The average price for a remanufactured engine and labor hours for the Toyota Prius engine replacement cost comes out to a whopping $7,000. If you decide to go with a used engine to save some money on the overall price, you can bring the total Toyota Priusengine replacement cost down to $5,000 on average.
For those looking to keep the Toyota Prius engine replacement cost below $5,000, your best bet is finding a used engine with less than 60-70,000 miles on it and driving your vehicle to a geographical location and mechanic shop that will have a lower hourly rate. If you find a shop that can perform this procedure for less than $80 per hour, you can save a few thousand dollars on this intensive fix.
Evolution of the Toyota Prius
To get an idea of why owners will pay the hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, we need to see how the car has evolved over the years – and become the powerhouse it is today.
The 1997 Toyota Prius was the first model year of this car, signaling the hybrid revolution’s starting point in terms of gasoline-electric vehicles that increased fuel efficiency and environmental awareness. Built to be fuel-efficient and practical, the first generation of Prius used the 1.5-liter gasoline engine paired with an electric motor for ample power.
The second generation of the Prius began in 2004. It lasted until 2006, with the company redesigning the Prius and creating a larger, more powerful, agile, and refined hybrid vehicle that biased improve fuel efficiency and an aerodynamic design.
The 1.5-liter engine could produce 76 horsepower and ran on gasoline, electric engine, or both simultaneously. Despite the increased efficiency, the higher Toyota Prius engine replacement cost rose with the increase in performance.
The next update for the Prius spanned the years of 2006-2008, with an improved facelift changing the exterior look of the car, along with added features like a rear-view camera and extra airbags for increased safety.
Despite the high-tech safety and infotainment features, the new 2006 model still used the 1.5-liter CVT engine that produced just 78 horsepower – a fairly lackluster option for such a high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost.
The third generation of the Prius was first introduced in 2009, increasing the fuel efficiency, improved styling, and a unique exterior design that made it easy to spot on the road.
Along with the updated, stylish, and aesthetic new look, the Prius featured a new 1.8-liter gasoline engine aided by an electric motor and produced an electric range of around one mile. Since the car included new high-tech, all-electric features, the overall Toyota Prius engine replacement cost increased due to the higher labor demands.
The Prius underwent an upgrade in 2011 that lasted until 2016, featuring a new headlight design, smaller grille hood, improved air cooling, Eco-Drive Monitor and Active Cruise Control systems, and a touch-tracer for increased steering control.
The 1.8-liter Atkinson gasoline engine was also featured in these model years, with this engine type leading to better fuel efficiency – and a higher Toyota Prius engine replacement cost.
The fourth-generation began in the 2016 model year and has undergone upgrades each model year since then. All 2019 models come with a Toyota Safety Sense, millimeter-wave radar and monocular camera sensor, lane marker detection, and an AWD-e system that powers both axles on the drivetrain.
Despite the new and innovative technology, the latest Prius models also boast a high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost due to the labor complexity associated with the electric and gasoline engine combination.
Worst Model Years of the Toyota Prius
Despite being a popular car throughout the years, the Prius has had some problematic model years where the negatives have far outweigh the benefits. Regarding the high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost and other reliability concerns, the worst model years focus on the 2006-2008, 2010, and 2011 production years.
The 2010 Prius has the highest overall number of complaints, while 2011 is often regarded as the worst year due to the early onset of issues, the severity of the problems, and the high costs associated with fixing this model year.
Taking into account every model year, the top three concerning issues are as following:
- Excessive oil consumption in the 2011 Prius, costing around $4,000 to fix at 110,000 miles
- Windshield cracking in the 2016 Prius, costing around $800 to fix at 18,000 miles
- Excessive oil consumption in the 2010 Prius, costing $1,600 to fix at 107,000 miles
2006 Toyota Prius Engine Problems
The most concerning engine issues in the 2006 Prius involve excessive oil consumption, the car switching to Neutral while driving, engine knocking, engine light on the dashboard, the engine running rough, and the car whining while accelerating.
Fix: Address the Engine Knocking
There are a few ways you can fix the engine knocking. If you hear the loud noise coming from under the hood, you shouldn’t waste any time fixing the problematic sounds you hear – if you let this go on for too long, it can lead to permanent engine damage!
To prevent the engine knocking from worsening or causing a hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, you should try one of the following:
- Fuel – Upgrade the fuel and use something with a higher octane rating
- Additives – Put additives in your car to clean the carbon build-up and debris
- Additives are extremely cheap to add to your vehicle, costing owners just around $.02 per gallon!
- Spark Plugs – Install new spark plugs and spark plug wires to prevent electrical issues
- Replacing spark plugs typically run between $40 and $150 for each individual plug, including labor and parts.
2007 Toyota Prius Engine Problems
The main engine issues in the 2007 Prius include excessive oil consumption, check engine light on the dashboard, engine stalling while driving, and the engine throwing a rod.
Fix: Replace Your Alternator
Unfortunately, your engine can stall for a wide range of issues, spanning from very low prices to a very hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost. The cost to fix a stall will vary depending on the severity of the root cause of the issue.
If the problem is a broken alternator, you can expect to pay around $500 for this fix. However, if the issue is computer-related or involves a battery, you can expect to pay around $2,000 for the 2007 Toyota Prius engine replacement cost.
