Author Topic: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery  (Read 11587 times)

Vic99

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Age: 49
  • Location: MA
Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« on: July 10, 2015, 12:30:18 AM »
We are a family of four with a 3 & 5 yr old and have a 50 lb dog.  Want to get a used prius for my wife to commute 3-4 days/week and for our weekend and summer family stuff, like camping.  She currently has a ten year old toyota matrix and we want to replace it in a year or two.  Thinking Prius V since more storage for trips, however may try to get a smaller vehicle if I can attach one of those back storage units that carries a few hundred lbs on the back and still fit the dog and kids.

Anyone have experience with an aging prius and battery degredation, thus mileage impact?

My main car is a 2014 chevy volt that I mostly charge with my solar panels.  Car seats four and is fine for us, but not as good when taking dog or packing the car for camping, etc.  MAny thanks.

LobbyMonster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 12:53:33 AM »
I personally don't have experience, however my boss always talks about how great his used purchased Prius' are. (He has two regular Prius, not the "V" model.) Both have over 100k miles on them and I asked him about the battery and he said there have been no issues thus far. *Knock on wood* Not much mileage impact if any. Still gets the normal MPG.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4836
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 01:50:11 AM »
We have a 12-year-old Prius with 110k miles on it, and the battery is still working. Fuel efficiency has maybe gone down a couple of MPG over its life, but we still get about 45 MPG in the city and about 50 on the highway.

mpg350

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 150
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 07:19:51 AM »
Don't own a prius but looking into them for my wife down the road.

The battery from my research is really good and some cars are going 300k + miles no issues so I am not that
concerned with the battery life on these cars.

 

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 08:05:27 AM »
The batteries are cheap used.  Plus if it is a commuter you can disregard the
Battery and go without.  Does little for hwy mileage.

KCM5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2015, 08:18:57 AM »
Check out priuschat.com

But in general, I don't think it should be a problem. Sure, some batteries crap out, but it's not like it's definitely going to happen. There are plenty of cars that use the battery to 300,000 miles. (It'd be interesting to know what percentage of cars with 300k have their original battery). I think you may have issues fitting the two kids and the dog in the normal sized Prius, though - at least if you're talking about using it for road trips. If the dog usually sits in the hatchback of the Matrix, there's just not quite as much room in the back of a Prius. The Prius V is larger, but I don't have enough experience with that one to know if it would be good for a dog. Does you dog sit in the back seat with the kids? The Prius' back seat is pretty much like any other mid sized passenger car.

jackiechiles2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2015, 08:34:11 AM »
The batteries are cheap used.  Plus if it is a commuter you can disregard the
Battery and go without.  Does little for hwy mileage.

You can drive a prius without the battery functioning?

KaizenSoze

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Reston, VA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 08:44:25 AM »
Ten year old Prius with 126K miles. Original battery pack. Slight decrease in mileage in the last 2 years. Nothing serious.

mrsggrowsveg

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 542
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 09:27:43 AM »
I commute in a 2008 Prius on the highway and still get 50+ mpg.  We are getting ready to have two carseats in it.  My 140 lb dog can fit in the back of it also.  The car has about 130,000 miles and is still on the original battery.  The used batteries are getting much cheaper.  Even if I have to buy a used battery in the future, the cost/mile is still favorable on the Prius.  MMM's post convinced me on the Prius:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/20/toyota-prius-ass-kicker-or-trouble-maker/

NorCal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 10:19:06 AM »
Consumer Reports did an excellent test on used Prius batteries a while back.  I'd recommend looking it up (I'm too lazy to do it myself) before making a purchase.

If I remember correctly, they tested a Prius 8-10 years old and compared it to the same test they did with the car when new.  There was some degradation, but not really significant.

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 10:27:16 AM »
The batteries are cheap used.  Plus if it is a commuter you can disregard the
Battery and go without.  Does little for hwy mileage.

You can drive a prius without the battery functioning?

Good question?  I think it would depend on year an model.   I'm not a prius guy but I thought for many of them you could switch to gas mode only at will?   Probably still need a partially functioning battery though.    I'm assuming you could purchase a used,  salvage or refurbished one for under $800.

I saw lots of boards on this -- try priustalk. 

Nate R

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI (Bay View)
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2015, 11:23:01 AM »
The batteries are cheap used.  Plus if it is a commuter you can disregard the
Battery and go without.  Does little for hwy mileage.

You can drive a prius without the battery functioning?

Good question?  I think it would depend on year an model.   I'm not a prius guy but I thought for many of them you could switch to gas mode only at will?   Probably still need a partially functioning battery though.    I'm assuming you could purchase a used,  salvage or refurbished one for under $800.

