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    espafe New Member

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    What would be your advice in buying a used 2004 Prius with high mileage like this, should I stay away? What should I look for in this vehicle, etc? What about older model, 2001-2003, should I look for those instead of 2004 prius?
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    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Whats your skill set like and how are you set for tools?
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    tivollix New Member

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    Location:
    Montreal
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2002 Prius
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    I would recommend to avoid 2001-2003 models as 3 things can go wrong:

    • batteries
    • tansmission
    • power assisted steering
    It can happen at rare occurence but on priuschat these problems are well documented.


    The 2004 - 2009 does not suffer these problems as far as I know.



    I am driving a 2004 (195000Km / 150000Miles) and the only thing I had to change is wheel bearing. So far the car required no maintenance excepted regular fluids changes.


    I would recommend preventive water pumps change but it is not very expensive.


    If you have a good deal on it, you should be able to buy without taking too many risks.





    ===============
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    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
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    N/A
    my brother gave up his F450 about a month ago for an 05 with 215k miles. even if he has to replace the battery.. or whole transaxle... heck.. even a new ICE (internal combustion engine) it would still be cheaper than buying new. keep in mind that shocks should be looked over.. bushings may be replaced in various spots, and other misc items that cost a couple hundred dollars (complete fluid change, new 12v possibly, etc)

    he paid the same price as you.... new, with financing and interest and the sorts, my car cost me about 40k... if i could have magically waited and purchased used, i would have... i never looked towards the genI since the genII is a whole new platform compared to the genI. just like the genIII is a whole new beast compaired to the genII (no thermos, no chain drive, direct gearing, faster spring rates and struts, backup camera, tire pressure monitors, aux input and so forth (not to mention a more powerful 12v line... i only say that since i use an inverter in back.. not that i need more power.. i really don't... it's just handy every once and a great while.)
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    espafe New Member

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    I am pretty good with tools, and generally do minor repairs on my vehicles myself, why do you ask? Something I should look out for when purchasing?
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    espafe New Member

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    In your opinion, one with 160k, as long as well maintained, shouldn't be a problem? I know toyota's can run forever, I was just worried about battery issues with it having that many miles.
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    espafe New Member

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    That is a good idea, I didn't think about that. Even worst case scenario having to change the battery wouldn't be too bad. Thanks.
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    andyprius Senior Member

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    Most of the maintenance and minor repairs are a snap on the Prius. The biggest problem is trying to figure out how to get to everything, as Toyota likes to double and triple wrap everything. Whatever you buy make sure that it was not a salvage vehicle and preferably not ever in a serious accident. The body shops doing the repairs are not familiar enough with the Prius to do proper maintenance (even dealers, sometimes) If you buy a used Prius, see if you can get a all inclusive warranty, even if only for 90 days. That will give you time to wring the car out. One thing you do not want to start with is a major item failure, HV Bat, CVT or inverter
    .. Otherwise the Prius is a great car and I highly recommend it. The other OPs sugesstion of buying a Gen II or higher is a good one. :welcome:
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    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    It all depends on so many factors. What's your budget like? What kind of technology do you want. The Gen I (01-03) drives very similiar to a Gen II (04-09) but the Gen II has a lot of upgrades (and even more upgrades on 06 and above). I have owned an 01 since 2008 and it taught me to love the Prius. I now have an 06 as well and I'm very happy with both. With everything I now know, I would recommend an 06 or above because they come standard w/ back up camera and smart key (SKS).
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    espafe New Member

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    Budget is only $6-7k unfortunately right now that is all I can afford and not looking to get into debt to buy one. 2001-2003 seem to be falling better into my price range, but I have read that they don't seem to be as reliable on 2004 and newer as far as battery life, etc.
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    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Just say no. I think based on what you say here sellers are using high gas prices to stoke the prices on their Prius beyond objective worth. I would not be paying $6-7k for a 2003 or older Prius, I don't care what gas costs. Get some econobox somewhere instead.

    I just checked craigslist and saw a 2007 for $9500 and another for $10k. $6-7k should definitely be buying you a 2004 at the oldest.

    To be honest with you now is a good time to buy an SUV, and it's not likely to get any better with a Prius because gas keeps going up. This will increase prices substantially; the time to get one was a while back. You still may get value buying one depending on gas savings but don't be married to the idea.
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    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    2005 Prius
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    Four
    Like I said, my 01 is now 11+ yrs old and still drives great. It consistently gets 40+mpg. It has given me almost 4 years of reliable service. Every maintenance procedure I needed to perform (which hasn't been much) was very simple. If I have a battery failure, I will fix that myself as many others have. If you are handy and not afraid to do the work yourself, you can do it. I have found the Prius one of the easiest cars to work on and I've been working on cars for 30+yrs. It requires very little maintenance (or I've been very lucky). I almost feel guilty or "weird" because I'm not constantly working on an 11 yr old car (that is not normal for me). I keep expecting something to go wrong but, it hasn't happened yet. If all I could afford was a Gen I, I would get it. If you do buy a Gen I, accept that the battery could go out tomorrow (or something else) but, don't sweat it. You can fix it. That's my humble opinion.

