Life of Prius - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 06-20-2006, 11:30 PM
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Default Life of Prius

Hi there,

Can someone please tell me the expected life of the Prius car itself?

I keep reading somewhere that Toyota design the life of the car to be thrown away after a certain amount of years?

Is that statement true? Will the car only last 8 years or something? I realise the battery needs replacing every x amount of years, but what about the car, will it still be good in 10 years time?

Thanks in advance,
Kent
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2006, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

The battery is expected to last 15 years. Based on Toyota quality, the car should last that easily, and beyond.
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Old 06-21-2006, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

I see no reason why the car won't last much longer than ordinary gasoline engine cars, as long as maintenance is done. The gas engine is stressed much less, having a lower rev limit, and no direct connection to the output and completely computer controlled means long lifespan. AC electric motors have few moving parts, so as long as the transmission fluid is changed regularly they shouldn't give any trouble, probably outlasting anything else. The battery is the only part that will eventually fail at some given moment, but this is still an unknown at the time because there isn't enough data yet, which is a good thing as that means there haven't been enough failures to calculate an average time to failure. Toyota's testing suggests 15 years may be the average, but again that's just an educated guess at this point. After 15 years a $1000-2000 component replacement seems reasonable.
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:52 AM
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Hi Kent,
Quote:
Originally Posted by kentricho
Can someone please tell me the expected life of the Prius car itself?
We have some data points including a Dept. of Energy fleet report. They ended their study after 160,000 miles with the Prius still running strong. Use Google to search for "INL/CON-05-00964" for "Hybrid Electric Vehicle Testing".

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentricho
I keep reading somewhere that Toyota design the life of the car to be thrown away after a certain amount of years?
Where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentricho
Is that statement true?
The author of that statement is not expected to live forever either. But I had to replace my '91 Camry in '05 due to an accident. It was still getting 32 MPG with about 183,000 miles, about 14 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentricho
Will the car only last 8 years or something? I realise the battery needs replacing every x amount of years, but what about the car, will it still be good in 10 years time?
The battery / transmission has either an 8 year / 80,000 mile warrantee or in some states, a 10 year / +100,000 mile warrantee. Buy your car new in California and keep your annual mileage low enough and you'll have a warrantee for 10 years.

As for replacing either of the two batteries, there is also an engine, wheel bearings, steering linkages and other moving parts. The last replacement price for my NHW11 traction battery was listed as $2,200 but batteries from crashed cars have gone for as low as $500. The 12 VDC battery is somewhat unique but there is a Miata battery that costs about $80-90 including the adapter terminals. Toyota did issue a service order about sealing the battery terminals in corrosive (aka., sea salt) areas.

Bob Wilson
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

I had a 1990 Tercel that lasted for 9.5 years. I did the necessary maintenance and the car only had to be repaired once, when an idiot friend destroyed the starter. That was a very good and durable car!!
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

I have a 2000 VW Beetle Turbo with 140,000 miles on it and I've done some significant (and very odd) repairs, however since I love the car i don't mind paying for it. The engine is superb and powerful, and is more fuel efficient at 90mph than at 65 mph. And fun to drive.
I had an 86 toyota 4x4 truck whose engine gave out at 180,000 because a friend of mine drove it with a radiator leak. Engine was replaced but never the same.
I had a 1998 Camry LE that I sold at 177,000 for $500 bucks to a friend. Its only problem was a persistent oil leak and some minor electrical issues.
I had a 1990 Camry that died at 202,000 because of a radiator leak and subsequent engine block problem.
All of my Toyotas were literally driven into the ground. I've always had very long commutes, and typically will put more than 14,000 miles per year (often more) on each car. Once the car reaches 130K, I usually shop for a new one and put the old one on backup mode so it will last longer. The late 1980s-early1990s Toyotas seem to have had lots of problems with the plastic radiators, leaking and subsequent engine damage and failure.
I expect the Prius will last much longer than the other toyotas, due to new technology such as sealed cooling systems, better engineering and consistently longer engine life. But this is true of most 21st century makes. I'm cutting down my commute distances also, and I use my Beetle a few times a month to allow the Prius to "rest."
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

OOPS, in my previous post, my 1998 Camry LE was actually a 1988 Camry LE. Sorry for confusion!
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyday
The engine is superb and powerful, and is more fuel efficient at 90mph than at 65 mph.
Fun car, but is that really possible? Any car I've ever had has a significant mileage drop off once you get over 60-70 mph. Wind and tire friction are significant at this speed.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2006, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

yep, takes more energy to move you faster, BAR NONE. Okay 90 MPH downhill with a tail wind could possibly be better than 65 MPH uphill with a headwind...

It's a matter of physics: more air to push thru takes more energy. period. There must be some equations to google that will show this?

Cheers,

Curt.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Life of Prius

I have a 2001 Prius with 88k miles, and expect 300k miles from it. Caveats are if somebody hits me, or if fuel costs more than double. Then I'll start reading the lithium battery threads!

I expect the Prius itself to be as reliable and low-maintenance as the best gasoline-only vehicles available. Some evidence has been already presented in this thread. Another is the exceptionally low wear that shows up in engine oil analyses. This is one tight little machine.

No doubt some parts will wear out, but amortized over 300k miles, their contribution to total operating costs will be low. Bob Wilson and a few others are leading the way in determining what additional care the unique transmission may need in order to run forever. There appear to be few if any other open questions on Prius longevity.

Crashes are removing Prius from the fleet far faster than any mechanical failures (that's where the ebay batteries come from). So drive carefully everybody!

DAS
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