I saw lots of boards on this -- try priustalk.

Not for many of them. IIRC, the Prius needs the battery to function. At least partially functioning. And many hybrids with bad batteries will throw engine codes, which may be an issue for emissions/inspections in some states.

I drive a 2001 Honda Insight, and no longer have a battery at all. But I had to get a "board" to bypass some things to make it work that way for the Honda. And it REALLY suffered in the acceleration department. The Honda has some redundancy, though. Instead of using the electric motor to start the engine, with no battery it has a normal starter on the engine that gets used. It also has a normal 12V battery, which still gets charged by the electric motor/generator. (There's no separate alternator.) My understanding was that the Prius was designed with the battery much more integrated and can't be as easily done without. But Toyota seems to have done a MUCH better job than the early Hondas at optimizing battery life. MUCH better.

libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1372
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 11:50:16 AM »
You want a fuel efficient vehicle with cargo capacity?

Don't screw around with the pretenders like the Prius and Volt.

Just buy the Tesla Model S.  Far better in every way than the pretenders, and with a ridiculous amount of storage space to boot (with a trunk and a "frunk").

Mother Fussbudget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 12:03:11 PM »
I'm on my 2nd used Prius. 
#1 - 2003 (1st gen.) - 180,000 miles.  ($8,500 cash in 2011)  Dealer replaced the battery pack in 2010 before I bought it.  Car runs great - sold it to my son for $5,000 (he suddenly needed a car) and bought...
#2 - 2010 (3rd gen.) - 86,000 miles.  ($19,000 cash in 2012)  Original battery.  New front tires is all I've replaced.  Storage in the Gen3 is AMAZING.  If I fold down the back seats, it's like a wagon back there.  Look out Home Creepo! 
DO buy the cargo liner (WeatherTech?) for the dog.  Prius chat folks are divided about the need for a new battery - some claim it's needed at 110K miles.  Others (I'm included) are in the BobW "drive it til it drops" camp.  I get 45-48 city / 53 highway my Gen3.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4836
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2015, 12:37:19 PM »
You want a fuel efficient vehicle with cargo capacity?

Don't screw around with the pretenders like the Prius and Volt.

Just buy the Tesla Model S.  Far better in every way than the pretenders, and with a ridiculous amount of storage space to boot (with a trunk and a "frunk").

...or we could go with a car that costs less than $50k.

hyla

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2015, 04:05:05 PM »
Bought mine (2nd gen) with 145k miles, now at 178k, still get about 45mpg.  Still on the original battery.

Even the regular prius is pretty good for cargo space with the seats folded down (I can fit 2 bikes inside without taking the wheels off!), but I think you are right that with 4 of you and a dog the V might be better.  When we did a camping trip with 4 grownups and gear in mine it worked,  but it was pretty tight. 

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2015, 04:25:48 PM »
You want a fuel efficient vehicle with cargo capacity?

Don't screw around with the pretenders like the Prius and Volt.

Just buy the Tesla Model S.  Far better in every way than the pretenders, and with a ridiculous amount of storage space to boot (with a trunk and a "frunk").

...or we could go with a car that costs less than $50k.

Yeah, like a Leaf.

letired

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 823
  • Location: Texas
    • Needs More Glitter
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2015, 04:52:24 PM »
I did field work in a Prius V, and they get great gas mileage, but are not very comfortable for long road trips. Granted, we were driving them around 10+ hours a day for several months, so we were really pushing it in the comfortable seat department, but the seats just weren't that great. Everything else about them was fine.

sobezen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
  • Age: 890
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2015, 04:18:19 PM »
Apologies in advance for the tangent.

Does anyone have health concerns involving prolonged exposure to the Prius car batteries?  Just wondering if this has been researched and if anyone on the MMM forums have any health related experiences.  Thanks.

enigmaT120

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: Falls City, OR
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2015, 04:55:16 PM »
I don't have a Prius, instead having gone for an '04 Honda Insight for better mpg.  But a plug in Prius would have no mpg advantage over the regular one for the very long trips you are contemplating.  But a plug-in won't run it's battery down to the point it couldn't start the car.  That's when the gas motor will come on.  A plug in would be good if most of your driving were close to home but you need the range of the gas motor for occasional long trips.  Or you could substitute a Leaf or bicycle for most of the short trips.

I couldn't sleep in the back of my Insight, but my tent will fit in it easily.


seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4836
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2015, 04:57:45 PM »
Does anyone have health concerns involving prolonged exposure to the Prius car batteries?  Just wondering if this has been researched and if anyone on the MMM forums have any health related experiences.  Thanks.

