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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars
#1445 of 1489 Hybrid Diagnostics Mechanic in E. Bay?
Jan 07, 2004 (10:28 pm)
I am in the process of purchasing a used 2001 Prius from an individual. Her Toyota dealership provided the repair record, but refuses to look the car over for me (I'll pay for it.) Another dealership also won't do it. AAA doesn't have diagnostic equipment for hybrids yet. The seller is concerned about taking the car to a private mechanic that neither of us knows. She's concerned they'll mess up the sensitive hybrid system. The prices is good, but I need to have a 3rd party check the car out before finalizing the deal. Can anyone recommend a reliable, honest, proficient mechanic w/ Prius experience in the East Bay (near San Francisco), preferably Walnut Creek/Concord vicinity?
#1446 of 1489 2001 Prius Appropriate?
May 07, 2004 (11:04 am)
I'm considering buying a 2001 Prius for my lengthy daily commute. Five days a week I drive 120 miles round trip to my place of employment. The miles are all on the interstate and it is not an exceptionally hilly route. My speed of travel is generally 70 mph. Would you Prius owners recommend at 2001 Prius for this commute? Any idea what sort of gas mileage I might expect under these conditions?
Any advice or opinions appreciated.
#1448 of 1489 Toyota prius service 2003
May 09, 2004 (6:58 pm)
I thought prius had free service for life my mother in law has one her dealer is telling her no anyone one have any doc's on this??
#1449 of 1489 Re: Toyota prius service 2003 [bigfrog #1448]
May 11, 2004 (4:51 pm)
My 2003 Prius has free service for 3 years. Everything that's in the owner's manual for service gets done for the 3 years. It is a handy little addition.
#1450 of 1489 Leaving the Prius parked
Jun 13, 2004 (9:35 pm)
I was reading where Toyota can void your warranty if you leave your Prius parked for more than 2 weeks at a time. That would never work for me I park my vehicle at the airport and am gone 3 to 5 weeks at a time working. Has this gotten corrected in the newer Prius models?
Jun 14, 2004 (8:57 am)
Can't speak for leaving a car at an airport. We do leave our car for several months at a time. At the advice of our dealer, we disconnect the 12V battery from the car (with a knife switch) and keep the 12V battery on a trickle charger. When we return home, we reconnect the battery, start up the car, and away we go. I've never yet seen any effect on the nickel-metal-hydride batteries at all.
Leaving the car without the charger, I just can't make any comment. We've never tried that, however I would doubt if it would be a serious problem.
#1452 of 1489 Re: Prius storage [eheading #1451]
Jun 21, 2004 (1:08 pm)
The 12 volt battery is just a backup and is never used to start the car unless the Hybrid Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries are discharged. It sounds to me like you are making work out of work. Because once you start up the car via the hybrid battery it will recharge any drainage of the 12 volt back-up battery. If you don't believe me disconnect your 12 volt battery and voila you car will still start. Hopefully you have a big enough knife switch to handle the current on the back-up battery should you ever need it. What do you do about the discharge of your nickel-metal-hydride battery ? If they are so discahrged they won't start the car, then they are probably into the "deep discharge" state that significantly shortens their life. But I gues if you can afford to leave your car for months at a time, you don't use a car that often and maybe it won't matter.
#1453 of 1489 Re: Prius storage [midnightcowboy #1452]
Jun 21, 2004 (3:14 pm)
>The 12 volt battery is just a backup and is never used to start the car unless the Hybrid Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries are discharged.
Not quite. The 12 Volt battery keeps the computers alive while the car is off, so it can respond to your request for the Traction Battery to start the motor. The 12V cannot start the ICE, because one of the MGs is really the starter, and the 12V can't spin it, and isn't connected to it anyway.
>Because once you start up the car via the hybrid battery it will recharge any drainage of the 12 volt back-up battery.
Correct, if you can get the car started. If not you have to jump the 12V.
>If you don't believe me disconnect your 12 volt battery and voila you car will still start.
If you disconnect the 12V battery, the car is dead as a doornail. Plus, you lose all your history and pre-sets.
>What do you do about the discharge of your nickel-metal-hydride battery ? If they are so discahrged they won't start the car, then they are probably into the "deep discharge" state that significantly shortens their life.
Correct, if the NIMH battery is really drained, the life may be shortened, but they can possibly be recharged. However, it takes a special Traction Battery Recharger that the Service Centers have.
If you're going to leave the car for a long time you can:
1) Disconnect the 12V, but you must reconnect it before starting the car, and you lose all your settings/history.
2) Have someone come by every week or so and just turn the car on for a half hour. The Traction Battery and ICE will top off the 12V. Have to make sure it's really "Ready" on - not just IGN on.
3) Hook up a maintenance charger. This is NOT a trickle charger. A trickle charger runs all the time, and can (risk, not certainty) overcharge and damage the 12V. a maintenance charger monitors the voltage across the battery and only charges when it begins to get low, and only as much as needed. They cost a bit more than trickle chargers, but not exorbitant. If you have a maintenance charger running, you can leave the 12V connected and not lose any puter settings. Some people have even wired in connectors to allow them to just plug it in.
#1454 of 1489 '02 Prius Tire Recommendations
Sep 27, 2004 (11:24 am)
I only need two (as I've had two flats and thus had 2 replaced by the dealership) ... I can't stand the Bridgestone Potenza RE92's that the dealership insists are the ONLY tire I can use on this car. HELP! Anyone have any other recommendations that I can use when only replacing 2 tires? Or do I need to replace all 4 to use a different tire? Thanks for the help!