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Old 05-21-2009, 12:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question early Prius gen 1 for sale, should I?

We have a lot of these imported second hand to NZ.

This one

Toyota Prius Hybrid 2000 for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand

has a dash light on, so batteries could be due.

I think there are Generation 1 Prius issues with stuff only in Japanese, smaller battery etc etc?

If it is cheap to buy, as this one from Repo Cars could be, is it possible to easily improve on the existing setup by going to a larger battery or any other easy worthwhile mods. Thanks. Or should I pay more for a gen 2?

Maybe there is a link to this already?

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A couple thoughts (and I'm no Prius expert but I drive one and have spent alot of time at priuschat.com over the past 6 weeks soaking up as much info. as possible over there):


Common sense tells me,

1. I would want to know exactly what the warning light on the dash is indicating. Is it low tire pressure or is it a major engine/battery/electrical problem? The difference could be $50 or it could be $2000 (or much more). If possible, contact the owner and ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable putting a bid down.

2. The vehicle description leaves alot to be desired and really doesn't provide any mechanical info. It just says that they test drove it and the car worked...but it was not inspected by them or any independent party. Huge red flag if you can't go take the car for a drive or have a mechanic of your own inspect the vehicle prior to purchase. IMO, anyone that doesn't do a full inspection of a vehicle prior to purchase is asking for trouble (unless you are extremely wrench-smart or are just looking for a project car and have money to burn if/when something goes wrong or is already wrong).

3. The Prius, because of it's design, is fairly expensive when it comes to repair costs (more than the traditional vehicle). The entire car is pretty much run electronically and when that goes...the cost of repair is expensive.

Without inspecting the vehicle prior to purchase you are buying it blindly...it looks good but you have no idea what's inside. The reserve on the car was only $1000 so I am guessing you will get what you pay for...a great deal and a few headaches that will cost some money to repair. You still have a week until the end of the auction, plenty of time to go take a look at it if the owner will let you. If they don't let you inspect the vehicle or take it for a ride...I wouldn't touch it. On the other hand, if the price is right and you are willing to take on potential repair costs that come with a "mystery vehicle" then have at it!

From a mod point of view you can get into some of the same mods seen on this site that will slightly improve aero. Take a look at other Prius' on this site and see what they are up to. Personally, I only have higher PSI and grille block on my Prius so I don't have alot to offer in that department.

Last edited by Matt Herring; 05-21-2009 at 01:20 AM..
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Repo Cars is an auction house so contacting a previous owner is out. They flick all cars within 2 weeks and dont do much work on them or none.

Test drives are fine, as is bringing a mechanic.

Thanks Matt I'll try prius chat as its kind of a specific response I am after regarding issues with generation 1

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