2008 Prius--what would you do?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jackmccullough, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. jackmccullough

    jackmccullough Junior Member

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    2008 Prius, 180,000 miles.

    I always plan on driving a car until the wheels fall off, but I may be there now.

    I knew I needed a new catalytic converter, and I took it to a local garage to get an aftermarket cat installed for about $1000-1200,, which I was prepared to live with.

    Unfortunately, they called me with a long list of other items that I need to pass inspection:

    Front pads and rotors--$340
    front struts--$636
    Front axle--$245
    patch rocker panels--$127

    With tax and a few other things it's right up to about $3,000.

    This seems like a lot for a fourteen year old car with 180k on it. Our options are:

    1. Go for the three thousand and keep it running as long as possible.
    2. See what I can get for it and either buy something new (used) or see how my wife and I do with one car. Since she's retired this may be feasible.

    What do you think?

    TIA
     
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  2. bat4255

    bat4255 2017 Prius v #2 and 2008 Gen II #2

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    We just went through the same thing, our '08 w/ 155,000 miles.

    We are both retired for 5 years and this is my wife's old mail car only driven about 1,500 miles per year.

    Just after doing it's annual oil change I noticed red oil on the floor. It was the seal for the drivers side axle by the trans axle. Took it to the dealer (Trusted with good service for the last 15 yrs.) as I am done working on that stuff estimate was $375 so OK..They asked if there was anything else to check, I said the brakes groan a lot when I press on the brakes, even when parked, so here is the list.

    New rotors, pads, calipers up front.
    New Drums, shoes, and 1 brake cylinder.

    They were all rusted up from just sitting.

    Total with the seal was just shy of $2 K.

    So 4 options
    New car for her w a 24-30k budget. I am done heavier fixing stuff
    Good used car 5-12K. Good luck with that this year, and I also worry that it may be a flood car.
    Fix it and make it safe for 2k. We know what we have.
    Walk away and go the 1 car route.

    The car rarely gets driven so I think it just rots from just sitting, but we are not ready to go to just 1 car, and again my wife loves the car.

    We decided to fix it as a new one is the same cost as 12 -15 trips to California to see the grandkids, or 1 nice trip to New Zealand when the travel opens up.

    When the '08 dies then we will probably be just a 1 car household.

    It does feel like a better car now :)

    Even paid for, I budget $1,000 per yr minimum to just own a car without even driving it, we are OK with that.
     
    #2 bat4255, Jun 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
  3. The Lizard King

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    Get another garage's opinion on those extra items to "pass inspection." I'm sure it's an attempt to sell you stuff that you probably don't need.
     
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  4. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    The math is really simple. What is the value of the car today as-is? Add the value of the now + the cost of repairs. If the number is greater than what a comparable vehicle will cost, then you sell. IMO, the definition of driven "the wheels off of it" is fulfilled when the cost of repair is worth more than the value of the car + the repair.

    Say your vehicle is worth $2000 as-is

    $2000 as-is + $3000 repair = $5000

    Can you find a used 2008 example similar to yours without issues for $5000? If the answer is yes, then you have driven "the wheels off of it". You don't have to buy another 2008. Buy a newer vehicle if you can. This just shows you that it makes no sense to repair a vehicle when you can buy the same thing for less.

    BTW, with the limited details and power of an internet forum, it sounds like you should repair the vehicle. I'd skimp on the add ons they suggested though and piece meal them as the fail. Brakes usually squeal and make noise when you brake when they need replacing. Struts will leak and cause a bad ride. You don't need a garage to tell you these two things need replacing. You will feel and hear it. The symptoms for a front axle are more subtle and you may want a second opinion. I don't know why one would want to "patch rocker panels."

    Oh and a local garage also said my brakes needed replacing soon if I wanted to pass inspection. I asked them if would pass inspection. They said yes, but it's at the bare minimum thickness and they don't recommend it. Of course they don't recommend it. :rolleyes: I told them no. They were already charging me a lot for the other repairs. I came back for next year's inspection where I did have the brakes replaced.
     
    #4 mmmodem, Jun 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
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  5. Calimobber

    Calimobber Member

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    What state do you live in? That sounds like a place trying to get money from you.

    Look into doing the brakes yourself. Even if you just went out and bought new rotors and pads that would be less than $100 and you could replace with minimal tools in like 1hr with ease.

    Not sure about the other things but id get a second opinion. also aftermarket cat converter costing $1000 to install is insane.

    Rocker panel should not have to be replaced to pass inspection. Not a safty issue.


    Last thing used car market is insanely over priced at the moment just so you know

    iPhone ?
     
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  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    You might need to consider replacing your mechanic.

    The car?
    Patch it, and keep driving it.

