Toyota Prius forum archives

This page is an archive of the "old system" forum at devoted to the Prius. There are under 400 messages.

Post #2 - Thinking about a Prius

By Lee Lange
So, I've read the review. Sounds good. What about problems anybody has had with the Prius?

Post #3 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By sandy
I love my far no problems...what kind of driving are ypu planning? the best mileage comes when you drive a 55 mph stretch of road

Post #4 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Paul B
Do you know how much it will cost to replace the battery pack when the time comes?

Post #6 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Paul B
I know and I am impressed with it however I like to be thorough before making a purchase. I know that the Insights battery pack runs about $1,300. I just wanted to know. Trying to be an "informed consumer"

Post #7 - What is the B for?

By Mack
We test drove a Toyota Prius today, and we wondered what the B gear is for? Anyone able to help out?

Post #8 - Re: What is the B for?

By ny888
It is used for engine braking for going down steep hills. Same as shifting to the lower 2nd, 3rd or 4th gears on a normal auto trans.

Post #9 - info display

By JW - , next 10
I pressed the display button, and then touched the screen off spot, and the energy monitor/consumption screen disappeared. Can't get it back. Can get audio functions on the touch screen, but not the mileage/energy stuff. How do I get them back?

Post #10 - Re: info display

By JW - previous 9
Found out the solution to my problem--need to touch the trip information part of the display screen to renew the energy/consumption screen. So it's all fixed.

Post #11 - Prius

By Gus
My dad loves his prius. I was wondering if anyone had any serious problems with theirs.

Post #12 - Re: Prius

By Jerry
Yes, my biggest problem is the lack of support from Toyota. I've had all 4 fuel injectors replaced, the HVECU has been replaced and the EMPSECU needs to be replaced. There seems to be an unwillingness on the part of Toyota to do anything to the vehicle. Almost seems like they are trying to ignore problems to show a higher reliability factor. Jerry

Post #13 - Prius Wheels

By Clay Bosler
I'm trying to get an extra set of wheels for my Prius. Can anyone tell me the size and bolt pattern? Do Tercel wheels fit? Any info appreciated!

Post #14 - Battery Pack

By Nick - , next 52
Hello, I'm trying to find a second battery pack for my prius. Does anyone know if that can be simply purchased from the dealer?

Post #15 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Mark Owens
I am considering a Prius. I live in Salt Lake City and so am interested in any experience with the car on snowpacked roads.

Post #16 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Chris Jones
I am from the UK and thinking about getting a Prius. It's been out for a couple of years over your side of the pond so i wondedred if there were any horror stories about batteries?

Post #17 - Low mpg

By Tiger - , next 48 83 131 139
All of a sudden, my Prius is getting 38.5 mpg. I bought this car in March, 2001. And in March I was getting a little over 45 mpg. Then in the summer, it went up to 49. A couple months ago, it started to drop, so I hit the reset button. And it never gets over 40. I checked the tires and such.. Doesn't seem to be the problem. The service people are not being pleasant when I talked about this. What should I do?

Post #18 - taking delivery of 2002 prius

By tom dornback - , next 53
i am expecting to take delivery of a new 2002 toyota prius in about 2 weeks. any suggestions on what to do or watch for in the first few weeks of ownership?

also has anyone used the navigation system yet. mine will have that feature.

Post #19 - Cruise control

By Dave from Cleveland - , next 20
I love everything I've seen of the Prius except the lack of cruise control. Does anyone know why it is not an option. I've even emailed Toyota and they couldn't provide an answer. I can't imagine owning a vehicle without it.

Post #20 - Re: Cruise control

By Helena
Cruise control is an option - one of the few that they have. I have it on my Prius.

Post #21 - Prospective Owner

By rich
I have order a 2002 Prius and it will be delivered in Feb. Anyone who has one have any comments, tips?

Post #22 - Toyota Prius (UK)

By M L King
Nowhere in your spec for the PRIUS can I find speed performance figures. Can you help? UK version only please.

Post #23 - Prius Taxi

By Andrew Grant
Yellow Cab Prius

Just thought you would like to know that my Prius Taxi is going well.

I have had a couple of problems with the car in the total of 172,000 kms to date.

1. The gas pedal has been replaced at 20,000 kms and again at 50,000kms. No problem since.

2.The generator was replaced at 145,000 kms.It was overheating causing the smell simular to brake pads over heating.This problem occures when the car has to maintain speeds over 80 kms up long grades.The smell still happens once in awhile but no problem code has come up.

3.The transmission selector switch was replaced when the problem code came up at 165,000 kms.No problem since.

The biggest surprise has been the regenerating brakes.The front pads were replaced at 145,000 kms.The rear pads still had 40% left at the time while th fronts had 20%.

The fuel economy as a taxi has been between 4.7-5.7 liter per 100 kms.< P>This car has the potential of becoming the first cab that could pay for its self in a 3 year period based on the fuel savings alone.The test will intail if the batteries,generator and transmission will last the term.

If you would like more information or book a ride in the Prius taxi next time in Vancouver B.C. my work hours are Saturday-Thursday 4pm-4am.My partner does not take bookings currently but if that changes i will let you know.

Sincerly yours Andrew Grant Yellow Cab 15

Post #24 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Andrew Grant - previous 15
About your question on snow.I currently have had a Prius as a taxi in Vancouver B.C. Canada which has been on the road since November 1 2000.When the snow came last December i bought Bridgestone Blizzak tires and was quite impressed.They lasted me 45,000 kms . Not once did i get stuck or slip.The car was like a little tank in the snow due to most of the weight being over the front wheels.

I hope this helps you.

Sincerly yours Andrew Grant Yellow Cab 15 Vancouver B.C.

Post #25 - Prius in California?

By Bert Gold
I am thinking about purchasing a Prius. I would use it mostly for commuting to and from work. The small size of the trunk bothers me. The other thing I am concened about is pick up on freeways in California. I live on the East Coast now, but am thinking that during the car's life, I may move back to LA or SF (maybe even San Diego). Is this car sensible on California Freeways? My current commute is only 7 miles (each way). My LA commute was 5 miles (each way) within the valley; but I often traveled over the hill. Does this car make sense for me?

Post #26 - Re: Starting Message


Post #27 - engine weight

By jason riley
how much does a 1.5liter engine weigh about?

Post #28 - Re: Prius on California Highways

By Devanbu
Over the t'giving break, I rented a Prius (only way to test drive around here!) and drove it to Los Angeles from Davis, California. Varied conditions: LA traffic jams, flatland central valley cruising, passing in fast traffic, climbs up steep grades over the mountains into the LA basin etc. It performed beautifully!! I averaged around 42 mpg. It had plenty of power (e.g., effortlessly accelerated up to 80 mph uphill on the way into LA basin). Burned around 8 gallons, all the way from Sacramento to LA...

I would order one instantly.

My big question is, will there be a wagon version? Toyota should make one--the target demographic, practical, middle-aged, environmentall conscious etc, would surely want a wagon. Why haven't they done one? Is anyone gonna do one?

Post #29 - Re: Starting Message

By Andrew Grant - previous 26 next 30
The owners manual states that the vehicle is rated to carry a maximum of 800 lbs passanger and cargo total.It is designed not to tow a trailer.

Post #30 - Prius in Texas

By Tom - previous 29
I have a Prius on order since early Oct. I can hardly wait for it. I have read everything I can find on it and haven't heard anything but compliments on it's performance. I'll let you know how it does in the Austin/San Antonio corridor.

Post #31 - break in and tire pressure

By bill in dallas - previous 1 next 34
i just bought a prius - what is the best tire pressure - is the break-in period necessary and how slow do i have to drive it?

Post #32 - Prius colors

By Sam Heffner - , next 33
I'll be ordering a Prius on Saturday. I'm debating between green and blue. I like the green but all my cars have been green, so considering the brilliant blue. But I'm hesitate as brilliant blue looks a bit purple on the Toyota website. Has anyone seen a brillian blue in real life. Are all the interiors the same tan/brown? Thanks in advance

Post #33 - Re: Prius colors

By Steve Kramer - previous 32
I have seen the Brilliant Blue Pearl color and it looks similar to Jeep's Patriot Blue. I agree. it does look like purple on the web site and in the brochure. As far as fabric goes, the only color offered is med/light gray. I ordered my Prius on 7/30/01 and I received notice yesterday that it will be here aat x-mas.

Post #34 - Re: break in and tire pressure

By Andrew Grant
The owners manual recomends that the tire presure be 35 psi.There is no special care other than that for the tires.

Post #35 - Prius fuel mileage

By Richard - , next 36 38 92
Has anyone noticed that switching over the environmental controls from A/C to OFF gets you WORSE mileage?

Post #36 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Robert
No, I haven't. I can hear the engine go on when I turn on the defroster or the A/C. I try to glide on electricity as much as possible, and when the engine goes on, the mileage is far lower.

Post #37 - Rear tire wear

By Robert
I have almost 10,000 miles on my Prius and have noticed that my rear tires are wearing fast on the outside, even though I drive very gently. I assume this is a common problem. Anyone else?

Post #38 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Cleon Seguin - previous 35 next 41
I am only getting 35 miles per on my Prius.I would like to hear what others are getting. I try to drive as soft as I can. The toyota dealer said I need 10000miles to brake it in. They said to use Texico gas. They said my tires weredown to 20 lbs I checked them a week before give me a reading on what you get.

Post #39 - Re: Rear tire wear

By Cleon Seguin - previous 37
I think Toyota should change there city gas mileage to more like 35 than 59

Post #40 - Re: Rear tire wear

By Andrew Grant
I have found that you have to keep the tires at 35psi if you want to get the best mileage for fuel economy and also tread life.As iam running a Prius as a taxi i find the tires will last aprox. 30,000 miles before replacing them.You have to rotate the tires every 6,000 miles as recomended in the owners manual to get the optimum tread wear.

Post #41 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Andrew Grant
I find that if you hold the gas pedal in one spot instead of pushing down on the gas pedal and backing off and let the electric motor do more of the acceleration your fuel economy will improve. Also i recomend that you watch the energy monitor to see where the gas pedal is positioned so as to find out where it is to help maintain the use of the electric motor more than the gas motor.I find with a little practice you can drive on a flat surface between 30-40 mph for 2-3 minutes with out the gas motor.

Post #42 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By E Fitz
Thanks for the advice about the tire pressure. Short trips, less than 5 minutes, are difficult. The best milage comes when driving 20-30 minutes at 40-50 mph without many stops for lights.

Post #43 - tracktion control

By Henk Kolijn
Do any one know or the prius has tracktion control ? When I take of at a slippery road the front wheels make only one turn around and then they have full grip.

