When choosing a used Toyota Hybrid, navigating the uncertain waters can be scary. Luckily I have devised a way to look at a used one and know if the vehicle will be right for you.
Well, I did not develop the way, but I am explaining what you will need. First, we need to get everyone up to speed on what Dr. Prius.
What Is Dr. Prius?
Dr. Prius is an app designed to help regular Toyota hybrid owners take virtual views into their cars.
Open up the app with your Carista tool or other OBD2 Bluetooth adapter, and you are immediately greeted by a ton of numbers and a seemingly random moving graph.
There are many other things you can look through on the app, too, in the drop-down menu. Dr. Prius allows you to check battery and hybrid codes along with engine codes too. Anything that could lead to a failure in the hybrid system you can check with this app.
The crown jewel of the app is the Life Expectancy Test. It only comes with the paid version of the app, but it is very worth it after using it as much as I have.
Dr. Prius is a software tool to help people with their Toyota hybrids. To get the most out of the app, pay the fee and get the full unlocked version. Here is why.
What You Can Find Out With The Full Version Of Dr. Prius
Using the paid version of Dr. Prius will come in handy if you search for the hybrid you have been dreaming about. Take it with you when looking at the Camry, Prius, or other Toyota hybrid you have your eye on.
Doing the life expectancy test can tell you how much life remains in the battery and what other trouble codes could be lurking in the ECU.
It will help you negotiate if you are set on getting the car or know when to walk away from a bad deal.
The numbers moving on the graph indicate individual block voltages. What you need to focus on is the "delta" or voltage difference between blocks.
The closer it gets to going over 1V Delta SOC the closer the pack is to failure. That is why the life expectancy test is crucial.
The Dr. Prius app has helped me be far more confident in knowing what is failing on all the different hybrids I own or have owned over the years.
It gives people who do not know much the power to see a lot about the health of the most expensive repair. The good news is that this app works on more than Prius. Camry, Highlander, Avalon, and other Toyota hybrids can all be checked with this app.
If you have been waiting to get a used hybrid until the "right one" comes along, wait no longer. Take Dr. Prius with you and plug it into a great deal.
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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 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 reporter.