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Cooter
Cooter SuperDork
7/14/19 7:37 p.m.

So, as my father-in-law is coming home for hospice care, he has decided he won't be needing his car.  It is preliminarily offered to my wife.  Thing is, I know nothing about these.  It is a '09 or '10, which I understand are different, but I have really never looked at it close.  Heck, I keep getting the color wrong; I keep forgetting it is blue... or grey.

Anyway, what should I be worried about?  It was used regularly, but doesn't have a ton of miles.  I just don't want to have to spend a ton to keep it reliable for my wife.  I spend basically nothing on our various S series Saturns, and next to nothing in maintenance.  I'd hate to end up spending thousands on sensors, batteries, or thermotransistorframershamshienhorns.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/14/19 7:41 p.m.

Q: How reliable and low maint have my Priuses been? 

A: As an example, the factory brakes have 135k miles on them and I am considering (only considering) replacing them soon as just a proactive measure. 

Here is the build thread on the 2 or 3 Prius that I have owned. 

Most important, get the free Prius software via PriusChat that works with the Android Torque Pro app. 

 

I'll call dibs if you think you just don't want to bother with the Prius

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
7/14/19 8:41 p.m.

The cabbies in Seattle loves these things. But with 100kmiles drive until 400k. Just Put in gas and oil. Until it’s really spent. Rinse and repeat. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/14/19 8:52 p.m.

They are like cockroaches.  Not much to worry about.  Easier to keep on the road for a long long time even compared to the S-Series (although not quite as simple to work on).

red_stapler
red_stapler SuperDork
7/14/19 9:07 p.m.

It seems like right around 200k some of the consumables start to need replacement.  My 2010 has needed front pads and wheel bearings since I bought it with 197k on it.  My EGR cooler probably needs cleaned out as well, as the engine knocks a bit on a hot restart.

I recently disassembled the battery pack and checked all of the cells with an R/C charger. I think it was down maybe 20% from a brand new one:

 

The tension springs for the oil control rings tend to get gummed up with carbon leading to oil burning.  Not much you can really do about that but keep dumping in oil unless you want to rebuild the engine.    Mine has been OK, I use maybe a quart in a 5000 mile oil change.  I'm hoping that running Mobil 1 keeps it clean.

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
7/16/19 11:39 a.m.

I did a little research (showed photos of the interior to my wife), and it appears to be a 2010.  She believes it has about 80K mi.   Her father wants to buy a new car for her sister, so that would leave the Prius available for my wife. (We wanted to make sure that the sister had first refusal on the Prius)  From what I have read, the car is about perfect for her commute, which is 13 miles on surface streets through Chicago, occasionally with a few miles of "expressway" travel, depending on how horrible traffic is. 

My brother-in-law, who is in charge of the financial side of all of this, wants to make sure that this is taken care of before the end of the month, so that they don't have to pay for plates for another year.  I'm not sure how much $155 matters at this point, as it is less than one day the live-in caretaker's pay, but sooner is better for us anyway, as I need to figure out an exhaust leak that developed on the '95 SW2 on our trip to The Soo during the 4th of July.

I have yet to even ride in the car, let alone drive it,but i am cautiously optimistic that this will be a good commuting utensil for my wife, and possibly a few trips in memory of her father.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
7/16/19 12:14 p.m.

We've had our 08 since 2013.  It's had a recall done, but outside of that it's been oil and tires, and we just crossed 100k.  I'm shocked that hte car is still on original brakes, but I won't complain... Everything is very cheap, as they've made a gazillion of them.  Fantastic appliance.  

If you get it, it may be worth it to train her a little bit on how to drive it to maximize MPGs (if your relationship can survive that sort of thing...).  My mileage vs. my wife's is like 10mpg (50 vs. 40)... no joke.  

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
7/16/19 12:17 p.m.

In reply to bcp2011 :

With the exception of ours being an 05 with 100k when we got it, I have the exact same story. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/16/19 12:23 p.m.

In reply to bcp2011 :

If you think our relationship can survive the training, I'm willing to hear how I can improve my 41-ish mpg in my Gen2 Prius up to a more consistent 50 mpg!

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
7/16/19 12:26 p.m.

Yep, they are virtually indestructible.  I had a 2010 and I respect the hell out of it for how well it accomplishes its' mission...get you from point A to point B every single time without using much fuel.

However, I simply couldn't stand the driving experience.  Not only did it feel completely disconnected, the handling was absolutely awful.  My minivan handled far better.  It wallowed, bounced and was just uncontrolled.  Believe me, I didn't expect sports car handling, but even my wife said the car was terrible.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
7/16/19 1:23 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to bcp2011 :

If you think our relationship can survive the training, I'm willing to hear how I can improve my 41-ish mpg in my Gen2 Prius up to a more consistent 50 mpg!

FWIW, going from 41 to 50 is only going to save you about $120 a year -- assuming $2.75/gallon, and 10k miles a year.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/16/19 1:31 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to bcp2011 :

If you think our relationship can survive the training, I'm willing to hear how I can improve my 41-ish mpg in my Gen2 Prius up to a more consistent 50 mpg!

It depends on how much highway you have.  In a commute of <50% highway you can get crazy mileage pretty easily just doing these two things:

1)  Find the sweet spot where the car runs electric only and feather it to maintain this as long as possible.  This was around 28-33mph on my 1st gen.

