Million-mile Toyota Prius driver shares his secrets.
John Goreham's picture

Driver With 1 Million Driven Toyota Prius Miles & Owner of a 300,000 Mile Toyota Prius Shares High-Mileage Secrets

Have you ever wondered what owners of extremely high mileage cars do to keep them running smoothly? One Toyota Prius owner tells all.
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Exactly one year ago, Torque News did a story asking, “Can a Prius Battery Last 250,000 Miles?” The answer, of course, is “Yes!” The story was courtesy of Jesse Rudavsky. Jesse is a green vehicle advocate and contributor behind the scenes to Torque News. He provides us with images, expert knowledge and he and the Torque News team are also the Moderators and Administrators who keep the Facebook Prius Owners Club going. Jesse’s Prius recently hit 300,000 miles. We checked in with Jesse and he offered to share his experience and tell interested readers his secret for keeping a Prius running indefinitely. Do a little quick math when you see Jesse’s past cars and their mileage and you will see that Jesse has put about 1 million miles on Prius cars.

TN – Tell us about your Prius.
JR - My Prius is a 2010 level 3 trim. I purchased it at Best Choice Auto Market in Swansea MA back on 2/20/13 to replace my 2005 Prius that had been totaled in an accident at 336,100 miles. My 2002 Prius was totaled at 349,531 miles. Neither car had any battery modules replaced. I paid $16,350 with 42,700 miles.

TN – Wow! 300K for the third time! How does a Prius feel with that many miles? Has the battery been worked on at all?
JR - The car still feels solid at 300,141 miles and counting and I am still not afraid to push it to triple digit speeds. I still have the original shocks, struts and exhaust system. I did replace one module at 258.5k and another 4 at 287.5k. Sill have 23 of 28 original modules which is 82 percent of the original battery. I purchased the modules for 50 dollars a piece at Pleasant street auto in Norwood MA. I am planning to keep the vehcile till it dies or gets totaled.

TN – How in the world do you put so many miles on a car? You did 50K on this Prius since this exact day last year.
JR - I used the car every day as a full time Uber and Lyft driver for the past year. I had a relatively long commute before that anyway and have never wasted money on snow tires even during harsh New England winters. I have taken the car to California, South Dakota, The Florida Keys and many places in between. My most recent long trip was to Clarksville TN to witness the solar eclipse. The car still easily hits its EPA rating of 51 in town and 48 on the road.

TN – What will you do when it is time to replace this current Prius?
JR - If I have to replace the car, I would probably go for a used 4th generation Prius since buying a new car is like flushing money down the toilet. I really want an electric car but unfortunately my wife and I live in an apartment and have no place to plug in other than a questionable two-story level one cord. If I had a place to plug in every night and had the money, I would buy a used model 3 in a few years. I don’t ever see myself spending for than 20k on a car barring some miracle. I could were to spend 40k, it would be on a used model S.

TN – Who works on your Prius and how often do you do the oil changes?
JR - I always get my work done at one of 6 independent mechanics I trust and will not go to a dealership unless there is a recall. One of them is a hybrid certified mechanic in Providence RI, Wayne’s service plus. In order to hit 300k or better it is pretty simple. I change the oil every 5k or so using the required 0w20 full synthetic. If you drive very gentle, you could safely go 7-8k. I also change the planetary gearset fluid out every 100k or so and will probably start doing it sooner as the car gets older. If you don’t drive that much once such a short time, you might want to do that every 60k. All batteries have self-discharge to a certain extent depending on the chemistry and I don’t recommend letting the car sit for weeks or months while you are in Florida for the winter.

We’d like to thank Jesse for sharing his story. If you have a question for him, please post it in the comments and perhaps he will have time to answer.