Post #44 - Rear tire wear

By Robert
Thank you for your suggestion. My tires are pretty worn on the sides, but I will rotate and check the pressure.

Post #45 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Marvin
I'm getting great mileage.. about 48-49mpg. I bought my Prius a little over a year ago now and have noticed that my fuel efficiency has gone up gradually from about 38-41mpg initially to what it is now.. It could just be my driving got adjusted to suit the car.. 8P

Post #47 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Anthony - previous 42
I commute 43 miles one way and I averaged around 44mpg with my 2001 prius. I now own a 2002 prius and it gets about 48mpg I think the gain is due to the cruise control which I use on the interstate. My first tank of gas got 51.6mpg. I got the 2002 because I wanted options that were not available on the 2001. Except for the cruise control, navigation system, cd player , and side airbags the 2002 is identical to the 2001 so I think Andrew Grant hit it on the head about a steady pressure on the pedal. The Toyota dealer can now add cruise control to your 2001

Post #48 - Re: Low mpg

By cbmd - previous 17
Check heater/AC usage and terrain and load carried. They all can be quite significant. If you have less that 10k miles check your tires now because they are wearing out very quickly on the outside edges, as though under inflated and yours almost certainly have been overinflated like mine and it still is happening. Please write or call Toyota for a fix for you next set of tires...

Post #49 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By cbmd - previous 41
Great work Andy, I have found the same. I wish Toyota would start a owner/users group project that would allow some or all to have a reostat that would let us increase the No Motor time in down town or freeway traffic and then tell us that we need to catch the battery up later..

Post #50 - Re: Prius

By cbmd - previous 11
Early tire wear on the outside edges and no seeming knowledge of it by the dealship yet.. Coming soon though and we should all be asking what type of tire it should have???

Post #51 - Re: Prius

By cbmd - previous 12
That injector problem is the first serious problem that I have heard about. I've had mine since 10/2000 and only the outer edge tire wear seems like a significant problem. There is a strange sort of run on at stop signs or lights when decelerating. But, Toyota does not seem to be following up on the new car too much....

Post #52 - Re: Battery Pack

By cbmd - previous 14 next 58
Very expensive so I am told and it is warranteed for 8 years and 100,000 miles. You should have looked at that provision because the big batteryt pack has been rumored to cost 10k....????

Post #53 - Re: taking delivery of 2002 prius

By cbmd - previous 18
Have fun, but ask the dealer if they can give you a set of tires that willnot wear out in 10-15k miles..

Post #54 - Re: break in and tire pressure

By cbmd - previous 34
Tires wear very prematurely even with 45 and 50 lbs of pressure. Probably due to tall walls narrow tread and high center of gravity..

Post #55 - Re: Rear tire wear

By cbmd - previous 40
I live and drive around La Jolla California with hills, windy roads and I am not a slow driver. I bought the Prius because my intense stop and go driving in La Jolla and over Mount Soledad seemed ideal for a car that could benefit from the downhill part of the trip.. It is a terrific little car and the only minor problems have been. 1) too much noise at 65 to 75 and a sense that it is working too hard. 2) A distinct tendency to "hop" around the freeway surface at those speeds. 3) Strange engine run on and even accelerate when decelerating for stop light or sign... Strange and definitive, but does not seem to serious.. especially if just a "bug"?! 4) The only Serious problem I have had is that the tire wear is quite extreme on the outer aspect of the front>rear but having rotated it is clear that they are all suffering from being ?too narrow? too Tall or the car's center of gravity is too high for such a tire. They should fix this very soon though or it will hurt the whole program and I'll sure the Oil companies want this one to fail.

Post #56 - ? for Anthony

By Robert
Anthony, you said that you sold your 2001 and got a 2002. I am considering doing the same, as I want side impact air bags and some of the other new things. Do you know what kind of price I might expect to get for my 2001 with 10,000 miles?

Also, from driving regular cars with cruise control and from driving my Prius, I would think that cruise control ruins the Prius gas mileage because cruise control does not use steady gas pedal pressure; instead, it is moving all the time to compensate for change in elevation. When I drive the Prius, I just go slower uphill and faster downhill, and get good mileage. Why would cruise control help the Prius get better mileage, unless the driver had a very unsteady foot to begin with?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Post #57 - Re: Rear tire wear

By John Conlon
We have 15,000 on our 2001 Prius and I am noticing more wear on the outside of the front.

Post #58 - Re: Battery Pack

By Andrew Grant - previous 52
The battery pack in Canada is available for $5,000.00 CDN.

Post #59 - tax deduction?

By Alan Carlson
Does anyone know whether the Prius qualifies as either an Electric Vehicle or a Clean-Fuel Vehicle to the IRS? If so, how do you claim that deduction in the tax forms?

Post #60 - high amps and RF experience ?

By John Clark - , next 88
Hello. I've rented a Prius and am impressed with it. I would like to put my ham radio's into it (should I buy one) and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with adding radios and/or high current applications.

I see the cigarette lighter is rated at 10 amps, so perhaps I'd have to add a battey in the back for this application. The current load would be 10~20 amps and 100 watts out on HF, 50 watts on VHF/UHF. Anyone tried this ?

P.S. Just discovered this site. thanks to those who set it up.

Post #61 - Re: tax deduction?

By John Clark - previous 59 next 62
The federal Government allows a tax credit of 10% of the vehicle value up to $4,000. The link to the URL is:,,i1%3D50%26genericId%3D12064,00.html

There is also this, about a Clean Vehicle:,,i1%3D50%26genericId%3D26776,00.html Some states also provide this. Search your local states tax pages for "electirc car" or "alternative fuel tax".

Hope this helps,

John, Denver CO

Post #62 - Re: tax deduction?

By Jeff Harris
John, Is this a change for 2002? Form 8834 in 2001 says specifically that the Prius does not qualify for the Electric vehicle credit.(See Page 2)It does say that it may qualify for the clean-fuel deduction.

Post #63 - Re: tax deduction?

By John Clark - previous 62 next 70
I don't know if this is a change Jeff. The dealer ships I have spoken with say a $5000 tax credit is possible, maybe that's salesmanship, I don't know. I didn't know that the Prius was expluded last year. I simply searched the IRS pages and posted what I found. Sorry if this misleads anyone or is mis-information.

Post #64 - Re: Rear tire wear

By A> Saute
I have a major problem with the Prius tires. Wear was evident at 10K -diagnosed at Oxnard Toyota (CA). Dealer suggested watching pressure carefully. 15K the wear on the inside and outside was even more evident. Thousand Oaks Toyota service advisor Carl said don't worry about it - if it continues it's covered under the warranty. 22.5K took it in, rear tire has steel showing, two front are worn thin inside and out. One tire is poor but not nearly as bad as the others (22,963miles). Carl isn't there and the dealer said it's my fault for poor maintenance. I checked pressure every 1.5 months and it needed air each time. Toyota sent me to Firestone and the Thousand Oaks store manager said his neighbor had the same problem and received money reimbursement from Toyota. Tomorrow we hopefully will receive a copy of his paperwork. I found 11 other complaints with the same problem at www.auho com/forum/Toyota/49.html . This really stinks. I have had such great service because, once again, I had no problems. Now, Yoby Kim, at Thousand Oaks Toyota is telling me go talk to somebody else - not me - have Toyota pay for it. Allen Saute

Post #66 - Re: Rear tire wear

By maile - previous 64 next 67
Toyota in Hawaii said that there been a notice of a recall for the stock tires. Toyota replaced all 4 of our tires at 13K for us due to uneven wear esp. outside of front. They also said NO gurantee on tires from Firestone. Replacement tires are priced at $84@.

Post #67 - Re: Rear tire wear

By chris b
Success, Pacific Toyota replaced all 4 tires at 13k due to the recognized problem. Did not have any knowledge of general recall or any other specific Toyota acknowledgement. This was a very excellent service person. Hopefully, they will acknowledge the problem officially and recommend a different tire/wheel combination.... cb

Post #68 -

By Jeff
Come Visit an ad-free community for prius owners

Post #69 - Re:

By Bradford - previous 68
Hi. Am getting a Prius next week. Am new to this forum.

Post #70 - Re: tax deduction?

By Bradford - previous 63
Look at this from Kiplinger Magazine:

Kiplinger's Personal Finance February 2002 | MANAGING | TAXES

As Clear As Smog

By Ed Henry

Can high-mileage hybrid cars cut your tax bill as well as your gas bill?

Okay, class, today's question: Do cars that run on both electricity and gasoline qualify for the special tax break Congress created for "clean fuel" vehicles? If you're not sure, you're not alone. The IRS doesn't know either, which poses a dilemma for the 25,000 or so drivers who have bought a Honda Insight or Toyota Prius, two hybrid cars that deliver phenomenal mileage. Should they claim the $2,000 deduction or shouldn't they?

Adding to the thick smog of confusion surrounding this issue, neither automaker is willing to stick its neck out. Toyota is vague about promoting the deduction for the Prius. Honda steers clear of the question, notin g that the IRS hasn't issued a formal ruling one way or the other about the Insight. A helpful IRS spokesman says the agency is "actively studying the issue."

But someone at the IRS thinks the deduction is due, according to the answer to a question posted on the agency's Internet Tax Help line. It says the Insight and Prius "qualify for the clean-fuel vehicle deduction of $2,000."

That's not a formal ruling, so it's not a green light to take the deduction. But it's not a stop sign, either. Buyers of either car are facing a flashing yellow. On the plus side, claiming the $2,000 deduction -- which you can do even if you don't itemize -- will save you $550 if you're in the 27.5% bracket. The downside: There's a possibility that the IRSmight decide the cars don't qualify. If that happens, and if the IRS challenges your return, you would probably be required to repay the tax savings, with interest.

You claim the deduction on line 32 of the Form 1040. Be sure to wr ite "clean fuel" on the dotted line so the IRS knows what you're doing. While you're at it, check with state tax officials to see if your hybrid car earns you a state tax break.

Post #71 - Is extended warrenty needed?

By Richard Thomas
I've heard that the extended warrenty may be a good deal in part because it covers the electronics that control the hybrid system, and this is new technology. Can someone tell me the repair history and progected reliability of the computer and electronics controlling the electric engine and hybred system?

Post #72 - Engine stalling

By Roy Helmick - previous 71 next 73 105
Has any one had a problem with the Prius suddenly loosing all power and not being able to be restarted for several minutes?

