Toyota Prius is an excellent first car.
Peter Neilson's picture

3 Reasons To Forget Scotty Kilmer And Get A Toyota Prius

Rev up your Prius! Here are 3 reasons to ditch the killjoy Kilmer and buy that Prius you really want.
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Let me first start by saying that I think Scotty Kilmer has some valid points and, for the most part, is pretty darn reputable. He is an expert in the industry, and I respect that about him.

However, a car guy like him should be able to see the Toyota Prius is one of the most solid built cars on the planet, and instead of deterring people away from them, get the people interested. If you have fallen for his tactics, here are three reasons why you should get a Prius.

Reason 1: Solid Reliability
The Toyota Prius had to be a well-engineered car. It had to survive in a "gas" only world. Prius needed to prove that a hybrid car could be both affordable and reliable over time. Toyota did not mess around with building the Prius with a firm foundation.

2005 Toyota Prius hypermiler

There are plenty of Toyota Prius' out there that have hundreds of thousands worth of miles logged on the odometers and still going strong. Taxi fleets, Uber, and Lyft drivers all use them as well. Oh, and aren't their millions of these cars all over the world proving to us every day how solid they are? Day in and day out mile after mile, Prius has continually proven to be a car that is trustworthy and reliable.

Reason 2: Easy And Common Repairs
It is a sad day when your Prius does have an issue (albeit few and far between); however, there is some good news. Prius is so well manufactured that any issue that does arise, aside from recalls, usually has a solution to resolve the problem.

Ever heard of a Prius getting a P0A80 code? Oh wait, that is a "change the traction battery code." It happens, and they all do it at some point. Ever known a Prius to set a P0A93? Change your electric water pump.

2000 Toyota Prius Mint Green New

The thing with these codes that many, and even Scotty do not understand is this. Also, there are a plethora of testing procedures on how to confirm why the trouble code set, which can be very intimidating. However, there usually have been so many cars that have had the issue, that it is not hard to find the solution.

There are common repairs on these cars, yes, but just because they happen does not mean that Prius is a bad car. All cars break; if they did not, Scotty Kilmer would not have a job. Prius happens to break consistently, so it is easier to find, fix, and keep driving.

Reason 3: Scotty Could Be Intimidated By The Technology
As I stated before, Scotty is a darn good back yard mechanic that has built a great following of DIYer's. He has some very sound advice, and for the most part, he can get the job done. However, I think that he grew up in a very different time where cars were not nearly advanced as they are today.

A Toyota Prius is a complicated machine. It has a slew of onboard computers, a complex hybrid system, and enough high voltage to slay a horse (though I do not recommend doing that). These cars are not like a 1993 Toyota Camry. They carry a different aura about them, and if you are do not understand the risks, they can be intimidating to repair.

Toyota Prius Transaxle

For instance, his warning about there being no alternator and having to change out the whole transmission is a pretty far fetched idea. The Prius transaxle is pretty bulletproof with minimal maintenance. It is this kind of nonsense that has me asking if what he motives are for even reviewing the Prius in the first place.

I get it; I did not want to work on them either because I used to be scared as well. The point is I had to learn how hybrid cars worked, once I did my fear left me, and I became a new person. I think that Scotty needs to do that too and let himself grow a little more, growth is not always easy but it is worth it. I learn a lot from his videos when applied. The value of a good Prius is undoubtedly a better choice over many other used vehicles on the road.

Conclusion
Look, no mechanic, technician, or YouTube expert is ever 100% right. We all have our preferences on what we like to drive and why. Scotty is also entitled to do whatever he wants and give his professional opinion on what he thinks about the Prius; there is no harm in that. I do think that it would do him a world of good to learn more about hybrids. He also does say if you are going to buy one buy a Prius.

How about this, Scotty if you end up reading this article, I will offer my professional insight and experience to you about hybrids and specifically Prius at no charge. Heck man, I would even be happy to do a video with you that explains the cars better so more people can enjoy your help like many already do.

I think you are a great guy with loads of automotive expertise and years of significant, valid experience. When it comes down to it, Prius is a fantastic machine, millions of people know and love the car, just like they love you. Let me know when you are ready, and I will be here.

