CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Prius

My wife and I are interested in buying a Prius. We’re looking into possible repair shops, aside from the dealerships, and found one. However, it’s not listed amongst the shops in your repair and maintenance section (we’re in Boulder, Colorado).



The name of the shop is Slipstream Auto. Has anyone had any experience with them? TIA for your help.



donilo

Here is a USED Prius battery for sale on ebay for $600. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/04-07-to-TOYOTA-PRIUS-BATTERY-PACK-OEM_W0QQitemZ150258009431QQcmdZViewItem

That alone would keep me from buying ANY Hybrid.

Does anyone know what a NEW battery sells for? I couldn’t find any with a Google search.

I see the Prius everywhere… It looks like an overgrown speedbump…

New batteries are expensive, but they have long warranties and it appears they hare far more reliable than I would have expected. Replacements so far have been rare.

You might ask around at some of your local shops. Most of the Prius is standard stuff, most that will go wrong will be standard stuff so most shops can handle it. Asking around may help you find a shop with experience. You are wise to start checking this out early.

I would not be surprised if there is a Prius news group that you can check and maybe find a local Prius group. They would be a good source for this information.

The Prius has been highly rated for reliability and owner satisfaction since the day it hit the market. It is, however, a highly complex vehicle and I’d be very careful where I took one for service.

Normal things like oil changes can be done by almost anyone (stay away from any sort of “quicky” oil change place), including you, but anything involving vehicle electronics might just be dealer-only.

I’d ask for references from current customers of this independent shop and see what they say.

I also suggest you read the vehicle warranty and maintenance schedule VERY carefully, and follow it to the letter.

Just my opinion; don’t buy the Prius. Not because of quality but you will never get get enough gas saving to warrant the higher purchase price, not to mention the cost of replacement batteries somewhere down the road. Spend your money on a Corolla. More room, lower price, excellent reliability, good mileage.

There is a superb Prius forum at www.priuschat.com that has answers to all your Prius questions. Some very helpful people there.

Repair shops are the holding point on Prius and other hybrids, as has been mentioned the batteries have a long warranty on them.
The charging system runs at a much higher voltage and most shops are still likely to say- nope sorry. This is fine when you’re 10 minutes from the dealer or your local shop, quite another thing in the middle of the desert where “Joe’s Service and BBQ” is the only shop around for 65 miles in any direction.