Post #73 - Re: Engine stalling

By Bert Butler - previous 72 next 75
Unable to start car. We've had it for about a week

Post #74 - Light beam adjustment

By pann
Could somebody tell where the adjustment screw located is located. Where to access to it so I can adjust the two front lights. Thanks, Jim

Post #75 - Re: Engine stalling

By Jim
My Mom has had her Prius now for a week, 90 miles driving, and she could not start it yesterday. The driver's door had not closed properly and the interior light had run down the engine battery!

Post #76 - Specs

By Betty - previous 75
Hi- I'm thinking of buying a Prius because my office is moving and instead of driving 45 miles each way, I will be driving 90. My commute will be both highway (up to 75) and stop and go. An important feature for me is that I can drive alone in the commuter lanes because it's a hybrid car. Can anyone give me any ideas of the wear and tear on this car for this type of daily driving and (since I hate to buy gas) how big the gas tank is. I don't want to fill up, if possible, more than twice a week. Thanks for your help

Post #77 - Hopeful New Owner

By Natalie - , next 78
I have really been looking into buying a Prius, for about a year or so now. I am trying to get a really good deal on it, and I want to know how it will handle. I have been looking for the wholesale price so I don't get taken by a dealer. I also want to know how fast you can get these things moving and any potential hazards. Thanks!

Post #78 - Re: Hopeful New Owner

By Jason
I talked to a dealer about this car and they said they had it up to 85-90 and that was about top-end.


Post #79 - Re: Is extended warrenty needed?

By Andrew Grant - previous 71 next 134
I would not be concerned with the electronics of the car due to the being in production in Japan since 1995. I personally have a 2001 Prius on as a Yellow Taxi in Vancouver British Columbia Canada since November 1 2000. Currently have 138,000 miles on it The parts i have had to replace so far have been mechanical not electronic .The car has been a pleasure to drive and less service in general compared to other cars ive have had durring my 22 years in the taxi industry.

I wish you the best with you Prius.

Post #80 - Re: Hopeful New Owner

By Tom - previous 78
We have had our Prius for two months now and love everything about it. It has plenty of pep as the electric motor supplements the 1500 cc engine in emergencies to give real impressive pickup even at 70 mph. We cruise between 70 and 75 with no problems. It's an ingenious design. PS we live in south Texas where the A/C runs all the time also. Milage the way we drive around here is about 40 mpg but on trip of 500 miles last week we got the 47 plus mpg the car is advertised to get. I can't say enough about this car.

Post #81 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Dick King
In California the Prius battery pack is $4920.39 .

Post #82 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Dick King
The parts department where i live lists the pack itself for $4920.39 . That's without installation. It's making me think twice or more.

Post #83 - Re: Low mpg

By Peter
I also have somewhat of a problem with milage. I live in Chicago and got my Prius at the end of Feb and I am averaging about 33-34 mpg. I stopped in and talked to the service people and they said that I was the 6th person in that week with the same problem. Their answer, and Toyota's, is that it will get better in the summer - there is a better gas mix and the warm weather will help. I like the car very much and 33 is better than 20, but I am a bit put off by the advertising of 45 and 54 mpg and the fact that the sales people know absolutly nothing about the car.

Post #84 - Re: Hopeful New Owner

By Andrew Grant - previous 78
I've had mine up to 100 mph more than once. There is a govener on the motor that limits the engine to 4000 rpm instead of the usual 7000 rpm for this type of gas motor in other Toyota models.

Post #85 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Andrew Grant - previous 81
The battery pack in Canada is $138.00 per module and there are 38 modules in the battery pack.

Post #86 - Re: Thinking about a Prius

By Andrew Grant - previous 82
Remeber that the battery pack has 38 modules and it is highly unlikely that all of them will go at once.I have currently have 138,000 miles on my 2001 Prius (I have it as a taxi being used 24 hours a day) which has been in use since November 2000 and have had no battery problems what so ever.Having gone this far with no problem iam sure you should have no problem with the limited driving you would do in comparison to my taxi.

Post #87 - Re: Low mpg

By Andrew Grant - previous 83
In cold weather the gas motor has to start up periodically to keep the catalytic converter warm.These are the times when you have the energy monitor on and the engine starts up for a few minutes yet the display shows that the engine is not running.I find that i get about 5-10 mpg less when the temperature drops below 40.F.

Post #88 - Re: high amps and RF experience ?

By Mark Richards, K1MGY
I was considering installing two VHF radios, so i'll be interested in hearing of your experience with this issue. I think the 10 amps will be sufficient for these radios as long as they are not operated simultaneously.

What i'm concerned with is the location of the antennas and the potential that rfi might screw up the on board computers that run things.

Any thoughts?


Post #89 - great website on the Prius

By Greenjeans
Here's a guy that has totally documented his own Prius experience....

Post #90 - prius rentals

By jerry newton
Where in the Los Angeles area can I rent a new prius?

Post #91 - Re: high amps and RF experience ?

By Tom Donovan N9egi - previous 88
I also would like to own a Prius but wonder about the RF problems I may encounter...Any one had any experience with ham radio and the Prius...???? 73

Post #92 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By Al Fontana
Now that the Honda Civic Hybrid is available has any body tried a fuel economy test for comparison.

I have heard that at a steady 50 MPH the Civic Hybrid with the CVT transmission gets about 61MPG.

What does the Prius obtain at a steady 50 MPH?


Al Fontana

Post #93 - Re: prius rentals

By Ken Kresse
My wife rented one from the Burbank Airport. I think it was from Hertz.

Post #94 - Re: Prius fuel mileage

By betty
I have been driving Prius since Sep. 2000, most of the mileage in freeway commute. I am in N. Cal, so the climate is not too cold. Average communte speed is 65 MPH and 20 miles each direction. For the last 3000+ miles, the reading is 49.2 MPG, also with the heater on intermittently. My hunch is that steady at 50 MPH, the Prius can probably bring close to mid 50s MPG.

Post #95 - prius durability

By bill
anyone have a high mileage prius out there. I am interested in prius but was worried about longterm extra maintenance.

Post #96 - Re: prius rentals

By Ken Kresse
I had replied previously that my wife rented one from Herz at the Burbank airport. I was wrong. It was from Budget.

Post #97 - Navigation system

By jaycar
How well does the gps system offered as an option work? IS it voice and visual?

Post #98 - Re: Navigation system

By Spiak - previous 97
The Navagation system works very well. It is Voice & visual. It is a much nicer system then the one in my Mercedes ml-430. The olny thing I hate about it is that many of the fuctions are locked out when the car is moving. A passagener shoud be able to use the system when the car in moving. A simple senser in the pass. seat could tell when somebody is in the seat and let all the features work. Spiak

Post #99 - Re: prius durability

By Spiak - previous 95
Their is a guy that uses one for a taxi and he said he has 136,000 miles on it with no major problems. I had 25,000 on my 2001 with no problems at all. I sold it and bought the 2002 with all the options. spiak

Post #100 - Navigation system and Energy Monitor

By Sam
I got Prius with navigation today. I could not find how to switch to Energy Monitor or Consumption modes. Can anybody help me?

Post #101 - Availability

By jaycar
My Dealer is trying to get me a fully loaded Prius by the 20th of may. If his alocation doesnt come through, is there dealers out there that has stock on hand?

Post #102 - Re: Availability

By Sam
I got loaded Prius with Navigation in one week.

Post #103 - Day-Time running lights

By Sam
I noticed that, actually, only front lights are running. Is that correct behavior or something has been screwed up?

Post #104 - Re: Navigation system and Energy Monitor

By Sam
Just never mind, I have found that button

Post #105 - Re: Engine stalling

By Duane Dietz - previous 72 next 109 158
I have had this problem with my 2001 Prius. It happened about every 7000-8000 miles but is now occuring with more frequency. I would feel small and short power losses for several days before the engine would stall completely and the big "Something is wrong but I won't tell you" light came on. During this time it seemed that the gas and eletric engines were both functioning but at a severely reduced level. After turning the car off for 5-10 minutes, the warning light would clear and the car functioned normally. This has now happened about five times. The service center states that there are no codes in the computer to indicate what the problem was. I have even managed to get the car to them while the light was on. The last time this happened, a code came up saying that the motor would not start although is was running fine. The dealer has told me that sinc e nothing wrong can be found I should not be concerned. I think they are getting tired of me showing up every 1-2 months. It has been suggested that there may be a computer malfunction but Toyota has refused to replace it. My next plan is to take it back to the dealer where it was purchased (6 hours away) and see what they might be able to do. I would be interested if anyone else has had a similar problem of recurrent engine stalls.

Post #106 - Re: Rear tire wear

By Duane Dietz - previous 37
I have now replaced all of the original tires. The dealer said that it was my fault for not keeping the tire pressure right. This was difficult since the Bridgestone tires had trouble holding air. I think that cheap production tires were used and Toyota is not acknowledging the problem. I'll see how this new set holds up.

Post #107 - Re: Navigation system

By Duane Dietz - previous 97 next 175
I was wondering if it is possible to have this installed on the 2001 model since it was not offered that year. The dealer won't say

Post #108 - Toyota Prius

By Harriet - , next 111
I am driving a Prius in the city (greater Boston) and I am only getting 30 mpg. On the highway I got 46 mpg. Why such low mileage in the city? Is it my driving? What else could it be?

Post #109 - Re: Engine stalling

By Tom Call - previous 105
Sounds to me like Duane needs to contact Toyota Corp. Headquarters. Sounds like they need to know about the problem with one of their dealers. As for the stalling engine, it has to have a fix.

Post #110 - Re: Day-Time running lights

By Tom Call - previous 103 next 174
That's the way it is supposed to work and that is a danger. Many times people start out at night and because they have headlights (sort of) they don't realize that none of the other lights are on. The running lights are a great safety adjunct though.

Post #111 - Re: Toyota Prius

By Tom Call - previous 108 next 112 129
I have a similar problem although I am getting around 37 MPG in town and 47 on the highway. I attribute low milage to many stop lights/signs and the air conditioner running all the time. This is South Texas. I would worry if it dropped to 30 though, expecially where the a/c isn't called on constantly.

Post #112 - Re: Toyota Prius

By Philly Lou
It's Boston. Everything costs more. Plus the dopey one-way streets. Remember, Ben Franklin left Boston for Philadelphia. Best thing he ever did. Get over it---the greater Commonwealth is PA.

Post #114 - Battery life

By Jerry Savage
I have recently bought a second hand Prius. Milage was 58000 KM's. I have now done 63000 Km's & I suspect that the battery pack is on the way out. Symptoms are:- 1 first start of the day & battery level indicator shows low. 2 Usually turtle comes up within 500 meters. 3 Often the battery level shows FULL GREEN shortly afterwards. 4 Battery level is quick to drop to nearly zero after stop/start in city driving. 5 these symptoms have slowly got worse last 1500km's Does anyone know how to chech the battery pack status? I suspect that the battery pack is shot. I live in NZ & Toyota NZ do not support the Prius!!

