Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 3:23 AM
You are in the Hybrid Vehicles - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hybrids Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback
#205 of 711 Help! Feeling a terrible case of Buyer's Remorse
Apr 23, 2005 (3:35 pm)
Hi, all. Yesterday I bought a 2002 Prius with 21,402 miles for only $14,000. A real bargain! It's the basic trim-line. I had it inspected pre-purchase at a Toyota dealer and all was very good. The tires were showing the asymmetric wear that is common, but at least they still had some tread. I live about 100 miles north of NYC, in Kingston, NY.
So. Here I am with a Prius. On the 90-mile drive home I only got 39.9 mpg, according to the dashboard gauge. According to this group and others, that's almost certainly 2-5 miles higher than I actually got. I was only going about 65 mph and the temp was about 58. So that's pretty disappointing.
I already knew about Prius' tire problem, but figured at the car's price an extra set of tires wasn't that big a deal. Now I find out that Toyota gave "classic" Prius a unique wheel size that nobody makes tires for. WHAT!?! Is that true? I'm seeing very different stories around the user-groups. Am I stuck with a car that I can't even get snow tires for?
And the radio! I noticed it was an unusual shape when I test drove the car, but assumed I could adapt any radio with a kit and harness (I've installed radios in few cars, and am pretty handy). It looks like that's very, very untrue. Even Cruthchfield has NO radio that fits the Prius, and no adapter kit or harness.
What is Toyota thinking!?! How many more simple things on my "economy" car are unique and unavailable through the after-market? And now I read all the horror stories about very expensive repairs and the dubious knowledge of most dealers.
I'm very concerned that I made a terrible decision buying this car. If the mileage barely beats a normal Civic or Echo, simple things like tires and radios (and maybe other things) are unavailable or exhorbitantly expensive, and even specially-trained technicians can't be trusted, what is the upside?
#207 of 711 Must the Prius have a Catalytic Converter to run?
Apr 26, 2005 (9:58 pm)
Does the Prius need the Catalytic Converter to run? If it isn't replaced what happens to the car other than it releasing more emissions? How long could you drive without replacing it?
#209 of 711 post warranty repair costs
Apr 29, 2005 (9:22 am)
we have an 04 Prius, since Dec 2003. I recognize a lot of the issues posted above relating to mileage, rear view, tires, etc. I've been having a problem with the display panel and radio - radio goes off intermittently, panel display either doesn't work at all or is all confused. Almost like a bad fuse. the dealer comes back and tells me that the auxillary battery must be replaced ($200.00) and something to do with the electrical panel system is shot and needs to be replaced ($1000.00). Of course I have 38,000 miles on it and the warranty expired at 36,000. Since we are such "good" customers, they would try to have Toyota help us out on this. Guess what, these are two items that cannot be helped.... I bought this car for the mileage and emmissions features, and I am soooooo dissappointed with this problem now. I usually keep my vehicles for around 250,000 miles (I have an over-100 mile commute each day), and i am seriously trying to decide whether to keep it or not. I cannot be throwing a thousand dollars at it every 40K miles.... Other than that I really love the car. We are a three Toyota family, and have been really happy with them for a long time. I should have bought a motorcycle i guess, but my husband thinks that he should be the one to get a bike for his mid-life crisis...
#210 of 711 Re: post warranty repair costs [mtnmama]
Apr 29, 2005 (10:25 am)
auxillary battery must be replaced ($200.00) and something to do with the electrical panel system is shot and needs to be replaced ($1000.00).
Welcome to the Forum. The battery should have a manufacturers warranty longer than one year. Others have paid as much as $400 for that battery. I would question if that electrical panel in any way affects the operation of the car, it may have to be covered under the emissions law. I can understand your frustration with a car that is less than a year and a half old costing that kind of money to repair. Good luck
#211 of 711 Re: post warranty repair costs [mtnmama]
Apr 29, 2005 (11:39 am)
"I've been having a problem with the display panel and radio - radio goes off intermittently, panel display either doesn't work at all or is all confused."
That is a known problem covered under TSB EL002-05 "Multi-Display Functions are Inoperative"
Take that TSB Number to your dealer. If they don't try to work with Toyota to get it covered under warrantee, then you should call Toyota Corporate directly. I'd expect they would cover it. They've been good about that.
If for some unfathomable reason they don't, the $1K is still too much. A refurbished MFD is about $400 and it is .2 (that is 2/10 hour) labor to install.
#212 of 711 Re: post warranty repair costs [tempusvn]
Apr 29, 2005 (1:37 pm)
"If for some unfathomable reason they don't, the $1K is still too much. A refurbished MFD is about $400 and it is .2 (that is 2/10 hour) labor to install."
HMMM, who will install it? The dealer is unlikely to work with a refurb, and many mechanics seem to be leery of working on the electronics of a hybrid.
#213 of 711 Re: post warranty repair costs [stevedebi]
Apr 29, 2005 (5:29 pm)
The units Toyota is putting in on the TSB are refurbs. They just take the ones that fail, replace the electronics, and recycle them back. And if it's out of warrantee, why wouldn't a dealer install a refurb? They put in rebuilt engines which is orders of magnitude more complex.
But, the replacement is simple anyway. You can get a DVD from a place like CoastalETech that shows you step by step how to disassemble the dash to get at the MFD for adding Satellite Radio, Backup Cameras, etc.
It's no different than replacing a stereo head. Unplug a couple of cables, plug in the new one, snap the dash back together.
#214 of 711 Re: post warranty repair costs [tempusvn]
Apr 30, 2005 (9:09 am)
Thank you very much, folks, for the input. I'll feel much better negotiating with the dealer with a little information in my hand. I talked to the service guy yesterday, asking for the estimated repairs in writing, and he wasn't quite ready to do that, as he's still supposedly trying to get Toyota to work with us on this. As long as he knows that I know that there are options, hopefully we can reach some kind of reasonable deal.