Need advice on possibly buying a 2004 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Mikmac09, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Mikmac09

    Mikmac09 New Member

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    I am looking at getting a 2nd car. I currently have a 2012 Wrangler which isn't the best on gas, but is a fun toy. There's a local guy selling his 2004 Prius which looks to be in excellent shape, well cared for and all 125k highway miles. He is asking $5000 for the car. The car itself looks brand new inside and out. Recent maintenance of oil change and new 12v battery. I have never owned a Prius before or any hybrid, but have always liked them. My concerns are the hybrid battery. Would it be due for replacement being a 2004 with 125k highway miles? It's almost a 13 year old car. How much does a hybrid battery replacement cost? Also, anything else to be concerned about? Is there a timing belt on the 2nd Gens that needs replacement or anything? I've read about the transmission fluid change out being essential? How often is that recommended? I would mainly be buying this car for commuting to work in city stop and go traffic, plus any road tripping. I probably would only be putting around 6000 miles a year on it. Thanks for any help!
     
    #1 Mikmac09, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  2. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat!

    Any used car comes with a risk.

    You asked about the traction battery, timing belt/chain, and the transaxle fluid change.

    Cost of the battery new would be in the neighborhood of 3K rebuilds anywhere from $500 to 1.5K depending on source. Dorman seems to be the best source, but lately some folks complaining about them also.

    Transaxle fluid is supposed to be lifetime as per Toyota. Most seasoned Prius owners recommend a early change at 30K, then every 60K after that. When doing the change a simple drain and refill is all that is done. A flush is not necessary nor recommended. It is advisable to use the OEM fluid which is Toyota WS Fluid.

    ipp-00289ATFWS-400.jpg

    Being at 125K that Prius could be overdue for its 120K service which includes a complete fluid change of the ICE and inverter loop. Also, if the plugs were not changed at 100K, they are overdue.

    The fluid that is recommended there would be the OEM fluid also. It is called Toyota SLLC.

    SLLC.jpg

    When changing the fluid there are two separate loops and both loops must be bled to remove all air pockets, otherwise you risk damage to the ICE and/or inverter.

    Inverter also has a electric pump to circulate it's coolant through the loop. These pumps are known to wear out over time. As long as the pump is quiet and a good flow is visible in the inverter reservoir, chances are the pump is doing it's job.

    Prius has a chain instead of a timing belt. 2004 (Gen II) Prius also had a mechanical water pump for the ICE and a serpentine belt. The belt is very thin and is known for cracking over time. Also the pump is known for weeping and or leaking at the seal behind the belt pulley.

    If you have the VIN, you can register it at the Toyota Owners Website and see all of the work/repairs that has been done by any dealers since it went into use.

    Toyota Owners Official Web Site

    Without any additional information it would be hit or miss to recommend the purchase of this vehicle. If you have a repair nest egg stashed away of at least 3 to 5K and do not mind making needed repairs and catching up any outdated and or missing maintenance this Prius may be just right for you. Then again, maybe not. As I said in the beginning any used car comes with a risk.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope the information I have shared will be of help to you. (y)
     
    #2 dorunron, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    @ only 6k miles/yr you won't save enough in fuel costs to make back the Prius purchase costs.

    Yes expect issues with the OEM battery as it is getting very old. New Toyota replacement costs range from $2500 (DIY) to $4,000 dealer installed. Remanufactured are less and prices typically depend on warranty length and business (from independents on CL to nationwide companies).

    No timing belt but it does have a waterpump belt. That's all.

    You can DIY the transaxle fluid for about $35; no biggie.
     
  4. 09Prius2

    09Prius2 Member

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    I paid under 5k for an 09. I wouldn't pay more than 2-3k for an 04.
     
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  5. bikes4u

    bikes4u Member

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    You got a good deal on that. I paid 3700 for an 05 about a year ago but had 185k miles. Personally I wouldn't buy the 04 if it didn't have side air bags which came on the higher end models but that's just me.
     
  6. 09Prius2

    09Prius2 Member

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    And it was from a dealer with a clean carfax report provided. It did have 150k.
     
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