My guess is that licking the inside of the batteries every day would be a bad idea. A battery is just a bunch of chemicals sealed in a container. Don't open the box and you have nothing to worry about.

epipenguin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2015, 02:00:34 PM »
Does anyone have health concerns involving prolonged exposure to the Prius car batteries?  Just wondering if this has been researched and if anyone on the MMM forums have any health related experiences.  Thanks.

I've been driving Prius's since Feb. 2001 and I'm still alive. So there's that. I haven't had any adverse health experiences that I know of. Then again, I don't futz around with the batteries.

ClaycordJCA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2015, 10:57:02 PM »
How are Priusissss for long distance road trips (me, the small dog, and sleeping in the back)? Does a "plug-in" Prius still continue to run and start (lights, AC, etc...) after the battery losses it charge? Would a non-plug in Prius be better than the plug in version for long road trips of several thousand miles? TIA
We just drove from the SF Bay Area to Las Vegas. Prius is very easy to drive and quite comfortable. IMHO the plug-in Prius doesn't deliver much bang for the buck. Can only go about 11 miles on all electric power. The Chevy Volt's battery only range is 38 miles. And your mileage may vary - we live at the top of a hill and our Leaf's range is not near the claimed 84 miles. So, the regular Prius or Prius V would seem to be your best choice. 

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2015, 09:59:22 AM »
How are Priusissss for long distance road trips (me, the small dog, and sleeping in the back)? Does a "plug-in" Prius still continue to run and start (lights, AC, etc...) after the battery losses it charge? Would a non-plug in Prius be better than the plug in version for long road trips of several thousand miles? TIA

I have a 2007 Prius.  Bought with 100k miles in 2013.  It now has 148k thanks, in part, to some epic road trips.  For $80, I bought a "Habitent" and LOVE sleeping in the back with an air mattress.  Very comfy.  http://www.habitents.com/

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2015, 11:18:35 AM »
We have 3 Prii in my family (2004, 2007, 2009, all 2nd gen).  All over 100k now, the 2004 has 183k.  All on original HV battery, no noticeable degradation in mileage.  The 2004 does seem to get a couple of MPG less than the other two, and that may be mileage related. 

The Prius has much, much more usable cargo space than any sedan such as the Tesla with the rear seats folded down.  I have put 10' lumber in it (with the hatch closed), a full size table saw with table extensions, 500 lbs. of concrete, a lawn mower, compressors, tools... you get the picture.

I can't see any possible health concern with the battery in normal use.  You're surrounded by high voltage stuff in daily life, your normal 12v battery has much more potential for acid spillage and the like.

Edit to add: no, you cannot drive a Prius with the HV battery bad.  Additionally, you can't even start the car with a bad 12v battery; I have changed this battery on two of our cars.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 11:20:51 AM by kendallf »

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2160
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2015, 12:25:17 PM »
I have a 2007 Prius. We bought it in 2010 with 39,000 miles on it. It now has 160,000 miles on it, and I'm afraid the battery has just about gone kaput. I drove to the grocery store this morning, and every single warning light in the dash came on. A quick glance at some PriusTalk threads seems to indicate that the battery is toast. Disappointing, because I was hoping to get 200,000 miles out of the battery. Oh well, a used replacement will cost me about $1000 and should last until I'm ready to get rid of the car.

I've noticed a decrease in performance during the time we've owned the car. We were originally getting ~53 MPG. That has slowly dropped to about 45 MPG in the last couple of years. Other than that, I've had no problems with the car, besides routine maintenance, until now.

DarinC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2015, 12:52:17 PM »
How are Priusissss for long distance road trips (me, the small dog, and sleeping in the back)? Does a "plug-in" Prius still continue to run and start (lights, AC, etc...) after the battery losses it charge? Would a non-plug in Prius be better than the plug in version for long road trips of several thousand miles? TIA
The plug-in will do ~8-15 miles of EV below ~60mph and acts like a normal Prius after that (~450+ miles on gas per tank). I'd get it over a normal Prius because of the rebates, better trim, and slightly better mpg. My wife is very much pedal to the metal (80+mph on the 5/405), commutes between norcal/socal regularly, and still gets 50+ mpg with 15% EV.

DarinC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2015, 01:02:40 PM »
We are a family of four with a 3 & 5 yr old and have a 50 lb dog.  Want to get a used prius for my wife to commute 3-4 days/week and for our weekend and summer family stuff, like camping.  She currently has a ten year old toyota matrix and we want to replace it in a year or two.  Thinking Prius V since more storage for trips, however may try to get a smaller vehicle if I can attach one of those back storage units that carries a few hundred lbs on the back and still fit the dog and kids.

