Is 150K+ Mile 2010 Prius Still Worth It?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by hunt251, Jun 13, 2017.

?
  1. Yes.

  2. No.

  3. I'll explain in the comments.

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  1. hunt251

    hunt251 New Member

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    Hello, Prius Chat!

    My name is Hunter and I am currently searching for my first vehicle. I am currently a high school student.

    Because I am a high school student, my budget is not very large and I will not drive more than 5,000 miles per year.

    I have been looking at many vehicles and the Prius really stuck out for me because of its fuel economy and its technology features.

    I have recently found a low-priced, good looking, 2010 Prius that has all of the features I look for, but it has 175,000 miles.

    Should I purchase it? Or should I go for something with fewer miles? Comments are welcome!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    unless you are a mechanic, i would pass. what will you do, if you need a $3,000. repair?
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Too: doing 5000 miles yearly, you won't be saving much gas money, say compared to a Corolla, Civic or whatever. I should talk, lol: that's about our yearly mileage. But we did start out with more.
     
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  4. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    175,000 miles is a lot. I'd probably pass if you have other decent options. From what I've read, the Prius also "likes to be driven" and does worse if it sits in one place for too long. So if you're only going to be driving 5000 miles a year, more issues could pop up than if you're driving it regularly.
     
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  5. hunt251

    hunt251 New Member

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    Well, my vehicle won't be "sitting too long" per se, I'll drive it essentially everyday, but just a few miles.
     
  6. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    Ah, okay. I'd definitely check out the car's maintenance, repair, and driving history if you're interested. There are a lot of things that can happen in that many miles.
     
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  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    That sounds a lot like my situation right now; you should just be aware that those aren't the conditions where Prius mileage will really shine. The engine will be warming up for half of every trip; MPG while warming up hovers around 25. The rest of your driving will bring the average up from there, mid-high-40s maybe, but you won't be in the circle of folks sharing pictures of their crazy high MPG numbers.

    For consolation, other conventional cars aren't going to deliver their best mileage in those conditions, either. And then you occasionally have the fun of going on a longer trip, looking down at the mileage you're getting, and saying "now that's what I'm talking about!"

    There are folks like Bob Wilson who have optimized their whole routine for the first couple miles of their drive, down to the best route to take and when to turn the heat on and off, but that takes a lot of attention....

    -Chap
     
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  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y)!

    I don't see a price above, so not sure if it is a good deal or not.

    Some questions :

    • Do you have access to tools or someone who does? Can you do some repairs yourself?
    • What is the history of the car? Salvage title, come with maintenance records?
    • Why a Prius?
    We have a 2010 Prius II with over 156 k miles on the clock and going strong;). As the miles pile up, being able to perform the repairs allows for the repairs to be done and avoid a sizable expense.

    As others have cautioned, an expensive repair can crop up at any point and if not done, you'll have a heavy lawn ornament :(.

    Good luck(y).
     
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  9. hunt251

    hunt251 New Member

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    For reference: The vehicle is around $5400. It has a complete Carfax history with only one owner and no maintenance issues.
     
  10. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    FWIW - your miles per gallon will be below par for the first few miles as the car warms up; you'll likely not see much benefit of the Prius' outstanding mileage capabilities.
     
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  11. nursingninja

    nursingninja Junior Member

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    I would recommend no on a Prius with that many miles. If it breaks you're going to have a lot of high costs repairs that might be too technical to fix on your own from the parts you can find at a pick and pull. Conversely, if you buy a cheap corolla or something with a normal engine you will have a lot of friends who know how to fix the things that you don't.

    In time as you start making more money you can buy something like Prius with low or no miles and trade it in before it starts breaking down. But if you're shopping for cars with high miles expect that you get to be the guy that is going to fix the things that previous owners were neglecting.
     
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  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I think $5400 for a 1 owner car with no issues is good. Yes the mileage is high, but these cars seem to pass 200k miles without much issue. You might want to invest into a battery reconditioning system for about $650 when you get the funds.

