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Boy did I get a shock today. I have a 2001 Prius with about 150,000 miles. I've been having trouble with the gasoline engine just shutting off since 50,000 miles but when the dealer told me 2 1/2 years ago and, as the vehicle was out of warranty, it was going to take a new computer at $1400 and that he couldn't guarantee the fix , I decided to live with the problem. I have been able to completely stop and turn off the key and then re-start. Everything seemed fine with the exception of the warning lights might stay on for a day or so. In the beginning this might happen every two months but recently it happens several time a week. Now I'm told that I need not only a computer, ECM, but an accelerator sensor all for $1775 and if that doesn't fix the problem, they'll put a new gas tank on for $500 more dollars.

And, if I lived in the city and was subject to the vehicle being checked environmentally, they recommended that the catalytic converter be changed for $2000.

Yesterday I was singing the praises of the Prius even with the shutoff problem I've lived with. Today I'm feel not so good about Toyota.

Comments?

Collier Perry
 

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Well you got mileage well past the warranty

To be honest you got a lot more life out of that car than most people. I would run the numbers and decide if you wanted to get a new car or fix this one.

I know people will say that you should be able to get 1,000,000 miles out of a car, but the fact is parts must be replaced and they have to be repaired.

You might even try writing to Toyota themselves for some suggestions or asking to talk to a regional manager. Be sure you are fixing the right parts and replacing what needs to be replaced.

If you have to shell out $5000 that is still far less than what a new car costs. That is worth it if it fixes the problem and you can get another 150,000 miles out of the car.
 

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Try another service dept, maybe one in a bigger city that has more experience. Something doesn't seem right in all the "we'll try this, then we'll try that and you give us money until we find the problem".

What DTC codes have they pulled? Have you looked them up?

It may, indeed, be that you need a new ECU, but from what you're being told I would have no confidence at all.
 

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Sounds strange to me as well. A new fuel tank because the engine wont stop ???? I could understand a new battery but a fuel tank. they are taking the pi$$.

Goto another dealer.

As an aside (but on topic) I just had my first service (15,000KM early a 12500 KM). Officially an oil change only it cost 178 Euro including new oil filter, synthetic oil, new grommets and an external air filter (I told them not to change the internal one). A bit more than I expected but not so bad I guess. I think the software may have been updated but am not 100% sure.
 

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service shock

Sorry to hear your problems Collier. Please tell us where you are and perhaps a more capable service department can be found nearby.

Your people seem to be alluding to two of the more common problems of the classic Prius model, dealt with by technical service bulletins EG-011-03 (may include the engine control module, fuel tank assembly, and fuel pump relay) and TSB EG018-02 (the accelerator pedal assembly). There are particular diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) for these, and it is reasonable to expect the mechanics to be able to tell them apart.

A problem with the catalysts could stem from the oxygen sensors, or the bypass valve for the hydrocarbon adsorber, or of course damage to the catalysts themselves. Again the work begins with obtaining and understanding the DTCs.

Against my better judgement I will mention other matters that could interfere with engine operation: worn out spark plugs, valve adjustments, camshaft position sensor, soot deposits on the throttle butterfly plate, and clogged fuel injectors. Faced with an uncertain diagnosis, one might begin by replacing the plugs and using a fuel system cleaner for the butterfly and injectors, and confirming the valve clearances.

Finally if you get to the point of buying expensive components that may/may not bring relief, at least consider used parts. Not all Prius get to 150k; some run into things and live on as donor vehicles.

Good luck and please keep us informed.

DAS and Tochatihu, a 2001 with 75k miles
 

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The cat in the Classic Prius is a novel design that has a hydrocarbon adsorber as well as the typical platinum/palladium catalyst material, so replacement costs are expected to be high, however, unless you've been guzzling sulfur-rich gas or putting something else in your tank to poison the catalyst, it should be the very last thing that needs replacing.. Due to its Aktkinson cycle engine and advanced control systems, I'd venture to say that a Prius *without* a cat (assuming that you could bypass the emissions systems sufficiently to get it to run) would probably have fewer emissions than most other vehicles on the road today *with* a cat.. If the dealer insists on replacing the cat, you can tell him where to go.. The O2 sensors going is possible, but the cat itself is very unlikely..


On the other hand, the accelerator pedal does have known issues and was the subject of a service bulletin and probably should be replaced, but try a different dealer.. There was also an issue with some revisions of the computer and the filler-neck (not the whole gas tank), and your engine shutdown issues may be related; however this is something that should have been caught back at the 50K timeframe and fixed under warranty...

I would suggest going to another dealer, and a letter to Toyota- since this was all stuff that should have been caught and fixed by the dealer under warranty, suggest that they offer a goodwill repair because of this.
 

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it would be helpful if your dealer gave you the stored engine trouble codes...

Off-hand, it sounds like these TSBs:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 011-03.pdf
US TSB EG011-03
June 12, 2003, Master, Hybrid & M.I.L. "ON" P3190/P3191 & P3101, 2001-2003 Prius. Replaces TSB EG012-02. (Fix: may replace circuit opening relay assembly, ECM (engine control module), and/or fuel tank assembly.)
(Note that there's a diagnostic process in the TSB - just because you get the error codes, doesn't mean that you need all those parts!)

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 015-02.pdf
US TSB EG015-02
Aug. 2, 2003, M.I.L. "ON" P1436-HCAC Bypass Valve Improvement, 2001-2002 Prius. (road salt may cause issues with valve. possible fix is to replace the Front Exhaust Pipe Assembly if any shaft binding is evident.)
(My understanding is that the catalytic converter is part of the front exhaust pipe.)

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 018-02.pdf
US TSB EG018-02
Sept. 12, 2003, Master, Hybrid & M.I.L. "ON" P1120, 2001-2002 Prius. (symptom: low engine power output (similar to big hand syndrome). fix: replace accelerator pedal assembly.)

It's too bad, as a few of those items would've been covered under the 96 month/70,000 mile federal emissions warranty, which you probably could've had covered at an earlier date for free...
 
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