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3 Crazy Stories My Mechanic/Dealer Told Me About My Toyota Prius

As an automotive professional, it drives me crazy when friends or family tell me their woes of poor service at a dealer or independent shop. I thought it would be great to use a few of my own experiences along with some others to show what crazy things Toyota Prius owners have been told with their vehicles.

When it comes to being far from the norm, Toyota Prius was born to be different. Even though the vehicle itself was strange, that should not matter when you are just wanting a straight answer when getting the vehicle serviced, or even buying one.

It drives me absolutely crazy when my friends or family members have a "service professional" tell them something that even makes a non car person, question what was being said. I gathered up a few stories from myself and other Prius owners to give you a "service fail" compilation of utterly ridiculous things that people have encountered. Enjoy.

Your Toyota Prius Does Not Have A Transmission

The mechanism by which power is transmitted from an engine to the wheels of a motor vehicle. This is the literal translation of what a transmission is. To say that a Prius does not have a transmission is ludicrous. The story on this goes as follows.

mechanic pouring engine oil

"I went to my dealer to ask about changing the transmission fluid, keep in mind I work there. They told me that my Prius "didn't have a transmission" and that it "doesn't use transmission fluid". So I guess they can't handle more than the oil change? LOL." Thank you Garrett M.

Wow, I honestly do not know what to say about this. It is seriously crazy to think that. Yes, the Toyota Prius has a different kind of transmission, but it still is a power transmittant device. It also uses Toyota WS transmission fluid, and there is a mileage interval for which you should change it.

Thank you random dealer that will go unnamed at this time, but maybe consider getting some more training behind your employees.

Your Prius Battery Will Never Die

Look, we all know for sure these traction batteries have issues over time, and especially as they age. This next one I just about lost it on. When it comes to sales, the people that are selling you the car, pretty much know nothing about the technical items that what makes it work. This to me was a typical sales person just trying to sell a new car, banking on the potential new owner not knowing what they were looking at.

Prius traction battery Toyota

"I went into a dealership to talk about the Prius AWD. I own a 2002, bought at the same dealership. One of the first sold there, possibly the first. The sales guy told me with a straight face that nobody had ever had a battery replaced at that dealership and that HV batteries basically don't go die over time." Thank you Ray T.

We Prius owners are well aware of the potential P0A80 code we can get signifying traction battery degradation. Plus, how did a sales guy never hear of a first gen Prius with a battery issue? This is beyond my comprehension.

The Toyota Prius Is Not A Hybrid

Pretty sure this story takes the cake. I know when I hear Prius, I instantly think Toyota Hybrid. Apparently this was not the case for the salesperson helping out this guy.

"When going in to trade in my Prius in the dealer who was serving me gave me a super low offer, even though there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The verdict? The dealer sales department claimed the Prius was the non hybrid model."
Thank you Lee F.

toyota camry hybrid

Now, I know not every person is a "car guy" but let's be honest here, this one is selling cars. I think you should be able to tell what is a hybrid and what is not.


I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have. I love sharing wacky, crazy things that defy all laws of logic.

Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.

See you in the next story where I am discussing why the Toyota Prius AWD-e is the best one yet and why car enthusiasts and average car guys loathe the Toyota Prius. Also see my recent story where I am discussing the refueling costs for Tesla Model 3 vs Toyota Prius.

Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.


Edwin Lim (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 8:12PM

I once went to a Nissan dealership to ask about my transmission chain and the service guy said my truck has a belt, not a chain, when in fact I know it has a chain. I never went back to the dealership again.

Dennis Melvin (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 11:30PM

My 2017 Prius prime “truck” is averaging 65 miles per! My third Prius! The last generation Prius averaged 51 ish in warm weather! We purchased my daughter a 08 with 179000 on it replaced the catalytic converter and now has over 200000 on it with NO issues! People can come up next to me and “ coal” me all they want in there big diesels! These thinks just don’t break! Let’s see! I use 100 gallons of fuel to go 6600 miles! The guy in his big ford diesel used 2145.00 dollars worth of fuel ! My Prius used 250.00 dollars worth of fuel! Coal on my friend!

Warren Levine (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 1:37PM

I immediately lost interest when you misspelled “ludicrous.” You lost my respect for you as a writer and a serious journalist. You and your editor and your spellchecker should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Cheryl Vizinat (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 5:54PM

I have a 2005 Prius, my abs and break light have recently come on. Took it to the Toyota dealership to have it diagnosed and was told the accuator is out and my breaks need bleeding and it would cost ... ready for this?!?! $2,800.00 ! Yes, two thousand eight hundred dollars! Well i bought this car not quite a year ago from a used car dealership for $3,400.00. I don't even know what to do now. There is no possibility of coming up with that much money! Do you have any advice?
I would definitely appreciate it as i am kinda panicking..
Cheryl vizinat