    As a rule, you want to buy the newest and safest car you can afford. 2010 is fairly new still
     
  13. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    That's much better than the cars I drove in high school. Of course I spent much more time learning to repair and maintain them than actually driving them.

    Now, more than thirty years later, my wife and I drive over 20,000 miles per year, and we depend on our 2007 Prius with over 220,000 miles to get her to work every day without fail, and for long road trips.
     
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  14. Lightning Racer

    Lightning Racer Active Member

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    I bought my 150K mile 2010 IV with the solar roof package 17 months ago, so I thought it was worth it at the time. Mine had some issues - bad stink, split seam in driver's seat, and some visible damage to the front bumper cover indicating a minor accident (but all body panels in original and in good shape - check VIN numbers on all body panels), and some other minor issues. I got it less than the Kelly Blue Book price, but after fixing the issues and getting caught up on all the maintenance (spark plugs, transaxle oil change, engine coolant and oil change, alignment, etc.), my total cost was about KBB book price ($9,500 at the time, California prices are/were higher). My car had a good Carfax report and had been serviced regularly at dealers, and was from the original owner. I had in mind that it would still be worth it if I had to spend another $2K eventually for something like a new traction battery.

    Now, with the benefit of 17 months hindsight, I'd still say it was decent buy. I did research on Priuschat before my purchase, but didn't catch on to two potential issues that weren't hot topics yet then. Some high mileage Gen 3s have oil burning issues, and some get blown head gaskets.

    My car's oil usage is at a totally acceptable level. It used 1 quart during the first 10,000 miles oil change interval that I had it (that had a couple 3,000 mile cross country trips). In the next 7,000 miles, it's used even less - nothing for almost 7,000 miles, then I added less than a 1/2 cup at my last gasoline fill up. I check fluid levels at every fill up. I'm going to try BG Products EPR 109 at my next oil change to keep this potential problem in check. I'd check under the hood of any Prius that you might be interested in and check the fluid levels. The owner could be keeping it topped off, but that would be a good sign that they check the oil at least. If the seller is clueless and you find that it's low on oil (or coolant), that would be a sign to stay away. The really high oil burners are not common.

    Blown head gaskets would basically cost you a replacement used engine. If you're in a place with a lot of Priuses, or anywhere in the 48 states really, you could probably get a low mileage replacement for $1000 to $2000 plus the cost of labor to replace it. That's a large potential cost, but can be absorbed for a $5400, good shape car and still be worth it (basically renews the car). Check coolant level, look for signs of coolant in the oil (cloudiness), oil in the coolant, and that it drives smoothly without hesitation, which might indicate a misfire. If those look good, some preventive measures are thought to avoid the problem. A Gen 3 at that mileage will need some additional care that is not in the maintenance schedule to keep it running well. Namely, cleaning the EGR cooler/ system and intake manifold of soot/carbon build up. This can be DIY.

    The alternatives that you might look at (and I looked at) will also not be guaranteed reliable and could also have things like head gasket issues (lots of Subarus) or oil burning. Even with potential issues, the Prius is among the lowest cost to maintain for a high mileage vehicle. I now expect mine to go 300k+miles like the taxis. I'm really not concerned about the hybrid battery- those failures have been really rarely reported here before about 300k miles.
     
  15. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    Buy an old 4 cylinder Camry, those things run forever, look for a 97 to 01 version, cheaper to fix.
     
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  16. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I voted no.
    And I'll explain in the comments.

    "My budget is not very large".

    The Prius is a great vehicle.
    But a 2010 bought on a low budget, "could" be heading for some significant repair, maintenance issues.
    Unless you can afford to not only buy it, but also budget $3000 dollars aside, for either unexpected repair, or quite possibly a new Hybrid Battery, I'd pass.

    In High School, on a budget, I think there are better immediate options. Keeping a Hybrid, and Prius as an option for the future.
     
