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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback
#194 of 711 Catalytic Converter
Apr 15, 2005 (7:27 am)
I have a 2001 Prius that I bought new. It's been a great car. No problems, just routine maintence, tires, fluids, that sort of thing. I drive a lot and have 169,000 miles on the car. A couple of months ago, the car wouldn't start. I had to replace the 12v battery and was charge appx. $400. I was surprised! Shocked, more like it. Wow! I still don't understand why a 12v battery is SO expensive.
But considering what a price I got this morning... the battery was cheap.
Yesterday, driving home from work, the check engine light came on. I went by my Toyota dealer this morning where I bought the car. They've done all the maintenance. I was told the only error code the computer read was the catalytic converter was shot. Ok, 169,000 on a converter, 'No bad', I thought, THEN I was told a new converter was $1,600 for the parts and $1000 for the labor. With tax, it will come to about $2,800!!! YIKES!
$1,600 for a catalytic converter?! Is that right?! And a $1,000 for labor?!
Anyone else have to have a converter replaced?
#195 of 711 Re: Catalytic Converter [brendakh]
Apr 15, 2005 (8:30 am)
Anyone else have to have a converter replaced?
A few months back a Lady with a 2002 Prius needed a new Catalytic Convertor 90k miles. She was quoted $2100 by Toyota. They have a monopoly as long as the Prius is a niche vehicle. They will charge whatever they can get for the parts. Ask what a Catalytic convertor for a Toyota Corolla costs. I'll bet it is under $100 because they have competition for parts. See link below for a $48 Cat Convertor. It is a Giant Rip-off and this will continue on the hybrids until they become popular enough for the after market manufacturers start supplying parts. Many on this forum would say you have gotten your monies worth out of the Prius and it has reached the end of it's useful life. I disagree with that philosophy. A newer car should go 250k to 300k miles without major expenses.
#196 of 711 Re: Catalytic Converter [gagrice]
Apr 15, 2005 (8:48 am)
I have been hoping for 250k+ miles from my Prius. I'm having a really hard time justifying $2,800 (including tax and 'fees') to replace the converter. Because of way I live, I don't have to have emission inspections. As much as it bothers me, I may just ignore this repair. The dealership service tech said that it wouldn't affect the car if it wasn't replaced.
#197 of 711 Considering a Prius vs. Scion
Apr 15, 2005 (10:04 am)
Thanks so much for responding to my questions as to the high speeds and whether the Prius can handle it. The other car I'm considering is a Scion. The reasons for the Scion are that I have somewhat of a lead foot (high freeway and in-town speeds) and I'm told the Scion tC is a better fit more my driving style. Additionally, if certified Prius mechanics are the only ones who can fix the car and order the parts, the difficulty in getting it repaired at a convenient location and reasonable price might be compromised. Conversely, I'm not a 20 year old (the target Scion market) and want a more formidable, fuel efficient car. Plus, with all the time I spend in my car, I need a great interior that's comfortable, roomy, amenities, etc. Any insights on the Prius vs. Scion vs OTHER??? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR OPINIONS!!!
#198 of 711 Re: Considering a Prius vs. Scion [marina3]
Apr 15, 2005 (11:31 am)
There are, in my mind, huge differences between these two cars, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with their suitability at freeway speeds. I just couldn't disagree more that the Prius is somehow not suited to long-distance, high-speed fwy use. The size of the engine has got nothing to do with it - the car certainly performs as well or better than the Passat TDI.
That said, the tC will be quicker, harder-riding, noisier, and much tighter inside. The Prius is roomier, more comfortable, more practical, quieter, and much more expensive. Real world fuel consumption for the tC will be in the mid-20s, vs mid-40s for the Prius. One car is all about style, the other a much more practical use of space - at a price.
I've maintained from the start of the '04 model year that the point of the Prius is often missed by the media, and for that matter, a lot of its potential customers - the car has enormous room inside, and the hatch makes the cargo area practical to use - and the car gets a realistic 45 mpg. By contrast, the tC is all about style - it too is a hatch, but the comparison ends there. It really replaces the Celica in the Toyota lineup, and is a great value at that. Depends on what you want and need, and a good deal on what you want to spend.
#199 of 711 Re: Considering a Prius vs. Scion [jrct9454]
Apr 15, 2005 (12:05 pm)
the car certainly performs as well or better than the Passat TDI.
Quieter I will give you that, performance, handling, braking I would have to be convinced of. The 2000 Prius I test drove twice was screaming at 75 MPH. I know the Prius II is different. Maybe one of these days I will get to test drive one. None of the reviews I have read raved on the handling, in fact just the opposite. Performance was considered adequate.
#200 of 711 I've driven both...
Apr 15, 2005 (1:36 pm)
...the current-gen Passat TDI, which you just bought [and is a car I think VERY highly of] and the new Prius. All comparisons to the original Prius are to be discarded - this is such a different package that it is hard to know where to start - the name is about the only thing they share.
Having driven both, I can say either car would do just fine for a one-car family that doesn't exceed the need to seat 4 people comfortably. Sure the Passat handles better, in the sense of being capable of cornering faster. But in every other respect, I see no advantages either way.
I have the appropriate Consumer Reports tests of both cars, and what's surprising is how alike they are, not how different they are.
Anyway, this discussion is really out of place in this forum - I just can't sit still to have the Prius labeled as some kind of city-only econobox - I think you'd find the current body of owners would back me up on this all the way.
#201 of 711 Re: Considering a Prius vs. Scion [gagrice]
Apr 16, 2005 (12:29 am)
Biggest problem with Prius has been stock tires leave a lot to be desired. People who have gone with better quality tires at replacement time have reported much better handling with only slight reduction in fuel economy.
As far as top speed goes, in the 2001-03 Prius speed was electronically limited to 102MPH. This is a direct result of the RPM limits set in the computer for the gas engine and the motor generator. The RPM redline is 4500 RPM, so describing it as "screaming" is misleading.
#202 of 711 Re: Catalytic Converter [gagrice]
Apr 16, 2005 (12:33 am)
The catalysts in these cars are significantly more complex than you'll find in non-SULEV/PZEV models. How do you think they reduced the emissions?
Like anything else, prices should drop as more vehicles use the same technology. Adoption of stricter emissions compliance will drive these catalysts into more models which will increase production volumes.
In any case, losing a catalyst that quickly suggests other problems lurking in the engine.
#203 of 711 Re: Catalytic Converter [stevewa]
Apr 16, 2005 (5:56 am)
The catalysts in these cars are significantly more complex than you'll find in non-SULEV/PZEV models.
More research. The Camry is SULEV II rated and a replacement Cat Convertor for that car is available for $233. If the emissions components of a hybrid are so expensive it would pay to have it thoroughly checked by an emissions shop prior to the warranty expiration. I am not sure why the catalytic convertor would indicate other engine problems. I changed the one on our 1990 Mazda last year along with the muffler at 80k miles with no engine problems. It passed it's emission test and only cost me around $150. I don't believe most people bought into the Prius expecting big repair bills after 3-4 years or less if they drive a lot. These two Cat convertor failures had 90k & 169k miles on them. I thought the 90k mile failure should have been covered under the AT-PZEV emissions 8 year 100k mile warranty. I don't think that lady ever posted her attempt to get Toyota to pay. She was already unhappy with a $600 charge for some sensor on her 2002 model Prius.