Has anyone bought used and had a bad experience?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by NorthernLad4, May 22, 2016.

  1. NorthernLad4

    NorthernLad4 Junior Member

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    Title pretty much says it all, but has anyone bought a high mileage (or any mileage, really) gen. 2 Prius and had a bad experience? e.g. major repairs required to get it roadworthy again?

    We hear a lot of great things about this car, but it's nice to get some perspective. :)
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! unfortunately, yes, many. not me though.:) all the best!(y)
     
  3. photobrad

    photobrad Junior Member

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    I bought a 2005 over two years ago. Other than replacing the e auxiliary battery (not the hybrid batteries) I have had zero trouble with this car.

    SM-G935V ?
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    That's way too broad a shot gun shot question.
    With all the used Prius on the market, and all the people buying them and owning them?
    Well of course you have people buying them and being happy and getting years of reliable service, and people buying them and being unhappy and discovering problems. Just comes with the territory.
    If considering a purchase there are steps one can take to minimize the risk. Carfax, record checks, vehicle inspections..etc, etc...
    But buying a used vehicle Prius or otherwise always comes with risk, which means the possibility of happy and unhappy outcomes.

    In general? My shot gun, broad response would be:

    As a Toyota, The Prius has a very good reputation as a well built and reliable vehicle. Therefore on balance, I hear more stories where people are exclaiming their respect for high mileage marks met, and reliability than I hear stories about early failures and disappointing early life repairs.

    Gen 2's are by definition now the elder statesmen in the Prius line.
    And as well built as Prius may be? Age is age, mileage is mileage, and no machine outside of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Christine magically repairs itself.
    Like with ANY vehicle, the older the age, the higher the mileage, the more possibility for breakdown and repair becoming necessary.

    I don't know if that should be considered a "bad experience" as simply the reality of owning any older high mileage vehicle.

    If your REAL question is can I expect to buy a higher mileage Gen 2 Prius and get good life out of it?
    My answer can only be....possible, but not guaranteed.
     
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  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, so far I've bought two used Prii.

    The first was a 2001 that I bought in 2008 at 125,000 miles. There's no way I deserved the good luck I had with that one because it was my first Prius, I didn't know a thing about them, and it was a total impulse purchase, consummated about two days after I thought of looking for a car.

    ... and it turned out to be a total peach, I drove it for 8 years, put another 110,000 miles on it, had to replace two wheel bearings and some light bulbs, basic maintenance stuff. Had recently done some brake work it only needed because I had not been bothering to check the slide pins etc. when rotating tires. I had never had any other car be so trouble free or just basically make me so happy.

    But I know a lot of that was luck, in that I happened to get a great, well-kept car without looking very carefully.

    That one recently got smashed on the side so I have replaced it. The smashed one was then driven 1100 miles to be either repaired or parted out in Colorado.

    I've replaced it with a 2010 that I've just bought at about 106,000 miles. Haven't really had it long enough yet to be sure if I've done as well on this deal as I did on the earlier one, but early signs are good. Of course, I've learned a lot about Prii in the last 8 years and this time I checked over much more thoroughly the cars that I looked at.

    The one that I looked at (also a 2010) just before the one that I bought, I was very glad to have taken to a dealer for inspection. The car looked gorgeous, was everything I wanted, had a totally clean title and Carfax (and Autocheck, for that matter). The mechanic started looking at more closely at first because of some very subtle things I would have missed. The color shade of the radiator core support didn't quite match the surrounding metal. There was the tiniest spot of paint overspray on the very corner of one taillight lens, and once you saw it there, you could follow it forward on the window molding of the rear door, all the way to the B pillar. Some of the front underbody panels were missing, some others were brand new with the stickers still on. The hood was a non-Toyota part. Toward the rear again (but on the opposite side from the first signs of repainting) one of the stiffening channels in the floor pan had a big bend. The front and rear suspension members had recently been covered all over with undercoating, in a sloppy job that had also coated the calipers and the insides of the wheels.

    The seller told me all about the clean Carfax and how he didn't know anything about any collision work. I passed on that one.

