Author Topic: Help: Dead Prius Battery  (Read 2433 times)

Stachsquatch

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Help: Dead Prius Battery
« on: October 22, 2016, 02:06:42 PM »
Hello all,

TLDR: I am being quoted $5,600 to repair a car I paid $5,900 for and want to explore other options.

I've owned a used 2001 Toyota Prius for several years now and it has been a great largely inexpensive car. It has about 196k miles on it. The other day one of the nasty warning hybrid system lights came on the dash. I took it to the stealership (no better options where I am right now) and they ran the diagnostics on it today.

Apparently the hybrid system master computer has failed and the hybrid battery has gone belly up. I know this has happened in older models of Prius around this mileage, so I don't doubt that this is a realistic assessment. I was told that with the hybrid system out of commission the vehicle will cease to function as gas-only. They are saying it will be about $5,600 to do all of the needed repairs through them.

I can't easily do the repair myself. I lack the space, tools, and experience and would have to get very creative.

I haven't yet looked into other local shops that specialize in hybrid systems but the hybrid battery itself costs around $2,000 so I can't imagine it will be too much more affordable.

They are going to quote me a trade in price this afternoon so I should soon have an idea of what that looks like. I doubt I would be able to get much for it by selling it on Craigslist myself due to the need for expensive repairs (my preferred method of buying and selling cars).

What other options are available if any? What would you do in my situation?

Sorry if this has been asked before, I tried searching for it but it kept yielding no results.

redbird

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 02:55:38 PM »
Look on Kelley Blue Book. I used the info you said and picked a random zip code from Seattle, WA (since your location says Pacific Northwest). KBB gave me a private seller price of $1594. The dealer price is higher, but still less than the cost of your repair.

If I were in your shoes, I'd try to get whatever I could for the car as-is, no repairs done to it, and then buy another car.

No Name Guy

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 03:52:50 PM »
If you do this repair, how many additional miles will the car be good for?  Another 100k?  150k?  That is what you are buying with this repair.  The whole "repair is more than it is worth" line is a load IMO.  The right question to ask is: If I spend XX on this repair, the reasonably expected life I'm getting is YY miles, is XX/YY a reasonable cents per mile number? 

So is the car otherwise in good shape?

Also - Look around for an independent mechanic.  You will probably get a far better price.  Also consider a used battery pack.  If you can find one that tests good and came from a "gently" totalled car that would also reduce the cost.

Reynolds531

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 07:54:48 PM »
Respect to posters here, but I would get myself to a Prius forum. Confirm the diagnosis with a second shop, and look for a way to get the repair cheaper.

If the dealer wants it, it's not hopeless

Stachsquatch

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 09:34:18 PM »
Thank you all for the replies.

Dealer offered me $100 for it, so even they don't want it.

Like redbird posted I did some looking into local prices. I could get a 2003 Prius for $2,500 nearby. Best case scenario would be finding a "gently used" old battery and find someone willing to put it in for an affordable price. For all of what that is likely to cost I doubt it would be worth the hassle.

I think getting whatever I can for it and finding another ride is my best option.

obstinate

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 01:55:20 PM »

TomTX

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 07:48:56 PM »
So, this is just a warning light? The car still runs?

If so, I would do some troubleshooting myself. Get a Bluetooth OBDII reader from Amazon for ~$25, and the Torque app for your phone. This will let you read just about anything going in in your car. Sometimes stuff even the dealer can't see.

Reynolds531

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Re: Help: Dead Prius Battery
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 10:57:55 AM »
$100 is insulting. The car is worth $300 in scrap even without a battery.