Buying advice on low mileage 2012 Prius V Five with bad transmission

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Tommgb, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. Tommgb

    Tommgb Junior Member

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    There is a 2012 Prius V five company car with a bad transmission that I am interested in buying. It has low mileage, in the 60,000 range. Because of the bad transmission, I'm told it will go to auction because it's too expensive to fix. It's been sitting since August, 2021. The company driver (who drove this car for 5 years) told me that he couldn't engage the shifter. It was towed to a Toyota dealer where the diagnosis was a bad transmission. Other than the bad transmission, the car looks great and drove very well before the transmission issues. There was no smoke, smells or anything unusual like that. All maintenance was done on schedule at the company's own maintenance facilities. I've heard that using the wrong transmission fluid can cause problems. Is is possible the maintenance people didn't use the proper Toyota WS transmission fluid? I have no idea. What I'd like to know is what do you think a car like this in this condition is worth at auction? I've never been to a car auction. I'm thinking of replacing the transmission myself with a used one. I'd appreciate any advice from someone who's knowledgeable about this.
    Thanks very much, Tom
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Realize the transaxle includes two electric motor/generators and the differential. The v wagon is different than the standard hatchback so a used transaxle is harder to find. It is also an engine out job and includes dealing with the high voltages cables.

    It is rare the transaxle goes out, it is more common the inverter causes the inability to shift. This model also has known engine problems including oil consumption, head gasket failures, egr issues etc. While I might trust the Toyota diagnosis if it was my car and I took it in, I am not sure I would trust a third parties explanation, especially when buying from an auction where you have no recourse.

    The "normal" concern on a ten year old hybrid is if it needs a hybrid battery. The model also has known brake booster issues. Both are about $2,500 repairs.

    I would go in assuming it needs an engine, inverter and transaxle. If you bought it and it needed less you might be good.
     
    #2 rjparker, Mar 11, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if you can change a transaxle, this would be a great car for you at the right price. start by locating a salvage one so you know they are available.
    i would assume the auction price will be the black book wholesale value minus the cost of tranny replacement, which you could get from a dealer.

    these are perfect cars for very serious diy'ers. that means tech stream diagnostic software, the online service manual by fee, and all the necessary tools.
     
  4. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    Probably going to need a new traction and 12 volt battery. Really bad stuff won't start happening until after 150,000 miles.
    Brakes $2500
    Inverter N/C
    Traction Battery $1600 do it yourself
    I would only purchase this if your going to drive it thousands of miles a month.....
     
  5. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    It would be nice to get the actual code that indicates that the Transmission is bad. It might be something else far less serious.

    I had a recent problem with the shifter stopped working (look for a thread started by me in October 2021). It was caused by the EGR and EVAP hoses popping off the Intake manifold by a backfire. The engine started running poorly because of the huge vacuum leak, and the computer shut the whole car down to save the Traction battery. Required the first tow to the dealer.

    My dealer farted are around with all sorts of unrelated things, and after it required a second tow, they decided to look up the code. The code (combined with the hoses blown off) was covered by a TSB from 2015. It would have been fixed for free if I had less than 80k miles and lived in a CARB state. The fix is a software update to prevent the backfire, and replacing the EVAP purge valve (which might have been damaged during the backfire). It took two tows to that dealer, and $900 to get it fixed right. I am not using that well known dealer anymore.
     
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  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    What he said. If there is any way to get the car's trouble codes, that will be a lot better than just relying on whatever the seller happens to think the problem is.
     
  7. Tommgb

    Tommgb Junior Member

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    Hi All,
    Thanks so much for the advice. You've all been very helpful.
    If I were to visit my local Toyota dealer, would they be able to look up this cars VIN number and tell me what the diagnosis was? Or, would I need to visit the dealer that did the actual diagnosis?
    Thanks in advance, Tom
     
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Need to call the dealer who did the diagnosis. Again, transaxle failure is rare. I have heard about it one or two times in 15 years and one of those was a guy that changes parts first and asks questions second. The Inverter failures (still covered by Toyota) and the vacuum leak issue above are much more common.

    Do you work for the "company" it came from? If so, what did they use the car for? Seems odd they would keep a company car for ten years. Is the car at the auction now?
     
  9. Tommgb

    Tommgb Junior Member

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    Thank you for the information and advice.
    This car was originally driven by an executive for the first 5 years. For the next 5 years it was used by one employee to make pickups and deliveries. I'd rather not say anything about this company right now. I'm a contract employee with this company. It's not at auction, but will be eventually, I'm told. I'll try and do some research to find out more about the specifics of this catastrophic problem.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can input the vin at 'toyota.com/owners' for dealer records
     
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