Post #115 - Re: Battery life

By Andrew Grant
The next time you go in for service have the mechanic plug in the hand held computer unit to the cars computer outlet under the drivers side of the dash.The unit will be able to check the condition of each individual battery unit (38 units>.

Post #116 - Re: Battery life

By Jerry Savage
Thanks Andrew. Unfortunately Toyota NZ don't want to know about the Prius as they won't import them into NZ - too expensive they say!! Question then is:- Will a Toyota "generic" plug-in computor work for the Prius? Also does anyone know how to reset the clock on a 1998 model. The handbook I have is for a later model. Having the display mainly in Japanese doesn't help! I guess that Toyota don't have a plug in chip which would convert the display graphics to English? Any help would be really appreciated. Regards, Jerry.

Post #117 - Should we?

By Jane
We are seriously considering getting a new Prius. It will be primarily driven by our 17 year old daughter and occasionally by her mother [me]. We loved it on the test drive but hubby is skeptical after reading literature about how poorly it brakes at 60 and how awful it can be in cold weather etc.

I read both positive and negative reports about it and am confused about where the truth lies. We would primarily drive it on Cape Cod, with some highway use. Do you all recommend it or are we nuts to consider it?

Post #118 - fuel capacity

By Jim Taylor
Has any Prius owner had reason to think the fuel tank holds more than the stated 11.9 gal.?

Post #119 - Re: Should we?

By Jim Taylor
Have driven Prius in Denver since Jan. Did not have cold weather problems. MPG in first three months about 42 and now over 50. Pruis on the road since 97 in Japan-given their current economy I don't think they would bring in an Edsel to get battered by our "press". I'm mid-50's so most likely I'll drive it differently than a teen- For my uses, commuter car, I am satisfied with performance yet the handling takes some getting used to. Maybe the new Honda would appeal to husband and still give the family a hybrid. Part of my decision was political-forein oil dependency. Have had several Toyota's and remain loyal to the company. Replaced 944 Porsche with Prius for a couple of reasons.There is big difference for me in the driving "experience" department yet am happy with the choice I made. My thought about a teen driving the car is that it would look too "commu ter" frunpy. It really does not have much curb appeal. The Honda at least has some campy look like the Citroen (sp.) of the 70's.Then again Honda is coming out with the hybrid Civic or something like that about now. Jim

Post #120 - Re: Should we?

By Chuck
Jane, I have had my Prius now for a year and a half and think that it is a great car. But don't take my word for it, check out Consumer's Reports -- the Prius is on the select list of cars that they "recommend".

I'm not sure where your husband's remarks come from. The brakes do have a different feel than a normal car because it has two stages. When you first put on the brakes, the braking is done by the motor and the energy goes to charging the battery. Pushing harder will activate the hydraulic brakes. It is mostly a style thing that you get used to quickly. But as far stopping distance, the Prius is great. Check out a review done by Argonne National Lab at They measured a 60 - 0 stopping distance of 135 feet, vs 174 feet for the Corolla, and 198 feet for a Camry.

As far as winter driving, check out the website at: http:/ / No doubt John is a Prius nut, but he does live in Minnesota and has experienced two winters that are much worse than you will see. I live in northwest Washington and we get snow a couple times each winter. The only effect that I have seen is that my mileage drop s by about 5mpg -- but that is true for all cars.

I have no regrets.


Post #121 - Prius Airport Parking

By Jon
I am trying to find out if there is any truth to the rumor that I have heard regarding free parking at Los Angeles International Airport for Prius drivers. Does anyone know about this?

Post #122 - Re: Should we?

By Henry - previous 120 next 127
Agree with all positive remarks about the Prius! Check out the Car Talk guys' review on's a rave!

Post #124 - Prius roadholding characteristics

By Jerry Savage
My 1998 Prius seems to be a little unstable on the road driving over 80kph in even a moderate wind (40kph/30mph). When driving at 100 or higher kph the sensation is disconcerting. I liken it to driving a Volkswagen Beetle in windy conditions. I bought the car recently at 58000kms & I am unaware that the car has been in any accident. The tyres fitted are:- 185/60R 14 82H. Tire pressure 32psi. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Post #125 - Re: Prius roadholding characteristics

By Tom Call - previous 124
I was a little surprised that the wind affected my Prius as much as it does but the stearing is firm so handling is not uncomfortable. I am in South Texas and drive the freeways at 70 to 75 mph with no problems. I love my car and although I only have just over 4000 miles on it have had no problems.

Post #126 - Re: Prius roadholding characteristics

By Andrew Grant
I have a 2001 Prius as a Yellow cab in Vancouver B.C. and currently running my tires at 40psi.The tire are rated for a maximum of 50psi.I have had my Prius since Oct.15 2000 and currently have 254,989 kms on it and find i get better tire life,better fuel economy and also better handling on the highway.

Post #127 - Re: Should we?

By Andrew Grant
I've had my Prius since October 15 2000 and put 254,989 kms as a Taxi cab in Vancouver B.C. and spent $2,000.00 in parts replacement and labour in total so far....its been a bargan so far ....most people would put that kind of mileage on in 15-20 years of normal driving.

Post #129 - Re: Toyota Prius

By Andrew Grant
Try not pushing the gas pedal as far down when you initially accellerate but push it down slightly and let the electric motor do most of the accellerating,also make sure the tires are at 40psi,you won't be over inflating them for they are rated for a maximum of 50psi.

Post #130 - changing to larger size tire

By Erik Wang
After one of my tires got a flat with only 1000 miles on it, I was wondering if I can switch to a larger size rim and tires on all four, at the moment, the Prius is 14" x 5 1/2", I would like to go to a 14" x 6" with a 45 offset, Would this be a problem? Basically I have a set of BBS rims from my miata which is sitting in my garage at the moment, and I prefer a wider tire than the currently 175/65R14 on the prius. really need some answers, thanks

Post #131 - Re: Low mpg

By Tom Call - previous 17 next 133
Now here it is coming into Summer in South Texas and I have the same problem. The engine has to run to satisfy the A/C compressor. My milage went from an average of 41 mpg to 36 mpg when the heat started to rise. I figure the batteries are high gain/ low capacity. That is they can provide a lot of power to the electric motor for a short period. The A/C copressor would draw them down too much. It goes without saying that driving style, load, hills, freeways etc. make a BIG difference in fuel economy. I never did understand where the published fuel figures come from. In the spring I was able to get 47 mpg on long trips (500 miles) but town driving dropped to 36 or so. I can't get too excited though as the car is a "hoot" to drive and 36 mpg isn't all that bad either.

Post #132 - Re: changing to larger size tire

By Andrew Grant
The car was designed with the Bridgestones in mind.In that they have a reinforced side wall to limit sidewall flex of the tire at highway speeds plus the tires are specificly designed to have low roll resistance to save fuel but also a special tread compound so that when you need to stop quickly on dry or wet pavement.Check out the braking distances between the Camry 4 cylinder i think you will be surprised.

I currently have a 2001 Prius as a taxi in Vancouver British Columbia Canada since October 15 2000 that has 152,000 miles on it and i haven't put any other type of tire on other than Brigestone Blizzaks durring the winter months. Ive had no problem other than making sure that the tire pressure is kept at 40 lbs. The tires are rated for a maximum of 50'll find the information on the sidewall. I have found personally that when you put the tire pr essure to 40 lbs the sterring is lighter,the car is more stable in cornering at highway speeds,better fuel economy and better tread life...from 30,000 miles to 40,000 miles.

I thought about changing to a different type of tire and talked to one of the representatives from Toyota Canada who was specifically from the Prius division and asked him about the tire.First of all you will alter the ride hight of the vehicle making it more likely to bottom out and do damage to the undercarrage of the car.

If you really want to get the most of the car i would recomend sticking with the tires that were specifically designed for the Prius.

I wish you much joy in driving with your Prius.

Post #133 - Re: Low mpg

By Andrew Grant
The airconditioning is designed to run only when the gas motor is on.On hot days when you are stuck in traffic not moving very fast you are basiclly running on batteries without the ac compressor running.In order to get the compressor running while stuck in traffic and the batteries show a partial or full charge is to push the maximum switch in order to get the compressor to come on.When you have just the normal ac on with out the maximum switch on you are only using the compressor when the gas motor is being used to either assist on acceleration or to help maintain speed.Otherwise the compressor motor is not running even though the green light indicating that the ac has been selected.Where as when you also push the max switch you tell the car computer to keep the gas motor running even though the batteries dont need recharging you want the motor to stay on in order to keep the refrige rant cold ,but in the process you sacrafice fuel economy.

Also make sure that your tire pressure is at 40 lbs.You will see at least a 5 mpg improvement if you keep a close eye on you tire pressure.

Post #134 - Re: Is extended warrenty needed?

By Chas. Robinson
Hello Andrew,

What are the mechanical parts you've had to replace?



Post #135 - Prius--auxilary battery

By JWP - , next 137 171
If you leave town and let the car sit for four or five days, it doesn't start when I return. Has anybody tried attaching a battery-minder or some other tickle battery to the auxiliary battery while gone?

Post #136 - Re: Is extended warrenty needed?

By Andrew Grant
I've had to replace the the fly by wire throttle onnce at 30,000 kms and then again at 50,000 kms,[ covered by factory warrant]have had no problem with it since [ current mileage 259,000] the transmission selector sending switch at 165,000 kms, replaced the water pump for the gas motor at 185,000 kms, replaced the left front axle bearing at 205,000 kms,replaced electric water pump at 235,000 kms. The car has been one of the best cars i have had in 22 years in the taxi industry.

I wouldn't hesitate to recomend a Prius as a private car to purchase.

My concerns have been with the battery pack,generator,transmission and electric steering. Iam happy to say that having gone 259,000 kms in 20 months of use as a taxi it has stood up to the test so far.I plan on keeping it on for a total of 36 months.By that time the car should have between 450,000-550,000 kms.I sho uld have quite the information on how the Prius stands up.

Post #137 - Re: Prius--auxilary battery

By Andrew Grant
Could one of the doors on the car have been open just slightly causing the interior light to stay on and run down the battery?

Post #138 - click here for answers to all questions

By Joe in St. Paul
A bit of hype, I know, but I see some questions on this forum that have been dealt with extensively by the Toyota-Prius group on Yahoo. Every Prius owner should join the group. It is very active with many very experienced and knowledgable folks. Being in the group has truly enhanced my Prius ownership experience, because I understand the car so much better than I otherwise would.

