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Old 09-08-2017, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shopping for Prius, any trouble to watch for?

Guys,

My '98 Forester is getting on my last nerve. I don't even care what trade in value it has left and at over 370K miles, I don't think there's much in any case. It's been okay but the fuel mileage was never great, 25 mpg highway is a stellar result from it lately and it's just too thirsty to justify.

I'm looking for a Prius, preferably newer than '05 but I work for a charity, so when the prices climb as the vehicle gets younger, it gets out of reach pretty quickly. I can't easily go much north of about $8500-9000, but there are even a couple of 2010 models near me for as little as $5000, which makes me wonder what's wrong with them in spite of their good looks.

So there's the big question: Any special tripping hazards I should look for when shopping Prii? I know my HCH pretty well but my knowledge of Prii is mostly anecdotal.

I'm going to take my OBDII adapter and pull codes from the cars I look at, see if there's anything lurking, check to see if the CEL got reset recently (if that can be determined)

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Old 09-08-2017, 04:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Civic DX (sold) - '97 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 34.15 mpg (US)

GTO (sold) - '04 Pontiac GTO
90 day: 22.62 mpg (US)

Green Brick (sold) - '06 Ford Escape Hybrid
90 day: 31.93 mpg (US)
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They're pretty solid cars. Unfortunately, there's not much warning before a major component like the battery or inverter dies, so checking for codes and CEL is about all you can reasonably do to check the hybrid systems. One thing to be aware of is that they like to start using some oil around ~100k miles. Because of that, I'd value lower miles over newer in the hopes that it hasn't been run dry. I believe the 2010s had a couple issues that were resolved in the following years, but I don't think it was anything major.

On the test drive, the battery shouldn't go from full to empty or empty to full very quickly unless you're blasting the AC and driving it hard while it's warming up or going down a long, steep hill. You also shouldn't be able to hear the battery's fan in the back right 99% of the time. Either of those can be a sign of a weak battery.

If you have an Android device and an OBDII reader you can connect to it, the Hybrid Assistant app can show you what's going on with the car. There's even a battery testing mode that can help determine the battery's health. I did a little review of the app here.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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370,000 miles on the first model year? You are replacing it because of fuel economy? That was my thinking with my '99, but I eventually realized I spent more on repairs than gas.

That was before the head gasket replacement at 120k.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
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I suggest you consult this already established thread on EcoModder. VERY informative, and expertly developed: What to look for when buying a used Prius
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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FYI:

What to look for when buying a used Prius

Edit: Oops, late to the party with the link; see above.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 29.48 mpg (US)

Tiptoe - '03 Honda Civic Hybrid
Team Honda
90 day: 48.9 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.43 mpg (US)
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This is what followed me home:



It has a couple of scuffs here and there and a few minor dings on the interior, but the others we looked at earlier in the day just felt wrong. This was our third try, and frankly wasn't even prioritized on the list of go-sees. Dunno why, but it turned out to be a winner.

When I've thought of a name, I'll start a garage page for it. But since it'll be mostly my kids who drive it, it may not get timely updates.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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90 day: 34.15 mpg (US)

GTO (sold) - '04 Pontiac GTO
90 day: 22.62 mpg (US)

Green Brick (sold) - '06 Ford Escape Hybrid
90 day: 31.93 mpg (US)
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Nice! Looks like it's at least a 2006 (I think that's when they started putting the "hybrid" badge on the side, in case you didn't know that the Prius is a hybrid)? Hope it serves you well.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 29.48 mpg (US)

Tiptoe - '03 Honda Civic Hybrid
Team Honda
90 day: 48.9 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 350
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'09 Prius, no fancy equipment. No touring package, no built in nav (and with smartphones, who cares?), none of the bells or whistles.

And that's how I like things. The less geegaws there are, the fewer geegaw breakages I have to contend with.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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90 day: 40.43 mpg (US)

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A friend posted "Love my new car, didn't use any gas this morning coming to work, my old car I would have used a quarter of a tank of gas!"

.....

After my friend mentioned it was a Prius several times, one of her friends asked if it was a hybrid.

How do you live under a rock, but still have Facebook?
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 29.48 mpg (US)

Tiptoe - '03 Honda Civic Hybrid
Team Honda
90 day: 48.9 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 350
Thanked 503 Times in 367 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post

How do you live under a rock, but still have Facebook?
I have learned not to ask that question. It seems to me that like politics, human intelligence is becoming more highly polarized. As we as a race become capable of ever greater intellectual heights, there are conversely people now who, without being able to blame biological or neurological causes, we would consider pathologically stupid just a generation ago.

This is what drives a lot of the Kardashians' stardom, I think.

Just cruising out to the grocery store and back this morning, still holding around 50mpg.

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