Considering 2008 Prius with rust spots on rocker panel

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Ser Dirtnap, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Ser Dirtnap

    Ser Dirtnap New Member

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    newbie here. I am on the verge of buying a 2008 Prius with 130k miles, $4500 asking price. The car looks good, clean Carfax report, but it has a couple of rust spots on one rocker panel. This is making me a little nervous -- I haven't had a car with rust issues before, and I am not sure how much it would cost to repair or replace this. Other than this, it looks like the car was diligently maintained. Given that this isn't a whole lot of info to go on, would you consider it a dealbreaker? The price seems decent, so I'm willing to put in some money for refurbishing, but not if this is going to be a major problem. (I live in an area with tons of road salt in winter, but am going to be moving to the southwest next year.) Thank you for any advice!

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    #1 Ser Dirtnap, Dec 4, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  2. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    It should make you more than a little nervous. Rust is car cancer and you will never get rid of it.

    One word -- AVOID.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's the worst i have ever seen. i would at least have it inspected by a good body shop before making a decision.
     
  4. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    130,000 miles is just about the mark I had to put a new brake actuator and front wheel bearings on our 2008 Prius.

    They are nice cars and very economical to operate but I would make sure I was prepared for what could go wrong with a 12 year old car at this mileage.

    Potential problem areas- 3 way coolant valve-brake actuator- wheel bearings- Hybrid battery- 12v battery.

    Considering the rust showing on the rockers changing out wheel bearing on this vehicle if they have never been changed before is going to be a potential nightmare separating the knuckle from the bearing hub assembly.
     
    #4 John321, Dec 5, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    If rocker panels rotted the front suspension is probably really bad.

    looking for a used car in Wisconsin first thing I’m going to do is get on the ground and look under the front and back of the car.
    Closely.
    People seem to get attached to a G2 there very reliably and most people don’t even open the hood ever especially if there taking the car to the dealer for an oil change. Which sure doesn’t help.
     
  6. jessiejosco

    jessiejosco Member

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    That's a pretty common sight on Gen 2s in my area and nowhere near the worst I have seen. It happened to our 2005 and we had it fixed for about 200 dollars to pass safety inspection. At least around here it is not an indication of a totally rusted out car. The rest of our car is original and still in good shape. All of the original suspension components are not rusted out, and wheel bearings are not impossible to change.

    They patched the perforated areas on our rockers with metal and hid the seams with a textured rocker guard and white paint that did not quite match the car(most cars around here with the repair just have the rockers painted black). Even though it is only a bodge repair you would only notice it if you were looking for it, and I am pretty confident it will outlast the car. Battery failure will be the end for this car, but who knows when that will happen. 280000 km and almost 16 years old so could be any day I suppose. The batteries seem to do better in cold climates at least.

    You should definitely look at the underside of it on a hoist before you buy it. The other problem areas that are common around here are behind the mud-flaps on the front fenders, the fuel tank straps, and the rear axle. The rear end will likely rusty from the inside out if rear seam leaks have not been fixed. The rest of the car seems to hold up very well against corrosion.
    We keep ours undercoated to slow the rust progression. Our 2008 does not have any of these problems because we had it thoroughly undercoated when it was almost new. We got the 2005 used, so it was a little later getting undercoated.
     
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