Go to and join the fun.

Post #139 - how to raise that MPG

By Joe in St. Paul
In case you miss my other post - join the Prius group on Yahoo if you want to learn lots more about the car, including MPG issues. People on that group have all figured out the best ways to get the best fuel efficiency. Your numbers are definitely low and could be improved.

Go to and join in. Very active group with lots of knowledgable people willing to answer questions, including very technical questions. The site has many other resources as well.

Post #140 - Re: Toyota Prius

By Dana Sawyer - previous 129
Mileage tends to be poor during the first five to fifteen minutes of operation, especially if the outside temperature is below 60 F. Also, the defroster runs the air conditioning, which will reduce mileage too, so be sure to switch the climate control to another setting when defrost is not needed.

Post #141 - TOYOTA PRIUS

By Patrick
Yes I fully agree, it is a fantastic car that is starting a revolution on the roads. For sure tomorrow, all cars will be serial hybrid cars with the gasoline engine only supplying electricity. It is great to see this happen during our lifetime.

Post #142 - TOYOTA PRIUS

By Deborah
I love my Prius as well. It is so easy to drive and here in Belgium the gasoline is at 4 $/gallon, so i save a lot of money with it for other things. I would really recommand it to anybody. Big kisses.

Post #143 - battery pack life

By Jerry Savage
I have an early 1998 Prius & I would like to know what the expected life of the battery pack is likely to be? I have heard that it it somewhere between 4-5 years. In the country I live in, Toyota do not support the Prius. My car was imported from Japan & the Toyota hand held computor will not work on the Prius here!! I has heard that a taxi operator in Canada (Toronto?) has done an astonomical milage in his car & it would be interesting to know how the battery pack has performed. The symptoms my car is showing is that on the fist start of the day the battery indicator shows about 75% full but then, after driving a few kilometers on the first run of the day, the turtle annunciator lights up & the green battery indicator shows empty. After another 2 kilometers the annunciator goes out & the green battery indicator shows totally full for a few moments & t hen it goes back to showing 75%. This does not happen every day but usually does so it's inconsistent. I'm getting 16 kilometers per 1 litre of fuel in mixed driving conditions. Any help or advise would be appreciated.

Post #144 - prius

By davis
I must be the first. I have had the Prius for 1000 miles and have gotten 48mpg city, and 45 with the a/c cranked on the highway @ 73mph.

So far so good.

Post #145 - Prius - Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

By Tony GAlvez
Anyone has anything bad to say about the Prius? am about to purchase one, and would like any bad/good reviews from Prius ownners.. tks.

Tony Galvez.

Post #146 - Re: Prius - Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

By Jean Courteau
I'm trying to convince our fleet administrators to add the Prius to the list of allowable company cars. Does anyone have experience with the Prius as a corporate car? Apart from great fuel economy and eco-friendliness, can someone help me convert a corporate "bean-counter" to environmental responsibility (this guy must have kids too)?

Post #147 - Re: click here for answers to all questions

By Peter Lydon
Our 2002 Prius has about 14,000 miles. Occasionally, especially when starting cold, the front wheels, as felt through the steering wheel, give about a second or two of heavy vibration. My sense is that this comes from the electric motors on the drive wheels, and is electrical rather than mechanical in source. Dealership does not seem to be familiar with problem. Has anyone else experienced it? Thanks, PJL. Berkeley, CA.,

Post #148 - Battery Life and Cost

By Don - , next 149 168
I am considering buying a Prius, but am concerned about the life expectancy of the batteries or battery pack, and the cost of replacement. I have been quoted a cost of replacement of $500 and $5000 for this. Thanks.

Post #149 - Re: Battery Life and Cost

By Andrew Grant
I currently have a 2001 Prius that i have had has a taxi since November 2000 and currently have 283,000 kms and have had no battery problems.I have constant communication with Toyota Canada and have asked the question of how long they figure the battery pack would last.Toyota technitions figure that the battery pack should last at least 13 years or 130,000 miles. Well i have gone beyond the mileage already with no sign of problem.Also the battery pack is a 38 module pack and the cost of replacement is $138.00 CDN per module. I have enjoyed the Prius and will have it on as a taxi till November 2003 and by that time i should have 400-450,000 kms on the odometer.

I hope this information helps you in making the decision of buying a Prius.

Post #150 - Re: click here for answers to all questions

By Andrew Grant
That is correct,sometimes when you are also at a dead stop you will feel a slight tug on the wheel.By the way the steering is mechanical with electric assist,so if the electric motor should fail you still have steering.

Post #151 - Re: Prius - Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

By Andrew Grant
I have had one as a taxi since November 2000 and currently have 284,000 kms on the odometer. I have nothing but praise for the car.I have had nothing go wrong with the hybrid system yet.As a private or corporate vehicle i would say its an excellent choice.

By the way the car is being used at Yellow Cab Vancouver B.C. Canada.

Post #152 - Re: Prius - Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

By Andrew Grant
I have had one as a taxi in Vancouver B.C. Canada since November 2000 with 284,000 kms and have had an excellent time with the car.The car is being used 24 hours a day 7 days a week.Its being the best car i've had in 22 years in the bussiness.

If you buy one remeber one thing when accelerating...push the gas pedal slightly and hold it and let the electric motor do most of the accelerating.You will find that you can get up to a speed of 40 mph on a flat surface and maintain it for 5-7 minutes before it needs to be charged up again.The govener on the car is set at 100 mph.

I wish you the best if you decide to buy a's an excellent car that deserves better exposure.

Post #153 - Re: battery pack life

By Andrew Grant
Your problem seems to be with the battery regulator.There was a recall notice November 2000.Iam the one who is running a Prius as a taxi in Vancouver B.C. Canada since November 2000.I have a 2001 model. Currently i have 284,000 kms and have had no problem with my battery pack.When i talked to Toyota Canada as to how long the battry pack life expectancy would be,they expect a minimum of 13 years or 150,000 miles.The cost of replacing the battery pack is $138.00 Cdn per module...there is 38 modules.

I would go to a Toyota dealership close to you and have them contact Toyota Japan and ask if they could send over the handheld computer for your particular model year and then have it shipped back to Japan with the cost of shipping the handheld taken by you.

I wish you the best with your Prius.

Post #154 - Re: battery pack life

By Jerry Savage

Post #155 - Prius spare wheel

By Sam Goldberg - , next 169
I have a practically new extra Prius tire but need a standard aluminum alloy wheel to mount it so I have a full-size spare. Anyone know where I can find an extra used but serviceable (and inexpensive) wheel? Thanks

Post #156 - Battery duty cycle

By Steve Kuemmerle
We bought a Prius about 3 weeks ago, and the odo has about 1500mi on it. Our milage is in the low 40's (about 5 mpg lower than on the display). The electric motor never seems to engage very much, even at low end with slow starts. The display always seems to show the engine charging the battery, yet the battery capacity never has gotten above 75% on the display. Any ideas? Thanks!

Post #157 - Re: Battery duty cycle

By Andrew Grant
Sounds like your voltage regulator is not working properly. There was a recall notice in the fall of 2000 for 2001 models produced in early 2000. Did you ever the center tv screen change display and give a service warning in one three boxes? If so take your Prius back to the dealership and have them check and see if any problem codes have come up in the system that have been stored in the main computer.If there is a problem code is there the technician will be able to find out what is wrong with your charging regulator.Also you may find that if you push the gas pedal very slowly maybe an inch and hold it there just before the gas motor comes on.I think you will find that with practise you will be able to get the car up to 40 mph on a flat surface and be able to drive for 3-5 minutes.Another sugestion would be that you back off the gas pedal slightly when you reach speeds of 40 mph or less,you should be able to go quite aways on just batteries.

I wish you the best with your Prius,i have one in Vancouver B.C. Canada that i have had as a Taxi since November 2000 that has 290,000 kms [170,000 miles]. Has been a great car.I wish you the same.

Andrew Grant

Post #158 - Re: Engine stalling

By Kevin Perry
I came to the Forum to find out if anyone else was having the same problem as my Prius and it looks like my Prius has a problem similar to Roy's. I have a 2001 with almost 22k miles and the problem began about 2 weeks ago. The "Something is wrong but I won't tell you" (to quote Roy) light came on and the car lost power. The engines didn't stop completely but there was virtually no power. It happened again a couple of days ago and wouldn't go over 23 mph. Let it sit for 10 min. and it works fine. The dealer says no codes in the computer and can't find a problem. Has anyone else had this problem and had if fixed?

Post #159 - 2002/2003 Differences

By Phoenix - , next 160 167 181
I am getting ready to purchase a Prius. Does anyone know the differences between the 2002 and 2003 models? Also, after reviewing previous postings, are Prius' still having troubles with fast tire wear and starting problems? Also, since dealers seem to have some in stock now, does anyone know if they are offering any discounts on end-of-year 2002's?

Post #160 - Re: 2002/2003 Differences

When will '03 Prius be on the showroom floor and if ordering one now, when should I expect delivery?

Post #161 - Re: click here for answers to all questions

By Tom Call
Had the same problem. Kept getting worse. Took it to Champion Toyota in Austin where I bought it. They say I do have a problem and are replacing the rack and pinion so they say. However it is backordered and I haven't seen my Prius for almost two weeks. They don't recommend driving it so gave me a loaner. Saturn is no match for the Prius except it steers.

Post #162 - Screen or computor on Prius

By Doris Nicholson - , next 164 165 218
Please give us any infor you have on the screen on the Prius. Ours have gone out twice in two months and we need to know if this is the heat (dealer says) a problem others have had..or WHAT?

Post #163 - Re: Battery duty cycle

By Steve Kuemmerle

Thanks much for the tip. I'll check this out and post the results on the board.

Post #165 - Re: Screen or computor on Prius

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 162
I can't say that I've heard of anyone with their LCD screen going blank on them on the big toyota-prius yahoogroup... I doubt that the heat would do it (the AZ posters would've mentioned that by now!)

If you're not getting any results from your dealer, try a different dealer, or call Toyota's Customer Assistance and open a case with them 1-800-331-4331.

Maybe just a loose cable, but maybe not. Someone should at least take a look, rather than dismissing it as "the heat."

Post #166 - steering shudder (Re: click here for answers...)

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 147
yeah, some people have been reporting a vibration/shudder in the steering wheel when started cold. result tends to be a steering rack replacement, but can take weeks for parts.

