First Time Prius Buy Seeking Advice!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by CanadaGoose, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. CanadaGoose

    CanadaGoose New Member

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    Hello Priuschat!

    I'm a prospective convert to the world of Prius cars. I'm thinking of buy a 2008.

    From the pics, can you tell what trim level it is? It's a one owner, mechanic owned Canadian Prius with 200k km
    (120k miles) and is $5,500 CAD. Is this a good price?

    What specific things should I look out for that could be deal breakers? What are good signs?
     

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  2. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    In my area, that'd be an absolutely wonderful deal! Usually, it's good to have an OBD-II code reader, especially one that can read battery voltages and tell you with the Hybrid Assistant or Dr. Prius app how much life is left on the battery. Listen for strange noises when you pump the brakes. There usually should be a low rattling sound kind of like a rattlesnake. If it's loud or squeaky, that's the brake accumulator, which can be $1500-$2000USD. Also, make sure with the owner that the battery wasn't a refurbished one.

    On cars of this age, those are the primary expensive things to worry about. There are some other common problems, like the combination meter in the dashboard, but those are far less expensive.

    Regarding trim level, the best way to tell is whether you have a backup camera or not. If you do, it has the Special Edition Premium Package. If it also has navigation, that's the top trim.
    2G Prius (2004-2009) Standard and Optional Equipment (Some Countries) | PriusChat
     
    Tideland Prius likes this.
  3. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I currently have a 2007 Canadian model as a parts car. It has significant rust issues, many of which weren't all that noticeable until I started really disassembling the car. Looking at your driver seat mount in the photo, if that brown discoloration is rust, I'd be taking a very close look. Suspension, brake components and lines, engine mounts, just about anything in the engine compartment like pump mounts (inverter coolant, 3 way valve etc). Even the ABS pump/accumulator I removed from the car almost has holes rusted in it on the steel portions.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    sounds like an average price around here, if it's one owner with all service records.

    all the best!(y)
     
  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I think I'd also be highly concerned about rust with that many years in salt country.
     
  6. CanadaGoose

    CanadaGoose New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your fast and helpful responses!

    Went to have a look at it today. Looked under the hood and around the body for obvious rust. Didn't see anything in the engine compartment but there was some rust along the drivers side rear door along the bottom. Some rust spots here and there around the body, minor cosmetic stuff dime size or less. It was too snowy to go right under but I'll be sure to before I buy.

    I pumped the brakes and did hear the 'good' whirring rattlesnake like noise. The owner said there's about 80% battery left the last time he checked with a OBD2 sensor. He bought new from the dealer so it's not a refurbished battery. No reverse camera or Bluetooth. It does come with summer tires on rims.

    The bad thing was the on board fuel tracker said that it got 7.7L/100km (30mpg) for the last 50 miles!! That seems crazy bad for a Prius but I'm not well versed in what to expect. The owner said that he normally gets 5.5-6L/100km (38-42mpg). That's still less than I had hoped. How much effect does cold and using winter tires have on fuel economy?
     
  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Another thing that just came to mind is put a magnet on the hood. The OEM hoods were aluminum. If it's been in a fender bender that was bad enough to need hood replacement, they almost always install a steel one due to cost. I've found this on a few that I've looked at.
     
  8. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Sounds fairly promising overall. On the mileage issue, if it's very cold and snowy there, I would expect fairly low mileage over just 50 miles, somewhere in the 6-7L/100km range. 7.7 seems a little high, and 5.5-6 is still a bit high for long-term usage. I've never personally had to deal with a Prius that wasn't getting at least EPA-rated economy, so I'll look it up a bit here.

    Edit:
    Here are a couple posts that have covered the topic. Especially take a look at the second one.
    Fuel economy complaints/queries? Please copy, paste & answer these questions, esp. if you're new | PriusChat
    Why Don't I Get The EPA Mileage? | PriusChat
     
    #8 oldtechaa, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Seems ok. Others are selling for $6-7k but appear to be in better condition than this one.

    2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB - Mississauga

    2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB - Kitchener

    2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Fully Loaded |NO ACCIDENT| Excellent Condit - North York

    If it's a mechanic owned, I assume it's been well taken care of.

    The rattlesnake noise is normal - that's the brake accumulator pump working.

    7.7L/100km is pretty bad. When our 2005 Prius' hybrid battery was on its way out, we were getting 6.5L/100km. When the car was new, we were getting 4.5-5.2L/100km in the summer. My best tank was 3.9L/100km over 858km (refuelled 33.651 litres).

    It could be as bad as 6.0L/100km in the winter.

    You could invest in an engine block heater as well as block the grille to keep the heat in (once you own the car) to reduce the winter mileage hit.
     
    #9 Tideland Prius, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  10. ydpplqbd

    ydpplqbd Member

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    I just got back from Toronto area about a week and a half ago. I was up there about a week. First part of the trip was 29F(low) to 42F(high) (equivalent of -2C to 6C). During the first part of the trip, I got about 44 to 45 mpg (which is roughly equivalent to 5.2l/100km). However, during the end of my trip, temperatures fell to 14F(low) to 29F(high) (equivalent of -10C to -2C). During this second part of my trip (with significantly colder weather), the gas mileage dropped to about 42 mpg (equivalent to about 5.6l/100k). Additionally, during the cold part of the trip, I found that it took a long time for the motor to get above the EV set point (I believe it is 162F). Until motor coolant gets to the set point, EV travel is not available. If I was up in such cold temps on a regular basis, I would likely fashion a radiator blocker so that the Gen2 would reach the set point sooner.

    PS My MFD generally shows a mileage figure that is about eight to ten percent (8% to 10%) LOWER than actual mpg
     
    #10 ydpplqbd, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  11. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Welcome to PriusChat!!

    The mileage is a bit on the low side, be sure to run a carfax on it. And/or bring the VIN into a dealer and check up on the service history, and look for potential odometer shenanigans there as well. Trust, but verify (aka - pics or it didn't happen)

    The price in C$ could be inline with the local market. Best to shop around and take a few for a test drive (hard to do in the snow), after driving a few, you will know the right one for you.

    Colder weather causes a fairly dramatic decrease in fuel economy, but a normal of 38-42 doesn't sound right. HV battery issues?

    How many days has it been on the market, if it was a deal it would be gone by now. If you're not in a hurry, make the seller a low offer that you're comfortable with given that something could break down in the future. Then you wait for the next deal to come along.

    You're buying a used vehicle, please be prepared for a possible used vehicle breakdown. Some get lucky, and others not so much.
     
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