Gen 2 advice

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by JK919, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    I've been looking for a used Prius as a second car, price range up to $6000. Most of the cars I'm seeing are 120-160k mile gen2s and 2010 gen 3s. I read some threads on here about 2010s specifically having oil burning problems, so I'm leaning more toward the second generation. Other than documented regular oil changes, the CVT fluid, and the battery fan - anything else?

    I found a dealer in Greensboro NC selling some 2007 cars with relatively low mileage (110-120k) that I'm going to check out early next week. Any dealbreakers to watch out for?
     
  2. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Keep in mind the hybrid battery is a chemical device that will age independently of vehicle mileage. Its life will depend as much on number of charge cycles and storage temperature. There's no convenient meter for either of those on the car, so you'll be taking some chances on that. If you buy one, get as low a price as possible with the plan of spending possibly over $3000 on a hybrid battery if you choose to keep the car for a long time.
     
  3. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    Yeah I've also considered buying a $2000 roller with a dead battery and just paying to have it replaced.

    A few of the car dealers have mentioned swapping out the individual dead cells. Is that generally only a temporary fix?
     
  4. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Module swapping is a temporary and unpredictable band aid. Not a real fix.
     
  5. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    I found a $4000 2008 with 168k miles. Single owner with all maintenance records, garage kept. Might have to check this one out.

    What should I look for during a test drive?
     
    #5 JK919, Jun 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  6. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    First, remember that there is a high likelihood in the next 30K miles that you will need to spend several thousand dollars for a replacement battery pack.

    Buy an elm 327 Bluetooth OBDII reader and pair it with an android device that has Torque Pro app set up. This way you can look at data live to see current battery health.
     
  7. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    I'll definitely set money aside for the battery.

    Is Torque Pro available for ios? Maybe I'll just swing by the dealer and let them do a pre sale check.
     
  8. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    As far as determining HV battery health, the best you could do on a short test drive is to watch the battery meter on the center screen. If you see it quickly fluctuate from 6-7 bars down to 2 bars, and back up again, that's a sign that the battery may be weakening. Do keep in mind that a cold start and the AC being on will likely cause the battery charge to quickly go down on a battery of that age. That part would be fairly normal. Watch it more as the car is already warmed up and driving through the city. When driving on the highway the battery should stay fairly stable.

    These cars are extremely reliable cars, and I don't hesitate to recommend them with the caveat of the HV battery replacement looming. Sounds like you plan to keep the money for that aside, which is a smart plan. The only other expensive thing I can think of for you to watch out for is to listen for the Brake pump/actuator. It is normal to hear it buzz when you are using the brakes quite a bit in stop and go traffic. But if you hear it buzzing when you are not on the brakes that could be a sign of that going bad. Though Toyota has extended the warranty on that part.
     
  9. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    No, but Engine Link will import Torque Pro PID files. It's in the iTunes Store. It will need a WiFi ELM 327 scanner adapter. Here's a thread about it. Engine Link for iPhone | PriusChat
    The icon in the store looks like this:
    Screen Shot 2017-06-24 at 10.02.08 AM.png
    I think, somewhere in there, is a link to the custom PIDs for the Gen II Prius. If not, let me know and I can post my file here, but it may not be the latest and greatest. It's kind of screwy to import the file via iTunes, but I figured it out. (I sure hope they fix iTunes one of these days!!)
     
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I think this is a bad idea because you have no way to know whether there exist any other issues besides a dead traction battery. It is certainly possible that many other problems could be present.

    Since you have to "pay to have it replaced" you could quickly run up large four-digit amounts with Toyota dealer service invoices.

    This sounds like a better possibility. Make the same checks as with any used car. Make sure everything works.

    See what is the indicated MPG on the multifunction display. Reset the MPG and see what the car logs on your test drive. That is a pretty good indicator of overall powertrain condition.
     
  11. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    I ended up taking the $4k car to the dealer to get checked and they gave it a clean bill of health. Rear struts may be needed soon, but it seemed fine otherwise. Mpg was in the high 40s/low 50s with the right conditions. The only weird things were a bubbling/crinkling noise coming from the dash (I'm guessing the AC?) and a buzzing noise like a fan after I park (dealer said it was normal, but I forgot the reason since I was way too tired after work). Dealer said it was a good buy at $4000.
     
  12. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Gen 2s perhaps burn worse than gen 3s! But other than that I think if it is running properly with everything working you are looking at tires/oil changes for the next 2 years and nothing else....That's with either a gen 2 or gen 3.
     
  13. Scott56

    Scott56 Junior Member

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    My 07 has always had that same bubble/creak noise from the dash, I'm pretty sure that is normal. That car sounds like a great buy. Ask the owner how much oil it has burned, if burning too much it could be frying some piston rings. Get that pcv valve changed as soon as you buy it if you end up doing that.

    Also ask how often he changed the oil. If it was more than ever 5k I would be a little hesitant.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The dash noise probably is an HVAC servo motor which is starting to have a problem. There are three such motors to move the various air flow doors around. (Recirc vs. fresh air; dash vs. floor vs. defrost ducts; mix of heated vs. air-conditioned air.)

    Buzzing noise is the engine coolant heat recovery pump. It is normal for that pump to run upon startup and shutdown. It helps the engine to warm up more quickly.
     
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  15. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    Owner said there's no signs of oil burning as of yet, and the dealer check didn't mention it either. Should I get the PCV valve replaced anyways as a preventive measure? How much does that typically cost?

    Tires and brakes were essentially new according to the dealer, they said the battery seemed to be in good shape too (as best they could tell). I think I'll be picking it up Monday morning. Thanks guys!
     
  16. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    Yes I would replace the PCV valve as a maintenance item. I would also change the transmission fluid as well, using Toyota WS transmission fluid.

    Rear struts can be a bit pricey to pay someone else to do. I did it myself, it wasn't too bad of a job to do. It does require a bit of disassembly of the rear trim pieces and rear seat.

    Gen II's are very durable cars. They tend to burn oil as they age, but they do keep on ticking! There are many members here with over 300k. Simply amazing. Good luck!
     
  17. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well I would not believe everything the owner is telling you, I'm sure the car is burning some oil even though he's not aware of it. It's the nature of the car
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The dealer check is not going to reveal whether the engine is burning oil, unless the engine is in terrible shape and emitting blue smoke from the exhaust. Hopefully you would also note that yourself.

    I suggest you review the maintenance documentation first. If the iridium spark plugs have not been replaced yet, for example, that should be done and the PCV valve also replaced. The valve costs around $8, the issue is the labor involved to replace it. That labor effort will be relatively minor if the spark plugs are already being replaced at the same time.

    Yes, at 168K miles it is to be expected the engine is consuming some oil. The only question is how much. The OP needs to keep an eye on engine oil level until he establishes the consumption rate.
     
  19. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    I'll keep an eye on it then. I have a 3" stack of records to look through.
     
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  20. JK919

    JK919 Member

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    Btw I did a double take when you first posted in this thread, because the seller's last name is also Wong.
     
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