    Funny thing is, just a couple hours south of me, AutoBeYours makes a whole business of selling rebuilt salvage 2nd-gen Prii. And I think if I had been looking for a 2nd gen, I would be perfectly comfortable buying one there. The difference is, they are up-front about it. They have before/after pictures on the web. You know who did the work. If you want, they have receipts for the repair parts they used so you know they weren't stolen. Of course you can't get any of that if the seller is a used car dealer who just says "well, I don't know why that's like that, never heard about any collision, look at this clean Carfax."

    My basic sense of the reliability of the Prius is that the greatest risk in buying a used one is right at the time of sale, in case it's a car that's being unloaded for a specific reason they haven't told you about. If you are careful enough and lucky enough to avoid that, I think a used Prius is highly likely to serve you well for a good long while.

    -Chap
     
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  6. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    Our first one turned out to be "not so great" but only because we didn't have it long enough to make up for the money we put into it. We bought a 2006 with 120,000 miles on it and within 6 months we replaced the hybrid battery under warranty, paid to put a refurbished MFD unit, added new tires and rims, replaced the 12v battery and then we were broadsided and the car was totaled. Considering the condition the car was in after all of that we probably would have had the next 10 years trouble free since it was in excellent shape at that point.

    As you can see we didn't hesitate to replace that Gen II with another one so we're not all that concerned about it being any kind of a problem car. The most important thing is to have good service records on whatever you're buying, thus ensuring you're not buying someone else's lemon or poorly maintained car. Anything can go wrong at any time with any used car but you can turn the odds in your favor, especially with a Prius.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    o/p, keep in mind the canadian warranty.
     
  8. Jason Joe

    Jason Joe New Member

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    I bought a 2008 Prius in 2014 with 47,000 miles on it. It has been the best vehicle I had till I had to replace the traction battery. The hybrid warranty for Texas is 8yrs or 100K. I was past my 8yrs by 2 months and did not have but around 88K on the Prius. I had my dealer put in a good will note to Toyota and they agreed to cover my battery but I had to cover labor. Since we own 8 other Toyota vehicles and service them all through Toyota they split the installation with me so I ended up paying $281.00 for a new battery that only has a 1 year factory warranty. I would beware of any "low" mileage Prius. These vehicles have to be driven on a daily basis and not sit like mine or the battery depletes faster. General rule of thumb is around 12-15K a year on them.
     
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  9. crazyirv

    crazyirv Junior Member

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    I bought a used 2007 model from a dealer in Dec. 2014 with 130,000 miles. It was 100% trouble free until last weekend when the traction battery died. Luckily I had 145,000 miles on it and it was replaced under warranty. The more I read online the more I realize that part of the reason it went was because the traction battery cooling fan was clogged. Before buying another one I would definitely make sure that the prior owners did not own a pet (my son mentioned he saw dog hair in the back seat shortly after I bought the car, which i shrugged off but now understand that its a big problem), that the car has a filter over the rear seat air intake, and that the fan has been cleaned and maintained.
     
    #9 crazyirv, May 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did we scare the o/p?
     
  11. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    Probably someone trolling from another car brand hoping for a much larger number of negative stories so he could point prospective buyers to this thread and convince them his brand is better. It didn't work.
     
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  12. MrMischief

    MrMischief Active Member

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    So it wasn't a Prius, but I did have a bad experience on a recent purchase. I bought a vehicle used from one of the larger local car dealers. The price was fair for the milage. Part of this dealer's thing is to put a carfax inside each car, so I look it over clean history. Well not long later I'm taking a clay bar to the hood and it's just not quite right on the front, things are just barely out of alignment. I mean it is a Chrysler product, but even for them it's just out slightly. Curiosity gets me and I pull a carfax, yep front end collision damage like 3 years prior. Pissed me off because I know the dealer's Carfax did not show it. I'm not saying I wouldn't have bought that vehicle, but I would have negotiated a better price. So I get out the deal, expecting to find the Carfax the dealer had in the car, no where to be found. I have the dealer pull their papers ("hey I seem to be missing some of the paperwork in the deal, can you copy it all for me?"), wasn't in there either. I'm convinced that they purposely misled me with a falsified Carfax that they then removed from the deal. I don't know if they used the wrong VIN on purpose or altered the report somehow, but I'm sure the one that was in there was different. Of course I got no way of proving it so I'm not confident I could win if it goes to court. The lesson is if you're buying used, always always always pull a Carfax for yourself, don't trust the dealer to do it for you.
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    'don't trust the dealer' words to live by.;)
     
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  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It gets better. You've probably noticed that Carfax often shows maintenance history - many shops, especially dealer service departments report to Carfax every time the car comes in.

