Last post on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM
You are in the Toyota Prius
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Toyota Prius, Auto Repair, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback
#307 of 323 Dead Battery and other issues
Mar 15, 2011 (10:58 am)
I bought my 2006 Prius a little over a year ago from a Toyota dealer in the area, and within the first month I had a strange occurance. I got into my car, pressed the power button to start the car and everything on the dashboard lit up, the power button flashed amber, the clock's numbers were just barely visible, and the car wouldn't start. Frantic that no matter what I did (shut it off, took the keys out, and tried again with the same results), I called the dealer who sold me the car and just as he was about to send out a tow truck to get me, I tried it one last time and it started. I took it directly to the dealership, they inspected it, and came back with the response of 'there's nothing wrong with it, I don't know why it did that. If it happens again, come back again.' No charge and supposedly no problem, I let it go.
Well, exactly 1 year later (to the day) and suddenly it happens again. So I take it to the dealer again (which costs me a $55 diagonstic fee, so now I'm getting irked at this whole matter). They check the battery in the back and they tell me it's a bad battery cell. They insist the two incidents are completely unrelated and that it will cost me +$500 to replace the bad cell. I left to go to class that night and had no more issues that day. But now I have a car that's been getting harder and harder to start. I've noticed that I have issues when I open my door and the alarm goes off like I've left the key in the ignition, but I haven't. I knew when I opened the door today and the alarm sounded that I was going to have issues. Sure enough, the car wouldn't turn on, and after two tries, it is now completely unresponsive.
So I guess I have a few questions about this whole thing. Which battery has the bad cell? They tested in the back, where the hybrid battery is. But I thought the hybrid battery is covered up to 100,000 miles, so why is this going to cost me +$500 to fix?
Also, I've been getting repeatedly worse and worse gas mileage since the fall, the last fill only lasting me 350 miles or so with an mpg average of 34.6. The engine kicks in as soon as I turn the car on to charge the battery, and I always seem to be running off of the engine more than normal since then too. Are these two related? If not, what else could be causing the terrible mileage? I just had my car aligned, 4 brand new tires, and a wheel bearing replaced. I got a new filter, and I've changed my oil when the light has come on. If there is something else I could try to fix the poor mileage, I'd love to know...
Any insight into any aspect of this is very much appreciated.
#308 of 323 Re: Dead Battery and other issues [nema_marie]
Mar 15, 2011 (1:32 pm)
You have a conventional albeit expensive battery in addition to the hybrid battery. I believe they are Optima batteries and they can be bought at other places other than the dealer. You should also check independent shops for install. Six years on the battery is decent -- just make sure that is the problem. Go to priuschat.com and search the forums for more info. You can also call other dealers and see if if their price is consistent.
#309 of 323 Re: Dead Battery and other issues [nema_marie]
Mar 15, 2011 (1:32 pm)
Sounds like your time and/or milage of warrantee one or the other may be up. Regardless, your dealer may or may not be being fair and accurate in diagnosing the problem with your 06 Prius.
As to your milage (mpg's), you need to understand that milage drops off considerably during cold months (especially dead of winter). The Prius will usually get 46-52 mpg's during warm months but drop to 36-44 during the frigid months....WHY?.....Cuz the engine has to run more to get you heat for the heater. Once the temp is up to normal the engine will begin to cut out more but still, due to cold, run more during those cold months.
I'm more fortunate with my '04 Prius ....Not a single problem since day one and I'm crossing into 137K miles. The Prius Is The VW Bug Of It's Generation or maybe the Bat Mobile perhaps.
#310 of 323 Re: Dead Battery and other issues [railroadjames]
Mar 15, 2011 (2:14 pm)
This is true, but you assume I USE the heater. Except for defrosting the front and rear windows, my heater stays off unless I have someone else in the car, which is quite infrequent. And I have been driving Priuses for 6 years now, and this is the first year I've had issues with my gas mileage being in the 30s after driving 50 miles.
If my father had sold me the 2005 instead of selling it off to someone else, I would have probably been lucky like you. I drove that little car for years and neither of us ever had any issues.
I'm inclined to believe that my 2006 =
#311 of 323 Re: Starter Battery [lineflyer9]
Mar 16, 2011 (7:24 am)
Yeah, I have to chime in on that key issue also. I don't have a "smart key." 2007 basic Prius. Leave the key on the dash every night in the garage. Never drains the battery. Have had no problems.
#312 of 323 Re: Battery question [laughen59]
Jun 09, 2011 (8:51 pm)
Small battery lasted us 5 years. Prices varied by 300% from dealer to dealer. Found only Toyota dealers had this specific battery (low fumes). Installation also varied by over $100. Ordered the battery online from local dealer for pickup at the dealer. Hurt hand so had the dealer install it for $39. Total cost, installed, was less than $150.
#313 of 323 Oil change frequency?
Aug 28, 2012 (10:53 am)
Hi there! I have a 2007 Prius that I drive very little. My commute is very short and I mostly only drive it to and from work. Do I need to change the oil every few months if I don't hit the next recommended mileage for the oil change in a reasonable amount of time?
#314 of 323 Re: Oil change frequency? [anhdao]
Aug 28, 2012 (12:22 pm)
I have a 2010 Prius. My manual recommended an oil change every 5K. Toyota, however, sent my dealer a recommendation that indicated changing oil every 10K would be acceptable. They also indicated I could use synthetic oil which I do. My Prius runs fine and I feel the synthetic actually increased my mileage 1to2mpg. I live in Ohio where over the course of the year the temps can swing from the 90's in summer to the 10's in winter, but not a lot of dust or extreme temps for extended periods of time. I have always felt oil changes are the cheapest form of insurance I can have for my cars. I don't claim to be a specialist working with oil, but I would change my oil on my small '92 pickup on a 3K basis if I drove it on a regular basis, but I don't put more than about 700 miles on it a year. So I live buy my 3K rule. I would suggest you talk with a dealer about frequency and synthetic oil for your car.
#315 of 323 Re: Oil change frequency? [63pro]
Aug 30, 2012 (12:39 pm)
Thanks for the info! I will give our local Toyota dealer a buzz.
#316 of 323 Just bought a 2010, oil swap-out question?
Nov 26, 2012 (12:29 am)
I bought a 2010 Prius on Friday (not sure which # it is, it's Barcelona Red with beige leather interior and JBL sound, but no Nav, fog lights, or any other bells and whistles). It just came off a lease and has 32,600 miles on it.
Toyota service records show it has had all it's maintenance done exactly on schedule,which brings up my question. It just had new filter and 0w-20 oil put in at 29,815 miles. But the dealer I bought the car at (Rusnak in Pasadena,CA), told me they serviced it before they put it out on their lot which unfortunately included putting *non-synthetic* oil in it.
So it has fresh oil but I'd like to get the car back onto the regular Toyota maintenance schedule with synthetic. Since the filter must be either the one put in at 29,815 or an even newer one put in by Rusnak , should I just take it somewhere and tell them to drain the oil and put 0W-20 in?
Thanks in advance for any advice,