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CEL and computer in 2002 Prius

I have 135,000 miles on my 2002 Prius & have been told that the catalytic converter is going bad as well as the computer. The toyota service manager told me that the car will stop running at any time & that I should not take it on any long trips. I have continued to drive the Prius since August when I was given this information. Over 2 yrs. ago the check engine light would come on & stay on for a month or so & then would go off & stay off for the same amount of time. The car is running as well as it ever has. The repair quote was $3500 which is a bit less than the blue book value of the car. Could there be a mistake in the diagnosis. The diagnosis was made by the codes they checked for the check engine light being on. It currently has been off for 2 months. I have taken the car on 2 long trips since this diagnosis in August. What do you recommend that I do at this time?

I did not ignore the CEL. I immediately had it checked at the nearest toyota service when I was visiting Austin, TX. The service manager there told me that it wasn’t a serious issue & that if there was an emissions problem it would be equivalent to the emissions of a toyota camry. I then had it checked out at the toyota service I had been routinely using when I returned from my trip. There they told me that there was no problem. At that time the CEL was not on. This was the initial time that the CEL came on. 2 yrs. later I was given the previously mentioned info in the initial question I had.

With out knowing what that initial and or current CEL is all about, it will be difficult for anyone to make an informed opinion. Those codes are usually in the format [P0123] If you can get the code and post it as a reply to your original message, it would help.

The codes for your car include codes that are not common elsewhere but we can try and see, it depends on the codes. If the dealer gave you a more specific description (like over spec reported by the #1 oxygen sensor) that may be helpful as well.

Note: since most of your car is standard, you do not need to have a dealer do all the service. Non-dealers are likely to be able to offer you a better price.

This is a repeat post from yesterday.

I recommend you do nothing at this time. Continue driving and don’t worry unless the light comes back on. There can’t be too much wrong, otherwise the light would be on.

Dealers love to quote the most expensive (and profitable) repair even when there may be a simpler solution. If the computer goes bad, you’ll know it. It is NOT bad now, and that’s why you shouldn’t worry about it. NO ONE can tell you when, or if, the computer will fail. This is true with any vehicle, not just a Prius.

Drive it as much as you like. 135K miles is not a lot on a modern vehicle.

I have gotten conflicting info from the toyota dealorship service dept. regarding my check engine light. They would not give me the codes that they say mean that I need a new computer & a new catalytic converter. Are there any mechanics who work on hybrids in the southeast Kansas area? I have checked the locate a mechanic on this site & did not fine one. I want another opinion. My car seems to run fine & I don’t want to pay the quoted price of $3500 to make the repair.