considering a used prius

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by mentaluproar, May 18, 2009.

  1. mentaluproar

    mentaluproar New Member

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    I'm looking to replace my car this fall and am considering a used Prius. Could any of you tell me what to look for/avoid when shopping for a used Prius?
     
  2. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Hi new poster. If you poke around Prius Chat you will find some unhappy stories subsequent to the purchase of salvage-titled Prius. So don't look for that :)

    A thorough title search will help avoid such problems, but sometimes they can be concealed by the ethically challenged. There are also 'title-washing' threads here.

    There are different considerations for the different models (2001-2003 = NHW11; 2004-now = NHW20). How old were you thinking about going?
     
  3. mentaluproar

    mentaluproar New Member

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    Well this will be replacing a 1993 honda del sol. It's falling to pieces and while I could have it fixed, if I wreck it, I won't get anything from insurance to replace it, so it's better to replace it. Therefore, I'm looking at one of the hatchback models, mid to late 2000's preferred.

    I want something that won't be a money pit. If I could get it to play mp3 cds and browse them by folders (I have the discs sorted by artist) that would be better than trying to use my iPod in the car.

    I'd like something that can stand up to ohio winters without rusting like crazy. I put about 11,000 miles on my car a year, and I prefer this car to last me a long time. At the most, I'd get one with 50,000 miles, prefer it around 30,000 or lower.

    I've read about the MFD's prior to 2006 being unreliable and expensive to repair.
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Hippi Chick

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    Just look bought a 04 58K miles and mint, out the door for under 1oK, their are many out there, so just look :)
     
  5. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    OK, it seems you want the 3-4 year age. I wouldn't worry about rust too much but maybe salt-belt state owners have some experience with Prius rust?

    I understand that 2004-2005 could exhibit both MFD (you mentioned) and minor steering issues, along with water sealing the hood. None of that would strike me as show-stopper, but if you draw the line at 2006, the issues (should have been) seen to.

    I wonder if there is a Prius Chat thread on year by year Prius issues since 2004?
     
  6. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    Funny I just read a Kiplinger's article today on the best used cars to buy. They did not recommend used hybrids, saying they were overpriced and you might have to replace the battery in a few years--a big expense. They said a used Prius, for example, is priced only a few thousand below a new one, and you're better off buying a new one, if you can get a good price.

    Their choices for best used car values included Lexus 430, Honda Civic EX, Toyota RAV4 and Infiniti E35? My choice would be the Honda Civic EX. Civics last forever and average 30 mpg.
     
  7. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    I respectfully call "bullsh!t" on all claims that an "old" traction battery needs to be replaced "soon". In NJ it is warranted for 10 years/150,000 miles. Taxis have logged twice that mileage without a failure. The only batteries that I've heard replaced outside of warranty were due to abuse. Insist on driving the car when it is out of gas until it won't move another inch will guarantee an expensive trip to the dealer on your dime.
     
  8. orracle

    orracle Whaddaya mean "senior" member?

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    Make sure you get a Carfax report (or equivalent) and otherwise, just due diligence that you would do on any preowned car.

    I bought my '05 used in '06 and it has been a joy to drive. I live in IL (rust belt) and no issues with rust. I replaced my tires at 60,000 and just have done general maintenance. Go for it.
     
  9. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Ditto the advice about running far, far away from salvages. A $5,000 car can rapidly become a $10,000 car and/or a permanent hobby car.

    True, '04 and '05 had certain problems. I do not know of a comprehensive list of all the TSBs that Toyota would have paid for during the car's warranty period; some of these were "upon customer complaint" only, so if it didn't happen to break it would not have been replaced. But in any case pay a Prius technician (most of them are at Toyota dealers) to conduct a thorough inspection of any used Prius you are considering. If it passes that it's probably fine.

    At 11K miles per year your total cost of ownership would probably be less with a clean used Civic or Kia. But they're not as much fun :_>
     
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