For the rest of you, get that Prius you have been wanting and drive. They are fantastic cars and very affordable too. Thank you for reading, and I will see you in my next story, 3 Things The Toyota Prius Needs That Tesla Has.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an 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. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


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Comments

I own two Prius cars, a 2010 and a 2018 plug in. And both have been wonderful. The 2010 has 120,000 miles and has never needed a repair. The 2018 so far is equally reliable. My milage has been consistently better then Toyota promised for both cars. And I know lots of people who have similar experiences. I am not an expert on cars, but my experiences with the Prius has been very positive.
No, Scotty says the Prius is a really darn good car. He just is concerned & advised you "DON'T BUY A USED HIGH MILEAGE ONE." Harder to judge problems & mistreatment of the battery engine than older cars. That's it. Still good advice. Je says, just buy a new one. .
I'd rather swap out a Prius battery pack than any timing belt on a FWD car. I also feel that the lack of an separate alternator and starter is a solid plus. If one considers all the items replaced by the Toyota HSD hybrid system, it's easier to see the benefit. No alternator means no belt. The "HSD transmission" is brilliant in the simplicity. In reality, it replaces the alternator, starter and typical transmission with a simple planetary gear set. Full disclosure is that I currently own a Prius with 200,000 miles and have done nothing but required maintenance. It still has the original brake pads & shoes.
I own 2009 Prius with 143,000 miles, Engine knocking very loud from right front passenger side. Also at times I hear banging from rear axle.
I also own 2 Prii, a 2008 with 217k miles and a 2017 with 50k miles. Both have had amazing reliability. I bought the 2017 thinking the 2008 was getting old and was going to die soon... but it keeps on running great.
My 2012 is going strong. Done all the maintenance myself. My sister has a 2014 Prius C and just had to replace her 12V battery at 76K miles.
I recently bought a used (2017 model) Toyota Prius. It had done 117 000 KMs on the Odometer. I am very happy with the car. Most of all the fuel efficiency and reliability. I initially was not impressed with the futuristic look; albeit I have learned to love the car. It is a lovely car with a fabulous road holding.
I have 2 priuses.2006 with 303000 miles,2011 with 280000 miles! This car is extremely RELIABLE & Great ENGINEERING! Has Lowest maintenance cost of any cars I have owned. Both cars still run&drive great.Fuel economy is UNBELIEVABLE!
I have 2 Prius’, a 2009 that I bought new which now has close to 250,000 miles on it. Aside from tires and a water pump replacement, it’s been flawless. I just bought a 2019 AWD and it’s awesome!
My daughter gets this one next year when she turns 16 and I'll replace it with another one.
As someone mentioned above, Scotty says not to buy a used high milage one with a rebuilt battery. He says that about many modern cars that aren't particularly reliable when old.
Scotty lost my confidence when he said: 1. “the Prius use Atkinson cycle engine[s], which [are] small four-cylinder gas engines that don't have cams in them.” The 2013 Prius he is comparing used a 1.8L, 134 hp engine with dual overhead cams. One that used an Atkinson timing cycle. 2. “It's an old design that kind of failed because they work fine but they don't put out enough horsepower.” Wrong. The engine is mechanically the same design as one that uses an Otto cycle. 3. “But this engine [in the 2012 Camry Hybrid], it's just a conventional Toyota four-cylinder engine. It's not an Atkinson Cycle, it's a normal engine.” Mechanically, it is indeed the same 2.5L engine that makes 178 hp in the regular Camry. But it runs on an Atkinson cycle, so it gets better mileage but only 156 hp. With dual overhead cams. Personally, I wouldn't trust him ot work an my car when he can't recognize when an engine has cams.
When you need a new head gasket, you will have to scarp the car. No mechanic fixes them. Sorry, this is something my friend went through. Apparently and surprisingly, you cannot repair the head gasket on the prius. Such a normal problem without a solution. None of the people posting here have run into that problem, or they would be saying how they were bummed that their great prius, with everything else working, had to be scrapped because it was designed to be impossible to do such a routine job.
Somebody lied to your friend. There are videos you can find online that tell you how to do it. According to RepairPal, "The average cost for a Toyota Prius V head gasket replacement is between $1,873 and $2,319. Labor costs are estimated between $1654 and $2087 while parts are priced between $219 and $232. Estimate does not include taxes and fees." So it is possible. Expensive, but possible. (For example, the same site says $1,014 to $1,306 for a Civic).
Don't buy a new Prius. Lease it! And don't buy a used Prius. Mucho donero for new batteries, which is inevitable! Scotty is right!