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  17. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    If really clean with some recent maintenance yes.

    But also look for a lower mileage and really clean 05-09 (gen 2).....If you can get a gen 2 that is spotless between 100 and 130k you are set for at least 100k miles! I am really not that familiar with the gen 3s although I am aware of head gasket problems and oil burning.
     
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  18. High Mileage

    High Mileage Member

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    First of all congratulations on doing this kind of research for your first vehicle.!! My vote would be yes.

    Most people are looking for a reasonably priced vehicle with good reliability. I was a mechanic for 16 years with General Motors, and if someone asked I would usually recommend a Toyota Corolla or Camry, or a Honda product as they were well engineered and stood up to lots of abuse. I think the Prius fits most of that kind of model, although it is a little more complicated of course.
    I purchased my 2010 with 60K miles on it, and I am now at 210K. Based on what I am seeing I expect to get around 300K before I might encounter anything with the hybrid battery, and when that happens I will fix it myself. I plan to get at least 500K miles before I have to replace this vehicle. Besides gas, oil(I change at 5K intervals, 10K is too long in my opinion, others can argue that all they want) and tires I have had to replace:
    The radio ($40 from Ebay) because the display was getting erratic.
    Left Rear hub bearing ($180 Amazon) because it was getting noisy.
    Spark plugs and EGR/Intake cleaning at 192K miles.( I was getting a misfire at low speed high load conditions.)
    Transmission fluid every 60K miles (Because I do not believe any fluid is "Lifetime)
    Inverter and engine coolant at 120K intervals.

    I chose the Prius because I drive a lot, I am cheap and don't car about my "Image", as my 16 year old son reminds me of constantly. My previous vehicle was a 91 Geo Metro that I drove for 520K miles, and prior to that another 91 Geo that got rear ended and totaled at 120K miles. My wifes car is a 2000 Honda Accord with 270K miles.

    I take care of my cars. I drive them conservatively. I research what vehicles I buy with intention to keep them for a long time.

    If you search Priuschat or other forums you will find several people experiencing high oil consumption with the 2010 model year Prius. Several very good threads about it. The consensus seems to indicate a change in design of the oil control rings that contributes to the issue. That issue is the only one that might concern me buying something used. But myself and many others have not encountered this issue. I feel that maintenance and driving style have the most effect on this. Hopefully this information helps you Hunter. I think the Prius has a good cost of ownership and 175K miles for the right price still leaves you many miles left to drive assuming the previous owner took good care of the vehicle and you do the same. But anything can happen to anything you buy. All you can do is research and make the best decision based on the information you collect. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  19. cameradude

    cameradude Junior Member

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    I vote no. You are young and your future is undecided. You may want or your needs may dictate a different vehicle in a year or two, I know I wanted a different vehicle after high school. Will you recoup the premium of a hybrid over the time you will own it? One thing to consider is the hybrid system is an additional component of the vehicle that will need to be maintained versus a conventional car. You certainly don't have to own a Prius to get good fuel economy. There are many non-hybrid cars that achieve 30-40+ mpg. A quick glance at my local used car ads, I found a 2010 Toyota Corolla with 105K miles for the same price as the Prius, and I think with your combined annual estimated mileage of 5,0000 miles, it is an approximate difference of 30 gallons of unleaded. Gas is inexpensive. $60 a year savings, give or take. My insurance is more expensive on my Prius compared to my other vehicles because of the hybrid components. But if you are sold on the idea of a Prius, there is nothing wrong with a high mileage Prius that has been maintained properly. When purchasing used, it is always a gamble. You can do your best to reduce your risk, but it is still an unknown.
     
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  20. milkman44

    milkman44 Active Member

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    I have 176K miles on my 2010 and it uses 1qt every 3K miles. I like the car and will buy another Prius when the time comes, however in your situation, short miles, you won't have stellar mileage even with a Prius. In the $5400 price range, I'd look for a Camry, Civic or Mazda3 and run till your financial situation is more stable.
     
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