2011 Prius IV - before I buy?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by AltraStache, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. AltraStache

    AltraStache Junior Member

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    Hey friends,

    I'm the market for my next Prius. I found one in Madison, WI on Craigslist: 2011 Prius IV 98k for $9000

    Hows the price sound, initially? Has two fobs and new tires.

    Anything historically about the 2011s that I should be concerned about? When I go to see it and drive, anything I should really be looking for or keying in on as it relates the 2011 model? I will do all the other reach in terms of the Carfax, maintenance records review, and if really interested, likely pay for a complete inspection prior to purchase.
     
  2. elementnomore

    elementnomore Member

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    It’s the year BEFORE the facelift in 2012. My 2012 IV with the sunroof has a decent power seat and a HUD in the dash.
     
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  3. AltraStache

    AltraStache Junior Member

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    Do you like your 2012? You had any issues with it?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    glad you checked in before buying. at 98k, it is close to blowing the head gasket, which will mean a replacement engine, if it hasn't already, and they are trying to hide it.

    read up on the egr circuit problem here, that's a $1,000. job at the dealer, but it's all labor if you can serious diy.
    these are new problems with gen 3 that your gen2 did not have.
     
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  5. AltraStache

    AltraStache Junior Member

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    Yikes! swapping engines is in not in my wheelhouse or budget or a diy I'm interested in, ever :)
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if you cannot afford to upgrade to gen 4, and a 2009 would not be good enough, 2015 is the best year gen 3 because it got new rings and pistons. 2014 is second because it got new pistons.

    but even then, people are cleaning the egr circuit and installing oil catch cans. it's a hot mess.
     
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  7. AltraStache

    AltraStache Junior Member

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    Sounds good! Thanks for the info. I loved my 09 and would be just fine with another 09. I may just want to pass on all Gen 3s at first and look into a Gen 4.
     
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  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    No heated seats? o_O
     
  9. elementnomore

    elementnomore Member

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    Yes, heated seats as well. I live in So Cal so when the seats come on it’s for 2 minutes but a welcome 2 minutes. I haven’t had any issues with my car at all, brakes have a ton of life left. My suspension is shot for LA roads and I’ll replace it with oem or kyb. I’m aware if the oil catch can, maybe I’ll do it maybe not. It’s a pain in the butt in CA as we get ‘smog checked’ so I’d need to deal with it. I’d totally get the solar roof package as it’s very cheap on a used car and a fortune when new. I like the fake leather and ‘upgraded’ sound system as I can’t imagine the stock one as this sounds horrible. Driving at 60mph carefully I can still see about 58mpg. I love the car.
     
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  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    What’s you brake fluid change interval?

    My California occ is underneath the air intake, strategically hidden from inspections :sneaky:
     
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  11. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    Did the new rings and pistons in 2015 reduce the need for an OCC?
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not that i have read, but i could be wrong. i would ask in the threads where it is being done.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    98K miles is maybe a good nip-it-in-the-bud time? @NutzAboutBolts cleaned his intake manifold and EGR circuit around 120K, the clogging was "moderate"? I'd suspect the head gasket failures are typically further down the road 150K~200K. OTOH there could be early outliers? I get the sense cars with a lot of hard-slogging highway miles clog faster?

    Bottom line: if you're a DIY'r and willing to dive in, and check it over carefully, it "could" be a good buy. The price I don't have a clue about, but have a hunch it's a little high, for the States? Level IV does have all the tech bells-and-whistles.

    If it's a Wisconsin car, check the undercarriage for rust. Also verify the plastic underpanels are still present and ok. Toyota's rust prevention is pretty much useless. Rear end solid axle, trailing arms and shock connections are relatively easy to eyeball, if you throw down a carpet scrap and look under with a light.

    A 2011 will at least have silver rims (under the covers); in 2012 they switched to black, maybe trying to discourage owners pulling off the plastic covers?
     
    #13 Mendel Leisk, Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, they are all over the place. i just wouldnt want to say yes, have someone buy it and come back with a blown head gasket.
    overly cautious i suppose, just my nature
     
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  15. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Have an additional couple thousand save for repairs after buying, most HV battery will show signs of potential failure after 10 years. Same life span for TPMS batteries but lesser replacement cost.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I wonder if there's any semi-obvious signs of pending head gasket failure, you can spot without having to tear the car half-apart? If the engine coolant is low, an obvious tip-off? You'd think seller who's cognizant the head gasket is going would have the forethought to top up the coolant, but who knows.

    Check engine light*, during a test drive. Any odd noises during the test drive, or knocking while starting up. Steam from the tail pipe?

    * Check engine light would mean there's codes. You can see what they are with something like the Dr Prius app and a bluetooth adapter. Common code for head gasket failure with the Prius is misfire for cylinder 1 and/or 2: P0301 and P0302.

    Seller might also disconnect battery to dismiss codes, not sure how long they would take to come back.
     
    #16 Mendel Leisk, Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  17. elementnomore

    elementnomore Member

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    @Grit 2 weekends ago I actually bleed my brakes (no techstream) with my wife last weekend. Fluid was more pink than anything. The pedal is slightly firmer and breaks come on a touch sooner. I’m glad I bleed them when I did but 98,000 miles and 7 + years on, the fluid seemed to be in excellent shape.
     
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  18. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Right on, DIY’d it! There’s this electronic test tool that I have that measures water moisture in brake fluid like test strips, it detected 3% of water in the brake fluid. At 4%, that’s when you want to flush and refill so I’m due soon with winter coming.
     
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  19. Summerboy1958

    Summerboy1958 New Member

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    After a long search for an appropriate highway commuter, I am currently considering a gen 3 (a cpo 2015 prius 4 with sunroof). I have looked at and discarded other vehicles based on reliability. For my 15k yearly commute, the difference between 35 mpg and 45 mpg is only worth 100 gallons of fuel. I ended up with g3 prius as very reliable, long term and high miles.

    The content of this and other threads about occ, plugged egr and head gasket issue has caught me by surprise. Most folks talk about how bulletproof these cars are. Are the issues with a small percentage (a vocal minority) or widespread?

    Thanks.
     
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  20. AltraStache

    AltraStache Junior Member

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    I have been surprised too. Are there any other threads on priuschat that outline the Gen 3 related concerns?
     
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