Help me evaluate a used '05 Prius!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by markrj, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. markrj

    markrj Junior Member

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    yeah, i wish i didnt have to get a new car at all! my original civic had never had any issues, did all regular maintenance from 40k-130k until someone hit me. i got around 6400 from insurance settlement though, so now its just time to get a new car. im ready to upgrade to the prius, and i understand there may be issues with getting an older car, but in any case, i have to get an older car within the next month. if the repairs are too steep for this prius when i get it inspected, i will most likely not get the car (unless dealer goes down on price significantly). but, im just on this site to see if it is inspected and checked out well, what should i ask mechanic/dealer in order to not get screwed.

    i suppose if theres no way to see if transaxel fluid has ever been changed, that would suck. but wouldnt there be a lot of noticeable damage that a mechanic would see during the pre-purchase inspection? (by the way, the mechanic thats looking at the car does not have any affiliation with the place im buying it from, lol)
     
  2. TampaPrius.com

    TampaPrius.com Active Member

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    It looks like a nice car from the pictures, it has every option offered in 2005, one owner clean Carfax and there is a picture showing two keys. If it looks as nice in person and drives well I would go for it. There is a little lifting of the dash above the upper glove box. This is a normal occurance from the spring breaking loose from the lid and can be repaired easily. (do a search on here)

    Don't let some of these people here scare you, the Prius is one of the most reliable cars ever built and taxi fleets have put over 500k miles on fleets of these cars will hard lives. If you read the 299,999 club you will see post after post of people who have put 300k+ miles and have had relatively few problems and most have never changed the trans axle fluid. I have only replaced one trans axle ever ( it had over 300k. I have had almost 300 of these in the last 2 1/2 years and most have well over 100k)

    One concern on the Carfax is only 2000 miles put on from 07/12/2010 to 1/17/2011. Was the car parked? This can shorten hybrid battery life.

    Something to check that your mechanic probably won't is the front door speakers with the JBL system. Almost every 2004 and 2005 that I get with JBL has to have these speakers rebuilt because they are blown. Don't worry though it is a cheap and easy fix as are most things with these cars if you can handle a 10mm socket and a phillips screwdriver and can follow instruction from here or Youtube. You will also probably want to recover the center console lid which is also an easy fix.
     
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  3. brucebee

    brucebee Junior Member

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    yes 2x at least by o/o at toy dealership. on paper records but not on there website. even paperwork not all items listed, like the 90kmajor service $900t didnt say if brake fluid replaced, looks like brand new, but hard to say. am I missing something on their website? 0/o had all mech work done at dealer, all recalls except steering all my fluids look/smell brand new at160k no big items
     
  4. markrj

    markrj Junior Member

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    @TampaPrius, youre completely right about the 2,000 between those dates..very important. thanks for the super informative post! ill make sure to post after seeing it in person, and after mechanic goes over everything, and if i do buy it, the final price. i see you also sell prii...how much, if you were selling this exact same prius, would you sell it for after tax/tag/titles? thanks.
     
  5. TampaPrius.com

    TampaPrius.com Active Member

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    The price seems very fair. Tax and tags will be determined by your state and county. The dealer may have a delivery fee.

    I just looked at the Toyota records and they are a bit more detailed then Carfax. The water pump has only been replaced once, the other one was the inverter water pump which was done under a recall. This is good so you won't have to worry about it for a while.
     
  6. brucebee

    brucebee Junior Member

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    hey i agree wit....h tampa, i see no reason why it wouldnt be good, my sevice records show some bulbs etc replaced and when under the car i could see where car was bottomed out/ inner fenders loose etc after i bought it. but car drives steers great, jbl stereo ia a boat anchor imo/ maybe a speaker change is needed my car has all options and i am noticing some of steering swithes are a pita i really dont like all the digital crud and no guages but...
     
