It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel I just had this Toyota Prius towed to my garage, because it died on the highway and now I’m going to use it as an example. Why, you might not think about buying an older used hybrid car, now it had no power, so I put a big old Mercedes Benz battery in and jump-started, then when I put in the key it started right up.
But the warning light the check engine light and the battery light all came on, so I checked the charging system and found out that it wasn’t putting out any charging voltage at all. So, I checked all the fuses and relays and they were all perfectly fine, then I thought hey it just needs a new alternator, but guess what, the Toyota Prius doesn’t have an alternator. It uses a generator that’s built into the transfer case, now if would have been an older Toyota like this old Celica, the alternators right here, you just take off a couple of bolts and a fan belt and replace the alternator, you could get a rebuilt one for 100 bucks or so and put it on in about 10 minutes, but sadly in this hybrid system, that’s not the case.
It doesn’t use an alternator to charge the battery it uses a generator, besides the transfer case here, it’s not separately serviceable, I did a lot of research on the internet and you have to buy the entire transfer assembly for $3459.68 and as if that wasn’t bad enough, it takes over ten hours of labor to take it all apart and put it all back together again. So, most places are going to charge over five thousand dollars to do the job and it’s versus a hundred bucks on this old car if you do it yourself for just a few hundred if you pay a mechanic and unfortunately in these 2002 Priuses it’s very common for the generators to short out.
They overheat and melt and unless you want to keep buying giant batteries and recharging them to drive the car, you have to fix it to make it a drivable machine, so if you’re thinking about going green and buying an older used hybrid car, you might think twice before all your green goes away fixing it and remember if you’ve got any car questions just visit Scotty Kilmer.com and I’ll answer them as soon as I get back from this ride!
Keywords: Electrical Problems, died on the highway, alternator, drivable machine, product defect