Looking for a Gen 1 PiP

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Randall99, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Randall99

    Randall99 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I’m looking at buying my first Prius, a 2012-2015 PiP. When looking at these, what should I check, besides the usual used-car checklist? After reading through many threads on here, I’m still learning.

    I know there are no guarantees with used cars, but…

    I plan to ask the seller to charge it up ahead of time, then I’ll drive around the back roads in EV to see the actual range. Sound like a good plan?

    What about...

    A few blown head gaskets
    The EGR system
    Adding an OCC. (In my state, WA, smog inspect is just a scan of the OBDII.)

    1. As far as the ICE, etc... my skill level: I do my own oil changes and brakes, so please excuse my ignorance. Can the blown head gasket be prevented by keeping the EGR circuit clean? Or by adding an OCC?

    2. What does an OCC prevent from happening?

    3. I may be looking at Prii with 125k to 150k miles. Is there a way for a seller to mask the knocking problem temporarily?

    4. What’s a good way to check for this knocking issue? Should my old-school wired OBDII be good enough to check for EGR codes, etc.?

    5. If it has the knock, is that a deal-breaker? What’s the approx cost to fix it at a non-dealership? Are there warning signs before a head gasket blown?

    6. Is this a problem with all PiP years 2012-2015?

    7. Looks like WA is a “partial” CARB state, so the 10-year/150k P0401 ZF3 (?) warranty extension does NOT work here. Is the original warranty transferable? 8-years/100,000 miles? What does it cover?


    Thanks for any info!
     
  2. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    Allegedly the EGR/EGR cooler being blocked can lead to excessive temperatures near a certain section of the head gasket, leading to failure. I don't think it's very common, but we do hear about it with these engines.

    The oil catch can can reduce oil fouling the throttle body and or intake manifold, which may cause knocking. I don't know too much about this but it seems it may be related to lower octane fuel used in the US - the only fuel available to me is about 95-99 RON (91-93 AKI) so I haven't experienced this issue. Not sure if the catch can helps with the EGR valve/cooler.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Welcome!

    Sounds like you have a good plan.

    I don’t think they can mask it, but you should plan on cleaning the egr circuit.
    The big difference from gen 3 is that you don’t know how many miles the engine has run, but that’s to your advantage.
    2014 got new pistons and 15 got rings, but we don’t yet know if they helped.
    If there’s any funny sounds while driving, i’d pass.
    8/100 mostly covers a dead hybrid battery
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I may have been giving everyone a bum steer on that. My best guess now is that both the pistons and rings were changed, at the same time, at some point through 2014 model year.

    (Someone's reported the revised piston oil ring is "taller", accordingly requires a wider groove in the piston. It doesn't seem plausible that Toyota would first put in the revised piston (with wider groove), and have the old piston ring in it, with some play.)
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    That’s what I figured, but I thought someone posted part numbers
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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  7. Randall99

    Randall99 New Member

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    Thank you for the tips! I wish I had titled this thread different, like "Buying tips for Gen 1 PiP"

    So late 2014 and 2015 may have a slightly improved engine. But I imagine there's nothing wrong with getting a 2012 with 150k miles. Might run to 250k or more if treated well, yes?

    As far as RUST... is there a spot or two that I can quickly check just lying on the ground with a flashlight? I think most cars have a weak spot or area that is more prone to rust.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Take a look at the rear suspension, the bolts at the bottom of the shocks, the weld zones of the suspension members.

    Treated well will likely include cleaning the intake manifold and full EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) circuit. Best done by 100K, or sooner. Failing to do so, head gasket may fail, somewhere between 150K and 250K. It's just a fact of third gen life. Some boilerplate info follows, and related Repair Manual excerpts attached:

    The simplest way to see where you're at, is to check the degree of carbon build up in the EGR pipe, a stainless steel connecting pipe between the EGR valve and intake manifold. Watch @NutzAboutBolts video #16 here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    Two or three other videos linked there too, for the full cleaning of the intake manifold, full EGR clean, and Oil Catch Can install.

    Good thread:

    EGR & Intake Manifold Clean Results | PriusChat

    Another:

    Oil Catch Can, Eliminate that knock! | PriusChat

    Some tools worth having:

    E8 Torx socket (mandatory)
    E6 Torx socket (optional, but good to have, to remove the throttle body studs from intake manifold)
    3/8" ratchet wrench, regular and long handle, flex head, you can never have enough (or 1/2 plus reducer)
    1/4" ratchet wrench, or 3/8" to 1/4" reducer
    Ratchet extensions: you can never have enough
    Long needle nose piers, straight and bent tip
    Ratcheting 12mm box wrench (optional, but makes disconnection of the EGR cooler from exhaust easier)
    Torque wrench (3/8" and 1/4" both good to have)
    Floor jack and safety stands (or ramps): basically some method to raise front, if you need to take underpanel off, which you may need to, both for access and to recover dropped items.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    See post #3
     
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  10. Randall99

    Randall99 New Member

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    Thank you all for the great information.

    Mendel, I mentioned miles about the head gasket. Were you talking 150-250k kilometers? I notice you're in BC.

    What the approximate cost to fix the head gasket at a regular repair shop? (not the dealership) in USD or CAD

    I drove my first one the other day. It was missing the cover to the fuse box under the hood. I'm pretty sure that's not good, and possibly a sign of someone doing some troubleshooting. It ended up at auction and then a small dealer.

    On the dash, there's a display of percent EV driven. It said zero % and under that seemed to be an odometer number, but was only 40,000 compared to the 105,000 miles on the main odometer. What's that smaller (but large) number about?

