Bought a used 2015 gen 3 - anything to look out for?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by jbclamence, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. jbclamence

    jbclamence Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    I just bought a 2015 Gen 3 with around 50,000 miles from Carvana. It'll be delivered next week. It's my first time using an online service like this, so we'll see how it goes. Carvana has a 7 day return period and a 100 day warranty, so I've already got an appointment for my mechanic, who is a hybrid expert, to do a full inspection after it arrives.

    So, I wanted to ask two things:

    (1) Is there anything with Gen 3's that I should be especially on the lookout for?
    (2) Any recommendations for preventative maintenance? I'm already thinking about applying fluid film or similar for rust protection as I'm in MA, where the roads are covered in salt for almost half the year.

    I'm generally familiar with Prii as I currently have a 2005 Gen 2 with around 180,000 miles. I'm upgrading because the Gen 2 just coded P0A80 for the second time (replaced modules and rebalanced/reconditioned ~40,000 miles ago) and P3014, and block 4 has definitely failed (voltage difference of up to 2 V compared to other blocks, very fast discharging, etc). I was initially planning to buy the NewPriusBatteries kit and replace the battery blocks myself, but it needs all new struts and springs and will need brakes soon, and it has a lot of rust on the suspension and frame. To be honest, if it weren't for the rust and struts, I'd have done the battery and driven it until it died, as the engine is in great condition and I'd been getting 51 mpg until the battery failed.

    Thanks!
     
  2. KeinoDoggy

    KeinoDoggy Member

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    Curious, if you don’t mind me asking what did you pay for the 2015?
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    There have been oil consumption issues, but 2015 have better pistons and oil rings, less prone to oil consumption, hopefully. Sticking with 5k oil change interval and doing regular dipstick checks is prudent.

    Other third gen issues:

    1. one or both of the brake pumps/accumulator (fuzzy on exact names) are somewhat failure prone. Signs include odd sounds when applying brake, and increasingly frequent cycling of the pressurizing process (the whir you hear, often when first opening drivers door). Replacement is pricey and difficult. There are warranty extensions, not forever; dealerships should know, but can drop the ball.

    2. Inverter failure. There was a recall involving some years, was a software update. Warranty extension exists for this too, etcetera. I believe 2015 for sure would have update, from factory?

    3. Carbon clogging of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation system, including intake manifold. This seems to lead to head gasket failure, if let slide long enough. Should be cleaned by 100k miles (at the LATEST), then repeat every 50k miles, or sooner.

    4. Oil fouled intake, due to PCV design. Not sure how critical this is, but it looks like hell and triggers your “this can’t be good” reaction.

    5. Droopy back “bumper”. Our cross to bear.

    For 3 and 4, more info:

    Bad Flywheel | PriusChat
     
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    rust is the last thing to worry about. Read post #3 and then decide to run or sprint away from the car.
     
    #4 Grit, Jun 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I say, don’t get me started about rust, underbody suspension rust that is.

    1AF7D993-4225-4977-BAE7-D7E03687AD2C.jpeg
     
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  6. jbclamence

    jbclamence Junior Member

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    Thanks Mendel and Grit. Very helpful. I've been a longtime lurker on this site and have read threads from helpful threads from both of you, so thank you.

    The EGR cleaning looks a bit involved but I think I can handle it. Time permitting, I like to do my own regular maintenance (oil, fluids, pads, etc). I otherwise don't have much experience, but with a lot of patience, youtube videos, and the repair manual at hand, I was able to successfully replace the radiator, water pump, timing belt, plugs, and some exhaust-related things on the old Subaru.

    I just pulled the service history from Toyota and it has had the recall for ECU reprogramming related to inverter failure done. It should also qualify for the CARB extended warranty (originally sold in California and I'm buying in Massachusetts, another CARB state), so that would give me some peace of mind about many things other than the brake accumulator/actuator.

    We'll see what my mechanic says after he inspects it during the return period.

    Thanks again.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Geez, you sound like a mechanic; you’ll cakewalk through the EGR.
     
  8. jbclamence

    jbclamence Junior Member

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    Ha, hardly. I just had way more time than money and the car was so old and beat up that I figured I had nothing left to lose in experimenting on it. Learned a lot but it was a stressful couple of weeks! I prefer to let an expert do the hard stuff when I can.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I did the Exhaust Gas Recirculation , and I’m definitely a tenderfoot. I would suggest before doing anything else try removing the retaining nut on the cooler lower bracket. It’s a pain to get too, but can be removed (and chucked) without needing to take any thing else off. Just to get it done and out of the way.

    info:

    Bad Flywheel | PriusChat
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    :ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO:.

    You have more skills than you give yourself credit for;).

    You maintain a fleet of vehicles, some of which you don't own:).

    Even figured out how to take a pic of yourself while working on the backup camera:sneaky:.

    That was a good avatar pic(y).
     
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