2)  Coast/regen as much as possible when approaching lights.

 

 

FWIW, I had a Gen1 and the handling was way way way way better than our 07 Odyssey

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
7/16/19 1:49 p.m.
Klayfish said:

However, I simply couldn't stand the driving experience.  Not only did it feel completely disconnected, the handling was absolutely awful.  My minivan handled far better.  It wallowed, bounced and was just uncontrolled.  Believe me, I didn't expect sports car handling, but even my wife said the car was terrible.

So I've actually looked into TRD suspension stuff for the car, but my wife absolutely could not care less, so I saved the money.  But if it bothers you that much, it may be worth the money.  

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
7/16/19 1:52 p.m.
mtn said:
FWIW, going from 41 to 50 is only going to save you about $120 a year -- assuming $2.75/gallon, and 10k miles a year.

There's the monetary angle, the environmental cost, and also the fact that there's a bit of a game element to it.  

 

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
7/16/19 2:01 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
1)  Find the sweet spot where the car runs electric only and feather it to maintain this as long as possible.  This was around 28-33mph on my 1st gen.
2)  Coast/regen as much as possible when approaching lights.

This.  The cutoff for electric only is 41mph, and the part where it uses the most fuel is standing start (also happens to be where the electric motors shine), so feathering as much as possible to have hte motor kick in as late as possible helps a ton.  I've found that I can fairly consistently get to the electric limit until ~15mph, vs. my wife that just activates the ICE when her foot hits the gas pedal...  Coasting also helps a lot as well, but you need a little room behind you and also in front of you, and you need to have a little mental load associated with trying to maximize MPG (e.g., don't use brakes if possible, etc.) because the motor doesn't always shut off when you want it to, so you have to find how to get the motor to shut down and do it deliberately (around ~30-40mph).  Lastly, learn how to brake so that it's in regen without activating physical brakes.  Maximizes MPG and brake pad/rotor life.  

On the highway there's no real magic, outside of feathering going uphill and then letting it gain momentum on the downhill.  You can also draft big rigs, but that comes with its own risk (rock chips, mostly), but the payoff is fairly significant (like 20-25% improvement in MPG).  

 

BTW - the above has made me a better track driver, believe it or not, as the minute inputs required to maximize MPG is also helpful when I'm hanging on for dear life!

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
7/16/19 3:16 p.m.

My wife has a 2013 Prius plug in and we love it.  60-70mpg is a regular occurrence, especially with plenty of city driving.  As for the reliability, I'll just say that we're expecting to give this car to our first child when they turn 16, so they can have a safe, affordable (and not fast) car to start off with.  We haven't had the kid yet.  These cars are just that reliable. 

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
7/17/19 10:12 p.m.

I've owned 4 models of hybrid at this point and the Prius was the best so far. I semi-regret selling mine but my love of automotive variety wants me to just buy a different hybrid for the next one instead of missing the Prius.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
7/18/19 12:27 a.m.

I drove one recently.  The “how much the trip cost” thing is pretty fun. 

The point where you can feel the brakes clamp on at the end of a regen stop is interesting.

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/18/19 4:40 p.m.

I am driving the 2004 I got off John , and it is hands down the best car I have ever owned. Get the car. You will not regret it 

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
7/24/19 7:14 a.m.

Well, here it is.  88K miles.  My wife is driving it to work this week.  They couldn't find the title, so we are waiting for some paperwork to clear.  All of the other paperwork, including all of the maintenance and and registration records are there, so it is odd that we can't find the title.



The interior is very nice.

 

Couple blemishes.   Need to figure out how to get that edge of the bumper cover attached.

Looks like the mirror got tapped.

 

Will have to see if I can find the inner bezel for it.

 

 

Overall, I think it will be a good daily for my wife.  We went to pick up my daughter from the northern suburbs last night and it is reading 59.3 MpG  for the mostly (90%) highway 60 mile round trip.  I know the calculated readings are always a couple MpG high, but anything in the 50s is really good for that stretch of highway.  The best we get out of the '95 SW2 is about 32, and my personal best out of any vehicle on any road was 42.1  in my old 2001 SL1 with a 5 speed, but that was on two lane back roads though little towns in Indiana where I never got above 60 MpH.   


I'll try to keep this thread updated.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
7/24/19 9:35 a.m.

Did you post pictures?  I'm not seeing any.  

 

The gas mileage is almost addictive in these cars.  I tend to average in the 50s unless I'm hypermiling, and I find that when I "only" get 40mpg on a trip I feel very disappointed.  I know I can do better than that!  And the gas savings are real.  We probably spend $20-30 per month on gas now.  I'm sure your wife is going to love it, especially after seeing how cheap the gas bill is.  These really are excellent commuters.

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
7/24/19 9:45 a.m.

There should be 9 photos.  I'm still seeing them- not sure if anyone else can.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/24/19 9:54 a.m.

Im seeing the pictures.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/24/19 10:37 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Im seeing the pictures.

They are visible on my Android phone.

I've got a kid that will be driving next year. 

I'm  going to look at 

used Prius prices now...

Cooter
Cooter UltraDork
7/24/19 9:52 p.m.

My wife drove it to work and back today. (stop and go, normal driving, about 35 miles round trip)  Didn't reset the trip meter fromt yesterday- still at 58+ MpG. 

So far so good.

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