My first Post: Wanting to buy a Prime.

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Isaac Zachary, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    at least you won't have to worry about range. now might be a good time to look for hybrid repair shops if you decide to buy used. most dealers are crazy expensive, but they all work on prius. sometimes you have to wait for the certified hybrid mechanic if it is a small dealership, but toyota makes too many hybrids for them not to be trained.
     
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  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Any Toyota dealership with a hybrid technician can work on hybrids. It’s a bit of a drive but Boulder Hybrids work on all sorts of hybrids. It’s run by Paul (you can see him on the What Drives Us podcasts). As the name suggests, he’s located in Boulder.
     
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  3. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I bought and sold my Leaf in Boulder (some 220 miles away).

    Anyhow, how do I know if a Toyota Dealer has a hybrid technician or not? I guess I could just call around, but maybe there's a website or something. :confused:
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I can’t remember if it’s a requirement for all Toyota dealerships (I think it is). Hybrid technicians are Master Technicians (which all dealers should have) with the additional certification.
     
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  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I would be surprised if they didn't have one. But the best way to find out is probably to call them.
     
  6. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Ya, I ought to do that before getting a Prius. I have been by there and noticed that do they do not have a single hybrid on their lot. I was hoping to see a Prius up close.
     
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  7. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Well, that's a little disappointing. Guess you'd have to go to one of the big cities for that. :(
     
  8. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Well I'm another step closer to buying my Prius. I sold my 1972 VW Beetle for $5,000 yesterday, twice what I originally paid for it. That leaves me with my last car, the '85 Golf diesel, and $12,000 cash.

    However, I'm starting to lean towards a used 2013-2015 Prius C, with less than 75,000 miles on it. CR magazine recommends the Prius C for the best sub-compact 4 year old used car. And I found out I'd pay about $4,000 in taxes on the Prime. With my measly income of a bit less than $30,000 per year after taxes, the recommendation is to not buy a car more than about a third that. So around $10,000. Well, I guess if I really wanted to I could go for a new Prime, but this way we'll have more money for other things. Even the "hail damage sale" Prius Primes in Colorado are all more than $30,000. Minus the $4,500 and $5,000 tax credits I'll get back after April 15, the Prime still would cost me some $25,000 after taxes unless I got one from over 1,000 miles away. That means I'd have to take out a loan for about 23,000, knowing I'd be able to pay off $9,500 by next year. Although I really like the Prime and I wish I could have a car that would make use of the permanently mounted home charging station on the side of my house that uses very cheap electricity, I think it's smarter for me to go with the Prius C.

    There are a few Prius C's, and even a couple regular Prius' on Autotrader for under $10,000. But they are all really far away. I found a white C about 300 miles away in Utah for $11,500. At least in Utah they didn't have that terrible hail storm. And the wife likes white too. But what should I look for? If I have to drive 6 hours just to see a Prius for sale, what do I need to know about it beforehand and while I'm there? How can I tell if it was flooded or something? Would taking it to any mechanic to check it out be possible or even advantageous? And how do I get both cars home? Am I overthinking all this? Do all Prius' come with cruse control?

    Thanks!
     
  9. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Before you make a final decision on a C, I'd suggest asking on the C forum here if there are any owners who live in Colorado and if they are happy with how it performs in the mountains. The C has less power and, as I'm sure you know, elevation reduces even that.

    For $12k, you could get a pretty decent used Gen 3 hatchback. You might even score a PiP, which would let you use some of that cheap electricity -- just not as much of it as a Prime.

    Here are some prices in my area for reference. Listings - Tampa Hybrids Inc.
     
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  10. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I'm a bit ahead of you on posting that on the C forum. I would like to see if it's possible to drive a Prius of the types I'm wanting to buy over the roads I drive daily. But I'm afraid that's not going to happen.

    Still, I'm not so much afraid of it not having enough power. Anything has to be more powerful than my '85 naturally aspirated 1.6L diesel. Assuming my VW still has as much power as brand new, at this altitude it has less than 40hp max. And I don't like to rev it so I'm probably as low as 30hp max.

    The fear I have is overstressing the Prius engine in the mountains where I live. With my VW I have a stick shift, so I can regulate RPM's regardless of incline. I can just throw on the flashers and creep up the hill at any engine speed I choose. But the Prius will choose its own engine speed, though I'm sure it can be controlled by keeping my foot out of the pedal. But there's also the gasoline aspect of it. Gasoline hurts lubrication, and ironically gasoline engines enrich during high load, when the cylinder pressure is shoving the piston rings the hardest it can against the cylinder walls. This is different from a diesel that can't do that, even under full load.

    A lot of people around here say that the best deals on cars are in Florida. I've often contemplated finding a cheap airline deal, flying down there, picking up a good used car and driving back.

    I'm still open to options, and a Gen 3 Prius or a PIP would be awesome. We would prefer the normal Prius over the C. But I'm also wanting something newer with low miles. I've been fed that same line to many times, the line that says, "But it's a Toyota! Toyotas last forever! And 150,000 miles is nothing!" That may be true if the car is well kept. Even my 1985 Golf has somewhere close to 700,000 miles on it and still runs like a charm. But the thing is this, if you buy a used car you normally have no idea of how it has been taken care of or treated. For me that means I first go spend several thousand dollars on a car, and then the next thing I find out is that this is warped and that is broken and the other thing is bent and the whole engine and transmission and everything else now need to be replaced over something that could have been fixed a long time ago. Believe me! I've been through nearly 20 cars in my life and simply don't want to go through that again! Yes, I've bought cars that within a month of owning the car I'm now having to rebuild a supposedly good, low-mileage engine. Yes, I've bought cars that seem fine, and then I take it up a hill and the transmission self-destructs even with my grandpa-type driving habits. Yes I've gone over Monarch Pass (deadliest pass in the USA) on the day I bought the car and have had the brakes go out going down the steep curvy side.

    The VW Golf with some 500,000 miles was different. The previous owner had a whole fat folder of every little thing he ever did to the car. I was able to take that folder and see that every aspect of the car except the paint had always been taken care of and take over from there. And 7 years and over 200,000 miles later it still runs perfectly fine with absolutely no major problems. If someone handed me a folder with all the maintenance and repairs he ever did on a 500,000 mile Prius and could prove to me that he had taken good care of the car, I would be more willing to buy that car than even a 100,000 mile Prius with just a title and keys. But unless I find a whole fat folder of receipts, I think it's best to look for something as new as possible. In 3 to 5 years you can't do as much damage from neglect as you can in 5 to 10 years.

    Hence, this is why I want something with no more than 75,000 miles and no more than 5 years old. If I can't get a car that I'm positively sure is good for the price I'm aiming for I might as well as just keep the car I have. Call me paranoid but that's where I'm at right now.
     
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  11. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I wouldn't call you paranoid at all, @Isaac Zachary. Sounds pretty well disciplined to me. And experienced.

    I agree that newer is better, with everything else being equal. I used to live in Ohio and our neighbors always came to FL to buy their used cars. I actually thought about suggesting that you consider that.

    The only dealer here that I can really vouch for is Todd at Tampa Hybrids. We have bought four Prii from him. Two were over 100,000 miles, one had 98,000 and one (my PiP) had 54,000. Todd does not dicker, so you know up front what he wants for the car. He sells "as is," but does check them over very well and they are cleaned thoroughly. Every one I've seen also has new tires. The first one I bought had a burned out HID headlight. I mentioned it and he replaced it for free, commenting that those were supposed to be checked before selling. If you do come here and need a ride from the airport to Todd's I'll be glad to help if I'm available. Fridays and Saturdays are best.
     
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