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Old 05-18-2018, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Used Prius advice

Greetings ecomodders,

Long time lurker(few years), first time poster.

Despite being in my 30's I only recently looking for my first vehicle. Being obsessed with EV's and Hybrids for many years, I've narrowed my choice to a used Prius. With a VERY tight budget, I've found a local 2006 prius (Ottawa ON Canada) with 250,000 KM, some frontal bumper damage for $3500. The dealer claims the battery was replaced 4 months prior, timing belt (dont they have a chain?) water pump, all 4 shocks replaced at 1500km prior. Maintained by a mechanic.

I cannot post links as I am within my first few posts. This sounds too good to be true. After checking the Kijiji ad carefully I would ask the opinions of those of you who know best. I am mechanically savvy enough to do minor repairs, body work sounds like a fun learning experience but I am concerned about mechanical problems that may crop up.

Does this sound like a decent deal? Or is it a case of too good to be true? I am purchasing a ODB2 scanner before checking it out.

Much obliged for any response

Cheers,


Cheese

Edit: Checked out the used Prius thread, more asking for opinions

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Old 05-18-2018, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Prius has a timing chain, so I'd take anything else they say about it with a grain of salt, unless they have receipts.

That price is actually pretty in line with a lot of Prii I see in this area with similar mi/km and age. Vermont has very strict inspections, and most cars which have seen 10+ winters are just about ready to leave the run, from their undersides rusting out.

Some local Prii:

$500, 320k km: https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/d...561164447.html

$1700, 288k km: https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/d...577396831.html - won't pass inspection due to rust

$3000, 240k km: https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/d...589942935.html - claims it has had anti-rust coatings applied every year

$3250, 270k km: https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/d...565546348.html - claims new battery

~

That's not to say your find is a bad deal, or that you shouldn't get it. I'm leery of buying older cars around here though due to rust - I shop in the south and drive 'em up.

As far as electronics, Prii are nearly bulletproof, and a battery isn't all that expensive (or difficult) to refurbish or repair, so long as not every cell is dead.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Having replaced about 150 batteries and taking a lot of calls about other issues, here's what I tell friends and family (BTW, I own three):

If you're not okay with dropping another $2000 on a used Prius within the first 30 days of ownership, you don't want a Prius.

Short list of big ticket ($1000-2000) items:
Battery
ABS actuator
Transaxle
A/C compressor
Inverter

Lesser issues (300-1000):
Combo meter
Inverter Coolant Pump
3 way valve

While the Prius is VERY reliable, you can't expect high mileage cars to last forever, and hybrid cars have more failure points. Most of my battery customers have owned their cars for less than six months.

Regardless, do not consider purchasing any Prius unless it has immaculate maintenance records with receipts for any claimed replacement parts. If it wasn't a NEW battery, it doesn't count unless you can trace it to a reputable source who will honor any warranty that isn't some paltry 90 days or something.

Sorry to be a killjoy, but I have a pretty big sample size, and I have seen too many people who have found themselves in a tight spot because they thought they were getting a good deal.

Good luck,

Steve
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome, DaCheese!

I can't help it: I never cancelled my used Prius Kijiji alert, despite having already scratched that particular itch. I had a 2004 for about a year, a couple of years ago:

The Premier's Limo: 2004 Toyota Prius "winter beater" ecomodding thread

I'm going to post the used Prius tips thread for others who may find this thread but haven't seen it yet:

What to look for when buying a used Prius

Quote:
This sounds too good to be true.
Honestly, that price seems a bit high for one with cosmetic damage, unless it's being sold certified, and you have its maintenance history. I sold my '04 two years ago for that price in very clean cosmetic condition with full maintenance history. Certified, new brakes, good tires, original battery with good capacity.

Quote:
I am purchasing a ODB2 scanner before checking it out.
I'm not sure how that's going to help you, unless it has a check-engine light you need to diagnose.

FYI: A local higher end used car dealer here (Brockville) has a 2nd gen Prius out behind their office. It's cosmetically too rough to put in the front of their lot. It's been there a couple of months, and it has the sticker on it from the local Toyota dealer (so the maint history might be available if you want to inquire). I have no idea what the story is on it, but I've been restraining myself from going to look at it. I would love another Prius, but I don't need another project right now.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info . It looks like it was in a minor front end collision, the part of me that really would love a prius as a first car wants to get it.

The logical part tells me something is strange, the dealers email replies were less...informative than I would have liked. I can be patient for other Prii, there are the odd 2006-2008 for $5k-$9k (too expensive for me as I am poorer than I would like to admit). Patience is something I try to cultivate, mostly unsuccessfully. I'll look up farther than Ottawa/Gatineau as well, thanks for that Metro.

Thanks S Keith for that maintenance data, if I do check it out i'll be sure to check those items

Thanks again for the replies, look forward to posting more (one day I will contribute to the excellent aero threads.... one day....)

Cheers,

Cheese

PS: My other alerts are Mirages, Fits and Versas, all manual (I've never actually driven an automatic).

PPS: I can't post links yet, but if anyone is curious, Kijiji under Ottawa/Gatineau > Ad ID 1354943891. 2006 Prius $3600, beige from Legacy Auto Center

Last edited by DaCheese; 05-18-2018 at 11:38 PM..
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There was also a kiwi green 2015 Mirage 5-speed at used car dealer in Ottawa for $4500 recently... see if I can find it... low kms too (in other words: remaining factory warranty).

Found it:

2015 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ONLY 46.000 KM SAFETY + 2 YEARS WARRANTY

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...dId=1350558593


They've had it since October, and the price has been dropped a couple of times. Probably would take less than 4500. Nobody wants a car with manual trans and no A/C.

I'd sell my fleet of junk and buy that, if I wasn't a masochist.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Looked at that one actually. I was concerned when the images of the Mirage had water on the seats and steering wheel from them washing it while taking pics. Also checked them out on google and OMVIC and found that their salespeople were writing reviews for the shop on google. Went hard 'newp' then.

I'd certainly take it for 2k, that colour is amazing ;P.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I dunno - if it came with a clean Carfax report and maintenance history, I'd ignore who's selling it and still consider it at that price. I'm guessing they got it for $2-3k at auction.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'll certainly go take a look, if only armstrong air conditioning (rolling down the windows) was good for FE, lol.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree the car looks like crap in the ad. Not well cleaned up, no wheel covers, maybe still has winter tires on it.

Also, I contacted the dealership (online) through the ad a couple of months ago and they never even bothered replying.

Overall, I wouldn't expect a stellar customer experience if you do go look at it.

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