Gen 3 buying advice with $11k budget.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Jordan Norris, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Jordan Norris

    Jordan Norris New Member

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    Hello! I'm looking for advice on buying a used Prius Gen 3 in Southern California. Our current conundrum is balancing how many miles we're ok with vs how over budget we go. Our budget is $11,000 but we're open to adding a couple thousand if it's going to be a good investment. A couple of our options currently: (Our current situation and time frame has us basically only looking at dealers.)

    -2015 140k for $10,000 out the door.

    -2014 127k for $8000 listed (but not so reputable dealer and haven't checked it out yet)

    -2014 85k for $13,700 out the door.

    -2014 61k for $13,000 listed (haven't checked this one out yet)

    -Wait a week to see if a better deal come up in the $10k-$12 range.

    We'd honestly love to take the 2015 but the 140,000 miles doesn't sit well in the gut with battery warranty about to run up at 150k... but of course I've read all kinds of stories about 300k + Priuses. Looking at all those numbers we're looking for any advice, thanks so much!
     
    #1 Jordan Norris, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2021
  2. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    Based on your location, I'd wait. I would want 3 years of warranty on the hybrid battery. So wait until a '14/'15 has low enough miles to last the full ten years. IMO, SoCal has the best selection of Prii, so better ones will hit the market soon. And don't neglect the original owner private party market, as it allows you to get the repair records and many times a lower price.
     
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  3. Samuel Williams Jr

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    Well oddly enough in the GEN 2 forum we are in discussions on the Gen 3's right now! So you might want to take a look??
    Will there be many Prius Gen 2 on the road in 10-15 years? | Page 2 | PriusChat

    And with an older Prius the state of health of the HV Battery Pack is always gonna be a question?? For that one there are two viable options as I see it. If your lucky you can have an independent Hybrid shop check the car out?? They can check the condition of the High Voltage Battery and most likely they will recommend cleaning the intake manifold and the Egr valve!

    Or skip the Gen 3 and look for a Gen 4 instead. :)
     
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  4. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    another gen 3 consideration is the egr circuit and potential blown head gasket around 100k.

    while the 14 got new rings and 15 got new pistons, people are still reporting egr clogging
     
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  6. Ginto

    Ginto Junior Member

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    I saw this one just after I purchased my 2015 last week... if the listing is accurate this seems like a nice car a bit over you range...
    2015 red Persona Series 24,000 miles Stellar Auto Inc (No affiliation to myself)

    not sure what this means.... but odo may be incorrect? DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR THIS CAR MUST BE SOLD AS TRUE MILES UNKNOWN.
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Ignore odometer, get the youngest one you can. The battery degrades a bit whether it is being used or not, so you are technically racing a clock that started running years ago.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I’d say 100k is as long as you’d want to stall, for taking on the cleaning. And just speculating: the head gaskets start failing a little further along, especially if the cleaning’s not done, around 150k.

    I’m guilty of starting this, to correct: likely BOTH pistons and rings were revised at same time, somewhere in model year 2014.
     
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  9. LizNewToPrius

    LizNewToPrius New Member

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    Hi Everyone - I'm also looking at 2014/2015s in Socal. I found this one with about 100K miles on it and they had the gaskets replaced last year (May 2020) does this suggest the owner was already experiencing some oil leakage? 2 cents appreciated
     

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  10. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    This is simply a receipt for an oil change. And using (burning) oil is not the same as leaking oil...but neither has anything to do with an oil change which is routine maintenance.
     
  11. LizNewToPrius

    LizNewToPrius New Member

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    Got it, I saw gaskets replaced and remembered what I had read about head gaskets failing on gen 3.
     
  12. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    $59.95? Just an oil change and fluids were topped off, IMO.
     
  13. LizNewToPrius

    LizNewToPrius New Member

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    But then why does it list "gasket" and "non-chlorine break cleaner" if it was just an oil change? That's what I'm wondering about. I'm used to my mechanic listing things out in plain English so this Toyota service record is a bit of a change for me.
     
  14. Samuel Williams Jr

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    Yeah $59.00 bucks, is most definitely not a "Head Gasket!"

    Most likely that was the gasket for the oil filter??? I've never changed one in anything I've driven and certainly not in out 2005 but it may have been changed?? But just overkill for the most part, still it does not hurt.

    If your gonna get one, it would be really, really good to have it checked out by a "Hybrid Shop??" Unless it is a "Toyota Dealer," and comes with a "Warranty."
     
  15. privilege

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    cars are the worst "investment"possible, besides making a bonfire out of money.

    now that's cleared up... why aren't you looking for private sales ? dealerships are a middle man that always Jack up the prices, while adding no value.

    why are you only mentioning 14-15 year models ?

    if your budget is $10k, why not start looking in the 5k range, instead of just matching "my money matches this car" ?

    I know things are 2x to 10x overpriced in California, but whoa !
     
  16. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Used cars like used houses are a very poor value right now, used and new are almost exactly the same price until the car is ancient

    Wasn’t that long ago that any 10 year old car or one with 100,000+ miles regardless of condition was automatically a $500 beater no matter what, too bad that isn’t how things are now.
     
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