Post #167 - Re: 2002/2003 Differences

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 159 next 177
same car. 2003 sees drop of the Blue Moon Pearl color, and addition of Black and Golden Pearl external colors. 2003s are due in sometime in Sept. on the west coast. in CA has some 2003s allocated (in transit) to them at the moment.

biggest difference is that each region has their own "option packages" and not the a la carte menu of options/accessories seen in the past...

Post #168 - Re: Battery Life and Cost

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 148
In the US the battery (and other hybrid components) are warrantied for 8years/100,000 miles. Toyota claims that they should last the lifetime of the car. I wouldn't worry about the battery.

As for the cost of the pack, new today IF you had to buy it, is just under US$4900. (according to folks who had to ask their parts departments for pricing when figuring out incremental hybrid costs for state tax credits...)

Since Toyota is ramping up hybrid production (more Prius, the Estima minivan, the Crowne large sedan), as is Honda (Civic, Insight), (and Ford's Escape HEV SUV is based on Toyota technology) with more hybrids to come, battery technology should be more mass-produced and either come down in price, or become technologically more advanced (like the current Prius battery compared to the battery from the initial release of the Prius in Japan in 1997).< /blockquote>

Post #169 - Re: Prius spare wheel

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 155
supposedly the Echo rims will work well for a full-sized spare tire. I don't have the part number handy...

Post #170 - Re: click here for answers to all questions

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 138
yeah, I wish more people would wander over to the big Group, but...

at least if they visited John's site, they'd get some of the info. (He builds up his info-sheet and user-guides based on advice found on the big yahoo group.)

lots of advice and logs of his 2001 Prius in MN over the last 2 years of ownership.

Post #171 - Re: Prius--auxilary battery

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 135
some people have found a good battery tender (that won't overcharge the 12v accessory battery). check the yahoogroups' archives.

If you accidentially leave a door or light on, that could run down your battery that fast. Also, remember to turn your headlights off (and not just use the "auto-off" feature) if you're leaving your car sitting for a long length of time, as the "auto-off" draws some power on the battery.

Best thing is to either have someone drive your car once or twice a week while you're gone, or to disconnect the battery before you go. (Be warned, disconnecting the battery will forget your radio presets, clear any trouble codes stored in your Prius computer, and disable the alarm.)

Nice thing is that it's very easy to jump-start a Prius - you just need enough juice to turn on a few computers, and they'll start the car (u sing the hybrid battery (takes MONTHS for that to discharge by just sitting) and connect up the hybrid battery to the 12v battery for some recharging...

If you're certain that your doors and lights were off when you left your car for 4 days, then it sounds like you're victim of one of the defective 12v batteries. Once run down once, a 12v battery doesn't hold it's charge as well again. Cars left on dealer lots that aren't driven much are notorious for killing off the little 12v. (Several people reported going for Prius test drives, and finding that the car on the lot needed a jump!)

Vast majority of people don't usually have a problem with their battery. I've left mine for a week with no issues. Several people have reported 2-3 weeks with no restarting issues. treat the battery right, and it'll treat you right in return.

Post #172 - Re: battery pack life

By doug1467 - previous 153 next 182
> The cost of replacing the battery pack is $138.00 Cdn per module...there is 38 modules.

Is there a Toyota part number for the battery pack module?? From my understanding, there is only on part number..the whole battery.

Post #173 - Re: Battery duty cycle

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 157 next 179

nice to hear from you! We've heard of sightings of the Prius taxi in Vancouver over on the toyota-prius and Canada-Prius yahoogroups - you're quite the celebrity! (Some people ask for YC-15 by name when they're in town!)

Nice to hear that you're enjoying your Prius and plan to keep it at least another year. Your high mileage kind of makes you the canary for letting the rest of us North American purchasers know what to expect as our cars age.

Do you have any idea of what your average MPG (oops, you're in Canada -- your average l/km) has been? any major repairs or servicing that we should know about?

Post #174 - Re: Day-Time running lights

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 110
In the US, the Daytime Running Lights are only the front headlights (Daytime Head Lights?), at somewhere in the 70-90% of full area.

In Canada, the (standard) Daytime Running Lights are front and rear.

There are mods available to illuminate the rear lights as well as the front for the US DRLs (and also a report of a european Prius, too), and also a mod for a temporary shut-off switch for the DRLs (like if you're going to an astronomy party, viewing holiday lighting, etc.).

Post #175 - Re: Navigation system

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 107
Not unless you manage to get the parts for cheap from a salvage yard! (~$5000 in parts new, before labor (which involves full removal of the dash)) That would be for the GPS antenna, the NAV player, the DVD, and the wiring harness (which isn't on the 2001s).

But there is an aftermarket NAV unit available.

Post #176 - Re: prius rentals

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur - previous 90 next 178

some dealers also may rent out Prius, so call around. (if they're a member of the TRAC program, even more likely. TRAC = Toyota Rent A Car)

Post #177 - Re: 2002/2003 Differences

By Phoenix - previous 167
I purchased a new 2002 Prius. Besides new paint colors, dealer says difference between 2002 and 2003 is that they are discounting 2002's and 2003's will go for full MSRP until later in the year (after all of the 2002's are gone). In addition to good discount, auto insurance seems to be less, too. Not sure if this is because of 2002 model year or anticipated price increase for 2003's. I hope to save enough on gas yearly to make one additional car payment.

Post #178 - Re: prius rentals

By Phoenix - previous 176
I rented a Prius at a central Phoenix (AZ) Toyota dealer. (Some of the dealerships are using them for loaners and also rent them out.) That's what sold me on the car. It was great to test drive the Prius over a weekend, by myself, without the salesperson in the car. There was no sales pressure, and the car sold itself. We drove it to Flagstaff to see how it performed in the mountains -- no problems up- or downhill. I purchased a 2002 Prius a week ago.

Post #179 - Re: Battery duty cycle

By Andrew Grant
Well i find that i have been getting between 50-60 mpg or 4.9-5.5 liters per 100kmh.

I have had no problems with the hybrid system.I have had things like both water pumps,oxygen sensors,front struts...some other smaller things but have worn out due to the 22-24 hour use of the car as taxi.Currently i have had an offer from Toyota Japan to buy or trade the car for a new Prius.I havent made a decession yet if i will give the car yet,for part of me would like to see how the car would stand up to 3 years of cab work (currently it has been on 22 months).

Post #180 - Re: Engine stalling

By Andrew Grant
Next time it happen have your energy monitor on and see if the battery level indicator shows almost nothing. I have been experiancing this problem once in a while in my taxi Prius.Also watch and see if the battery indicator goes up to the very top of the display showing 100% condition instead of the normal 80%.If so have your dealership contact Toyotas area representative to relay the problem to Toyota Japan.I would just keep track of where you are just before it happens so that you may find a pattern as to where it happens.It has happened a total of 3 times for me with no solution yet.The car still performs the same in all areas otherwise.

Let me know how it goes.

Post #181 - Re: 2002/2003 Differences

By Andrew Grant
No changes other than the front and rear mudguards are now standard.The tire problem seem to have been corrected thanks to the recall of some defective mid-2001 series of tires.Also i have found personally when running the tires at 40 lbs instead of 35lbs.I have a taxi Prius that has almost 300,000 kms and have gone through 6 sets of tires and have found that i have been able to get almost 10,000 miles extra out of the tires.

I wish you the best if you buy a Prius for i sure have enjoyed my experiance with mine.

Checkout on their Prius accessories especially the armrest addition,I just recieved mine and love it.If you are not tall in the upper part of your body opt for the 5 inch model not the 7 inch.

Post #182 - Re: battery pack life

By Andrew Grant
Have the dealership parts manager contact the area rep for Prius and they should be able to help you.

Post #183 - Purchase Insecurity

By Adrian Johnson - , next 186 188 189
I was looking at this 'Test Drive' Prius that the Toyota dealership needs to get rid of, as they're getting in some new 2002s. Maybe this is a Canadian thing, as apparently, 2003s are very difficult to get. My question is, what am I giving up, getting a 2001 instead of a 2002 or 2003, and is it worth getting after a $5000 reduction in price?

Post #184 - Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Joe Montani
A sun roof or moon roof would be a very nice option; does anyone know if that might be forthcoming in the 2003 or future model-years? Or... is anyone aware of an after-market provider who can fit a (power-, or manual-crank) sun roof; or, can Toyota do this? Prius would be irresistable with this feature... .

Post #185 - Aftermarket add ons (was:Re: 2002/2003 Differences

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
Actually, the URL is for many aftermarket Prius items. Also see if you want an MP3 player.

Post #186 - Re: Purchase Insecurity

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
Make sure that any recall work (such as the early 2001 power steering recall, or the extended tire warranty for early wear on the "CHA" style Bridgestone Potenza tires) has been done before you get your used car. Also be sure that the warranty (or what's left of it) gets transferred over to you properly.

The 2001 Prius is the same as the 2002 or 2003. You'll probably just pay less insurance if you get a 2001. However, you don't know exactly how the car was treated prior to you getting it (run down 12v accessory battery for instance, or exceeded the break-in recommendations for the engine/brakes), so you have to take that into account.

Post #187 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
I haven't heard of this being an orderable option on the 2003s.

I have heard of some people having a sunroof/moonroof added to their Prius after-market. They asked their dealer for a recommended shop. Quality of the work depends on the shop that does it, but typically you can expect to lose up to 2 inches of headroom from the install.

(You can also have aftermarket leather seats added in this same fashion. Just be really careful if you have the side airbags, as they're mounted in the seats!)

Post #188 - Re: Purchase Insecurity

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
you might find some more help from the friendly folks on the Canada-Prius list...

Post #189 - Re: Purchase Insecurity

By Adrian Johnson
The accessory battery is toast, and they're putting in a new one, but thanks for your advice. I'm going to visit Yahoo as well!

Post #190 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Andrew Grant
I had a power moon roof installed by American Sunroof Corporation on my Prius taxi just shortly after i bought the car October 2000.I have had no problems with it and they include a 6 year warranty with it as long as you bring it in once a year for service.I lost a total of 3 inches of headroom.The roof totally brightens up the interior.Well worth it.The roof switch fits into the existing Toyota precut switch holes.

American Sunroof Corporation is also the company that does the convertable conversion for the Solara.

Post #191 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Joe Montani
Evidently, there are those who would install the ASC925 sunroof; I have not seen it yet, except in a graphic available on the Web at:

This is a feature on the "Full-Featured" sunroof, with "One-touch Open, Close, Vent, and Auto-Close, with a sliding sunshade cover to match the interior of the vehicle". It sounds good! I'll check my local installers/dealers. There is also a "Spoiler Design" sunroof available, somewhat simpler in design and implementation than the full-featured item; I've yet to see THAT, too. I've had my Prius for about a week; maybe in a month, I can afford a sunroof! The ASC925 is large, in size: 36 inches by 19 inches.

