Need advice on used prius with questionable service history

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Echoezra, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    so I'm looking into this 2009 and the history a helper was able to find for me shows #1: some light damage and #2: no service history.
    The damage was from 2 different incidents, one no details except under $700 repair claimed, the second was a year ago, specified "light damage" from rear right impact with another vehicle.
    Your opinions??
    On the topic of the service history, I realize that wont show if it was done themselves or by a non-toyota shop.
    But what exactly do I need to do in case perhaps they DIDNT keep up on the regular maintenance schedule? I was expecting to be skipping in assuming everything was up to date to the 88,000 mark and just having to worry about the next 96,000 service and maybe a new 12V. Where do I stand now, maintenance wise, not knowing the past service history?
     
  2. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    I guess what I mean is, is a fresh oil change now (which is probably all the dealer is going to have done) going to be good enough to make up for everything that should have (and perhaps wasnt) done up until this 88,000 km point?
     
  3. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    If you are saying the oil has not been changed for 8,000 km that is not a problem. You do not say in your avatar your country or area and this does have an impact on service schedules as they differ from country to country.
    In the UK the service interval is 10,000 miles or one year which ever is sooner. Your 8,000 km converts to a little under 5,000 miles and this I believe is the shortest recommended service interval used in the US.

    John (Britprius)
     
  4. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Thank you, yes I'm sorry I don't seem to be able to update my profile location from my phone. I am in Canada.
    I'm saying a car fax thing didnt show any service history period, ever. So, may have been done, may not have, ever, is my worry.
     
  5. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    I would think it highly unlikely (although possible) that someone would buy a car and not service it in any way.
    Checking the engine air filter and cabin air filters, "both very easy to do" would confirm if any services were carried out. If they are both dirty and clogged with leaves ect then service has been neglected, if relatively clean then service work has been carried out.

    At 88,000 km (55,000 miles) in the UK only 4 oil changes would have been done missing one would not have cased great damage.

    John (Britprius)
     
  6. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Ok. Yeah I think its 8000km here so that would have been 11 intervals
     
  7. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Yes I understand the difference, but no damage should have been done considering the oil change interval difference and the car is only just over three years old but as I said in my previous post checking the air filters will give a good guide to what has been done. If your not happy walk away.

    My car is at 90,000 miles and has had 9 services (oil changes) Toyotas recommended. without damage. It's the same car you have, but in Canada it would have had about 20 services. I think your dealers are making a lot of profit.

    John (Britprius)
     
  8. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Right. Very good suggestion about the filters, thank you. (Not that I'd personally know what a filter would normally look like, lol, but I'm sure I can probably distinguish white from bad from horribly horribly disgusting. Haha)
    Still though, thinking positive, everything is up to snuff and i'd be starting on a good foot. BUT - if the filters do look horrid, or if they were just changed by the dealer, assuming the absolute worst, no servicing ever, what problems could have been created from neglect that i should be wary of, that my simple basic future faithful servicing would not be able to overcome?
     
  9. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Checking the engine air filter will take less than a 60 seconds. Open the hood, lift the suitcase type clips on the filter box, take off the lid, and remove the filter. The dirty side is underneath. Reasonably clean (lite dust and particles) or clean everything is fine. Dirty clogged lots of rubbish, walk away.

    John (Britptius)
     
  10. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Thank you for those instructions, that does sound like something "even I" would be able to do, all by myself like a big girl. ;)
    I guess what I was getting at was why exactly I would be wanting to walk away? Like exactly what problems would have been caused. Perhaps In case I could work some kind of precautionary replacement or warranty into the deal.
     
  11. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    At the relatively low millage the car is at no oil changes will show up on the oil dipstick as dark brown deposits. If it never had oil changes "which I doubt" there will be more engine ware than normal but how much is very difficult to guess, but I will stick my neck out and say probably not much. Changing the oil regularly in the future will not reverse this, but will keep down further ware. The rest of the items on the car will not have suffered.

    John (Britprius)
     
  12. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    If you are buying from a Toyota dealer you should get this anyway. If not press for one from the seller. The vehicle may still be under the Toyota guarantee certainly the hybrid system should be for the equivalent of 8 years 100,000 miles is the norm, check it in Canada.

    It is very late here so I am signing off, I will be back tomorrow.

    John (Britprius)
     
  13. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Super, ok that's what I was thinking. Thanks again so much for all your advice. :)
     
  14. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    The Prius is incredibly reliable, and I don't see anybody going that long with a brand new car they put thousands of dollars into without EVER changing the oil. And the good quality oils are so good now that they really don't need to be changed that often, so even the time spent on this is essentially nothing.

    My Prius won't show any maintenance, because I've done everything myself, and gone beyond what is called for. I'm using Mobil1, which is very high quality. I've changed the transaxle fluid at about 90k kilometers, it is very easy to do yourself, and that doesn't show up in the computer.

    In general, the people who own Priuses are responsible, concerned for the environment, and love the car, so they take good care of it. In general.

    It is possible to take it to an independent mechanic for a compression/leakdown test, but it might be good to find somebody knowledgeable about the Prius. For example, I think it is a special procedure to do the compression/leakdown test. But with a test drive you should be able to tell a lot.
     
  15. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    That is pretty much my big worry. That I won't be able to tell anything from the test drive. The real reason for all these questions, before I walk in there and fall in love with the stupid thing. Lol.
    I've driven such dilapidated neglected hand-me-downs for so many years that I'm pretty much immune to all car noises. Lol. My sad "motto" i suppose- When you cant afford to fix it, might as well learn to ignore it. :/
    Hoping this car's previous owner wasnt in the same boat as me for these past 4 years he's had it. ;)
    And as for noticing anything from the physical driving feeling, i have trouble judging things as anything different feels strange just because I'm so used to my own car now. So i end up feeling like im driving stupid - that its not the car its me and my unfamiliarity. I'm so busy getting comfortable with the setup that I forgot to notice HOW it drove. Lol.
    Then you add in the fact that I wouldn't recognize normal hybrid behaviour - "does that feel weird because its broken and bad, or just because of the regenerative braking" type of thing.
    The consensus here seems to be that these are very reliable cars, and that if I can take proper routine maintenance care of it from here on out that this is probably still an excellent choice for not being a money pit, regardless of it's past history (which we assume is likely not as damaged and neglected as I fear) - correct?
     
  16. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    If you have the VIN number you can try register it at
    Toyota Owners Official Web Site: Service Coupons, Owner's Manuals, Service Scheduling And More
    and find out the service history (if serviced by Toyota dealers).

    If my budget is limited and can not afford a very occasional repair bill of thousands of dollars, I wouldn't have bought a Prius. Agreed the car is very reliable and on average (i.e. average over many owners) the maintenance cost is low. But as an individual who owns only one Prius, not thousands of them, I can be the unlucky one that needs a big repair down the road: there are tons of expensive components in the car that can go wrong. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
     
  17. Echoezra

    Echoezra Junior Member

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    Well that could be said of any car really I suppose, domestic and common included. They're all full of expensive parts it seems. And even the not so expensive parts add up to a grand fast when they need replacing frequently.
     
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