When to call it quits?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Chris Vedeler, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Chris Vedeler

    Chris Vedeler Red Pepper

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    18
    3
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I have a 2008 Prius with 279,000 miles. I have owned it since 2012 and have taken really good care of it. I replaced the transaxle in 2015 (with a used one) and a refurbished drive battery back in 2016. I have replaced miscellaneous parts here and there over the years as needed as well as changing the oil with synthetic every 5000 miles.

    Recently I had the ABS brake module replaced with a used one for about $700 and then a few weeks later I got the dreaded P0AA6 code of a high voltage short. I took the battery out and tested each cell to try and diagnose it myself. Unfortunately I couldn't find any shorted out cells and so I took it to the same mechanic that replaced the transaxle in 2015 to be properly diagnosed. They said it was the transaxle (again!). I got 100,000 miles out of the old one, and the car is otherwise in really good shape, so I opted to pay $2700 for them to put in a used transaxle with a 1 year warranty.

    Here is where things get complicated. After driving the car one day it threw the P0AA6 code again. I was able to drive it back to the shop and they have been troubleshooting it for 3 days. Finally today they said it was the drive battery and they offered to install a refurbished one for another $1300 (their cost). I have already sunk $3400 in this car this month and now I'm looking at another $1300. This would be fine if I had some confidence the car could go another 4 years as I was going to hand the car over to my daughter when she starts driving next year. But now my confidence in the reliability of this car isn't there. I'm afraid of it stranding my daughter someplace. I'm frustrated because I have put so much money into it already and now I'm looking at even more money. The car may be worth $4000 tops, if everything was working perfectly.

    So my question to the collective wisdom of Priuschat is when to you call it a day and stop putting money into the car? 279,000 is a long, long life for almost any car out there. It has served me well and I have avoided car payments for about 6 years. Should I just cut my losses and get a newer car or bite the bullet and put another battery into it? Like I said, it is in good shape otherwise. In fact the mechanic was impressed with its condition considering the miles on it.

    What would you do?
     
  2. scona

    scona Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    216
    202
    0
    Location:
    Courtenay, BC, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    N/A
    Regrettably, I think it is time to ride off into the sunset.
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  3. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    859
    615
    0
    Location:
    Washington State, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    It's hard to let go, I know. Our Gen 2 has 288k miles now, and is also still in really good shape. Three years ago, I bought the Gen 4 because I was not expecting the old car to last much longer. I've told myself if it has any major repairs, we will just let it go, but it refuses to die. Over the last couple of years I've had to replace a cracked windshield, replace all 4 tires and replace the inverter coolant pump. Each time I've told myself, "Well, it's only a couple of hundred dollars, I might as well do what is needed." I have a feeling if it had been a few thousand, I still might have found a way to rationalize spending even that much money. Hopefully, your cautionary tale will be remembered when the time comes.

    Best of luck whatever you decide, but I think it's had a good run, time to let go.
     
  4. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    4,296
    1,830
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    You KNOW what you should do.
    Get your emotions in check and just DO it.

    I think the "conventional wisdom" still says that after 10 years and 150K miles, it is not worth keeping.

    I hope you were putting some "car money" away during that 6 years.
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,281
    3,523
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Well you've "won" the prius trifecta: Traction battery, transaxle, and ABS; the big three!!! On deck: combo meter, inverter pump, inverter coolant control valve and a/c.

    If I were to keep, I would replace the battery with a NEW one (it's your daughter) and plan on reselling it when the car finally does die. There will be a looooong line of gen 3 owners who can put those fresh modules in their gen 3 cases. And proactively replace the inverter pump and control valve (both are cheap) at the same time because they connect to each other. A/C failures are more expensive but more rare. And add wheel bearings replacements too (typically not a DIY for most) if you haven't had those go yet.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    90,489
    40,634
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    send her to that prius home in the sky...
     
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    10,936
    3,404
    1
    Location:
    Northern VA (NoVA)
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Our 2006 just rode off into the sunset yesterday, but if you are handy fixing all that stuff, I do not know why not keep it?
    Our best car ever and maybe best car ever on the planet.

