Need help opinion on buying first Prius

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by TheresaC, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. TheresaC

    TheresaC New Member

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    Hello! I am about to make my first Prius purchase and am quite nervous. I’ve been out of the car buying game for a while. My beloved 2005 Camry was declared a total loss, and I’m looking for a replacement. I am looking into a 2012 Prius V with 83,000 miles. 3 owners. They want around $13,000. There is one recall on the vehicle I’d have to take to Toyota dealership to be addressed. I’m not used to a monthly car payment, but I thought a newer one might be a safer bet. I live in Las Vegas area where public transportation is not practical so I am in need of a car ASAP. The amount of used prii available in this area is overwhelming and they move quickly.

    This Prius V has a 7 day return policy so I’m hoping any issues would be recognized within that time frame.

    I’ve done some research and my concerns are:
    1) are the 2012 known to have oil consumption issues?
    2) are the 2012 known to have HID headlight issues or any other issues I should know about?
    3) I am assuming even though I’d be the 4th owner the hybrid battery would still be covered under warranty for another year and about 17,000 more miles?
    4) are the recalls usually easily resolved by a trip to the local Toyota dealership?
    5) Also, any suggestions for good hybrid mechanic in Las Vegas area I could depend on that be great too :)

    Thank you! Any help be appreciated. :)
     
  2. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Toyota has issued two service bulletins, T-SB-0168-16, “2ZR-FXE Engine Oil Consumption Inspection Procedure,” and T-SB-0169-16, “2ZR-FXE Engine Oil Consumption Repair Procedure,” discussed in previous threads. These bulletins apply to all 2010–2014 Prius and Prius v cars made before Toyota changed the piston ring design in 2014, but I don’t know how many of these cars actually have the problem. The powertrain warranty on the car you’re considering has expired, so the repair, if needed, would be at your expense. It’s not a small job: the bulletin allows 16.6 labor hours to remove and replace the piston rings.
    The HID headlight problem that was the subject of a class-action lawsuit was on 2006–2009 Prius models, before the Prius v was introduced in 2012. As for other issues, I’d encourage you to look through the PriusChat forums, keeping in mind that people with problem-free cars tend to be underrepresented on sites like this one.
    Yes, provided the vehicle doesn’t have a salvage, total loss, or similarly-branded title, and subject to the terms and exclusions in the Warranty and Maintenance Guide (PDF).
    In general, yes. There may be a delay, if parts are out of stock, but there should be no charge for the recall work. The latest recall (J0V) usually involves only software updates, unless the inverter also requires repair.

    Some further advice: I wouldn’t buy any recent Toyota vehicle without having had someone use the Health Check function of a Toyota Techstream diagnostic system to confirm that there are no diagnostic trouble codes stored in the car’s computers. A Toyota dealer could do this, for a fee, as could an independent mechanic with the right equipment. Especially for a hybrid vehicle, this does need to be Techstream (or an equivalent) that can communicate with the computers that control the hybrid system, not just a generic scan tool made for OBD II engine and emissions diagnosis. It’s no guarantee of a trouble-free car, of course, but if you pay anyone to look over the car before you buy it, make sure this is a part of the inspection.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would recommend another camry or corolla type vehicle. being in a hurry really puts you behind the 8 ball in the used car market
     
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  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    +1
     
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  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    AND......your last car lasted 13 years......and based on reports here my personal opinion is that a Prius will likely need something major at that age.

    I too think that a high MPG conventional car is usually better for someone who depends on only one vehicle for everything.
    And who can't afford to plunk down $20K in cash for a new one.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    and vegas sun isn't kind too hybrid batteries. plus, 4 owners?
     
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  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I don't like the car has had 3 owners with so few miles. Something is not right. Flood damage from another state? Accidents?
     
  8. Analogkid1958

    Analogkid1958 Member

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    If there are a lot of Prii on the market, prices should be reasonable. Maybe you can find something a little newer, with fewer miles? 83,000 miles isn't really much for a 2012. I put 315k on my 2010 before the hybrid battery packed in. In the seven years I owned it, I spent less than $1,000 on non-maintenance mechanical work.

    I don't think reliability is an issue, but the progeny of this particular car may be in question. :)

    Good luck!
     
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  9. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    That’s what I was thinking. 3 owners in 7 years, 83,000 miles? Warning bells are ringing in my head. I would move on
     
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  10. TheresaC

    TheresaC New Member

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    Thanks so much for your helpful replies. I feel a little less alone in my car search.

