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Help with Buying a Used Prius ($15k to spend)

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Mustbuy, Feb 26, 2012.

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  1. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    Need Help with Buying a Used Prius ($15k to spend)

    I'm a Toyota Camry owner looking for a Prius in the $15k range. If I should be posting n a different thread, please advise. I'm interested in your experience with the quality of the driver's seat (lower back) lumbar support for my 6-foot body and whether a Prius has anything similar to the 60k timing belt change that is a significant expense with conventional car. I'm just starting my research, so I'm also interested in whether I should be avoiding any particular year or packages. Thank you in advance for your help.

    I'd also be interested in your feedback on this ad from a private party, so I can better evaluate ads in the future. I did read the advice in the Newbie forum to have a dealer or Prius specialist evaluate any private party car. Do I need to be concerned when a seller hasn't used a dealer for any work on a car with 60k miles? The seller below let his oil change guy do the 15k and 30k work and hasn't had the 60k service done.




  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    :welcome: 1) camry seats are much more comfortible imo. rent a prius for a week before deciding.
    2) no prolemo with diy service to this point, it's all minor.
    3) serpantine belt change around 100,000 miles? not expensive.
    4) dealer service to this point is just inspections they charge you big time for. oil and filter, air and cabin filter are all you need. how are the tires, proly half way thru his second set, are they wearing evenly?
    5) all the best!
  3. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    Thanks, Bisco! At what mileage interval does service need to be done by a Prius pro? (When do things start to get hairy, apart from the serpentine, which doesn't sound too bad?)
  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    You are in SF. Establish a relationship with Luscious Garage. They will do everything according to schedule, at reasonable cost. If the car feels good when you drive it, buy it.

    2009 is the most reliable hybrid of any make/model right now. 15.9K is a good deal. It will only get more expensive.
  5. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    Thank you, Seilerts!
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't have my manual in front of me, but somewhere in the low 100,000's you need plugs and some fluid changes, check brake pads (they last a long time). some people have had to replace a wheel bearing or struts in the 60's and 70's, but it's rare and not part of normal maintenance.
  7. timtim2008

    timtim2008 New Member

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    i would try to find a used 2010 or 2011 first.. they also are in 15k to 17k range too.
  8. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    Hurry up. If gas prices climb any more, Priuses will sell fast and the price will go up.
    In my area, $15K will get you an 07 or 08 with 30-50k miles. I still like the Prius II over the Prius III.
  9. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    I wound up buying this car. Thanks, everybody! So glad to be a Prius owner at last. But I miss my trunk.
  10. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    I think you did good. My prediction is, you will love your Prius and it will bring you many years of satisfaction (as both of mine do).

    PS: You will get over the loss of your trunk quick when you find out how much more you can fit in the back than a trunk.
  11. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    Thanks, usnavystgc! The trunk issue isn't space, it's the perception of security. I regularly used to lock my laptop in the trunk. I know that wasn't really secure, but still. I can't see leavng my laptop in the hatchback.
  12. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    That's an easy fix. There is a compartment above the spare tire that you can easily fit a laptop in. If you look toward the back of the rear compartment/trunk, you will see two knobs that turn. Turn them 1/4 turn and lift up (using the strap in the middle) to access the "hidden" compartment. No one will ever know its there (except me of course (lol)).
    1 person likes this.
  13. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    TOTALLY MADE MY DAY!! Thank you!!
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  14. Wimble

    Wimble Junior Member

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    My wife still doesn't know I keep my mistress in this compartment :)
  15. milkman44

    milkman44 Member

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    Sounds like you did good, and you're in for a lot more pleasant surprises as you get to know the car. Especially at the gas pump.:D
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  16. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    One area of maintenance I haven't seen mentioned is the transaxle fluid change at 60K miles. That will greatly help extend the life of the car, and isn't that hard for a person to do themselves. I have done it on two Prii already. You must make sure to use the correct fluid, I wouldn't use anything but what was bought at Toyota, but others may have different opinions. If you take it to a dealer, they charge what I consider a very high price to do this work.
    2 people like this.
  17. Mustbuy

    Mustbuy New Member

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    Submarathonman, huh! Thanks for that tidbit. Will look into it. Sadly, I can't yet find an independent Prius service shope near me (San Mateo, CA) and I'm kind of a girl who doesn't work on her own car. Maybe I need to rethink that!

    Milkman, thanks!
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...98-independent-hybrid-repair.html#post1421853 mentions $98. That sounds about the same amount that Toyota Kirkland (in WA) charged me. I strongly suggest that the OP definitely get it done.



    I've never dealt with Luscious Garage | Hybrid Specialists since they're way too far for me, but I've heard positive things about them. I've normally gone to Toyota Sunnyvale and they seem ok. I bought my car from them too.
  19. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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