Bought a hacked prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by iipeacefrog, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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    I made an impatient snap decision to buy a 2004 prius without doing a full check on the car (took the "this is a good deal" bait) and now im on damage control. Long story short, I got the car home and a day later, check engine light is on with a myriad (8) different codes ranging from sensors to a bad cat. The odometer reads 130k, which means the cat should be covered (up to 150k in cali). Talk to dealer and find out that last dealership clocked the car at 230k miles. Multiple dealership check ins confirmed this was the actual mileage. So...odometer was rolled back. Apparently the vin also couldn't be pulled from the computer. I cleared the codes...(about three weeks ago). Car runs ok. Getting about 42mpg. Battery seems to charge and discharge very quickly (have seen it get in the red on normal drives). Car hiccups when engine is shutting off at stops...often times the car does not shut off at stops. Also the key fob doesnt work..I replaced the battery but no dice. Looked for the smart key shutoff switch under the steering column but there is no switch there. There is a hole but it looks like the assembly may have been removed? Is that possible? Does it sound like my battery system is no good?

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    With so many codes I question the condition of the 12 volt battery. As a starts to get weaker the confused computers can generate strange codes.
    The battery is located st the right side of the cargo area.
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Warranty in California is 10 years or 150k miles, this car would have been out of warranty since it's 13 years old.

    Not all prius cars have a smart key, the base model doesn't have that feature

    Problems on a 13 year old hybrid are to be expected, especially if it has over 230k miles. Hope it was Really good deal
     
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  4. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    A complete and accurate list of current stored codes will help us get a clearer understanding of what you're facing financially, but a few thoughts at this point:

    As you well know, the cat is a pain in the nice person in Cali as it is for me in New Yorkistan. Cat code P0420 almost always indicates the cat is indeed bad, and it also confirms you've got an oil burner. But if the engine hasn't been run too low on oil too often, it will run indefinitely so long as you keep it topped off. JC, do you have a reasonable Cali cat work-around dialed in?..

    The speedometer/mileage board (combination meter) goes bad in Gen 2 ('04-'09) Prius causing the entire display to go black and making it difficult to shut the car off. Toyota warrantied this for something like 7 years but the warranty ran out maybe 3 years ago. This makes for a solid chance your combo meter was replaced with a salvage unit and the mileage not corrected. It's not right but it's not unusual.. My point being, the mileage discrepancy may not be so malicious in intent.

    file:///C:/Users/Wynns/Downloads/T-SB-0172-09%20(1).pdf

    Honestly not sure what to make of the "VIN can't be pulled from the computer" issue.

    The hybrid battery cycling very quickly is a most definite sign of failure, as is failure to achieve hybrid mode (not shutting off the engine at stops signs). Is P0A80 among your codes? Is the battery fan running, sounding like a small vacuum cleaner on the passenger rear seat? There are several methods of repairing/replacing, ranging from very little cost up to full dealer retail. Level of success is directly related to cash output, of course...

    Does the key fob have a black or silver Toyota emblem on it's backside? Black is non-smart key, silver is SKS.

    As JC says, hopefully you bought on the cheap.
     
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  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    A cat work around would be buying an aftermarket cat for $100 and welding it on. But that's not exactly legal in California, although people do it.

    You can also buy one from a wreck, but they tend to be expensive and not guaranteed to be better than yours.

    2 biggest problems with high mileage hybrids, cat and hv battery. Both killers in California
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't you folks in cali have to sign for correct odo mileage when selling a car, or else confirm unknown?
     
  7. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Hopefully the OP doesn't have a transaxle code...
     
  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    They don't really care after 10 years. The value of the car remains the same after 10 years and 250000 miles. You can plug in 800000 miles on kbb.com and the value stays the same as 250000 miles. It's already at its lowest value. $3300 is the going rate for these cars......based on kbb.com
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    interesting. that may be the case here, i'm not sure.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Shouldn't it be getting harder to do this? :mad: The advent of digital odometers is making "rollback" trivial it seems.
     
  11. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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    Thanks for all the info! I got the car for $3k flat, should have seen the warning signs. Key has a black emblem, so non smart key, but it still has all the remote entry buttons on it. Here are the codes (been clear since 11/9 without returning).

    P0420-cat efficiency
    C0205-left wheel sensor
    C0200-right ft wh speed sensor
    B1421-solar sensor circuit pass side
    C2315-HV system

    Also...the reason i bought the car was because the seller claimed that the HV system was just replaced and he warrantied it for a year (I called him on this and he will not warranty...bastard). A mechanic confirmed that the HV system did look like it was replaced. Not sure if that was just a lie. Also, this vehicle had the instrument cluster replaced at a dealer around 180k and mileage was correctly reported as it was checked in to the dealer a few times after that.

    1. Wondering why the codes havent come back...could it be a fluke? This car was actually recently smogged (although apparently this guy i bought the car from is connected with a smog shop)
    2. I checked my 12v battery with the secret screen load test and it seems fine...what else could be wrong with the key fob? it should still be able to remote unlock even though its not the smart variant, right?

    3. Is it possible whatever shady stuff was done to this car is also suppressing engine codes?

    I'll listen for the vacuum/signs of bad battery and let you know what i find out.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If the codes haven't come back, then just don't worry about them. Keep an eye on the oil level, you might have a burner on your hands.

    Make sure your front tires are the same size and properly inflated.
     
  13. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Just sue the seller to get your money back. Rolling back an odometer is a criminal offense.
     
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  14. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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    Looked into it. Talked to the police who told me that if i have no way to directly prove it was him im just flat out of luck. I may try to take him to small claims if i can find him but im not even sure if he's a legal immigrant

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Putting the VIN into the Toyota owners site should show dealer service performed. There may be odometer readings ther that could be used as proof, especially if there are multiple over the current reading.

    Toyota Owners Official Web Site
     
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  16. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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    As much as i would love to i think its a dead end. This guy is a pro. It turns out that it wasn't even his name on the title. I don't even know his full name. At this point i have accepted that i got scammed but would like to salvage what i can and get the car up to shape.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  17. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I can imagine you didn't meet this guy at his house. Met at a gas station or similar place. He's selling on the car after rolling back the mileage with no attachment to his name.
     
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  18. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    So due to lack of interest, manpower, resources, this guy has a lucrative, ongoing source of illegal income.

    Funny thing: I'm starting to think this is one of the cornerstones of free enterprise.
     
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  20. iipeacefrog

    iipeacefrog New Member

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    Yeah. I may try to track him down. I found out the smog shop that he does work out of. I'm gonna threaten the shop with filing a BAR investigation and see if I can get any info. Meanwhile I'd just like to fix the car. Any idea what could be going on with the key fob not working?

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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