Post #192 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Andrew Grant
Concerning the sunroof/moonroof from ASC is that there are 3 sizes .....the one i had installed on my 2001 Prius that is being used as a taxi is the one that would be installed on the Corolla.It is a nice size and i have had no problems with it especially concerning leaks in that i have my taxi washed twice a day.

Post #193 - Motor Trend review

By Henry - , next 194
Motor Trend is obviously full of the proverbial baloney in re: their Civic vs. Prius review. You only have to look at the torque specs to see that Prius will wipe out Civic off the line. I seriously doubt that Honda Civic hybrid can match, much less exceed, Prius in any category whatever. Other sites have reported that the Honda handles and feels "like a tin can," and the specs tell me that Honda is underpowered, slow, and not as green as Prius. And why would Honda offer a stick-shift option on the Civic?? The overwhelming advantage of electric traction is the absence of transmission gearing through inherent high starting torque (as in diesel-electric locomotives). I'd like to read comments posted on this board in defense of Honda Civic hybrid---anybody out there drive one?

As a parting shot, please note that Honda also makes ATVs---the scourge of environmental pres ervation/conservation!

Post #194 - Re: Motor Trend review

By Hanzer
I'd like to point out the fact that both honda and toyota make formula one cars, both get under 10 miles per gallon and both pollute far greater than most SUVs out there. You can hate honda as much as you want, but don't assume that toyota is perfect. I love my non-hybrid civic. It still gets better gas mileage than most cars out there and I can still get 35+ miles per gallon doing 80-90mph.

Post #195 - Re: Motor Trend review

By Henry - previous 194 next 196
You missed the point. I don't "hate Honda." I assert that the Civic Hybrid is inferior to the Prius. As to your statement about formula one vs. SUVs, what kind of numbers (of vehicles) are we talking here? I'd be the first to buy a decent hybrid SUV, and I hope Toyota brings one out since it appears that Ford will offer a hybrid Escape late in 2003.

Speed kills.

Post #196 - Re: Motor Trend review

By Hanzer
I'm sorry, I just feel that the statement about ATVs was a bit excessive. I think it's good that any car company is making hybrid cars. However, it's going to take a lot to get Bush and his oil buddies to support it fully. BTW...have you seen honda's daulnote concept. It's a 400hp machine with 300hp gas and 100hp electric engines. Goto for more info.

Post #197 - Questions on the Prius

By brett - , next 198 208
I'm interested in the both Hydrids. Can anyone answer this?: Does the Prius come in manual transmission, or only in automatic? Does the rear seat fold down.. (it doesn't in the civic hybrid)

Post #198 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Henry - previous 197 next 203
Prius transmission is CVT (continuously variable transmission, i.e., automatic). No manual trans. available. Rear seat does not fold down.

If you test drive both vehicles, please post your evaluations. The comparison should be interesting to many readers.

Post #199 - Re: Motor Trend review

By Henry - previous 196
ATVs are messing up the woods and lake shore near my cabin in the Adirondacks. I won't knowingly patronize any company connected with ATVs in any way, shape, or form.

Post #200 - Rash of problems

By Becoming Concerned - , next 201 209
I have just surpassed 40,000 miles on my '01 and much as I dislike having to say it, I am beginning to regret my purchase. I have had an incessant oil leak at the crank shaft that has just reappeared after the third repair. The dealership seems to be incapable of ordering all the parts necessary up front and due to the nature of parts availability this causes long delays (the last time was 13 days in the shop). One week after I got it back from that repair the check engine light came on, turned out that catalytic converter had failed. Once that came in and was replaced, never guess what, they had to order a heat shield that they were expecting to come with the converter. When they installed the heat shield they found the oil leak again. Thank goodness for the rental car coverage in the warranty. One other thing is an intermittent problem where the windows will not cl ose, cycling the ignition a few times will get them up. If you say intermittent you can also say "forget getting it repaired!!!!" Has ANYBODY else had issues similar to these??

Post #201 - Re: Rash of problems

By Henry - previous 200 next 202
This is indeed distressing! Does your state have a lemon law? I would think that after three attempts to fix the same problem, there'd be grounds for lodging a complaint.

Post #202 - Re: Rash of problems

By Becoming Concerned - previous 201 next 206
Ahhh yes, Virginia does have a lemon law, however it stipulates 3 unsucessful repair attempts within 18 months of purchase, I passed that window in June of this year, third repair was performed in August, wouldn't you know. I also spoke to a laywer who assured me that VA is extremely business friendly and would not enforce the "spirit" of the law. My next best hope is with Toyota USA, with whom I have started the process. My service manager has termed my car as one that toyota is very interested in, due to its number of problems. My hope is that the interest is real and that I can convince them to make it a full time study (in other words get me another car). From what I have gleaned in research so far, my vehicle is really an outlyer, so I would be happy to aquire another Prius (I think ;-)

Post #203 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Brett - previous 198 next 204 207
I test drove the automatic civic Hybrid and was disappointed. I have a '91 Honda Accord (manual) that I've enjoyed, but will soon need to replace. My friend has a '01 5 speed Civic that I enjoyed driving, and my 6'5" frame seemed to fit in. I had hoped that I would like the Civic Hybrid just as much, but perhaps it was because it was automatic, and not 5 speed.

I've managed to avoid the SUV's by getting by with help from the folding rear seat and roof rack on my Accord, but was hoping I could find a Hybrid (or fuel cell) car that would fit my needs when i made my next purchase..

I'll have to check out the Prius and the 5 speed civic hybrid..

Post #204 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Henry - previous 203
I think you'll find that the Prius will leave Honda Civic hybrid (either transmission) in the dust. Check out and compare the torque specs on the Prius vs. Civic. Prius has 340 lb-ft. of torque! Don't recall the exact Honda numbers offhand, but it's something like half of the Prius. Remember that the electric traction motor in the Prius is 44 hp vs. only 13 hp for Honda. Back in the good old days, a 44-horse electric traction motor was almost enough to motivate a trolley car that weighed several tons more than a Prius.

Post #206 - Re: Rash of problems

By Becoming Concerned - previous 202
Update: I was offered a free platinum extended warranty, but rejected this for several reasons. I would still have the same car after 100K miles, and the warranty would discourage me from driving the vehicle so as to extend the covered period (It has been the car of preference due mostly to its environmental benefits over my other vehicle). I also told them that if I chose to get out, I could not in good conscience sell the vehicle as it is so problematic. I told them I need a new car. The dealership is persuing this. Meanwhile, when I said the above to Toyota national they told me they were sending arbitration paperwork. This is a bit of a disappointment, as I am looking for Toyota to step up to the plate and do what is right, not just when an outsider tells them to. Time will tell.

Post #207 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Vic
I am in the same position as one of the previous questioners. I am very interested in the Prius but I need to replace my aging Mazda with another car that is great for around town but also can do a good bit of hauling of bags of mulch and so forth. I use the fold-down rear seat a lot and wonder why the Prius seat does not fold? Is it just a design decision, or is there another reason the seat does not fold? Thanks.

Post #208 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
The Prius, in the US and Canada, does not come with a 60/40 folding rear seat. (If you're in the UK, you get the folding seat.) Word on the old Yahoo Club from a Toyota engineer was that the folding rear seat required a different structure to support the seat, and that structure weighed more, and to keep the Prius' weight down the seat had to be non-folding. However, over in the yahoo group ( ) there are instructions on how to fold down the whole rear seat back if needed.

As for Prius torque values, well... some of the engine torque is actually used to power the electric motor, so you cannot just add the torque values of the engine and motor. I believe that they come out about equal.

Over in the above-mentioned Yahoo prius group there is at least one person who owns both a HCH and a Prius. There are also Insight owners about, too, along with various EV owners. anyhow, there are several reviews/comparisons available there if you search the archives.

The Prius is only available with a CVT. The HCH has both a manual and a CVT transmission (like the Insight has). Remember that the Prius strives for low emissions (and high MPG is just a nice side benefit), whereas the Hondas tend to go more for high mileage with low emissions as a nice side benefit. For someone who knows how to properly use a manual transmission, they can get some really impressive MPG out of it that you cannot get in an automatic.

Post #209 - Re: Rash of problems

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
for the windows - did you accidentially hit the child safety lock button? it's easy to accidentially hit, and it'll easily make you wonder why the windows won't roll up/down...

Post #210 - Re: Questions on the Prius

By Henry - previous 208
Honda's website gives TOTAL torque figures for the Civic Hybrid as follows: 105 lb.-ft.(CVT) and 116 lb.-ft.(manual). This is largely a reflection of the smaller electric traction motor on the Honda (13 hp. vs 44 hp. for the Prius). The Prius torque figures are 82 lb.-ft. for the ICE plus 258 lb-ft. for the electric motor, total 340 lb.-ft. for the Prius.

The local automobile columnist here test-drove both the Prius and the Honda (manual). His comment on the Honda: "This is a slow car."

Post #211 - Re: Rash of problems

By Becoming Concerned - previous 209
I just got off the phone with Central Atlantic Toyota, sorely dissapointed. As soon as the words "loss of confidence" and "I couldn't resell this vehicle with a clear conscience" came out of my mouth, they said back to me "Arbitration".

All they claim they "can" do is ensure the warranty is being enforced. I really thought Toyota was doing something special with this car program and thought they would go the extra mile when things went seriously awry. As a consumer I was lead to beleive I was making an investment in the future right along with Toyota, I didn't realize that when it comes down to it I was buying just another car (with a beefy warranty).

Like with any other car it is the luck of the draw and I pulled the short stick. So, Sadly I am on to arbitration.

Michelle: Thanks for your suggestion, but this was not the cause of my window problem.

Post #212 - inadequate auxiliary battery

By W. (Bill) C. L. III
As of about 10-15-02, the auxiliary battery on the Prius we bought new 2-22-02 has died. The dealer said that it was from lack of use. We are EXTREMELY disappointed, to say the least. We are retired, and have used this auto just as we used the 1985 Tercel that the Prius replaced; mostly around town on short errands. The old Tercel NEVER failed to start under the same conditions, but the new Prius apparently needs to be driven more to keep its small battery charged enough to start the car. We were never told before buying the Prius, nor did we see any review that pointed out this potential problem. We are in the process of discussing the options (If any) with Toyota.

We can't believe that we bought a car with more bells and whistles than any we have ever had, and bought it for reasons of economy and its environmental friendlyness, and then to be told that w e have to drive it MORE to keep the battery charged.