    Hey @scona...I probably said this before, but nice area. Here is my Scona pic from a few years ago. Why they put my name on an old work boat, I'll never know!
    IMG_2477.JPG
     
    scona and Raytheeagle like this.
  8. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    3,593
    4,064
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    What would you do?

    One, I'd be a bit pissed.
    Two, I would ask them to to do the battery at no cost, since they screwed you with a transaxle job due to improper troubleshooting.

    Where are you located?
     
    strawbrad, Raytheeagle and Ramo_958 like this.
  9. Chris Vedeler

    Chris Vedeler Red Pepper

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    18
    3
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Thanks everyone! I'm going to talk to the technician at the shop today to get a better idea. If it is a matter of replacing a few bad cells, and I can know which cells to replace, I may just try that. I've taken the battery out before myself so I'm not intimidated by the job. I can get 5 cells on ebay for $140. That may be worth a try. Even if it doesn't last the full 4 years (until my daughter graduates high school), I can always do it again down the road.

    What sucks is I have been on top of all the maintenance in this car for as long as I've owned it. The inverter pump and control valve has been replaced in the past two years. The tires still have another few years in them. The brakes have been done on all 4 wheels. The car ran and drove great prior to the triangle of death.

    I keep going back and forth. Cars are expensive no matter what. We pay on the front end with a newer car with fewer problems, or we pay on the back end with an older car that is paid for and more expensive problems. I have been window shopping for a newer car since this all started and so part of me is eager to get into a nicer and newer car. But my daughter is almost 15 and will be driving in a little over a year. So getting a newer car now still leaves me with the issue of getting her a car. Once my Prius is repaired it would be hard to find another used car for her as cheap as it for her. The only big issue is I don't want her getting stranded in it.
     
  10. Chris Vedeler

    Chris Vedeler Red Pepper

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    18
    3
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'm in Phoenix AZ. The shop has been very honest with me in the past. I do want to know if they can confirm that my old transaxle had a problem. It does suck pretty bad. If I would have known it was both the transaxle and the battery I would have scrapped the car. If it wasn't the transaxle that was the problem it sure would have been nice to simply install a new (rebuilt) battery instead. I'll see what they say today.
     
  11. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    10,688
    14,619
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Pics of the new ride for your avatar:whistle:
     
  12. Chris Vedeler

    Chris Vedeler Red Pepper

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    18
    3
    0
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    With nothing to lose I opted to try and repair the battery myself. I completely took it apart and tested each cell outside of the pack. I found the culprit. Two cells were leaking and causing a short inside the battery. They each had plenty of voltage however which is why I missed them the first time. I have replaced those cells for $85 and reassembled everything. I have only driven about 40 miles on it now but no codes and everything is behaving normally. I just hope this fix buys me enough time. If need be I can replace more cells down the line since I've done it now and it isn't as scary as I first thought.

    Here is hoping for 300,000 miles and beyond.
     
  13. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,281
    3,523
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Then Wack-a-mole it is! :D

    The patch could last 3 miles or 300,000. Who knows? Smart money though is it's MUCH close to the former and not the latter. ;) Driving it often and for long periods are best.(y)

    GOOD LUCK!!
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  14. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    901
    877
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Here is a two minute test for checking a battery for HV leaks. Techstream will also pinpoint the location of the HV leak. There's really no excuse for getting it wrong.



    For future repairs you should contact Steve at Phoenix Hybrid Batteries.
     
  15. Banksy

    Banksy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2020
    292
    78
    0
    Location:
    Lancaster Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Heros never die - Mercy from Overwatch

    Don't let it go to a junk yard. It's a sad place for a Prius
     
  16. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    10,936
    3,404
    1
    Location:
    Northern VA (NoVA)
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Ray we got the RAV4 Hybrid (Red Metallic).
    I almost certainly would have gone with Prius v instead, but of course the v is no longer sold in USA.

    The RAV4 gets 40 MPG almost no matter what I do...whereas the Gen2 MPG was very sensitive to short trips etc. I think the RAV4H is as good as the Gen2 MPG for us since we are driving short distances these days. Which is amazing to get 40 with such a larger vehicle.
     
    scona and Raytheeagle like this.
Loading...