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How inevitable are the HG and Inverter failure in 2014 Prius.


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Hello Everyone,

I'm looking at a 2014 Prius with 66k miles from the first owner with complete service history in The Netherlands as my first car. I'm getting 1 year warranty from the dealer in the included price (13.5k €). I was reading the PriusChat discussions about the inevitable Head gasket and inverter failures that will result in expensive engine replacement (say about 5000 $). 

I would like to know how sure these will happen to any 2014 Prius, how to detect these early and how to prevent these failures fom happening. I'm an Expat and cannot afford to plan offset these expenses. How have you Gen 3 owners dealt or dealing with this. 

Thank you!

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Having done a search of the Prius club, only came across one post for inverter failure for a Gen 3 Prius. Doesn't seem to be a common issue in Europe.

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Hi and welcome. There are not many people with issues with inverter or Battery on these cars in Europe, or at least in UK. There is always possibility something goes wrong but it’s not a a wide spread as us Prius sites suggest. To prevent all trouble coming it’s simple, just service your car on time with quality parts and Oil 0w20, preferably all Toyota genuine stuff. At around 100k miles you will need to do egr cooler cleaning procedure and hybrid Battery cooling fan cleaning. That’s pretty much everything. 

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1 hour ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Having done a search of the Prius club, only came across one post for inverter failure for a Gen 3 Prius. Doesn't seem to be a common issue in Europe.

FB--does Toyota have an extended warranty system like Lexus has --10 years old and 140.000 miles ?

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The Toyota extended warranty in the UK is for vehicles up to 12 years old and under 100,000 miles. Other countries may have different arrangements.

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29 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

The Toyota extended warranty in the UK is for vehicles up to 12 years old and under 100,000 miles. Other countries may have different arrangements.

Thanks FB. If something like that is available in Europe it might help Christopher . He can ask.

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Thank you Tony, John and Frosty!! I just bought the car this evening from the dealer. The car comes with 2 year brand / VETOS warranty. Thanks for being gracious in your responses 🙂

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12 hours ago, SiddharChris said:

Thank you Tony, John and Frosty!! I just bought the car this evening from the dealer. The car comes with 2 year brand / VETOS warranty. Thanks for being gracious in your responses 🙂

Congratulations, enjoy your new car and many trouble free miles 👌🚗👍

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It was the early gen3 prius that had inverter failure issues.  My 2009 one died.  Toyota did a recall (2011?) and modified the software to prevent inverter failure. A 2014 prius should be fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I've only heard of inverter failures with early 2009-2010 examples, and they don't appear to be that common.

Head gasket failure seems to be linked to EGR valve and cooler blockages, which is more likely to happen with high mileage. As already mentioned, it's recommended to disassemble and clean/replace the EGR valve, pipe and cooler assemblies around 100k miles (160k km). This issue appears to be less common in Europe than North America so not sure if fuel quality or driving conditions has something to do with it.

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1 hour ago, QuantumFireball said:

or driving conditions has something to do with it.

As well as all that mentioned above, some owners (on the aforementioned American Prius forum) have speculated that the head gaskets are suffering as well from the thermal cycling that goes with normal urban hybrid operation.

I think the cylinders that are first to be affected from engine coolant, fresh from the radiator, seem to be the cylinders that are the ones to have the gasket fail.  So, where there is a failure, cylinders 1 and 2 are common, cylinder 3 is rarer, and I've never read of cylinder 4 having failed.

In which case, ambient temperatures will probably have an effect.

I did wonder if re-torqueing the cylinder head bolts at, say, 120,000 miles, might be in order, although the initial Toyota torque values are a torque setting and then an angular loading as well.  But I'm sure a 'guide' torque could be established, but not from Toyota themselves, obviously.

Perhaps there are other brands of car with conventional stop/start technology, who will be sufferingsome head gasket problems down the line, due to extra thermal cycling?

I understand that there were several different revisions of part numbers for the head gaskets through 2009 - 2013 for the 1.8 engines.  Perhaps someone knows that that was the case, and as to what the reason was for this?

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Thank you very much Tony, Alan, Aaron and Gerg for your very kind attention on my question. I quite recently felt repeated slight jerks exactly about 1 to 2 kms after a cold start. It vanishes after engine warmup and a longer drive. I had a chat with the dealer and he says its pretty common and nothing to worry about. 

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Are these "slight jerks" when the engine is starting and stopping when cold? I'd say this is fairly normal, along with it running somewhat roughly when cold (I think due to aggressive ignition timing).

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Ok , now I realised what you mean “jerks “ while cold , it’s because of the car process of heating up the internal combustion engine, there are a couple of stages doing so and in the first 2-3 of them the car actually doesn’t use the ice to propel itself but the electric motor only and if you push it just further to accelerate faster the ice kicks in to help and then after you done with acceleration ice turns back into generator to recharge the Battery and heat up to normal temperature. If you more careful and listen you can sense the rpm’s doesn’t goes up in the beginning of acceleration then ***** happens and rpm goes up quickly, then quiet again. To avoid that try to accelerate easier and keep driving at lower speeds or wait at least 1-2 min after start up the car then drive off. Dealer is right ,  nothing to worry. 👍

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