I recently bought myself a 2010 Toyota Prius. It has a bad head gasket, but the price was right. I am well aware that it may need an engine, and if it does, so be it. These issues are something I dislike about Generation 3 Prius. As a matter of fact, there are several things that I generally hate about it.
As I was asking around, I found out there are some everyday things that many Gen 3 Prius owners experience that they dislike. I want to cover what they are and what to do about the issues.
My Gen 3 Prius Consumes Oil
Well, Yes, you and probably thousands of others have this same issue. When the Gen3 Prius came out, the whole car had been through a redesign. That means Prius had a new (but similar) powertrain. The engine was now a 1.8 Liter, the inverter was more compact and efficient, and the body had changed quite a bit also.
These changes amongst a myriad of other things made Gen 3 Prius incredibly appealing over the Gen 2. Promises of higher fuel economy. The future was bright until it was not, and the new famed hero of the Prius world became a problem child.
Oil consumption started happening to many Prius owners (many who did not service the car as they should), and claims began to rack up at Toyota dealers across the nation. Prius owners were livid that these new and "better" cars were exhibiting this kind of behavior.
If your Gen 3 Prius is consuming oil, you have options. You can try these things found in this article here about products or repairs you can do to slow the flow.
My Gen 3 Prius Headlights Are Terrible
Yes, I am sure they are. You and thousands of others loathe the headlights that came on your Gen3 Prius. The headlight design had changed from the previous generation to this monstrosity that we have starting in 2010. The idea was great of having projector headlights, but the idea did not work so well.
Issues that many have complained about is that the light does not seem to be as bright as it could. It also does not seem to have the same coverage either.
There are some things you can do about it. If you want to try and upgrade the halogen lights to a brighter LED counterpart, you can check out a highly recommended one here that I have used with excellent results.
You can also swap out the headlight units themselves for new ones. There are two reasons for doing this. First, the headlights themselves may become clouded over time due to oxidation. If you a whiz with a drill and a 3M kit, you can clean them up. However, sometimes they are too far gone to restore in which you would need to replace the units. Note: These lights are NOT from a Gen3 Prius but they are to show what you can do with a 3M headlight kit.
The clean, unblemished lens can now transmit light much better than before and should give you what you are needing. If not, well, let me know, I may be interested in buying your Prius from you. Whatever you choose to do, know that you have options.
My Gen3 Prius Needs More Repairs Than My Last One
When I say that Gen 3 Toyota Prius needs more attention than the previous generation here is what I mean by that. Gen 3 Prius has several things that seem to always give owners issues.
The EGR Cooler is one of the problems that many 3rd Gen owners face. The problem can happen for several reasons, but what happens is you get hard carbon buildup in your EGR cooler, and it has to be cleaned out for the car to run as it should. Fixing this issue can be time-consuming and costly.
Head gasket repair failure. More common from 2010 to 2012, the head gasket on Gen3 Prius is a common issue. While there are Prius owners who have reported well over 300,000 miles on their cars with no signs of problems, this problem still happens. One thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to stay on top of your maintenance. If you change your coolant on time, and your engine oil, and make sure your EGR pipes are clean, the likely hood of this problem occurring goes down significantly.
Inverter/Converter Failure is another issue that Toyota has been under fire. The new design for the 2010 model year in Prius has had significant problems for owners. Luckily Toyota Motor has stepped up and taken care of many owners that have had a failed inverter, but not everyone has been taken care of.
These issues are common failure points that Gen3 owners regularly tell me they have with their cars. I believe them, and one reason I bought a Gen3 is to confirm these issues and help people fix them.
Do you have something that drives you crazy about your Gen3 Toyota Prius? Drop me a line on Twitter @the_hybrid_guy or a message on Facebook in the Toyota Prius owners club.
I hope that I can help you enjoy your Prius as much as I appreciate all of mine (I have owned six now). My goal is for all of us hybrid owners to love our Prius and help the environment in which we live. Have a beautiful day. I will be looking forward to seeing you in the next story. Is The Toyota Prius Worth It?
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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.