First generation Toyota Prius

toyota
prius
catalytic-converters
batteries

#1

I have a 2001 Toyota Prius - first generation, bought when there were only 30,000 in America. Car has been the BEST - no repairs needed, no problems at all, incredible gas mileage (49-50mpg) throughout. Now, though, the invertor/convertor has gone out and needs replacing - to the tune of $4,300. (Toyota dealership repair estimate) with the 50-50 possibility of the main batteries needing to be replaced. They won’t know until new invertor is in. That means a possible additional $2,300. Car has 138,000 miles. I’m trying to figure out what to do - replace the convertor/invertor, taking a chance on the batteries or scrap the car. I’ve been trying to find any data on whether other things start to go outon these first generation cars after the convertor/invertor, necessiting more money output or if, after this repair, I might easily get another 100,000 miles without too many problems. The car is paid for and has been totally reliable up to this point…so it is not a lemon. I have not had any problems with the battery (the main one for the engine) in the past and the gas mileage has not gone down over these years. I’ve had the oil changed regularly and the 100,000 mile maintenance. I need advice on what to do!! The Toyota mechanics tell me to forget about fixing it. The dealership will only give me $200 towards a new car, the local junk yard with give me$250; the mechanic will give me what I owe to the shop for their diagnosis ($350)…they had to send away for a charger to re-charge the main batteries. The car died on me while I was driving it home; I was able to drive the remaining 1 mile on the battery power. Then it would not start and had to be towed to the shop. That’s where I am now…need advice, any information, stats anyone has to help me decide whether to fix it (expensive) or scrap it and have to buy a new car (very expensive). Thank you!


#2

It’s interesting that the mechanic will give you more than the junk yard or the dealer.

The mechanic knows something you and I don’t know.

He, or she, knows a way to make this a usable car again for much less than the price quoted to you. Maybe he can get the parts at cost, which would probably be enough to make it work. Or maybe it’s something else, but if the car had no value the mechanic wouldn’t be willing to buy it.

$4,300 is a lot to spend just to find out whether or not you need a $2,300 battery. This is a tough one.


#3

Move on. This car nor newer hybrid are designed for inexpensive ownership at higher miles. They are disposable consumer goods.