About to buy a car that's making a ticking noise...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by 2aaronmichael, May 23, 2016.

  1. 2aaronmichael

    2aaronmichael Junior Member

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    I'm about to buy a 2004 Prius with 109,000 miles. It's been in an accident before (and you can tell, the front right fender is a bit misaligned and the doors have a paint covering abrasions). The lowest the dealer said he can do is $4500 + tax & title.

    However, the car is making a ticking noise every minutes or so. The sound is originating in the Hybrid Synergy Drive converter inverter box and about every minute for about 5 or 7 seconds or so there will be a ticking or clicking noise. This happens when the car is idling, driving, and even a minute or two after car was shut off. The mechanic next door to the dealer didn't know what it is and the dealer is giving me a 30 day warranty on the powertrain.

    What could this clicking be? Feel I should take this offer (it has navigation with fog lights, cloth seats)?

    Thank you.
     
  2. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    I'd pass on that one at that price. $4500 is about where it should be if it were in good shape and without the ticking. The ticking could be a a harbinger of expensive problems on the 31st day.
     
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  3. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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    My first assumption with any ticking noise is that it's a time bomb.

    Run!
     
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  4. MrMischief

    MrMischief Active Member

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  5. Eastside

    Eastside Member

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    Pass, actually, turn and run from this one. imo.

    Here's a similiar deal for only $300, negotiable.


    [​IMG]

    My advice is, check craigslist and pay $6,000 - 8,000 for newer Gen 2 model from the original owner.
    Good luck
     
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  6. 2aaronmichael

    2aaronmichael Junior Member

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    My friend always sings this song and now I know where it comes from...thanks to this Prius. So THAT's what the ticking noise is... (I got a good laugh out of this :))
     
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  7. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    Both my 2005 and 2012 Prius makes ticking and hissing noises while I drive and after I shut them off. Both have been doing this since new. Are these the same clicking noises you're talking about? I don't know but the noises I hear are standard Prius noises that happen even after the car is shut off.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we get a lot of complaints here about ticking noises. i don't recall any resolution, or further problem development.
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Nothing sounds good about this deal.
    Out of warranty, 12 model years old, accident with recognizable accident repair. (Good repair shouldn't be so easily noticeable).
    Does it have a salvaged title? Because that's the only thing I think you could add that would possibly make it worse.

    Every instinct in my being say's NO...

    Which is why I'm going to recommend you do it!
    YES! Buy it!
    Tick, tick tick BOOM! Do it!

    You said you were about to buy a 2004 Prius....
    Which makes me think I can't talk you out of it. You've already got the checkbook open and the pen poised.
    Oddly enough the ticking noise might be the least of my concerns.
    The history of accident, and the obvious somewhat shoddy repair would be bigger red flags to me.

    But eh...who cares! Red Flag be damned! I say fork over $4500 and get the thrill of "not being sure and not knowing". The thrill of riding the edge between tick and boom is alluring. People pay for that type of adrenaline rush.
     
  10. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    If 4500$ is your nut, look for a corolla, might find a fairly new one, close to the same mpg's, not a time bomb, not in an accident, doors close, good for 500,000 miles.
     
  11. johnnyb588

    johnnyb588 Member

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    Solid advice from everyone else already. Don't buy this car. There are better cars to be had for a comparable price.
     
  12. 2aaronmichael

    2aaronmichael Junior Member

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    This is the noise by the way >
    (Seems to be the brake actuator? They go for $200 on eBay, plus what it would be for labor) Thank you everybody for your good instinct. I will be back on here with the Prius I do end up getting and here to help those in need just as you have helped me.
     
  13. johnnyb588

    johnnyb588 Member

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    That sound is perfectly normal under braking. If you are not braking, the actuator should not cycle often (or at all?), as pressure in the lines should be stable. My 2007 had its actuator fail. It would cycle once every few seconds by the time it actually threw a code. My 2005 cycles once every 30 seconds or so, and IIRC it would only cycle every couple of minutes when I first got it 20k miles ago. I expect that one will fail soon as well.

    If that's the only problem with the car, it wouldn't scare me off. I bought my 2007 knowing its actuator was on its last leg because the price for the car was right. All in all, if you get the actuator for 200, you can have the repair done for around 500 total. It's not a HUGE expense, IMO.
     
  14. 2aaronmichael

    2aaronmichael Junior Member

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    The sound happens when I am driving the car even without braking and it happens when it's turned off...anticipating a $500 job after I first buy the car is something I am not comfortable with. It is good to know if this noise is normal or not so I know I'm not letting go of otherwise good deals on Prii.
     
  15. 2aaronmichael

    2aaronmichael Junior Member

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    So I ended up buying a 2005 with 144,000 miles for $3400 out the door. This car also had the ticking sound (although not as loud) and I had a mechanic check it out before I bought it. It was, in fact, the ABS pump. This repair was a major negotiating point. So I bought a used ABS pump for $175 on eBay and was going to have it installed for a quoted $160 (very cheap) installation. The mechanic called me and said the ABS pump was actually recalled on this car. What's weird is I checked the recalls online and this problem isn't listed... regardless, check with Toyota about the ABS pump recall if you feel it is necessary and you should get a new pump and installation free by Toyota.
     
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