A great deal, but it’s still has some issues

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Priusprowler, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Priusprowler

    Priusprowler New Member

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    2005 Prius
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    Hey all, I’m a newbie to the Prius world and looking for some insight to a Prius I’m in the process of acquiring. I’d greatly appreciate your insight. Sorry if this is long, please read.


    It’s a 2005 with 77,000 miles on it. It’s a rebuilt title that was in a collision at some point, I have no other information on the collision. The car is clean inside and out with a few cosmetic issues. Needs new tires and has a cracked windshield which seem to be easy enough fixes.


    Here is the full story:


    It has been sitting in a driveway for at least 7 months. The guy originally bought it for his son for $3,200, he said his son felt it was too small for him so he got him a Lexus. To give you an idea, this guy lives in a nice house in a nice neighborhood with plenty of decent cars parked out front. He doesn’t seem to know much about Hybrids. Before I showed up he said it always starts so I came by.


    I arrive and it does not start, no lights on the dash, auto door locks won’t open, etc, basically it’s dead. He grabs a “micro starter”, after not being able to open the hatchback, he manages to jump it by crawling to the battery in the back. The car starts up and the hybrid battery appears to be charging. There is only 1 bar of gas present in the gauge. I take it for a drive around the neighborhood as it had no license plate and it seems to do alright (mostly flat streets). I believe the fuel gauge even jumped to 3 bars, I’m not sure how that works or why. I also saw on the screen the battery had full bars and was green.


    I felt it was a good bargain with potential risks and negotiated him down from $2,500 to $1,400. I assumed that hybrid battery to still be decent with just 77k on it.


    I come back the next day to do the deal. Again the car needed to be jumped. I paid him, slapped on a license plate from my car, had my girlfriend follow behind and went straight to the gas station where I filled it up while keeping the car running as not to let it die. Shortly after at a red light where I’m at a complete stop the whole car dies. No lights or anything. Can’t start it up, I’m stalled. I call the guy, tell him I’m stuck and he comes to my aid and jumped the car.


    I drive away but then start noticing it’s really struggling to get up the hills. It does fine accelerating down hill. Next I notice the battery doesn’t seem to get past 2 blueish/grey bars and the red car with exclamation point icon is present in the upper left hand corner of the screen. (Important to note* no triangle of death and no check engine light present.) Although the fan is blowing loud in the back seat passenger side regardless of turning off the climate control. I learned that fan is related to the cooling of the hybrid battery right?


    I don’t feel comfortable driving it on the highway so I drive back to the guy’s house, park it in his driveway and ask for my money back. I didn’t get a hold of him til later that night but he agreed to refund me the money. Real nice guy, I’m pretty lucky there.


    I kept the key in my possession and made it back to his house a few days later. He gave my money back. But I was still curious, so I pressed the ignition button and it started right up even after sitting a few days.


    At this point he just wants to get rid of it and he seemed to take a liking to me. He says he already lost a lot money on this car but wants me to have it and believes I can fix it, I believe I can fix it as well. Long story short after several negotiations, the last offer he came up with was $450, including a tow to my house which is an hour away. After sleeping on it I’ve decided to do it and payed him through PayPal.It should be towed to me in the next few days. I guess AAA won’t tow anything without a plate so we’re working on it.


    Any insights?


    I was thinking it’s the hybrid battery where I’d have to identify the bad modules, replace, rebalance and recondition the entire battery but could it be something else?


    It’s very curious to me that the triangle of death and check engine light are not popping up while the (red car !) icon is.


    He’s still willing to refund me if I don’t want it but it seems like a whole lot of car with very low miles for very low money risk.


    I’m still new to Priuses but I would love to make this car work. I appreciate any help you have to offer.


    Thank you for reading my lengthy post!
     
  2. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    You could start with a new 12 volt battery and you might get lucky, if not, get the trouble codes read and post again with the codes, you will get some good responses. Good luck with your project/
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  3. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    ^^ +1! What @TMR-JWAP and @Munpot42 said. (y)

    With a little work, you're likely to have a great bargain on your hands. New 12V and then read the codes and go from there.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    do you know anything about cars?
     
  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    What a strange journey and this is probably just the start.

    So if I'm reading right, this is a salvaged title vehicle, that the owner you are buying if from paid, $3200.
    It was then being sold at an asking price of $2500, which you were able to negotiate down to $1400.

    Then when some issues appear, you return the vehicle to the sellers house. He evidently agrees to return your money, but you keep the key and show up a few days later, when he returns your money, but then you decide, with some futher evaluation and I speculate negotiation to purchase the Prius again, for $450 including a tow to your house?
    That's a LOT of plot twists.

    I would say what you have here is a 15 year old vehicle, with a salvaged title. And a vehicle that has been discounted $2750 dollars, since the original purchase by the seller. -That in of itself makes me nervous.

    Given these parameters, I think you either have a bargain or a nightmare.
    But what do yo do but take it step by step?
    Just be aware this vehicle is likely to require more investment, and with a salvaged title, it's never going to be worth very much. IMO you're investing into a vehicle primarily for yourself, and you should maybe decide upfront what amount of investment you are willing to make.

    If it's the original Hybrid Battery it is very likely it needs replacement.
    IMO module replacement and rebalancing, has limited results. At best it's a temporary band-aid to eventual complete battery replacement. -This is my opinon, not arguable fact. But it is opinion based on years of reading threads about battery failures and replacement/refurbishment approaches.

    Also...

    Just be aware that the "money risk" may go way beyond what you paid out of pocket for the vehicle.

    Since this is a salvaged vehicle, demonstrating problems right now?
    I agree with trying to get the codes.

    You seem to be willing to DIY with this project. Also be aware it could become quite a project.
     
  7. Priusprowler

    Priusprowler New Member

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    2005 Prius
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    N/A
    I appreciate the feed back ya'll... It's been a crazy ride, I was super anxious about the whole thing. The tow got delayed because his AAA would not tow with out a license plate. He calls me a few days later and said he refunded my money via paypal and decided to give to his little cousin. I was a bit bummed but also relieved lol. turns out a mechanic came by, said only 2 cells were bad and the repair would be less than $500 total including parts and labor. His cousin was in need, so I get it, family first. It just took a week of up in the air shenanigans, and I unknowingly bought him a full tank of gas...

    Oh well... In a hurry I picked up an 03 Subaru Forester XS in pretty good shape, but now I have the Prius bug and I want one! I enjoy working on cars and making broken stuff work. Anyone know a good source or method to finding good condition Priuses that just need a whole battery battery replacement?
     
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