Considering buying a 2012 Prius V with a few problems... Please help!

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Kaptainkid1, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    I'm considering a 2012 Prius V and it's been sitting for the last year because of Covid and a new car putting this Prius in the Garage for over the last 12 months. It also has a few other problems and I need 3rd Gen experts advice.
    1st of all the rear back Leather seats were damaged due to dog bites. I might need replacement seats.
    Are 2010-2015 Prius Hatchback have the same rear seats as the 2012 Prius V seat? Am I suck looking only for 2011-2015 Prius V seats only?
    Possible looking for replacement and want to broaden my search. Also do they have only the rear leather cover for sale?
    2nd Since the Prius V sat for a year and has 115,000 miles. How can I check the condition of the Prius V hybrid battery condition?
    Is Dr Prius a good app to check the hybrid battery condition?
    I know sitting Prius is the worst thing you can do to the hybrid battery. Will this lack of driving become a hybrid battery failure in the near future if it isn't failing now.
    3rd The rear bumper is damaged and needs a new cover. Do I have to buy Prius V rear bumper cover only. Hatchback isn't the same bumper right?
    4th What's the deal with headgasket leaks?
    Is that problem generally after 150k of city driving in stop and go traffic. For me it's going to be city car with typical short 10 miles and under daily driving.
    5th Inverter pump can go out... What are the signs? When typically? I can change it myself. Did it to my 2nd Gen Prius. I got an CEL and error code and I'm guessing the same with 3rd Gen.
    6th Cleaning the EGR pipe should it be done every 100k? Is that something I should do right away?


    This a California car 1 owner no accidents, clean title and is Prius V leather with Navigation. Tons of tiny parking dings and bumper cracks. Original catalytic converter.
    Will install catalytic converter shield day one.
    How much should I pay? I'm thinking of offering $5k since its a family friend and all the potential problems of hybrid battery and damages to leather and bumpers.

    Any help would be awesome..

    Thanks,
    Possible Prius V owner.

    Android ?
     
    #1 Kaptainkid1, Jul 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The Prius v parts are unique to a v. Sometimes ebay has the seat covers as do salvage yards. LKQ is a good nationwide yard. The 12v battery is probably dead, there is no telling on the hv battery other than driving it. Check for oil consumption, brake booster and inverter problems, all chronic issues on gen3s and each more expensive than a hv battery.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would start with the kbb price and subtract 50% of the cost of a new battery and engine, the rest is cosmetic
     
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  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    That would be next to free at a time when used cars of this age might be getting a $4k-5k premium due to the new car shortages. His going in price of $5k is already well below kbb. In my mind its a buy or no buy decision. On an early gen3, buying is an unprecedented gamble considering it came from Toyota. Most thumbs down cars have one killer concern, here we have three or four.
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. that is sort of implied in my post
     
  6. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    It's a running and driving car. It seems to drive fine and currently doesn't have any issues except for body dings and chewed up leather seats. Going to see it today. Will have photos and more details once I go over the whole Prius.

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    [/QUOTE]
     
  7. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    It's a running and driving Prius V. This car currently doesn't have any issues except for a torn leather rear seat and dings around the car paint.
    I currently have a 2009 Prius and she has a ton of maintenance and mods done and is running good at 190k.
    According to my research many owners on Priuschat have stated 2nd Gens are more reliable over the 3rd Gen Prius.
    I also read stay away from the 2010 Prius entirely. They claim it has the most headaches.
    My issue is 2012 Prius V worth the possible headaches?
    Are the common problems really with the 3rd Gen going to happen?
    Such as headgasket failure? Is this problem not if but when?
    As for the hybrid battery I'm in the same boat with my current Prius it's a matter of time.
    I do not want to upgrade only to find out I have to do a headgasket in 50k or less. On top of the regular maintenance and fixing up the cosmetic.
    I know egr cleaning is a must at 100k. No EGR on 2nd Gen Prius.
    Also the oil burning problem is an issue which I have on my Prius as of now. So these inconvenience are typical of both Gens..

    Are you still stating I should minus 50% for the engine and hybrid battery in my offer? Even though those problems are not currently an issue?

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    #7 Kaptainkid1, Jul 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
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  8. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    No......unless your a mechanic.....................and have hybrid experience.
     
  9. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    I've own a 2009 Prius and have done backyard mechanics /YouTube mechanic.
    Here are my experience: 2002 Nissan Pathfinder Automatic Transmission changed 3 times, 2005 CX-7 timing chain change, typical oil; tranny; gear box; differential oil; oil changes, brakes disc and drums. Worked on carburetor rebuild for Honda cb750, 1975 Nova 350 block. Changed shocks and springs. Etc. Anything without pulling an engine out. I would say I'm a good youtube mechanic with a few tools. Owning the 2009 Prius for 3 years know and i have techstream to check on hybrid life. I think I can rebuild a hybrid battery with dead cells once the pack starts to die and pull codes.
    Anything that specific about the 3rd Gen Prius I should know? My biggest concern is headgasket leaks and coolant gets in the block and bens a piston rod or blows an engine block.

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    #9 Kaptainkid1, Jul 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
  10. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    $1600 battery ready to go out at any time. Possible HG just out of the blue........

    I know first hand.....
     
  11. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    Here in California the hybrid battery is under state law must be 10 years or 150k extended warranty on all Hybrids.
    What is a HG?

    Android ?
     
  12. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    10 years is next year. HG Head Gasket..... If you want to be tortured buy it.........you'll see....
     
  13. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    You sound like a mechanic who works on cars. Also you sounds like you have 1st hand experience with 3rd Gen Prius and their big problems. This is the info I need to talk me out of a stupid decision.

