Friday, August 26, 2016
First World Problems.
While we waited, I'd also started calling and canceling out my patients for the day and we followed Cory back into town to a Toyota dealership. Because no other mechanic we could find would work on the electrical system on the Prius. Many hours later we got the bad news - the hybrid battery needed replacing. Which might not sound like a big deal until they explained that we were looking at nearly $4000. That presented something of a dilemma - my battered little Prius is a 2008 with 154,000 miles on the odometer, so it is not worth even that much. On the other hand, it is definitely not in the budget to get another car. My husband did some research and discovered that this costly repair was likely the only serious one it would need. The Prius doesn't have a regular transmission with multiple gears. Instead it has an electronic continuously variable transmission unit which uses a single planetary differential gear set to combine power from two electric motors and a gasoline engine. I honestly don't have a clue what that means except that a Prius doesn't have transmission problems the way other older cars do. So I gritted my teeth and handed over my credit card.
It's weird when you have some major repair done on a car that doesn't involve body work. It looks exactly the same. And because it failed rather abruptly, it even drives exactly the same. But with any luck, I'll continue to use it for commuting and running errands and hauling a surprising amount of mulch and garden supplies for at least a few more years.