    So with the Prius that I looked at and passed up, because of the signs of body repair all the way from the guggle to the zatch, the Carfax, as I mentioned earlier, was completely clean for whatever reason. I only found out because there was a Toyota dealer nearby and the seller allowed me to have the car taken there, provided I paid for the inspection, which I did.

    When I showed up at the dealership to pay for the inspection and the fellow was showing me the signs of extensive work, I said, so, is this inspection going to show up on future Carfax reports people pull for this car? He said yes, of course, every time we look at a car we report to Carfax. So I thought, good, the next person to look at the car will at least be able to have that information.

    Out of curiosity, I pulled the Carfax report a few days later, and sure enough, it shows my appointment, the right date, the right dealer, the right mileage ... and the only description in the entry is "maintenance inspection completed."

    As if that would tell anyone anything useful....

    Anyway, then I saw a link: "Tell us what you know about this vehicle." Hmm, interesting. Can I comment on a Carfax? Yes, yes I can. I wrote a comment saying "I am the prospective buyer who paid for the inspection shown on 4/29/2016. Here is what the tech performing the inspection reported to me: ..." I submitted, the site thanked me for the comment and said it would appear after moderation.

    I still don't see it....

    -Chap
     
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  15. MrMischief

    MrMischief Active Member

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    The dealer can write more details if they wanted to. Sucks that the Toyota dealer didn't add more details like "evidence of extensive structural repairs." Also things like police reports will show up in it. But I kind of get why they don't approve your comment. Say we work together and I don't like you. Quick walk by your car, snap a photo of your vin. Now I can write whatever I like on there to try to devalue your car.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Point taken ... the thing is, in the case of the particular comment I left, it was verifiable. They were already showing the date, time, and dealership where I had the inspection done. I was basically saying "you should get the complete information from the dealer that performed that inspection."

    Now granted, Carfax probably can't afford to have staff read through every comment to see which ones are pure opinion and which ones are about extra information they should have from a reporting shop.

    On the other hand, they could easily offer a 'research request' button next to a particular shop service entry. Instead of being a comment, it would simply alert carfax that they should probably contact that shop (probably via the online channel they already have for that shop to report) and ask for additional details from the shop's records.

    They already do have a 'research request' feature the seller can trigger. Sometimes you'll see a carfax report with an entry saying 'additional research has been requested for this report, new information may appear'. If you read about what that means, there is a way for the seller to trigger it if they believe there is more info that should be in the report and isn't.

    So I think they could easily add a similar research request that another person than the seller could trigger, about a specific shop visit that is already listed on the report. The idea being you would trigger it if you had personal knowledge there was more relevant information from that shop visit than is currently shown in the report. Like the existing research request, it could trigger an inquiry from carfax to that shop for additional details.

    If they wanted to avoid nuisance work from random people just clicking the research request, they could have it ask you for something like the invoice number from the shop visit, which would not be shown in the report, so they would know the request was coming from someone who personally knew about the work.

    -Chap
     
  17. wrothgar

    wrothgar Junior Member

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    I bought one used from a dealer in Milton Ontario. It has been great. 2008.
     
  18. amcoolio

    amcoolio Junior Member

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    I have the opportunity to buy a 2006 Prius in immaculate condition, 79k miles, for only 7000. I've always wanted a Prius, and this seems like its too good to be true. 1 owner, dealer just got it as a trade in, seems like a good guy. However the low miles for an older car scares me. The dealer said it was garage kept and owned by an elderly couple. I'm going to test drive it again tomorrow, is there any way to test the battery? Or since the price is low I should just bite the bullet, and if the battery fails in the future, replace it anyway. My last car purchase, a 2001 Lexus ES 300, has been a lemon and I can't afford another bad deal.
     
  19. MrMischief

    MrMischief Active Member

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    Have you pulled your own Carfax yet to confirm (as best you can) what the dealer is telling you?
     
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  20. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    I agree with MrMischief. Pull the CarFax and check it. Also, you don't indicate how well the car is equipped. If it's just the base package and doesn't include the navigation, backup camera, upgraded sound system, etc. it probably isn't a "great" deal.

    Make sure you're not so anxious to finally get a Prius that you don't get the right one.
     
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