  7. markrj

    markrj Junior Member

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    @tampa would you specify anything i should tell mechanic to check more intensively? ive also read about a lot of prii (for some reason, mainly 2007) having issues with slipping into neutral while driving...have you experienced this at all?

    any recommendations on what to do immediately after buying the prius (if i do) to extend its life overall?
     
  8. TampaPrius.com

    TampaPrius.com Active Member

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    Scan and check for codes, drive it, put it on a lift and inspect the undercarriage, check fluids, tires for even wear, push all buttons (windows, locks, cruise, etc.)

    I have replaced a few shifters, mostly on 04 and 05s. Another cheap repair, used shifter about $25 and 15-20 minute job.
     
  9. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    First, read through Car Buying Guide for New and Used Vehicles | CarBuyingTips.com. Second, IMO, forget about the open recall. That was Toyota's reaction to an SUV's mat placed in a Lexus. Third, I don't recall any threads about a Prius slipping into neutral. While moving, the shifter has to be held in the neutral position for a good three seconds to get the car out of drive.

    It is common for a new car dealer to wholesale or auction trades this old with this many miles.

    To satisfy those suggesting buying other cars, what newer cars with lower mileage are available in your area for the same or less money? I don't believe you'll find anything. Those cars will also be due for maintenance and are subject to repair.

    Go to truecar.com or AAA if you are a member & look for a car. There's a 2008 Touring in Greensboro for $7250 that may be a better deal.

    Best wishes for finding a good car that will enable you to build a solid financial foundation.
     
  10. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    They could check the condition of the fluid through the fill hole, but that would be about as accurate as looking at the oil on a dipstick to tell when the oil was last changed (pretty much impossible to tell).
    The inspection won't find issues that are inside the engine or transaxle, it'll mainly tell you the condition of the suspension, brakes, and the car in general. Prii are no different than any other car in that it can pass an inspection and end up having the engine, tranny, or battery bite the dust 10 miles down the road. While its unlikely that you would need an emergency repair fund, its much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
     
  11. writes123

    writes123 Junior Member

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    i bought an 05 with 101k miles in late june 2014. couple of outside cosmetic issues but mechanically solid. still had to change my spark plugs, pcv valve, replace coolants, change transaxle fluids, brake fluid, polish headlights, clean TB, repalce air filter, cabin air filter. the bonus was a new HV battery 1k miles earlier by seller. bought for 5500 + TTL in California. your potential one look pretty nice for the price seeing that its from a used car dealer.

    there is always DIY Preventative Maintenance that will keep your car in optimal running condition, even in a well maintained dealer serviced car.
     
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  12. Dino33ca

    Dino33ca Member

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    Where I'm at, our dealership has only had to deal with one gen 2 transmission failure and even that was after the driver of the reported car drove it into a ditch. I really don't think a transmission problem is something to consider when deciding to buy a Prius. Any car can have a costly tranny failure, and I'd bet that Priis are less prone to these failures than most other cars out there. If anyone is concerned about their tranny just get the fluid changed and don't worry about it, imo. If you don't know when or if it has been changed then just do it. It's not that costly and can be done by a non professional mechanic....
     
  13. 200Volts

    200Volts Member

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    I would ignore the Carfax, as it only tells you, maybe if dealer serviced, if something broke - not if it's worn. I would by a a ODB++ scanner and buy Torque s/w. This will allow you to measure things like min/max cell voltages on the hybrid battery, volts (while turned off) on the 12V, water temp (should be under 200F), the warm up stages, catalytic converter temps, O2 sensor readings(should be steady), etc. and when the last time the engine check light was reset!!!.
    I would give it a 1 hour test drive, to make sure you get about 50mpg average (1/3 city, 1/3freeway 70mph, 1/3 2 lane 55mph). If something is wrong, your actual mileage will be around 40-44mpg. At 53mph on a dead-flat long stretch of road, no wind, you should be getting 53mpg on the instant mpg gauge. Reset the avg mpg gauge before this test. Even the slightest incline will throw this higher or lower, but the average should be 53mpg. My 06 with 398k can still make this happen!
     
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