16th Nov 2014, 17:15

The Prius is a great little car... and Toyota has sold over 3 million of them worldwide... but the dark side is those expensive battery packs going out. Not only buying them, but paying for the labor of installing them.

The worst part of it... is that the car has a great 1.5 engine that should be able to go on a lot longer, but the way the Toyota engineers set it up, the Prius can't run on its own engine if the battery fails. So you can't use it as an around the town as a 2nd or 3rd car for the family.

Now many of these cars are being sold to unsuspecting buyers... at dirt cheap prices. For the original owners, this car is godsend, because many have put over 200,000 miles on them, so they got their monies worth, but for a future owner, this car could turn into a nightmare.

17th Nov 2014, 12:42

Didn't Toyota extend the warranty on the battery pack to 100K miles?

17th Nov 2014, 19:55

If you need a car just for around town, why not buy a large used V8? Move closer to work. I see people driving an hour or more each way. I work 8 minutes from my job. My family lives close by. I'd rather drive a more comfortable car and fill up twice a month. Buy a nice used larger car and put a 70 dollar battery in it every 5 years.

18th Nov 2014, 18:23

You work 8 minutes from your job?

You must have a very understanding boss.

19th Nov 2014, 13:19

I have a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria with over 450,000 miles. Since new it has had 1 alternator, several power window regulators, 2 blend door actuators, and of course routine maintenance like front end repairs, fluids, and belts and hoses.

The car does use oil, but has since 80,000 miles and it still gets 26 MPG highway, 16 in town. I use an Interstate branded battery and they last about 8 years.

Did I mention I got this car new in 1996 for only $17,000; what a great investment. Of course about every 50,000 miles you have to clean out the EGR ports, as they get clogged with carbon, and change the transmission oil every 25,000 miles or the torque converter starts to shudder.

I couldn't imagine how much I'd have spent on a Prius if I got one in 1995, or any car with a 70,000 mile timing belt at $500 a pop. I'm going to drive this 95 Crown as long as I can, and I'm only 65 years old, and we typically live to be 100.

19th Nov 2014, 13:21

I am one of the bosses. The close proximity paid dividends. And I could easily afford a full size car with a V8.

23rd Nov 2014, 03:57

Battery replacement is an interesting issue. OEM replacements may be pricey, but they are likely trustworthy. Less costly aftermarket replacements may have suspect quality. Food for thought ;)

14th Mar 2015, 22:00

Toyota has claimed that they have never replaced the traction battery other than those that have been damaged in an accident.

We have a 2005 with 170+ miles and have never had any problems with the traction battery.

The 12V auxiliary battery has been replaced once. It causes some really strange problems when it gets weak. This may have been the real problem with the car.

I suspect the dealer saw an opportunity to make some serious money and declared the traction battery as the culprit. There seem to be most/many car dealers who are absolutely unethical.

There are companies refurbishing the traction batteries at much lower cost.

eBay has many used batteries as well at much lower cost.

The battery is easy to change as well. Just use some high voltage rated gloves!

18th Mar 2015, 17:27

We owned a 2002 Prius up until last year. At well over 200,000 miles it was still using the original traction battery. The reason the batteries last so long is that the charge and discharge cycle is very narrow. It only charges about 60% and then discharges to 30-40%. That means a lot less heat stress on the cells. That said, some of these batteries have failed. Not many, but given the model is now close to 16 years old in the US, some failures have occurred.

Even so, I'm not sure why there is this expectation that the battery should last forever and ever. On all cars, as they age it's always possible that anything can fail: Transmissions, power steering pumps, water pumps... etc. That's a given. Batteries are no different.