    Any tips on identifying these in Ads when it's just "Prius" not "Prius Plug-in" and there's no picture of the right-rear quarter panel? Like a VIN range or another visual cue?

    Do any of the numbered trims 2012-2015 ever have a plug? (one, two, three, four, V)

    Thanks again!
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    150K miles seems to be when the carbon build up in EGR get's really serious. @NutzAboutBolts, who does all the video's linked, cleaned (and videoed the EGR cleaning on his around 120K miles). When it get's bad maybe depends on the car's use too: I'd guess a lot of higher speed driving would accelerate carbon accumulation?

    There's a we-come-to-you outfit on the west coast, in San Fransisco area IIRC, and I believe someone mentioned they're under a grand USD? More usual for third party shop would likely be around $1500~2000 USD? Maybe @The Critic will comment. Here's a video by those low-ballers:

    New head gasket replacement video from Gasket Masters | PriusChat

    I wouldn't stress too much, cross that bridge when it arrives, lol. If you're moderately mechanically inclined and have a few tools, can raise the front of the car, you can DIY the cleaning of EGR and intake.

    Not sure but I think that's just on the Plug-In dash? Not sure.

    If it's got the stock PIP rims there's no mistaking them. They're bare alloy, not plastic covers. Google Prius Plug-In rims. Nice rims btw. :)
     
  12. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Now to only see them on your Prius :p.

    Maybe next winter(y).
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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  14. Randall99

    Randall99 New Member

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    About the odometer: pressing the menu button on the steering wheel switches the dash through different screens.
    The name of the screen is at the top left.
    (white dot) Hybrid System Indicator ODO: 45,000
    (red dot ) Energy Monitor. ODO: 105,000

    What's the difference between these two screens? (I know, I know... 60,000 is the difference. Ha ha.)
     
  15. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    The Plug-in has some plastic parts that are painted silver: The door handles (normally body colour), the trim just above the lower grille on the front bumper (normally black), and the trim under the glass on the tailgate (normally body colour).

    On the dashboard, just above the clock setting buttons (on LHD: above Power button, left of headunit) there is a button for setting the charging timer. This may be obscured by the steering wheel depending on the angle though.

    Also, "Plug-in Hybrid" badges: On the dashboard (passenger side), wings/fenders, boot sill trim (I don't know what Americans call this!).
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    As the owner of a 2014 PiP, I can comment on a few things here.

    Regard the EV/HV ratio, there are two counters in the car, but they are each resettable by the driver by holding the TRIP button. So, if they add up to less than the odometer, then that means the owner reset one or both at one time or another. If the driver was not a “car person”, then it will likely be the lifetime ratio, LOL. That was the case with my ‘14 when I bought it in ‘16 with 40K KM. Today, I am at 12% EV / 88% HV, as I do lots of long trips. The second counter for lifetime is slightly worse (11%/89%) as the other guy didn’t plug in much.

    As far as visual queues on the outside, the only difference is to look for the chrome trim on the hatch, door handles, and top of the grill on the front, which is hander to see on a silver car. Presence of fog lights indicate a loaded Technology model in Canada, and I think the same applies to the Advanced model in the US. You can of course look for the “Plug in” badges on the front fenders, or plug in charge port on the right rear passenger side.

    I think the “one, two, three, four” trims were only for the regular lift back Prius (non-plug in) in the US... but again I am in Canada so I am not 100% sure. The V (wagon) never had a plug, unfortunately.

    As for the topic of the thread, I am at 173K KM now (around 110K miles), and engine runs great. Can’t speak about the piston or ring health as I am not that much of a mechanic, but I don’t notice any knocking sound, nor does she burn any oil (despite a high HV driving ratio). Still runs extremely well... though I am thinking of upgrading to a Prime sometime in the somewhat near future, when the finances allow for it... Life is expensive these days. :(
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    @Sarge your Prius Plug-In was initially a Canadian Prius Plug-In? They seem very rare.

    Addendum: Yeah I see they sold in real low volume. Some info here:

    Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid - Wikipedia

    Search string in the above article:

    The Toyota Prius Plug-in was released in the Canadian market
     
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Yup, it is one of the rare Canadian vehicles. Originally registered in Quebec, but I bought it in Northern Ontario.

    Apparently Toyota only sold about 400 of them in Canada over 4 years (in only three urban areas), so it indeed a rare beast. Especially the blue one like mine, since that was not available on the regular Prius. :)
     
    #18 Sarge, Feb 15, 2020 at 1:44 PM
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 3:11 PM
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  19. Randall99

    Randall99 New Member

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    This sounds like me. Sounds like a good preventive measure every 80k miles? Can a person avoid installing an OCC that way? Or is it the other way 'round... put in an OCC and never have to clean EGR and intake?

    This applies to all 2010-2014 models, including the wagon etc.? I wish there was a plug on the wagon.

    Lots of helpful info here. Thank you, everyone!
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Yes to most everything, except:

    I don't one is going to cancel the need for the other, either way. Carbon will still build up in the EGR circuit with an OCC, but maybe not as much/fast?

    When you look at what the OCC catches, it'll sell you. All that gunk is introduced down stream of the air filter (thank God!) and past the throttle body. I'd suspect the main efficacy of the OCC is to reduce the rate at which carbon builds up in the combustion chamber, spark plugs and pistons (rings and drain passages). It also reduces the crud on fuel injectors, though they get a steady diet of carbon from the EGR passageways.
     
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