Author Topic: Hybrid car help/advice  (Read 286 times)

caracarn

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Hybrid car help/advice
« on: July 12, 2019, 01:04:44 PM »
So we are looking at getting rid of our 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan with 103K miles on it and replacing is with a Toyota Prius, which my wife used to own before we got married, and loved, and would love to have again.  She's fine with buying a used vehicle and I recently came across one on Carvana that I thought was ideal.

I found a 2011 Prius Four with just under 40K miles on it.  It was listed for $14K which will likely be a little more than we will get for the minivan, but it will basically be a $5K or less outlay.  It will take our avg gas mileage from about 25-28 to the upper 40s or lower 50s.  Most cars this old have 100K miles on them, so this seemed like a good option.

But.... looking a bit on the all knowing internet I've seen thing like HV batteries only last 10 years and cost $5K to replace, so we have maybe 2 years until the $14K car suddenly costs us $19K.  Also I saw comments about low mileage on a hybrid is bad for the battery and could cause even shorter battery life.  On the same Priuschat forum I also saw people who said they were at 272K miles on their original HV battery, and some that replaced it at 151K etc.  But will the low mileage and/or age cause a failure.  How can I tell?  Can I tell?  Is it a crap shoot?  Is this the reason people say hybrids are not all their cracked up to be?  Is the hybrid a Mustachian (frugal, low cost) option, or is it just a consumer sucka in sheep's clothing?

acepedro45

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 01:15:15 PM »
There are a lot of threads covering how awesome the Prius is and how the battery failure fear is wildly overblown. Even if you are one of the unlucky few the 5k replacement cost you quoted sounds quite high as well. Take a look back through the archives!

P.S. Sell your van to @jeromedawg. It's exactly what he/she could use. See concurrent thread @ https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/buying-a-used-car-via-private-salecl/

caracarn

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 02:15:25 PM »
I looked at the other link. They are looking at a van with 17K miles on it.  Not sure they want a 110K mile van, though for a Honda that is just broken in.  Also they are in CA and we are in OH, so not sure that would work but @jeromedawg if you want to talk let me know. 

I will see what I can find in the archives on the Prius.  Any idea on the "low mileage is bad for a hybrid"?

acepedro45

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 08:31:33 PM »
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-many-miles-to-expect-on-2010-prius/

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/help-dead-prius-battery/

Hereís a couple other good discussions. Iíd say I stand by my glib summary from before though. The Prius is an awesome car and even if you are one of the unlucky few to have battery problems, itís not necessarily a complete killer. Older cars sometimes need moderately expensive, even brilliantly designed Toyotas.

caracarn

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »
We've been getting more info and I'm getting a bit more comfortable with this. 

First, I found that most of my research shows a replacement battery from a dealer would be about $3,000 installed, not $5K.  $5K was for the SUV sized units.

Second, my wife's cousin had a Prius and she called her an spoke with her this weekend.  Her Dad bought it used with about 50K miles on it and drove it to 270K, still on original battery.  He then gave it to them for free because he figured the battery would likely need to be replaced soon, and then they drove it to 350K miles and still had no battery issues.  I've also gotten several folks saying that this is low mileage but likely not low enough to worry about anything, so we're waiting for the details about this car to appear at the end of the month on our Carvana listing.  Doing a KBB search for this model and mileage the price seems fair (maybe $500 overpriced over midpoint but within the "fair price range").  I have found nothing comparable to really compare it to.  A few people on Priuschat said it was high for 2011, but with KBB pricing seems to indicate maybe they are not thinking along the same lines.

doingfine

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 01:44:17 PM »
Yes, as you are discovering, hybrid battery replacement is way less common than people expect. I am also of the school of thought that in expecting any vehicle to last 150-200k or beyond, one should expect to have at least one repair in the $2000 range at some point in the vehicle's life - hybrid or not.

aetheldrea

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Re: Hybrid car help/advice
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 07:08:18 PM »
I have a Honda Civic hybrid, totally different animal with much higher battery failure rates. Mine was replaced under warranty at about 115k miles. They also rolled out a software update so the car uses the battery more gently, so I expect this battery to last much longer.