2008 Toyota Prius Engine Problems
Owners of the 2008 Prius complained of excessive oil consumption, the car cutting out while driving, unwanted acceleration while braking, broken engine cover, engine difficulty turning off, and oil leaking.
Fix: Powertrain Warranty
The most common cause of unwanted acceleration deals with power-related and internal electrical components in your car, like the powertrain. To prevent paying a high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, you may want to purchase a powertrain warranty that covers most of these power and electrical internal components that can malfunction during prolonged use.
For the transmission components under the powertrain warranty, you would have to pay:
- Engine Control Module: $919 – $1076
- Transfer Case Replacement: $2466 – $2884
- Transmission Mount Replacement: $139 – $267
By keeping your transmission and powertrain in working order, you can prevent having to pay an expensive Toyota Prius engine replacement cost for the 2008 model year – a repair price that costs thousands!
2010 Toyota Prius Engine Problems
The 2010 was one of the worst-rated model years in terms of engine problems, with owners having numerous concerns and complaints about the reliability and safety of this car. Owners stated there was excessive oil consumption, the car died while driving, the head gasket blew, the engine light is constantly on the dashboard, the oil access cover falls off, the engine hesitates, and the engine fails prematurely.
Fix: Replace the Head Gasket
The average price of replacing the head gasket in the 2010 Prius comes to between $1,400 and $1,600, while the cost can skyrocket to $2,500 depending on the severity of the damage and the type of engine used.
2011 Toyota Prius Engine Problems
The final problematic model year of the Prius is the 2011 production year, with owners staying consistent issues with excessive oil consumption and engine knocking at startup.
Fix: Replace Oil Pan Gasket, PCV Valve, and Piston Rings
Although the cost of fixing excessive oil consumption can sometimes be expensive and time-consuming for the labor prices, it can sometimes boil down to simpler fixes, like replacing used piston rings, a damaged PCV valve, or a faulty oil pan gasket.
- Replacing an oil pan gasket is typically between $100 and $350, with the cost of the parts between $40 and $150, and the labor coming to between $60 and $200 depending on the vehicle complexity.
- Replacing the PCV valve is between $35 and $75, with the parts themselves costing only between $10 and $15. This fix adds very little to the Toyota Prius engine replacement cost in the 2011 model year.
- Replacing the piston rings is between $100 and $350 for most vehicles, with the parts ranging between $40 and $150.
2020 Toyota Prius Engine Recall
Toyota was forced to recall over 750,000 gas-electric hybrid vehicles produced and sold around the world due to concerns regarding the engine losing power, engine stalling, and the hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost.
- The recall covered specific models produced between the 2013-2015 years and the 2014-2017 production years of the Prius v hybrid.
- The company stated the concern was about the fail-safe mode when dealing with faults in the hybrid system. However, in some instances, the car could not go into this mode, causing the engine to lose power and stall while the vehicle is moving, leading to unsafe driving conditions and potential crash risks.
Toyota stated that in these cases, the power steering and the breaks would stay on, but the engine stalling could increase the risk of a crash and lead to an inability to accelerate or control the speed of the vehicle.
Any car owner with one of the vehicles above was spared paying the high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, since replacing the engine or returning the car was covered under the recall. Dealerships had to replace the engine free of charge to the affected vehicles, since this problem was a direct safety risk to all cars on the road.
2021 Toyota Prius Reliability
The latest production year of the Prius earned the #11 spot in the Hybrid and Electric Cars category, beating out the stiff competition. The positives of this year involve the impeccable fuel economy, a long list of standard features, comfortable seating, and expansive cargo area.
However, the negatives are just as pronounced as the positives in this model year. Along with the hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, this 2021 Prius suffers from a lack of agility, lack of horsepower, and low-quality cabin and interior materials.
The Car US News Scorecard gave this car a 7.7 out of 10 overall, earning a 7.9 for critics rating, 8.0 for performance, 7.0 for interior, 9.5 for safety, and 3 out of 5 JD Power Reliability rating.
Toyota Prius vs. Competition
To understand why some car owners are willing to pay the hefty Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, we have to see how this model stacks up against the similar competition.
Toyota Prius vs. Toyota Camry Hybrid
- The Toyota Camry Hybrid has a great fuel economy figure, various standard safety features, and high-tech infotainment features in the vehicle. Along with these luxury features, the Camry also boasts a higher horsepower rating, engaging and agile ride, and a higher predicted reliability rating.
- The positives of the Prius, when compared to the Camry, is the bigger passenger and cargo room. Along with the spacious interior, the Prius is nearly $4,000 cheaper – not considering the high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost.
- In a head to head battle, the Camry Hybrid comes out on top compared to the similar Prius.
Toyota Prius vs. Hyundai Ioniq
- The Ioniq is available in various models, whether it be a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric model, with each one of these options offering a better fuel rating than the Prius. This car also offers a longer warranty than the Prius.
- However, when compared to the Ioniq, the Prius is more comfortable, more spacious, has more active safety features, and comes in all-wheel drive.
- Despite the high Toyota Prius engine replacement cost, this car offers a better option for drivers who need additional passenger space and comfortable seating for long drives.
The Bottom Line
Although most car owners do not want to spend between $5,000 and $7,000 for a repair or fix on their car, the Toyota Prius engine replacement cost can be worth the hefty price tag!