I want buy a Prius but need some help/suggestions

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Freeze Time, May 15, 2018.

  1. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    Hi all, I have decided on getting a Prius and now just need some help from the Pros here. First off, I am not buying from a dealer(they charge 2 grand or more for the exact same cars from a private dealer) and won't be making any payments. Just going to pay in full from Craigslist or offerup etc. I'll be spending in the $6000-8000 range and have come across a 2010 Prius 3 with 134k miles for 7450 and a 2011 Prius 3 with 126,350 miles for $1,000 more and a 2011 Prius 2 with 106k on it for $7800. There are a couple of more examples of a year newer with more miles for about a grand more than a year older with less miles but for about a grand less. I want USB and I know only the 3 models have that but not sure if it would be worth getting the 2 and then just paying someone to install a USB if that's even a possibility.

    So what do you recommend? Spend more for one year newer model with more miles or the year older with less miles and cheaper? Most of the 2012 models are priced out of my range but I did see one for around 8 grand but it had 184K on it. Thanks in advance for any advice and help and I look forward to becoming a Prius owner soon:)
     
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  2. Beachbummm

    Beachbummm Senior Member

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    dont buy anything over 5 years old.. the cost to repair the common problem will far exceed the money you will save on fuel..
    for example the 2010's 2011's and early 2012's had issues with burning a lot of oil so the motors need new rings or replacement and the batteries are near the end of their lives.. older then that had bad brake actuators,digital dash issue,body leaks at the seams and their batteries are also at the end of their lives..

    look into other brands that get close to 40mpg if you cant afford a newer model..
    I have found low mileage hybrids are always problematic as the batteries arent allowed to charge properly on short trips or degrade as the car is parked for long periods of time..

    California prices are insane on used Prii, Id look out of state for one if you insist on getting one.
    good luck
     
    #2 Beachbummm, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  3. lostinheadguy

    lostinheadguy New Member

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    The only way you're going to get factory USB (or Bluetooth streaming) on the 2010 and 2011 is if the car is equipped with the navigation system. Granted, you could get the system in a package even on something as low-end as the Three model, but one quick romp through my local Craigslist shows that there aren't any that have it. However, the Threes have Bluetooth for phone calls AND an aux jack, so if you're willing to put up with a couple of cables running around your dashboard you can use the power outlet for power like any other older vehicle. A two will get you just the aux jack.

    Conversely, a 2012 will get you USB, Bluetooth streaming, and a backup camera even on the lowest-end Two trim.
     
  4. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    The owners of both Prius 3's said they have USB's and bluetooth. My friend has a 2012 Prius that he's had for almost 4 years now and he's had zero problems. Everything I've read about 10 and up are glowing. The articles also stated the batteries rarely do go out and my friend has also never had any problems with the battery. He also told me that even if his battery does go out, he doesn't need to replace it right away as the car will still get great gas mileage without it. Are most pros here against 10,11 and 12? Check out OC/LA/San Diego craigslist for the prices and selections on different Prius models if you want. They are around bluebook value from what I've seen. I'll call my mechanic tomorrow and see what he has to say about the Prius.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    one concern with gen 3 (2010-2015) is oil burning. i don't know if there is any way to check that before purchasing.
     
  6. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    Don't buy from out of state because you'll probably lose the sweet CARB warranty on the hybrid battery for 10/150k.

    The more miles you have left on the warranty, the better, because that has been the most common costly repair on the Prius. IMO, a weakening traction battery has been the reason why some owners put their Prius up for sale and let the next (unsuspecting) owner deal with it.
     
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  7. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    Okay, how can I check to see if the battery has weakening traction? Is that something my mechanic will check?
     
  8. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    I found a 2013 Prius 3 with 118,000 miles on it for 8,977 but that's like 2 grand under Bluebook so I asked him what was wrong with it and he said nothing it's just priced to sell. Seems fishy. He says he will let my mechanic take a look at it though.
     
  9. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    I found out the car is on a well known car website and it's a small dealership so maybe it is legit. 8977 is not the out the door price. Said to add on another $850 in fees. That's higher than I want to pay. I was comfortable at $6000-8000 but almost 10 grand is too much.
     
  10. lostinheadguy

    lostinheadguy New Member

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    There isn't (or at least I couldn't with my v), nor is there an easy way to check the status of the battery. But if the oil burning is the only real issue you ever have (besides wear / tear) over however long you have the car, the extra $90-120 per year in oil (assuming 1 quart every 1,000 mi) is really no big deal. If it gets low, run to the store, fill it back up, right?

    When you purchase a vehicle you should definitely have a maintenance budget in mind, mine is $100 per month that I just put into a savings account.

    If you like the car, ask for the breakdown of fees. You can always negotiate.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    What kind of small dealer lot charges fees?
     
  12. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    I tried to negotiate a little over the letgo app but the car is already 2 grand under bluebook and he wasn't having it. The fees are taxes and registration/ownership transfer.
     
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  13. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    There's a way to check the strength of each cell, but I'll let more experienced people address that. Personally, I would prefer to have my traction battery die out on me before the warranty is over so I'd get a new replacement OEM battery.

    If he's a dealer, then he'll likely provide the carfax for free. You need to check the background and while carfax type services are not always accurate, it's much better than nothing. Get the carfax and post the info on here.

    You can also see accidents and if the title is clean. Salvage/rebuilt titles and prior accidents are some of the main reasons why cars are priced below book value. Or maybe you found a car sitting on a lot for too long and the dealer just wants to move it.
     
  14. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    The title is clean according to him and the ad. I found a 2015 Prius C with only 4800 miles on it for 9950 but it's salvaged due to theft. Reading through the CA registration for salvaged cars seems like a total pain in the butt. I found a 2013 Prius C with a clean title and only 82,000 miles on it for 8900. That would be a better deal than the regular Prius at the dealership so I might go check that car out. Seems every time I check, I find another Prius for sale.
     
  15. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    You're in the Prius capital of the US, so hopefully you can afford to be patient. I travel to Ca to purchase my preowned vehicles from private party sellers. With the Prius, I have access to the selection but not to the CARB warranty.

    Remember that a salvage vehicle will likely eliminate your traction battery warranty- call Toyota customer service to verify.
     
  16. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    Yes, I can afford to be patient as I would still need to sell my current car and am not really big with owning 2 cars at the same time. I have no experience with salvaged but only due to theft is not a problem but all the rules and fees registering the car are a problem.
     
  17. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    I purchased a salvage Land Cruiser some years back. It was due to theft. Never again, because when it came to sell, nobody wanted it unless the price was greatly reduced. I had to drop the price to trade in value and it was worth much more.

    If you plan on driving a salvage Prius until it dies and if the traction battery warranty is over, then it could make sense.
     
  18. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    I don't mind buying a salvage because I do plan on driving it a long time and because it's priced like 5 grand under bluebook, I don't mind having to also put it under bluebook if and when I do decide to sell again. I just need to see what hoops I will have to jump through in order ot register it. If it's truly only theft, I won't have any problems with it like having to worry if it fell in a lake or whatever.
     
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  19. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    Sorry to harp on this, but remember to call Toyota North America Customer Service with Vin# to see if you still have a traction battery warranty, or if the salvage title invalidates it.

    Also the Prius C may not come with the extended CARB warranty, from what I've read here.
     
  20. Freeze Time

    Freeze Time New Member

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    It's just a car I am considering but I will check all that if I do in fact want the 2015 salvaged one. I don't know what the traction battery or extended CARB warranties are so I will have to do some more research. Remember, I am new to all this so don't have all the lingo down.
     
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