car with that mileage.

    And carrying around spare parts "just because" probably isn't really a good idea either.

    I think a "motor club" membership is a good investment.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    With over 200K miles you really should get a couple of areas checked. Maybe brother mechanic could have a look, at the Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Intake Manifold. @NutzAboutBolts video #17 and #24 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Lots of the other videos tie-in or are of interest as well.

    Some info follows, and relevant Repair Manual excerpts attached:

    The simplest way to see where you're at, is to check the degree of carbon build up in the EGR pipe, a stainless steel connecting pipe between the EGR valve and intake manifold. Watch @NutzAboutBolts video #16 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Two or three other videos linked there too, for the full cleaning of the intake manifold, full EGR clean, and Oil Catch Can install.

    Good thread:

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Another:

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat

    Some tools worth having:

    E8 Torx socket (mandatory)
    E6 Torx socket (optional, but good to have, to remove the throttle body studs from intake manifold)
    3/8" ratchet wrench, regular and long handle, flex head, you can never have enough (or 1/2 plus reducer)
    1/4" ratchet wrench, or 3/8" to 1/4" reducer
    Ratchet extensions: you can never have enough
    Long needle nose piers, straight and bent tip
    Ratcheting 12mm box wrench (optional, but makes disconnection of the EGR cooler from exhaust easier)
    Torque wrench (3/8" and 1/4" both good to have)
    Floor jack and safety stands (or ramps): basically some method to raise front, if you need to take underpanel off, which you may need to, both for access and to recover dropped items.
     
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  10. tonycd

    tonycd Member

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    I agree with the very first thing Jimbo said, about doing the maintenance in the manual. I agree with the comment about pre-emptively replacing the 12-volt battery if it's 6+ years old, simply because it's one of the few failures that can strand the car. I wouldn't pre-emptively spend a thousand dollars on an EGR system that hasn't failed, although I would probably spend $20 plus $80 labor to pop in a new PCV valve to proactively maintain it. Other than that, I mostly agree with bettergolf. You've read scary things on this site because the posters on this site write each other a lot of scary things. Statistically, however, your car is extremely dependable and you should do your standard due diligence and then just drive it.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    What Tony said.

    On the EGR business, if you're looking for a middle ground between "out of sight, out of mind, I hope" and "hours of knucklebusting to visually check/clean EGR in case there might be a problem", there has been the start on whether there might be a practical non-invasive way to find out how clogged that system might or might not be.

    The best data point gathered so far (so this is still all very preliminary, or I wouldn't be saying funny stuff like "the best (solitary) data point") comes from jas8908, who measured both before and after cleaning the EGR, and did see a significant change in how far the valve can be opened before the exhaust starts to suffocate the engine. The number went down, as you would expect after cleaning.

    So that might end up offering us a quick, no-knucklebusting way to judge whether the EGR condition should be an urgent concern, a modest concern, or not much concern, on a particular Prius.
     
  12. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Statistically, you are at the far end of the so called “ Bathtub curve” for reliability. At over 200K, you would be at a higher than normal probability of a failure of some sort. You just have to take your chances, I guess.
     
  13. scona

    scona Active Member

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    Just drive it but check the oil dipstick every morning before starting out. Have a good trip.
    P.S. Check the spare tire air pressure before leaving.
     
  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    The miles are getting up there, all right. But I agree with those who say that, it's well maintained, you should be fine. Your most likely major repair, even now, is probably from getting rear ended.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I think I spent about $4.50, for a can of brake cleaner. And borrowed a few scoops of Oxi-Clean from the laundry room. I gave the pcv valve a shot of carb cleaner while I was in there.

    No offense, but the intake and egr systems are not good/fail items. They slowly but inexorably clog with carbon, and your combustion chamber temps climb as the clogging progresses. By 200K miles they are well along.
     
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  16. alex65001

    alex65001 Junior Member

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    In my 2010, the way that I found that my first two 12V batteries were weak was when I returned to the car and it was completely dead. No lights, no door remote, no nothing. Both times. And it had started and ran fine right up to that moment.

    The first time I used the Optima Batteries 8171-767 (DS46B24R) YellowTop Prius Battery. But that did not last as long as the OEM battery by a couple years. So my current battery is an OEM Toyota battery I bought at the dealer.
     
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  17. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    That battery is usually hard to beat.
     
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  18. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    If you don't want to preemptively replace the 12V battery, I suggest carrying a compact rechargeable jump starter. You charge it just like you would a smart phone and then carry it in your glove compartment. You can get one from Amazon for about $70.
     
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  19. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Fainting, when you see the gas prices in CA.
     
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  20. markjosh51

    markjosh51 Junior Member

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    I really doubt anything bad will happened. As long as you have maintained your car throughout its life then there’s no need to worry. I took my Prius from LA to Bullhead City Arizona and it went well. No problems.
     
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