With all the dash warnings available on this car, there isn't even one for the condition of the AUXILIARY battery, so its dead befor you know it.

Another option, we were told by the Toyota dealer, was to disconect the battery when we were not going to use the car for a couple of days, and to hook it up to a trickle charger. Can you imagine in the yr. 2002 being told to do something out of the early 20th century?

Any comments from you Prius owners about our problem?

Thanks, Bill III

Post #213 - Re: inadequate auxiliary battery

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
occasionally there's a bad 12v auxillary battery. or, if the dealer let the car sit on the lot too long (so that the battery goes dead), the 12v is never quite the same after the first time it goes dead, and never manages to hold a charge... someone recently bought a Prius with a battery probme that you mention (the vehicle needed a jump at the dealer for a test drive), and the dealer replaced the battery under warranty because they were the ones who caused the problem.

most people with a Prius report that they can leave their Prius unattended (undriven) for 2-3 weeks and it'll start up OK.

remember to turn off the light switch, and make sure that all doors are closed (use the remote to lock the car - the remote won't lock the car if a door is open!), and make sure that all lights are off, before leaving your car for an extended period of time.

t ry a different dealership's service department. have them check to make sure that the charging circuit from the hybrid battery to the 12v auxillary battery is working properly. There was one reported case of this happening. Usually it's just a mistreated 12v that's gone dead before (or a dud) that will cause charging issues.

(and no, you don't have to drive the Prius to charge the battery. there is no alternator in the conventional sense. as long as the Prius is in the READY state, the Prius will top off batteries as needed (by running the gas engine to charge the hybrid battery, which then charges the 12v battery)

to note, to start a Prius, first the 12v accessory battery powers up the computers. The computers open up the connection with the hybrid battery. The hybrid battery, through one of the electric motors, starts the gasoline engine. So, the 12v battery only needs enough juice to start the computers (a really small amount) - it's the big hybrid battery that does all the wor k for starting the gas engine!

and yes, there was one unfortunate couple in California that had a similar problem that you are describing (dealership claims that short trips/little use cause the 12v battery to not charge). It was in some newspaper... They actually returned the car to the dealership, IIRC.

and there is a LCD hidden button sequence that'll get you into the diagnostic mode, and there is a 12v battery monitor there.

I will note here that a short trip does not equal what the EPA cons iders "city driving." (see Unless your driving consists of an 11 mile route that takes about 30 minutes to drive, in 68F-86F conditions, with 23 stops, average speed 20mph (max speed 56mph), started with a cold car (which is the EPA's city test cycle... My commute in the summer is close to this, and my lifetime MPG is 48.1 (total miles/total gallons pumped).) If your idea of "city driving" is lots of mostly short trips (less than 10 minutes, especially less than 5 minutes), then you won't see the EPA's estimated MPG (on any car, but especially on the Prius). The Prius is more concerned with low emissions (SULEV), and the advertised high MPG is just a side-effect. During the first 5 minutes or so of travel (the blue low coolant temp light should be on), the Prius will run the gasoline engine to warm up the various emissions components (oil, catalytic converter, etc.) to proper operating temperatures. (You cann ot use the Energy Monitor to tell if the gas engine is on to heat itself up. the Energy Monitor only shows you power flow from the engine to either the wheels or the hybrid battery.) Those with short commutes (<10minutes) report getting in the 30s for MPG, and mid-40s for longer trips (like on the highway).

Post #214 - Re: inadequate auxiliary battery

By W. (Bill) C. L. III
I don't know if this is the proper way to contact Michelle Vadeboncoeur, but I can find no other. I want to thank her for her reply to my "inadequate auxiliary battery" question of 10-19.

It's still not entirely clear to me whether short distance drives will be a factor in reducing the hybrid battery's ability to keep the 12v accessory battery charged? We only drove the '85 Tercell about 350mi./mo and had no trouble with the battery in that car.

Thanks, Bill

Post #216 - Re: Motor Trend review

By Jonathan
Formula One cars are not popular around here - I haven't seen one on the street yet. :^)

Seriouly, I find it hard to use the argument that pollution from Toyota racing cars (of which there may be hundreds) puts Toyota in the same stall as Honda, with its emissions (both gaseous and sonic) from the thousands of off-road vehicles polluting the countryside.

I do commend you on using a car with good gas mileage. Now we just have to convince you that you need to reduce your tailpipe emissions - for the good of all of us, our children and grandchildren. :^)

Post #217 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Jonathan
Have you needed to take any precautions with the battery air vent on the left rear of your Prius, when you have the car washed? Some people have expressed a concern about water getting into the battery area when water is sprayed on the side of the car. I personally doubt that Toyota would release a design with that kind of difficiency - especially since they offer an 8 year warranty (in the U.S.) on the high voltage battery.

Post #218 - Re: Screen or computor on Prius

By Jonathan
Can you describe what the conditions were when you noticed the blank screen? Did the screen go dark (no backlighting) but have the display barely viewable? This would point to a problem with the lighting system. Did you get in the car after it had been sitting in the hot sun with the windows rolled up for a length of time before you began to use it, and found that the backlighting was on (perhaps dimly) but there was no display on the screen? The LCD probably has an upper operating limit of 140 degree F. The backlighting will add heat to the display (they probably are miniature cold cathode fluorescent tubes with an inverter). If the LCD has soaked in high heat, it will go blank until it cools. More detailed info would be helpful in diagnosing this problem.

Post #219 - Toyota agrees that the Prius isn't for us.

By W. (Bill) C. L. III
The other day I posted that the Prius battery died twice on us. The dealer said that we didn't drive it enough. We have just been told by Toyota that they would take in our Prius on exchange for another Toyota crediting us for the original Prius purchase price. We liked the Prius very much, and hate to have to let it go. We still are in a quandry, based on earlier technical feed back, about why it won't work. Some say that it should, in spite of what the dealer has said. Any comments? Thanks

Post #220 - Re: inadequate auxiliary battery

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
I usually hang out over on

I'd have to look back through the archives there. Someone (I think it was Julian?) posted the charging rates on the 12v battery. I'm not a real techie (that's what the Prius_Technical_Stuff group on yahoo is for), so I don't usually pay attention to those posts with lots of measured values and such.

Post #221 - Re: inadequate auxiliary battery

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
Well, I posed a question over on the other board about your mileage and the 12v battery.

One respondant only drives his Prius for about 150mi/mo, and has never had any battery problems. The best thought is to have your dealership try putting in a new, known good 12v battery, and see if that solves your problem.

Post #222 - Prius Mileage

By Phoenix
I bought a new Prius about two months ago and have driven it about 6,000 miles so far. After disappointing gas mileage (high 20's to mid 30's) for the first few hundred miles, my wife made a suggestion based on her observation of my driving habits.

I have always driven like an old geezer to get good gas mileage with our other cars, taking it easy on both the gas and brake pedals. Basically, I drive like there is an egg taped to the bottom of my shoe. This worked well when cars had carburetors; it kept the accelerator pump from squirting excessive amounts of raw gas into the engine. Well, that just doesn't work with the Prius.

She noticed that when I accelerated off of a traffic light, the gas mileage dropped to 10-15 mpg; and as long as I had my foot on the accelerator, it stayed around 25 mpg. Then, the minute I hit the cruise control, it jumped to over 50 mpg. It even went as hi gh as 75-99.9 if we were on level ground or a slight decline. But, if I kept my foot on the accelerator, it stayed at 25 mpg. So, one tip is to use the cruise control as much as possible, even in traffic.

The other thing we noticed was that the length of time the Prius was getting 10-15 mpg can be reduced by accelerating briskly to cruising speed. The shorter the length of time you are accelerating, and the quicker you can get the cruise control on, the better the overall gas mileage you'll get.

Just by making these two changes to my driving habits, our in-town mileage jumped to 48-50 mpg. I still don't make jack-rabbit starts, but you'll see me ahead of the pack off of most lights, then right onto cruise as soon as I hit the speed limit. What a difference.

Those of you who are complaining about disappointing gas mileage, quit driving like old geezers and start enjoying the torque that the Prius has off of the line. Most of that acceleration is free (from the regenerative brakin g coming up to the light).

Also, anticipate stops and allow the car to coast as long as possible coming up to a light. You are getting 99.9 mph the whole time your foot is off the gas pedal.

Give it a try and let me know what you find.

Post #223 - prius steering wheel

By joachim bordt - , next 224
German prius models are sold with build-in cruise control inop. because of a plain steeering wheel. where can I buy the special steeering wheel to operate the pre-isnstalled cruise control? thank you, bojo

Post #224 - Re: prius steering wheel

By Michelle Vadeboncoeur
The 2001 US Prius did not come with cruise control as an option (although all the wiring and computers and such are there), and only had the plain steering wheel that you mention.

Initially in the US, some brave people made their own cruise control, modifying the steering wheel themselves and installing the new brake switch (also needed for the cruise control).

Then CoastalETech came out with their remote cruise control option: You can install this yourself. I've heard of some UK Prius installing this without issue, and I think some others in Europe...

By late 2001, Toyota released their 2001 Cruise Control Retrofit Kit (comes with the steering wheel with the cruise paddle, the brake switch, and directions). You can have your dealer install it for you, or your favorite mechanic, or you can do it yourself (what I did ). I have heard of this being used on a 2002 US Prius as well. My install: (Description is on the toyota-prius yahoo group.) There are several US dealers that sell the kit, here are some (I'm certain that there are others): (where I bought mine)

Not related to the cruise control, but you might be interested in a German Toyota Prius group:

Post #225 - Re: Sun-roof/Moon-roof

By Andrew Grant
No i haven't had to cover up the exhaust vent for the battery when it goes through the car wash.The concern is if you use a gun wash and place it up against the vent.I have had no problem eventhough i was my Prius twice a day.

Post #226 - REAL Costs of Ownership!

By Phyton
I have been a "gung ho" Prius owner, but have recently been awakened to the truth. We own both a 2001 and a 2002 Prius. Enjoy driving them greatly and have averaged better than 43mpg over about 50,000 miles. However, DON"T own one of these little babes out of warranty! Replaced the rack and pinion on the 2001. Cost if you had to pay for it: $3,500. Had to replace the computer in the navigation system on the 2002: Cost if we weren't in warranty: $4,100!! I considered trading the 2001 Prius in for a Tundra or Tacoma pickup truck. Offer for the 2001 Prius with 31k miles: Between $10,500 and $11,500!! Half of what we paid for it! BE CAREFUL!! Savings on fuel costs can be minor compared to other costs.

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