    Android ?
     
  14. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I say buy it. You know you want it. You are not looking for advice. You could get lucky. Or you could be out another $5k a year from now with a couple of stranding events.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    none of that is quantifiable. we see a lot of clogged egr's and oil burning, a lot of blown head gaskets, but we don't know the percentage of total.
    a battery that sat for a year will have a shorter lifespan. cannot tell you how long.

    extended brake actuator warranty runs out next year.

    no one can tell you what will happen with this particular car, just letting you know the risks involved. you have to decide the best way to mitigate them.

    2010 is simply the oldest gen3, somore are having problems. unlikely that newer ones will fair any better until the 2015 which got newly designed pistons and rings
     
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  16. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    Would the seller let you do some disassembly? Taking off the tube that goes between the EGR and the intake manifold, would take an hour or two at most. An inspection of the inside of that tube would give you a clue about how plugged up the EGR system is. If you can't see light through it... walk away.

    Even better would be to pull the intake manifold to take a look. I'll let others comment on how thick the sludge would have to be to give the thumbs down on the engine. You should get a new gasket to put it back together. The dealer price is under $20 for that. Fel-pro sells a set that includes the gasket for the EGR tube as well for about the same price.

    As you may or may not know, the head gasket blows when too much oil gunk plugs up the EGR system. This causes the ignition temperatures inside the cylinders to get too high, and the head gasket goes. A failed PCV valve or the notorious rings can lead to oil consumption that will accelerate the gunk. This is made worse if the owner changed the oil every 10k (the Toyota recommended interval), instead of the well accepted 5K that is recommended by experienced Gen3 owners.

    Your job is to figure out it the engine is consuming oil. Look for any evidence you can find. My 2013 is not consuming a drop at 95K of hard Uber driving. It seems I misread the owners manual, and have been changing the oil every 5K since I bought the car at 22K miles. With 115k, you might get lucky.

    If you do buy the car, you should plan on doing the whole EGR system: EGR Cooler + EGR + EGR tube + Intake manifold pretty soon. The car probably has the original plugs, and they are due for replacement. To get to the spark plugs, you have to remover the whole tray that holds the windshield wipers (takes an hour, the first time you do it). So with that tray removed, you now have an excuse to clean the EGR cooler. If you have a nice climate controlled garage, it is possible to do in a long weekend.

    As for the back seat, the Prius V interior is identical from 2012 to 2017. I have both a 2013 two and a 2017 four, and I am pretty sure the seats could be swapped. I actually prefer the cloth seats in my "two" to the faux leather seats in the "four", but the faux leather is easier to clean.

    As for the bumper cover, there are body shops on eBay that will sell them painted to your paint code for about $350 + shipping. Shipping is by truck, and is not cheap. You can't ship a bumper by UPS. I replaced my front on my 2013 last June. I was able to save a bundle on shipping because the seller was only 70 miles away in North Jersey. The match for Barcelona Red was absolutely amazing, and it was 1/3 the price of what the body shop in my neighborhood wanted. Took only a few hours to swap.

    If you can get it for $5K, and you feel confident the car isn't an oil hog, I'd say you have a pretty good deal given the current used car market. Even assuming the Hybrid battery goes, you would have a deal.
     
    #16 gromittoo, Jul 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2021
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  17. Kaptainkid1

    Kaptainkid1 Active Member

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    I saw it today and I noticed the Hybrid Battery was working fine. No issues on charging and discharging as I was driving. I did noticed the oil was down 1.5 quarts after 4000 miles from last oil change. I confirmed the Prius is burning oil for sure but how much I'm guessing 1.5 qt for 4000 mile.
    The owner has explained the Prius has been dealership maintained it whole life. It has not have its 100k service but she drove the car over the last year and it did not sit for a whole covid year. That's good news.
    Here are some photos: 20210708_214348.jpg 20210708_214212.jpg 20210708_161230.jpg 20210708_214137.jpg 20210708_161247.jpg 20210708_161138.jpg 20210708_161117.jpg 20210708_155759.jpg

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  18. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    Looks a lot cleaner than I expected. You can certainly live with the seat and bumper for a while. Couldn't get a look at the tires, but that is chump change compared to the engine. That is hopeful news about the battery. I recall that you know these people, so you feel you can trust what they say(?).

    I noticed that the doors have moldings on them. I think they are aftermarket. I bought the ones in the Prius store on this website for my 2013, and they came painted to match. My Uber passengers are not always that careful, so it was a worthwhile investment. Shows that the current owners intended to take care of the car.

    I also noticed that the headlights are nice and clear for the age of the vehicle. Which trim is this: three (Halogen headlights) or five (LED Headlights). I suspect it is a five, since those look like 17 inch rims. 17 inch rims (only on the five) was a no-go for my Uber driving in pothole filled Philly.

    The oil consumption is unfortunate, and I would blame it on the dealer following the 10k Oil change schedule. To me the oil consumption definitely requires attention, but it is not so bad (yet) to be a deal killer for me, if I got the right price. You could get really lucky, and changing the PCV valve (a $5 part) could fix the consumption for now. Or you could be pouring Marvel Mystery Oil through the spark plug holes down the road. I think I even heard of someone who transplanted a Gen4 engine into a Gen3. I would love to connect a Techstream laptop to get the value of the "EGR FLOW INSUFFICIENCY", or a look at that EGR pipe.

    It is obviously your call to buy it or not. This car definitely will need work to keep it running. If you do wind up with the car, you will have friends to talk to here in the forums.
     
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