Divorce Vehicle - Need Tips

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Hybrid Hobo, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    No concern. You don't even have to worry about driving the car to recharge as the engine will automatically start during the night and recharge the battery.

    You don't want to use an inverter as they are inefficient. Here's a review from a guy who lives in his Prius for three-months every year. He recommends the Engel brand and has a whole section on how to hook it up. The key if you go the electric refrigerator route is to get one that is efficient.

    Brent's Travels: My Compressor Fridge Review - Engel Model: MT17F-U1

    Personally, I don't want to devote that much space/electricity to refrigeration. I prefer a cooler that fits on the floor behind the driver's seat, but that involves trips to the store for ice every few days.

    13.2 Qt Slim Cooler™ | Rubbermaid
     
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  2. Hybrid Hobo

    Hybrid Hobo Junior Member

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    Thanks, Johnny! To be clear, refrigeration is a luxury I'll do without in the beginning. But after a few months, having a place to keep things cold, perishables stored, etc. will be high on my list.

    If I can get by without using an invertor, all the better, as it will be one less thing to worry about. But if having one means the difference between refrigeration and not, I may have to go the invertor route.
     
  3. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    The Engel refrigerator does not require an inverter -- it is 12v.

    Great idea to get started and see how much you use/want/need refrigeration. With my cooler, sometimes I decide that I don't need cold stuff for a few days and just don't stock it with ice for that period of time.
     
  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    On the subject of oil....
    Do not confuse oil change interval with oil CHECK interval....especially in an elderly vehicle.

    Any Prius in your price range will very likely not include a factory owner's manual, which virtually nobody reads anyway.
    Fortunately, this is one of the few things that the mother ship does not over charge for...
    Toyota Online Owners Manuals and Warranty.
    Anyway....the owner's manual stresses that you should check your oil every 1,000 miles or monthly...also done by virtually NOBODY, which is why Priuses are starting to develop a reputation for being oil burners.

    If I were living the hobo life in a Prius, I'd SWAG about a 500 mile tank range....because (a) I like easy math and (b) Priuses that are pressed into housing duty spend a lot more time at idle that they do lugging their owners down the highway at 80MPH.
    Check the oil LEVEL every fill up at first, and if you're confident that you're not leaking or burning excessive amounts....you can relax the oil CHECK interval to every other tank.

    OK....so oil change interval is also pretty easy as excellently pointed out by Mr McCoalroller above.
    Tank = 500 miles.
    10 tanks = 5000 miles...which is when I change my oil.
    If your factory manual says 10,000 miles between oil changes.....this isn't going to be a problem for you because........................(wait for it!!!).......UNLIKE virtually every other car owner in 2018, you regularly check your oil level. (because you HAVE to!)

    One last thing about oil for this post.
    Do NOT PRESUME that the dealer is the place that you want your oil changed....because it is NOT.
    You mentioned already having a mechanic IIRC but if the hobo life takes you out of his or her service arc, then the Jiffy places are OK for your purposes in a pinch because.......................(wait for it!!!).......UNLIKE virtually every other car owner in 2018, you regularly check your oil level. (because you HAVE to!)

    Do not get wrapped around the axle on the whole oil thing because it is not that critical in the real world.
    It's like the difference between nursery water....Whole Foods Gucci brand Scandinavian Glacier melt water in a glass container....bottled water from Sam's Club....or the city water that comes out of a fountain at Planet Fitness....

    In the end?
    If you get thirsty enough?
    It's just water.

    When you go back to getting bi-weekly paychecks with a comma in them, and sleeping indoors, then you can go back to over spending on the Whole Foods Gucci branded Scandinavian Glacier melt water in a glass container.
     
  5. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    What year, mileage? Keep in mind that about every 3 years a new generation comes out and they are all slightly different. I would hit all types of sellers to get a clear idea of which model you want. Check for flat cargo space with front seats flat, my 2005 had that. The only real method is to go look at the car. Dealerships are useful because they have more cars. Let them know that you are buying. Bring a multimeter with you to check the 12V Battery. Ask dealers for things, mirror fixed, etc. A spare tire, Jack, tools. Investigate the trunk
    totally. Engine compartment should be spotless. Simple Green does wonders. Sometimes the dealers would just like to get rid of a car, at a excellent price. A good price, not necessarily a sound car. Ask questions that you already know the answer, just to check the seller. Ask for a compression check, probably a NO, but ask anyway. etc , etc
     
  6. Hybrid Hobo

    Hybrid Hobo Junior Member

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    Sorry, Andy, forgot to include the year. I'll edit my post now to include it. It's a 2005, and as mentioned above, about 230,000 miles on it. But the battery was replaced by Toyota at 160,000 miles.

    Seller claims it doesn't burn oil, and there are no other issues with it. Said he replaced the HID igniters, but I have no idea what that is.
     
  7. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    Spark Plugs ?

    You haven’t seen it yet?
     
