Fix or Sell??

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jcslice, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. jcslice

    jcslice New Member

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    I am at a point at which I am not sure whether to sink more money into my 2008 Prius or sell it and buy another. Advice needed!

    Last week, my check engine light came on, took it to Auto Zone to have the code read (P0420 - catalytic converter), and then brought to my mechanic who I trust. Mechanic said 2 sensors needed replacing ($800) and we could try that first to see if that did the trick before replacing catalytic converter. It worked for a few days (a little over 100 miles) and then the dreaded check engine light came on again. Cat conv will be approx $1100 to replace with OEM parts. I also need to have my front bumper replaced (husband hit an orange construction barrel that was in the middle of the interstate) and was going to do that out of pocket instead of through insurance so my rates don't go up again (probably another $1,000- my deductible is $750).

    So do I continue down this path and fix the cat converter and bumper or do I cut my losses and buy another? I'm not really in a position financially to buy a new car but I could make it work if I had to. We have a baby on the way in October and I want to make sure we have a safe and sound car to drive her around in. I have 186k miles on this Prius and have not had to do much to it except routine maintenance and new shocks/struts 2 years ago.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well this mechanic that you trust that charged you $800 for 2 oxygen sensors.....you might want to not trust him so much. It took him maybe 15 minutes to remove and install the 2 sensors. Those sensors online cost maybe $100 each on the average......so you have to decide how trustworthy this person is.

    The p0420 is almost always a catalytic converter problem. You can buy the part on Amazon for $100 and have a muffler place weld it on. That would be all that's needed to fix your problem. Here's what you want to buy on Amazon. It's the Catalytic converter that's closest to the engine that needs to be replaced......there's 2 of them.

    Magnaflow 99205HM Universal Catalytic Converter
     
  3. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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    I just bought an '07 with 185K on it, so I wouldn't think about walking away... :)

    Anyway, you need a new mechanic. First step is to replace the aft sensor for about $100 installed and monitor its behavior. If it mellows out, good. If not, 99% chance you need a new cat. He overcharged the crap out of you because he thinks you're a sucker.

    A bolt-on Magnaflow 23007 is only $300.
     
  4. Kenrico

    Kenrico Member

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    I think the cat is easier to replace than both the o2 sensors

    Kenny
     
  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I have to agree.
    I would have "reservations" about a mechanic that charged me $800 for sensor replacement.
     
    djasonw likes this.
  6. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Senior Member

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    Welcome to PriusChat! I wouldn't take it personally; unfortunately this is not atypical. Knowledge is a good thing, so asking questions and getting information is the way to go. You still need to find someone to do the work (unless you learn to do it yourself) so an informed conversation with your mechanic is a place to start.
     
  7. kammssss

    kammssss Member

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    This MagnaFlow unit requires no cutting or welding? That sounds terrific if that is the case. Thanks.
     
  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    California requires carb compliant cats, which only the dealer sells.

    Other states can use the aftermarket stuff

    I personally don't like aftermarket bolt on exhaust hardware, they rust much faster than oem
     
  9. NotScott

    NotScott New Member

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    If you place a nice ad on craigslist as a "for sale or trade", someone will probably trade you a nice 350z or maybe a firebird and you can give your money to the gas station instead of a crooked mechanic.
     
  10. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    2008 and 186K.

    Well, baring the post about just buying a high mileage car above I would have sold before starting these repairs.

    Many are saying your mechanic is over changing you.
    I don't know you area labor rate or the Toyota list price for the sensors...so gather that info..maybe he is not overcharging. My area labor hourly rate is $150 sometimes even more.

    So based on the comments "I can't really afford a new car", watching insurance costs, make my opinion/ vote to repair.

    2008 means some warranties until 2018....maybe look at the other threads with high mileage Prius' and check your warranty book.
    Bumper; forget about the repair as long as all the lights are functioning and aimed.
    Cat Convertor, you could install an aftermarket and still pass smog testing (brand will not be checked during testing... only exhaust output and OBD checked), yet OEM always fits well and should have a long life. Risk of aftermarket failure and re-install labors within 2 years is possible additional cost.
    Tires and brakes OK?
    Seems to me $2000 of repairs is less than one year car payments, new DMV rate and new insurance rates.

    So just some rambling comments from me.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
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