    PS: For 6-7k, you might be struggling to buy a good Gen I in a couple of weeks if gas prices keep surging.
  13. Offline

    espafe New Member

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    In your opinion or maybe you know, but from 2001 through 2003 with the Gen 1 prius, have they improved battery function and life over those three years before the Gen II? Just curious, thanks!
  14. Offline

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    In a word, no. The batteries on an 01 are the same as on an 03 just manufactured later. It does stand to reason that the 03 has a better chance of the battery lasting longer because they aren't as old (age is a major factor in battery life). The funny thing is, most of the Gen I's I see on the road are 2001's (but maybe I'm biased:)).

    It is well documented that the batteries in the Gen II are improved over the Gen I. How much of an improvement is uncertain but there is no doubt it is an improvement. From my experience, I haven't noticed much of a difference in performance of the batteries but I read things like corrosion problems and batteries dying in the Gen I's (but I also read about Gen II batteries failing also). It stands to reason that there will be more Gen I failures than Gen II because the batteries are older.
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    slc0 New Member

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    2005 Prius
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    N/A
    Just bought a used 2005 last week 125k on it for $9200. Dealer said that with hybrids the NADA price list can change with gas prices. You might get a better deal if you buy before the summer gas prices come.

    Also, starting in 2004 the prius is 2nd generation with some redesign and important problem fixes. If you like gadgets, get a car with the cd/changer and NAV. There are devices out there that can upgrade the display to view movie/dvd and ipod/iphone input if you have those features (VAIS Technology).

    The battery is due for replacement at about 15 years and run about $1500. My dealer said that they have year 2001 cars still running out there and not one prius they sold since then has been in for the battery replacement yet. I also saw another 2004 pius that came in for general maintenance that had 300K miles on it without any real repairs ever done to it. I was told that they have a good dependability track record in my local area anyway.
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    NinnJinn Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The reason why you are seeing more 01-03 prius with battery failures is due to the age of the battery.

    Do the same research in about 3-5yrs and you will probably start seeing more and more 04-05 prius with battery failures.

    I bought a 2002 prius back on Feb 7th of this year because I was in the same boat as you. Had about $6500 to spend but yet did not want to finance.

    What I ended up doing is looking for (and found one) a 02-03 prius in my price range and be able to put $1500-$2,000 in a savings account and not touch it. That way if and when the HV battery goes dead unexpectedly (which they never give you an advanced warning) I would have the money already in the bank for a new battery and wouldn't have to worry about trying to find almost 2 grand in a hurry so I could get my car back on the road...


    Another thing you could do, if you drive a lot, figure how much it would cost you to fill up your current vehicle. What money is left after filling up your prius, put in an account or under your bed or whatever and save it towards costly repairs if they should arise.



    How long the battery lasts is like trying to predict when someone will die..... I have read on here about a 2005 or maybe it was a 2006 prius HV battery going dead at 80,000 miles. I have also read on here about a prius having over 400,000 miles on it and not a single problem with it. IMO it is just the luck of the draw so to speak.


    On the 2004-2010 prius models there are a lot of mods you can do to obtain slightly better fuel mileage. EX, EV button, you can get a plug in conversion which manufacturers claim to increase your MPG by over 100mpg for the first 10-20miles of your commute etc.

    On my 2002 prius with 140,000miles after 8 fill ups I am averaging a little over 44mpg. And I expect to get even better MPG once the weather warms up... Winter time kills MPGs

    How this helps!!!
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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Besides the advice that's already given here advising against a Gen 1, I agree. Here are some posts from some of our resident repair experts.
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...-miles-03-vs-high-miles-06-a.html#post1237607
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...ius-will-around-20-years-now.html#post1468255
    http://priuschat.com/forums/generat...p-2001-prius-advice-needed-2.html#post1365613 (Classic refers to Gen 1)
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...1-buy-used-prius-new-battery.html#post1267635
    http://priuschat.com/forums/generation-1-prius-discussion/102439-gen-1-gen-2-a.html#post1453350

    The 2nd gen (04-09) Prius is significantly improved and in CARB emissions states ONLY, starting w/the 04 model year, the HV battery warranty is 10 years/150K miles, emissions and some hybrid components are warranted for 15 years/150K miles. AFAIK, no 1st gens in any states could get warranties like these.
  18. Offline

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Model:
    Four
    I have to respectfully disagree with this advice. I would absolutely not advise anyone to buy an SUV now or anytime soon (unless its a HiHy). As for the cost, what other car can be purchased for 6-7K that will get 40+ mpg's? The answer is obvious (none). I haven't seen any 04's out there for 6-7K and I don't think I will anytime soon. To me, its simple: Any Prius is better than no Prius!!!!!!!!

    PS: I am glad to hear that the resale value of my 01 is going up. :):)

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