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Old 01-08-2013, 02:50 PM   #81
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At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.
Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.
Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
No problems with mine, but only 12k miles...

A cow-orker sold his recently when the battery pack needed replaced ($4k?). Car had 150,000 miles or so.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.
Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
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No problems with mine, but only 12k miles...

A cow-orker sold his recently when the battery pack needed replaced ($4k?). Car had 150,000 miles or so.
No problems here after 5+ years and 60k miles.

As I said in this post above from an article (the article is 4 years old),

Quote:
Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear
The cost of a replacement battery has also come down a lot in recent years.

Toyota Prius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the U.S. market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports decided to look at the lifetime of the Prius battery and the cost to replace it. The magazine tested a 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration. Overall fuel economy of the 2001 model was 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg. ) The cost of replacing the battery varies between US$2,200 and US$2,600 from a Toyota dealer, but low-use units from salvage yards are available for around US$500.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #84
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How about repairs and maintenance costs? I figure anybody can do an oil change but what happens if the drive train needs work? Is that something only a Toyota dealer can handle? I have a good independent repair shop near me that I trust.
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At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.
Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
It's either a Toyota dealer or a Toyota-trained mechanic. Hybrids are becoming common so mechanics are easier to find too.

We bought a 2006 model in 2008, and it's been so good that in 2010 we bought a 2005 model. I think our 2006 has about 45K miles and the 2005 has about 50K miles. We only drive them ~3K miles/year, so we're probably not going to get over 100K on them. But if the auxiliary systems (air conditioning) don't die then I think the engines & battery will outlast all of our previous cars. No worries about alternators or starter motors, the betes noire of our previous vehicles.

The drive train is amazingly simple, and far less complex than an automatic transmission. The brake pads are rated at 100K miles, as is the radiator coolant, but I don't know if that's better than conventional vehicles. I've done zero maintenance on the engine (other than an oil change) and I've had a small refrigerant leak from our 2005. It was probably a loose fitting because the dealer couldn't find a hole in anything, and it's been fine for several months.

The key fobs can wear out quickly if the rubber buttons get holes in them. Or if the fob paddles out to the surf lineup-- or so I've heard.

I'm sure the car will need new CV boots or an alignment someday. But not yet. We always replace our 12v battery before it's four years old, so we've never had that type of battery problem. I haven't even replaced the windshield wipers.

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One more sidetrack on the Prius, some of the tech and Prius sites talk about using the the Prius as a small whole house backup generator.
Not only that, but portable (mini) inverters are starting to show up at big-box stores like Home Depot. It's as easy as connecting jumper cables. Works like a charm for powering a fridge or a space heater.

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But I could be wrong, or perhaps the fears of uber-expensive battery issues could still prove true, or perhaps the electric motors and computers may exhibit wear or degradation I don't anticipate. But it looks like a system built to last a long time with no major repairs.
That said, if it breaks down you can't get a jump start or push start and continue on your way.
There have been occasional battery pack replacements, but very few and of declining frequency. It's encouraging that Priuses are so popular with metropolitan taxi fleets where they quickly rack up 250K miles before the warranty decade is over, and the battery packs are still going strong. I think the Prius model has fewer battery pack replacements than other cars have engine/transmission rebuilds.

Jumping a Prius is painless, although it is not brainless. The instructions are clearly printed in the owners manual, and the jumper lugs are under the hood (although the 12v battery is in the right rear fender well).
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #85
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A cow-orker sold his recently when the battery pack needed replaced ($4k?).
I'd udderly disregard any info from her--probably just trying to steer you wrong.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #86
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At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.

Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
Shared earlier, but we have a 2007 Camry Hybrid with 70K miles and a 2012 Prius with 8K miles. We have had ZERO problems with either, and we'd have been very surprised if we had. The Prius has been around for 16 years now, 13 in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greencarreports.com
  • The battery life of a Toyota Prius can vary greatly depending on how hard you drive your car and how many miles you put on it. According to Toyota, there are examples of first generation Prius cars still on the road after 300,000 miles, but that may not be the average driver's experience. There are many taxis out to 250,000 miles. Toyota claims that the batteries are designed to last approximately 125,000 miles.
  • Depending on your state, Prius batteries are under warranty for either 8 years or 100,000 miles or 10 years or 150,000 miles. It's very rare, but some drivers report battery issues under those limits, and if the warranty has expired, a replacement battery pack can be purchased for (and the price has dropped steadily over the past 10 years):
2001-2003 Toyota Prius (1st generation) - $3,649 minus $1,350 "core credit"
2004-2008 Toyota Prius (2nd generation) - $3,649 minus $1,350 "core credit"
2009-present Toyota Prius (3rd generation) - $3,939 minus $1,350 "core credit"
Toyota Camry Hybrid - $3,541, core credit deducted

The first, and most reassuring thing you should know about these battery packs, is that replacement is a rare occurrence.

Toyota told us that the engineers consider the NiMH batteries in Prius and other Toyota hybrids to be a life-of-the-car component. It could be several owners and hundreds of thousands of miles down the line before the pack requires replacement, at which point the car itself may well be past its prime.

That's backed up by stories like the 300,000-mile Ford Escape hybrid taxis, and Consumer Reports recently tested a 215,000-mile 2003 Prius and found its performance had barely diminished. In the latter, the only component that had needed replacement was a fan belt, at 127,000 miles.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #87
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I have a 7 year old hybrid toyota highlander - very first of this model - bought it the first weekend it was released.

We've taken it on several 2-3k mile trips. This past summer we spent 3 weeks going from San Diego up Glacier Nat'l Park, then wandering down through Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

We crossed the continental divide more times than I remember... sometimes multiple times in one day. It handled it perfectly.

We're a family of four - and had a lot of camping gear and 'stuff' for a 3 week trip... so the hybrid highlander was the perfect size for our car.

We got about 32mpg.

I've had the opposite experience about long trips vs short trips in my hybrid. Because my commute is short - and the toyota runs the combustion engine until the engine warms up (about 5 minutes) - I don't get as much benefit as I'd like. I only get around 26mpg when I'm commuting to work, running errands, etc.
(Still a lot better than a similar sized non-hybrid.)

Even when I take it loaded with kids and luggage on multi-day school field trips I get close to 30mpg.

edited to add info for chuckanut.
- 2006 Highlander hybrid. Bought June 2005.
- current mileage about 65k

we had an issue with the small engine battery used to start the car after one of the kids left a dome light on. This is not part of the hybrid battery system, but is used to start the car. It's undersized. When it got worn all the way down it would sometimes fail to start the car. I carried around a rechargeable battery starter for a while. Which had enough current to form the magnetic field and start the car. No issues at all since I replaced the bad battery 3 years ago.

We had to replace the boots and joints recently. Nothing to do with the hybridness. Probably tore the boot taking it offroad. (It's a 2wd, but I sometimes take it where I shouldn't.)

at 7.5 years in, I'm coming up on the end of my 8 year warranty for the hybrid batteries... So I'm budgeting savings for replacement.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:20 PM   #88
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At 65K miles and assuming you get 32mpg, you have burned 2031 gal.

If the non-hybrid Toyota is like my gas-guzzler Nissan SUV at 21 mpg, it would burn 3095 gal.

That's a difference of about 1000 gal, or about $4K in fuel cost so far. I do not know the difference in price, but guess it would be more than $4K.

Still, if you keep the hybrid longer, eventually it will pay off.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #89
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Does Ford know that?

http://media.lincoln.com/images/1003...brid_Specs.pdf



I found scads of other websites confirming Mexico...

And domestic content for the 2011 MKZ 2.5L HEV looks like 20%, with 45% Mexico & 20% Japan?

