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Old 03-09-2022, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 205

The Prius Experiment - '07 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 62.58 mpg (US)
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The Prius Experiment

Hey everyone! With fuel prices skyrocketing, I decided to buy a 2nd generation Prius to save some money. Thanks to the rising price of used vehicles, I was able to sell my previous daily driver and recoup the purchase price of the Prius. So I basically got a more fuel efficient vehicle for free, thanks to some lucky timing.

I'm calling this car "The Prius Experiment" because this is new territory for me. I've never owned a hybrid vehicle before. As a matter of fact, if you told me 5 years ago that I'd become a Prius owner, I probably would have laughed. But here we are.

That said, the Prius had some issues. I got it cheap for a reason. To start, the gauge cluster and the touchscreen were both non-functional. On the 2nd generation Prius, these are common problems. The solutions are well documented in the PriusChat forum. I was able to fix the instrument cluster by replacing a bad capacitor on the circuitboard.

The touchscreen was damaged, so I bought a replacement.

I also had to fix a handful of minor issues. But this is to be expected, in a 15 year old car. I was able to find most of the parts I needed, from the salvage yard.

I also performed some basic maintenance: fluid and filter changes, new spark plugs, windshield wipers, and some light bulbs. After completing these repairs, the car was fit for use. So I put it into service. I have a ScanGauge, and the fuel economy numbers were very encouraging. However, there was one issue I couldn't ignore.

That issue was the handling, or the lack thereof. The suspension is setup for massive understeer. I found myself having to slow down for almost every turn, because the understeer was so bad. Adjusting the air pressure in the tires didn't help. Then I read about a sway bar upgrade. Apparently, the sway bars from another Toyota can be fitted to the Prius. So I did that. What a difference!


Last edited by Blacktree; 03-10-2022 at 06:14 PM..
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