    #167 Andyprius1, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2018 at 3:19 AM
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  8. Hybrid Hobo

    Hybrid Hobo Junior Member

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    Not in person, Andy. The vehicle is about 100 miles from me. Before I go to look at cars I'm trying to narrow down 3 or 4 of the best ones. I always try to get a feel for the car and the seller over the phone, via email and through photos first, to try and gauge whether it's a good deal or not, and then proceed from there.
     
  9. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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  10. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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    On second thought, buy the 2005 ASAP. Even if you resell it later, at worst you'll lose $100 or so. Decent quality cars at that price level go very, very quickly. There is very little chance you'll ever have the chance to investigate 3 or 4 cars and then decide - by the time you finish checking out the 4th one, the first three will already be sold.
     
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The optional HID headlights were problematic and expensive to repair so at least they've been fixed.
     
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  12. Hybrid Hobo

    Hybrid Hobo Junior Member

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    Thanks, Bobz! Funny, I've practically been living on CarGurus for the past few days, and saw that same listing. But two things concern me...

    1. If they're asking $3,200 for the car, that means they probably got it for $2,000 give or take. It's tough enough to find a quality vehicle for under $5,000, so a $2,000 car is REALLY pushing it in terms of potential issues. I'd rather buy a $3,200 car direct from a private seller and get $1,200 worth of extra value for my money.

    2. I don't go by ANY of the reviews on the actual buying sites like CarGurus, Auto Trader, etc., since the dealers are paying to advertise there, and the likelyhood of biased/sham reviews is very common and real. Rather, I like going to independent 3rd party sites like Yelp, Google reviews, etc., and getting the reviews from there. I find that the feedback/reviews are more legit most of the time. I'm sure that some funny business still goes on, but not as often as on the car buying sites directly. After I looked up Auto Spot I noticed a pattern of very harsh customer feedback, which made me wary. More of a gut call versus anything else.

    I have a lead on a nice Prius a member on here is trying to sell. I'll let you guys know what transpires.
     
  13. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    This car sounds very interesting. 1 year warranty means that the seller found someone else (himself or his local mechanic) to install the hybrid battery. If you spend the money to have the dealer install it, then the warranty would be for 3 years. Either way, the battery should last 10 years, which makes this a nice find.

    Call Toyota customer service and verify the install date and that it was a new OEM Toyota. Plug the vin # into Toyota's site and you can see what has been done at the Toyota dealer. Ask the owner if he has all maintenance records. I would accept a car with high miles with a new OEM hybrid battery over a lower mileage Prius at the age where a new battery will likely be needed soon.

    Don't read much into the car not being sold. There will be a lot of interest because it's unusual to find a Prius with a relatively new OEM battery being sold for less than the cost of the battery. For me, I need to see the carfax to see the accident report, how many owners, etc...
     
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  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Actually there was and still is some confusion at the dealer level going on relaying this information. Basically all factory parts come with a one year warranty whether sold over the counter or installed by the dealer. The HV battery is a rare exception and even finding that information on the web has been fruitless the few times I'v searched for it.
     
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  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    And it doesn't help that the warranty on this particular high-frequency replacement item has changed multiple times over the years and each time it changes it only counts from installs going forwards, not grandfathering in old installs.
     
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  16. Hybrid Hobo

    Hybrid Hobo Junior Member

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    I'd love to jump on it, but the fact that it's 100 miles away from me COUPLED with the very high mileage has me a bit gun-shy. The only good thing about the vehicle (which is why I even considered it) is that the battery was replaced by Toyota. Very tough call.

    It's a pretty tempting deal, but I also don't want to buy on emotion alone, and might be smarter to see if something else pops up.
     
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Prior art:
    As a general rule of thumb, the last model year of a series is much better than the first because most of the early recalls were done in the factory:
    • 2003 - Gen-1 sedan style Prius, 1.5L
    • 2008-09 - Gen-2 hatch Prius, 1.5L
    • 2014-15 - Gen-3 hatch Prius, 1.8L
    Discontinued models tend to have softer prices and the Prius V taxi I once took is a nice ride with a lot of interior space. Have you considered some of the smaller trailers?

    Bob Wilson
     
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  18. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    I've been in the market (not urgently, more of a hobby for a 2nd car) for an older 2nd gen. Either one with a dead or dying battery and dirt cheap. Or one with a new battery and hopefully relatively cheap. On the surface, this one seems to have a replacement OEM battery and is very cheap.

    Here is the kbb book value for it, in southern California (a CARB state). For good condition, the fair market price is around $3.2k- of course we don't know the condition so it's a guess. Don't buy on emotion, but don't expect these to come around very often.
     
    #178 MelonPrius, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  19. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What's your idea of cheap and relatively cheap?
     
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  20. bobzchemist

    bobzchemist Active Member

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    I grew up in northern NJ - I'll ask friends/family if they know anyone they'd recommend. Does the Star-Ledger still do classifieds? That might be another place to look.
     
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