Well! I stand corrected! At least its made by an American Company (LOL). But its a great car.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:18 PM   #90
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Well! I stand corrected! At least its made by an American Company (LOL). But its a great car.
Indeed, and that's worth something. As I said in a subsequent post, I'm not sure there are any volume production vehicles that are 100% American anymore. Sadly...
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #91
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I notice a number of articles from about 2009 to 2009 warning about buying a hybrid and why it may not be such a good idea. However, more recent articles seem to be rarer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #92
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At the risk of further taking this thread off the topic of Armadillos and I would like to ask if the hybrid owners might tell us how many miles they have had on their car and what if any significant (in their mind) problems they have had.
Also, has anybody replaced or been told to replace the battery pack or electric motor?
78,500 miles on a 2008 Prius. No problems. It gets regular oil and filter changes, and new tires and the odd alignment as needed.

Grilled armadillo? Delicious, but difficult to peel...
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:39 AM   #93
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Chuckanut, I have a Lincoln MKZ hybrid. It's sweet!!! It has more room than the
Prius and consistently gets between 39 and 42 mpg over the two years I've owned it. We drove it from NJ to Cape Cod and back last year and it was a dream.
The 2013 model is improved - supposed to get up to 47 mpg with lithium ion batteries.

Go for it! The Lincoln is the smoothest and most spacious hybrid on the road today - and its 100% American made.
Others think highly of the MKZ also:

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The 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid midsize sedan led the pack in Vincentricís analysis with a five-year savings of $7,001 in ownership costs compared to the standard version;
The Most Cost-Effective Hybrid Cars - Forbes
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:26 AM   #94
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DW has a 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It has a V-6 gasoline engine and a 43 kw electric motor. In city driving it gets 29 mpg and on the highway on trips it gets 24 mpg. That is driving the speed limit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:26 AM   #95
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I had to read this a few times,.....but hilarious. +1

Originally Posted by HFWR
A cow-orker sold his recently when the battery pack needed replaced ($4k?).
I'd udderly disregard any info from her--probably just trying to steer you wrong.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #96
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Anybody used a Prius plug-in on a long trip?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #97
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I have a 2006 Prius with 137k miles on it. Had problems with a water pump, and the HID headlights, which eventually got a service advisory on it, but nothing else. My mileage used to be from 44-47mpg, and it seems like it's closer to 42 now, but I moved and have a different commute. The batteries could be wearing out a bit, but I'm not really worried. We drive it to Vegas from San Diego a few times a year. There's one pretty long steep hill that I will usually slow down to 65 for, cause the car sounds like it's really working hard. I think DH floors it and stays going 70-75.

Oh, and after 125k miles, the regular engine seems to be going through oil a bit more, and they can't find a leak. Oil changes are scheduled for every 5k miles, but after 3-4k it needs an extra quart of oil. That's happened to me on all my cars (prius is my 3rd) over 100k, so I just chalked it up to having a high mileage car.

The plug-in-prius would be a bad choice if you're looking for a car for a long trip. It only has enough charge for 7 miles on electric only driving, so after your first 10 minutes, it's pretty much the same as a non-plug in prius. If you do a lot of driving around town, and very occasional road trips, the economics might work out.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #98
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...........

The plug-in-prius would be a bad choice if you're looking for a car for a long trip. It only has enough charge for 7 miles on electric only driving, so after your first 10 minutes, it's pretty much the same as a non-plug in prius. If you do a lot of driving around town, and very occasional road trips, the economics might work out.
+1.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:01 PM   #99
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Though one cannot count on the battery to hold out much during a long trip, I would think that the larger-capacity battery will help in other ways, such as running the AC during stops for longer periods without starting up the ICE, or storing more energy during downhill legs to help climb up the next hill, etc...

More battery always helps, but I guess it may not be easy to quantify. By the way, I looked up and saw that the old battery was 1.8 KWh, and the new one is 4.4 KWh. What is the additional cost?
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:40 PM   #100
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Oh, and after 125k miles, the regular engine seems to be going through oil a bit more, and they can't find a leak. Oil changes are scheduled for every 5k miles, but after 3-4k it needs an extra quart of oil. That's happened to me on all my cars (prius is my 3rd) over 100k, so I just chalked it up to having a high mileage car.
A quart every 3-4k is not bad at all. I know people with much newer cars who would love to need that infrequently.
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