Anyone have experience with an aging prius and battery degredation, thus mileage impact?

My main car is a 2014 chevy volt that I mostly charge with my solar panels.  Car seats four and is fine for us, but not as good when taking dog or packing the car for camping, etc.  MAny thanks.
The car pretty much gets the same mileage regardless of battery age. The battery only hurts mileage once one of the 28 battery modules fails completely (big red triangle), at which point the ECU leans less on it and more on the engine.

Replacement is a bit time consuming, but not super hard. The most difficult part is lining up/compressing the battery modules after you've replaced the bad module. I had a really strong friend help me with that part, but I imagine a long'ish jig/set of clamps would do just as well.

You can usually buy a pair of matched modules for ~$80-$100 and have a good spare module left over for next time. Eventually, you'll start playing whack-a-mole with your pack, since the modules are all too old, and at that point it's best to pick up a low mileage salvage pack from a newer model Prius and just swap all the new cells into your old pack.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2015, 01:07:36 PM »
Apologies in advance for the tangent.

Does anyone have health concerns involving prolonged exposure to the Prius car batteries?  Just wondering if this has been researched and if anyone on the MMM forums have any health related experiences.  Thanks.

I'm going out on a limb and guessing that nobody here work in a prius battery assembly factory so don't think we'll get an answer to this. Of course people who drive a prius don't open their batteries so there is nothing to be exposed to.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3057
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2015, 01:50:14 PM »
Apologies in advance for the tangent.

Does anyone have health concerns involving prolonged exposure to the Prius car batteries?  Just wondering if this has been researched and if anyone on the MMM forums have any health related experiences.  Thanks.

Why would a Prius'z batteries be any more dangerous than the battery inside every other car?

(I feel that Prius'z is a reasonable compromise for the possessive that we can all agree on.)

DarinC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2015, 02:24:01 PM »
It should run even if the EV battery is dead, but it does have a separate lead acid battery used to start the car that can die. On the plus side, because that small battery just starts the computer, any portable jump starter can be used to start the car.

Vic99

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Age: 49
  • Location: MA
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2015, 02:27:22 PM »
How are Priusissss for long distance road trips (me, the small dog, and sleeping in the back)? Does a "plug-in" Prius still continue to run and start (lights, AC, etc...) after the battery losses it charge? Would a non-plug in Prius be better than the plug in version for long road trips of several thousand miles? TIA
The plug-in will do ~8-15 miles of EV below ~60mph and acts like a normal Prius after that (~450+ miles on gas per tank). I'd get it over a normal Prius because of the rebates, better trim, and slightly better mpg. My wife is very much pedal to the metal (80+mph on the 5/405), commutes between norcal/socal regularly, and still gets 50+ mpg with 15% EV.
Is there any issues with getting it to start, run lights, a/c, etc... if the battery is dead in a plug in hybrid or do all those function work the same as in any ICE car even if the EV battery is dead? In other words - is there a chance that I'd get stranded if the EV battery died or is there a regular car battery in them as well to start the gas engine?

I am leaning towards a plug in hybrid at this time over an 100% EV like the Nissan Leaf but still on the fence about regular hybrid vs. plug in hybrids.

I have a 2014 Chevy volt, a plug in hybrid.  In New England, March - October, I get 45-50 miles per charge. During other months when I run the heat, I get 30-40 miles per charge.  Heated seats, however, don't consume much energy at all so that is better when it's just me.

When the battery runs out of charge, the gas engine seamlessly kicks on.  Not noticeable on highway, but on side roads you can hear the engine because it contrasts with all electric mode where the car is silent.

My understanding of Prius battery is that the brakes regenerate the battery.  This boosts fuel efficiency at times when case just runs on electric while maintaining a given speed.  Thus, shutting off gas engine and consuming less.

Thanks all for the replies of battery life.  Seems good.  Just trying to decide whether to pay more for the 50 ish mpg vs less money for a car that would get high 30s.  Plan is to trade in my wife's 05 Toyota Matrix do in two years when I pay off my 0% interest loan on my volt.  Want to get a 3-5 year old model whatever we buy.

KCM5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
Re: Used Toyota Prius and the Battery
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2015, 03:28:35 PM »
(I feel that Prius'z is a reasonable compromise for the possessive that we can all agree on.)

I believe Toyota has deemed the plural of Prius to be Prii. (Spell check in my Chrome browser doesn't agree, though)

I've never learned Latin, but apparently that is wrong, too.

https://www.cars.com/articles/2011/02/plural-of-prius-prii-not-according-to-latin-experts/