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My 2007 Toyota Prius

Last Updated: 3/26/12

My 2007 Toyota Prius on 12/9/06.

Introduction
Pros
Cons
Potential Problems
Prius Web Sites
My First Crash
My Prius in the Blizzards of 2010
Maintenance

Prius - The car I do not feel worthy of driving.

This moving Prius icon came from John's Prius site with permission.


Introduction

My 1997 Pontaic Grand Am on 12/6/06 with the new car in the background .

I had a 1997 Green Pontaic Grand Am (bought used 1998) that had to go into the shop many times for all sorts of strange problems. The power window broke, the car died (no power or gas) on the highway, the service engine light would come on with the car sometimes making noises (the shop worked on that three times and always thought they had fixed it), and the belt came off two times in two months. After a new ignition, water pump, spark plugs, spark plug connections and box, and belts, all within two months, it still came up with the service engine light with the whole front vibrating, and the serpentine belt clicking.

I finally got a new car on 12/6/06. I knew my next car should be a Toyota Prius. Why? As an environmentalist, I had no choice but to buy a more efficient car if I could afford it. The Prius has been around longer, sold more cars, and been improved more than other kinds of hybrids. Since the 2007 model cost only a little more than used Prius, I bought a 2007. I have package #4 which includes a number of extras such as vehicle stability control, fog lights, high intensity head lamps, backup camera, 6 disk CD changer, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone capabilities which I will never use, and more. I am making this list to share with others the pros and cons I have found with the car. The cons are things that hopefully can be fixed or altered in the future or sometimes they are just things that are different than what I am used to having. I obviously cannot cover everything so these are just the things that come to mind at this time. I will add things if I think of them.


Pros

Things I like about my 2007 Toyota Prius that my old car did also have:

Things I like about my 2007 Toyota Prius that my old car did NOT have:


Cons

It is easier to list things I do not like than the tons of things that I do like!

Things I do not like (or have to get used to) about my 2007 Toyota Prius that my old car did have:

Things I do not like about my 2007 Toyota Prius that my old car did NOT have (in other words, specific to this car or irrelevant to my old car:


Potential Problems

Here are some problems that others have warned about that I have found.


Prius Web Sites

Toyota's Page on the Prius

Yahoo Prius Group

2004 Pruis FAQ site

John's Prius Page

There are other Prius Yahoo and Google groups.


My First Crash

I am taking a break from animal chores on 7/7/07 at 11:31 am to tell you what happened at 9:51 am today. I had my first crash. To others, it might be considered a minor fender bender or even nothing but, for me, it was the first time I had ever hit another car. I had hit a snow bank (with the Prius) and a curb (with my Grand Am) but that was it as far as car damage previously. I have been driving for 17 years (I was not allowed to drive until I was almost 18). The Prius is my third car. The other two I got used and ran for almost a decade for each. I got up early because my mother wanted to see fireworks tonight, delayed from the Fourth of July. After getting groceries with my father, I went to back out of the parking space. I first looked behind me (turned my head) to see if anything obvious was around. Then, I put the car in reverse which turns on the back up camera. I looked at the back up camera, turned my head behind, behind to the left, behind to the right, and behind again before taking my foot off the brake. The car drifts backwards without gas. I had not seen any moving cars or back up lights. At that point, I am looking at the front and sides of the car (as well as glancing at the back up camera and rear-view mirror) so I do not hit the cars beside me (I have gotten close to doing that) as I pull out. That is why I am a horrible driver. I should have instead hit those cars and looked back. Then, two-thirds into the back up, there was a bump. It was not much but I knew I hit something. At first, I thought I had hit a parked car. I pulled back into the parking space and got out after turning off the car. I first looked at my car. The back right bumper was sticking out an inch on the right which I popped back in. [This photo shows the area where that happened. You can see the seam there. It popped out where the seam ends on the right above the back right wheel. There is nothing visibly wrong in the photo since I put it back in.] There were half a dozen big scratches. [Here is a photo of those before I tried to use touch up paint which did not go so well.] Then, I saw the older guy and his old Volkswagon. He asked me why I did not look where I was driving. He had started his pull out after mine and said he saw me coming after he started out (why not before?) but could not move in time. He was parked directly behind me. His car's only obvious damage was the loss of his license plate frame (which left a mark on my car including the letters). I was upset and even though I knew what to do in an accident, I could not figure it out but did swap insurance information. I forgot about my accident forms (five pages of questions) in the car. Hopefully, he will not report it. My father told me not to report it since it is not bad enough to fix. I am a horrible driver. My poor new car now has patch up paint marks all over. I am unlucky so it is not a surprise that my first "accident" would occur on a day most people consider very lucky, 7/7/07.

Another mark on my car occurred on 8/12/07 when I pulled off a magnetic bumper sticker which I got to avoid damaging the car with a regular bumper sticker. It had been so hot that the magnet melted into the car and will not come off. Any ideas to remove it?

I was feeding the rabbits on 3/26/12 when I heard a crunch noise. My partially-blind father backed his huge pick up truck in to the rear of my prius. The left side of the back bumper was sticking out and covered in black rubber from his bumper. He hit the car hard with his fist to put the bumper most of the way back in so it only hangs out a little. I could not get the black stuff to come off. What a nice beginning to my first official day 100% unemployed. Needlesstosay, I will not pay to have it fixed.


My Prius in the Blizzards of 2010

We had two huge blizzards in 2010. These are just the photos with my car. To see more photos and read information on the blizzards, go to this page.

My Prius - I swear, my car is under there! Actually, you can see part of it as my father had started digging it out.

My Prius - from the front. I had put up the windshield wipers which you can barely see.

My Prius - from the side, further dug out. I put a yard stick on the roof.


Maintenance

I had pre-paid maintenance. This covered the first nine services that my car had for oil changes, tire rotations, and so on. I ended up not being able to use the last two coupons as the time had expired. I never got any suggestions during those services at all.

On 1/19/12, I took my car in for the 50,000 mile service. It has abotu 46,000 miles on it though. I had an oil change done, new tires put on (they never did say that I needed those!), a new back windshield wiper blade (had the front ones changed about a year earlier), and new batteries in the two FOBS (one was totally dead). Their techinician also examined the car and suggested about a dozen things! I had them change the air filter which they said was dirty and clean and tighten the breaks since they said they were loose. I did not have the engine cleaned, air ducts cleaned, nitrogen put in the tires, or the other few things that I suggested (cannot remember them all).

I also mentioned the following problems that my car now haves but there are no fixes aside from replacement of the radio and main computer which I will not do since the cost would be huge, and I am unemployed. The radio's descriptions have been stuck, some for years. One station says, "Henry." The radio's volume will change on its own. Sometimes the sound stops for no reason, and sometimes, the CD player just stops. These problems go away if I turn it off and back on. The main computer (monitor in the middle of the car) has had two scary incidences. Toyota says they cannot evaluate the problem unless it is in the process of happening. In both cases, rebooting the car fixed it. First, one time, the computer stopped working (all the buttons) until it eventually said, "Check the connections to the AC" and then went completely dead. The other time the following four lights came on and stayed on - parking break, anti-lock break, skid control, and tire pressure. According to my manual, it said to stop driving, you have no breaks and no control of the car, and you should have the car towed to the dealer. Well, I had breaks and control, and, once I pulled over and restarted the car, it was like nothing had ever happened. Anyway, all of these car problems only happen after all the warranties have expired! My computer says that my average mpg over these five years has been 50 mpg so that is some good news!


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