    I decided to move on. I’m going to look at a 2012 Prius two (not a v wagon) with only ONE previous owner. About $11,000 with slightly less miles (77,000) and no recalls to take care of. I feel a sense of relief already. :)
     
  11. Robbski

    Robbski Junior Member

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    Looks like a much better choice on the face of it. I would still want a car fax, pre purpose inspection and a traction battery test (by a qualified Techstream wielding hybrid expert) if I were plunking down that sort of dough,
     
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  12. TheresaC

    TheresaC New Member

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    Thank you for your help! I test drove the car, did some negotiating and they tried to get me to sign. I told them I’d let them know tomorrow.

    I have a clean Carfax; no damage, no accidents, one owner, however there are no records of the services done on the car like oil changes etc. It’s a large new Honda dealership and they gave me an invoice from their sister store a Toyota dealership showing they looked over the car checked for recalls etc. I asked repeatedly about getting the battery tested. They said all their cars are inspected sold in good condition blah blah blah. They pointed out that Toyota is still covering the hybrid battery for another year (along with the dealership providing a two month warranty on the car). Every car lot I’ve been to including Toyota I can tell the salesman don’t know much more about the Prius than I do. There is no option to return the car once I sign; this is the main reason I did not sign today. I have the invoice from their sister store the Toyota dealership it says something about system software updates etc. But I’ll be honest in saying I’m not experienced enough to read the invoice and tell if they did a thorough enough inspection.

    I am going to think about it over night. Would love to hear your opinion as you are much more knowledgeable than I.
     
  13. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    I wouldn’t hold it against the seller for not having an answer about testing the hybrid (traction) battery. Unlike the 12-volt, lead-acid batteries found in nearly all cars, for which any well-equipped repair garage would have a testing machine, there’s not a widely-available field test for hybrid batteries, even at Toyota dealers, apart from the car’s extensive self-monitoring and self-diagnostic capabilities, exercised over a reasonable period of driving.

    If the car’s computers detect a malfunction in the battery or another part of the hybrid system, they store diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), mentioned in my posting above, and often turn on one or more warning lights, such as the master warning light (red triangle) or malfunction indicator (check engine) light. The stored DTCs can be cleared, however, and it can take time for the computers to detect that there is still a problem.

    I wouldn’t expect a new car dealer to stoop so low, but dishonest sellers have also been known to disable or cover warning lights to hide a problem. Many of the lights should come on briefly, as a test, when the car is started, and then turn off if everything is normal, so you could print a copy of page 222 of the 2012 Prius Owner’s Manual (PDF) and check the lights shown there with “*1.”
    You’re right not to give too much weight to the Toyota dealer’s inspection, especially if they are part of the same company as the dealer selling the car. Toyota reimburses dealers for recall repairs, so they have an incentive to do those, and I imagine the technician would have looked briefly for anything else that might have been grossly wrong and likely to be noticed by prospective buyers. I wouldn’t count on more than that.

    The most prudent course, as others kindly suggest, would be to have the car checked by a qualified, independent mechanic. I realize that’s easy advice to give, but sometimes much harder to do, in practice.
     
  14. Robbski

    Robbski Junior Member

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    As Elektroingueneer wrote getting a pre purchase inspection is easier said than done. If you really like the car and decide to go ahead and make the purchase you might consider having it checked by a hybrid competent independent mechanic right away. Then if it’s got a problem you can bounce right back to the dealer and seek redress.
     
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  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    No, no, no.
    BAD plan.
    Have it inspected BEFORE signing any papers.
    Offer to pay for the inspection.......at a place of YOUR choice.

    If they balk, walk.
     
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  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well I have a car for sale, black 2015 prius 2 with backup camera and 17" factory wheels. Bought brand new now with only 20000 miles. Has had 3 oil changes at the dealer. You'll have 4+ years left on the hybrid warranty, or 6+ years if you bring it back to California one day. $15000 and I'll drive it to Vegas if you want it.

    I'm getting ready to buy the Rav4 hybrid
     
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  17. TheresaC

    TheresaC New Member

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    Thanks so much for your helpful replies. I gave them my credit card and told them they could charge me 500 to hold it. I scheduled a pre purchase inspection for Tuesday morning through “Your Mechanic” and told them I’d be in to buy the car on Tuesday afternoon, but they sold it to someone else this morning. :( Back to searching lol
     
  18. TheresaC

    TheresaC New Member

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    Thanks for letting me know. Let me give it some thought..
     
  19. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    I’m guessing they did not charge or put a hold on your card? That would constitute a contact.
     
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  20. vegan

    vegan Junior Member

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    I found a great deal from Hertz used cars on my Prius.
    I see their lot in Vegas doesn’t have a Prius, but does have some Camrys.
    Find Used Cars in Las Vegas | Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota & More
    I have no connections to Hertz.
    I just wish I’d learned about them sooner when I was wasting money buying new cars.
    Good luck.
     
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