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Comments

Great job getting your miles I have a 2005 with 400,700 miles I did a brake job at 291,000 miles Otherwise oil changes, filters, plugs and tires Tjanks
I drive a 2008 with 336,000 miles on it. I simply change the oil every 5k with 10/30 conventional oil. I just drove 1000 miles to Florida at 80 mph and get 40+ mpg. Other than wear items I have done very little to it ( other than HID headlight bulbs). My goal is 500k miles.
You mentioned that you change your oil at 5k, but Toyota recommends 10k. There are UOAs done to show it is capable of doing that.
Just a note for you. To be safe, it should replace at 5,000 miles because the oil filter cannot be last for that long mileage. The synthetic oil can be last much longer but the oil filter cannot be. it is not made as metal like older Toyota models. It made with paper material so that is why to be safe to replace it at 5,000 miles.
I drive a 2005 Toyota Prius with 664,000 miles. Original battery. Only maintenance done is plugs, oil, tires and an O2 censor. I have 2 2010s, one with 190K and the other with 258K miles. All original everything. Only tires and oil on those two.
Are you serious? I can’t believe you got that many miles on original battery. Gives me confidence in knowing I got many many miles to go in the one I just bought. 2007 with 251000 mi on it . Lol
"I change the oil every 5k or so using the required 0w20 full synthetic. If you drive very gentle, you could safely go 7-8k." You can go safely 9K on fully synthetic. European models, which are for all intents and purposes mechanically identical to the US ones, are required, by Toyota, to a 15,000-kilometer (9K-mile) oil change interval on the same oil spec (full synth, nobody uses mineral oils in Europe). To be more specific, the official requirement is every 9K miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. I drive a 2016 Toyota Auris Hybrid which has the same powertrain as the 3rd generation Prius.
I think the manual on my 14 mentions an oil change every 5k when used as a taxi. So the owner probably assumes that is the same as Uber use.
1998 toyota prius with 978,756 miles. 6 new batterys, 2 new driveshafts 4 new engines 3 new transmissions. And a little fun fact: we've expierienced it not starting 32 times!
After all that money put into it, you could have just bought a newer used car instead
I get this comment all the time but my answer is simple. I live in Providence,RI and my car taxes are $60.00 per thousand so I refuse to buy a new vehicle as my 2008 only costs 60 bucks a year. When you add the car payment of 400 plus 200 a month for insurance and 100 bucks a month or more for taxes, yea I'm good
Actually, with that so much replacement parts, 1998 model parts are not that expensive so I think it is still Ok if you like the car and car is still working fine. Buying a new car is not only simple to pay the money, There is many hassles to deal with and if you have many recalls added on then that could be a nightmare.
Actually, with that so much replacement parts, 1998 model parts are not that expensive so I think it is still Ok if you like the car and car is still working fine. Buying a new car is not only simple to pay the money, There is many hassles to deal with and if you have many recalls added on then that could be a nightmare.
2007 Prius Touring original owner. Now with 225,000 miles. Normal Maintenance: Tires, 12V battery (2x), regular oil changes when the car says so, HID bulbs, cabin & Air filters, all recalls. Have has Trans and Invertor serviced at dealership because there's no independent Hybrid garage close. Big ticket: brakes at 190k, Then, at 205k: hybrid battery (GreenBean, $1500 installed in my driveway), MFD almost immediately after hybrid battery (could have been the problem all along!) around $700, then another $900 for this and that, then the A/C stopped working, needed $500 condenser, & charge, then the invertor coolant pump went, which the dealer wanted close to another $750 to repair, which I did myself with a NEW genuine Toyota part for a whopping $54 (and 2 hours of my life). Only seem to be getting around 41 mpg in summer now, compared to 46-48 prior to battery replacement. But we keep it to be our workhorse (instead of buying a pickup), and happily drive around in our 2017 Prime Advanced, currently sporting a 134 average MPG when we want to do things.... So, my 2007 didn't start to go sour until the hybrid battery went.
I have two questions. I currently have a 2009 Prius that is right at 210,000 miles. Still drives great. All I have had to so is change the oil every 3k give or take 1k. So far no issues. So what is my next step after regular oil changes. 2nd question: I just now had the cutting on and off. What is your opinion on that problem? Tried the ballast on the right side ro no avail. I drive 134 miles a day and want this thing to go until the "wheels fall off saying." Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Any help from this forum would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
2010 Prius. 300,000 miles. New tires and oil changes mostly. New front brakes at 200,000. New rear brakes and wheel hub assembly on rear wheels yesterday. $1400.00. Delivery car still gets 45-50 MPG. These cars are a beast! Crossing my fingers.
Great story Jesse, I'm right in Fall River and wonder where to get my Prius serviced for repairs. I will go to Toyota dealership in Swansea for oil changes on my 2010 Prius V. What other repair facilities do you use in the area?
I had a 2005 I sold a couple of years back with just about 300k on her. Also a 2010 with 190K at the moment. Neither have ever given me any major issues, especially with hybrid batteries. I am in the market for a V wagon... spotted one today nearby with 350ish on it. I'm not sure I'd hesitate for a second if they meet my offer.
I have a 2012 prius v wagon. Carmalite red, grey leather inside Every factory option available Has the rare advanced technology package, 5600 dollar option when new, 2 sunroofs, etc. 36500 window sticker back in 2012 202k easy hiway miles. Asking 5000
I realized you were smart when you drove the Prius to Clarksville to see the eclipse. I drove my Prius to Lake Hartwell. I only have 185,000 on my 2015 and everything is original even the south Florida window tint.