    First of all....outside the PRC, a $1,000 catalytic converter replacement is pretty insane.
    That should be a $500 repair AT THE MOST.

    Secondly, I'm a little curious what they mean by replacing a front axle.

    Rocker panels: can wait a year....or two.
    Probably so too can the struts...unless your state's safety inspection involves a road test.
    Have a brake shop do the brakes.
    They'll also be qualified perhaps to look at your CV boots and joints.
    Get some quotes from a muffler shop on an aftermarket catalytic converter. The way things are going they might do it for very little money, ESPECIALLY given how much of a demand there is for catalytic converters in.....ummmm..... "other states."

    I would not buy a new car, OR a used car in the next year or two, for reasons that should be pretty obvious.

    Good Luck!
     
    #6 ETC(SS), Jun 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
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  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    No, but if the rocker panels are rusty enough to lead somebody to suggest patching them then there is probably advanced corrosion in more important areas of the car.

    @jackmccullough It's not exactly scientific, but ~15 seasons of winter driving in New England normally rots out the average Toyota.

    I do think it is worth getting a second opinion anyway.
     
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  8. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I agree Leadfoot. The fact that the rockers were even mentioned tells me it’s got the Vt rotten undercarriage blues been there. I’m from Bennington/Ludlow
    Originally.

    Please if you can…..get under the front and rear of the car and take some good photos of the under carriage to see how bad it is under there. Post them here. It makes zero sense to drop 3 grand on a rotten under carriage car.

    Vt winters just rot the shite out of cars. Miss it dearly though.

    But property taxes there are just plain insane. I look at NEREN often and dream but the property Taxes just blow my mind.
     
  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Believe it or not they're not the most expensive for property tax, and they have "fairly low" sales, income, and some other taxes. ;)

    Much as I love me some New Hampster, the winters are brutal enough to keep me from moving there.
     
  10. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The funny thing is that is you brought a Gen 2 to me, that has the original Catalytic converters, I would install an aftermarket catalytic converter and pay you $900 or so...Maybe your shop doesn't know the original cats sell for ~$1900 on ebay for SCRAP? or maybe they do....and hope you don't?
     
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  11. John Dadmun

    John Dadmun Junior Member

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    Could be a parts car for your next Gen 2, or you might get a lot for it from Carvana. I am looking for another Gen 2. There are 2008's on c-list in auburn & belmont right now for 5k. Could attempt brake fix & cat swap then take to a different garage for inspection if they haven't already run it, not sure how that works across the river. Nice to have a second rig, living in these parts.
     
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  12. PriscillaPrius

    PriscillaPrius Junior Member

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    Mine has the originals and as of today has a dead hybrid battery so considering parting it out. Let me know if you want the parts.
     
  13. Another

    Another Active Member

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    go get a second opinion on needs and costs to repair. The real cost is probably closer to $2,000 or less with aftermarket cat.
    180k on a Prius is just broken in. On the other hand, if you need a new front axle it sounds like you drive the car like a tank and maybe there are other things you need to examine.
    I’m not sure if you follow the current prices for used Prius Gen 2, but if it doesn’t burn oil and the battery is good, it’s likely worth $6,000 plus.
     
  14. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    It is $120 for aftermarket cat on eBay we've bought several. It takes an hour to install it so about $250 grand total for the job.

    You can get cheap after market struts for $115 but quality a little lower. Basically they will be fine but if you buy several you might get one that is junk out of the box (rare). It's maybe 1.5 hours tops to put them in.

    Is the car driving good? Struts and brakes could go 100k more miles if they are just going off of a checklist and maybe a glance. Is it rattling over bumps and popping and making crazy noises when you go over a bump? Does it brake fine?

    If it drives fine there is no need to fix anything (imo).
     
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  15. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    I just sold my place in VERMONT [ Mt. SNOW AREA ]= No more SNOW for me ever!!!!!
     
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  16. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I left in 1978. The Blizzard of 78 was it for me. I had a Dodge van then when i woke up we had no water from frozen pipes and I looked out the window and could not see my van the snow drift was taller than my van. They could not snow plow for about 3 days the snow was so crazy.
    Its a beautiful place though.I miss it dearly. Now its all rich people ski crowd from NY. I lived for a while in Ludlow in the 70's Ludlow was a shithole mill town now its super wealthy Okemo/Mt Snow ski resort action. Were no million dollar houses then. Now there everywhere.
     
  17. joanqu

    joanqu New Member

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    you got scammed on the cat, if you had original cat you just lost around 2000 on nothing
    (people buy them for 900-1000$) + replace cat for free and you paid for a cat a 1000$

    regardless if you didnt have an original one 1000$ is too much for a cat replacement
     
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