Need some advice on buying a 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by possibleprius, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. possibleprius

    possibleprius New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    4
    1
    0
    Location:
    usa
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Hello, I've been looking at getting a Gen 3 Prius

    I saw one the other day - it had the solar roof package and about 122k miles. I got it pre-inspected and all was good except for the steering. It was really loose, like you could wiggle the steering wheel and the mechanic said it was probably a tie-rod problem - and he also noticed it was causing more wear to one tire. I'd have to get that fixed asap. The owner was asking $5500 firm.

    Do you kind folks think that $5500 is a good deal? Any idea how much the steering repair would cost? I've also heard that 2010 wasn't a great year because of piston ring problems. But damn that solar roof sure would be cool!

    I really would love to find some magic formula that gets me a Gen 3 Prius with close to or under 100k miles for not much more than $5000. I've seen some close, price-wise. But I'm in NYC and most the owners don't want to put up with a pre-purchase inspection and want you to buy it right then and there after driving it a block. :(
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,361
    38,884
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    check kbb for pricing, and read up here on egr circuit and blown head gaskets. keep in mind the 2010 hybrid battery is no longer under warranty
     
  3. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    3,407
    2,800
    1
    Location:
    NorCal (Non Bay Area)
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Solar sounds cool but check the thread with rubber surround peeling off the deflector which will run you a few grand to replace and the exploding sunroof glass, another few grand. Don’t be scared to save a few more grand after buying the solar package.
     
  4. Wooster

    Wooster Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    30
    2
    1
    Location:
    Surrey - UK
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I have a 2010 Gen 3 Solar roof. Soon after I bought it (from a Toyota dealer) the steering shaft started to rattle. A short 'clunk' when driving over every bump. Also, if the steering wheel was pulled and pushed (whilst stationary) you could feel and hear the clunk, clunk noise. As it was under the dealers warranty, they replaced both parts of the steering shaft. Very expensive for the dealer.
     
  5. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    1,311
    865
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    During the pre-inspection, was it put up on a hoist and did you go underneath and carefully look for either damaged parts or surprisingly new, clean parts that could indicate an accident repair? If so, the uneven wear/ steering problem could be related to accident damage. If no evidence of an accident, the worn out tie rods or steering shaft or support issues are more likely IMO. During the inspection, did you have the alignment checked?
     
  6. TNToy

    TNToy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    23
    22
    0
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Skip this car. Certainly skip it until the steering issue is repaired. Just assume that you’ll need to replace the upper and lower steering shafts or the rack, and price those repairs through a trustworty mechanic.

    Why on earth would you choose a vehicle known to need a $500-1,000 repair right off the bat?

    Also the 2010 is the first year of a brand new model, and our 3rd gens had plenty of teething issues: For instance, many 2010s need a motor around that mileage due to excessive consumption. Piston rings.

    Don’t buy an unknown 2010 unless it’s such a good deal that spending $2,000 on a motor still puts you at a fair price for the car. And even then...
     
  7. Terrell

    Terrell Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    171
    73
    0
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    To me, the steering issue would be a no-deal. When we first bought our 2010 Prius (in 2009), I noticed that it had a grinding noise in the steering. I took it to the dealer, they checked the steering shaft and told me one of the screws was loose, and another was missing. They fixed the whole thing - no cost to me, but very expensive for the dealer (as someone else here noted). I wonder if there were some issues with the early 2010's steering? So far, we've had no oil consumption issues as some have reported. 97,723 miles. Great car, but I'd avoid one with steering issues.
     
  8. possibleprius

    possibleprius New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2020
    4
    1
    0
    Location:
    usa
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I skipped this one (or should I say, fate helped because it was sold while I was deciding) but I did find a 2010 Prius II in great condition with 72k miles for about the same price. It has tons of service history, new brakes and tires. I'm very happy! No issues with oil, but I've heard adding Z Max right after an oil change will help protect against oil leaks. So I will search the site for Z Max and other tips - I'm glad to be onboard as an owner though! Thanks all.
     
  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    3,407
    2,800
    1
    Location:
    NorCal (Non Bay Area)
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Unless a complete turd gen prius before and after long term engine test is done with z max, a very good marketing team will convince you to believe that their product will do that 100%.
     
    Tim Jones likes this.
  10. jimolson

    jimolson Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    49
    16
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis, USA
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Recently purchased a used Gen III without reading this forum. Now that I am older and wiser, my advice is to skip Gen III entirely.

    This generation is plagued with two very expensive issues on vehicles over 100k miles: EGR path carbon clogging and moist oil condensate in the throttle body on cold mornings. Addressing both requires more than average mechanical skills and $$$.
     
    Tim Jones, Blurredforlife and bisco like this.
  11. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    523
    235
    3
    Location:
    SE Texas
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    LE AWD-e
    Look for a different used car....... get a non hybrid.....if you want to save money and headaches in the possible near future.
     
    Grit likes this.
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,180
    27,877
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    You put me in mind of the first time I dug down to the throttle body: pushed open the blade, and "what am I looking at, it's like black mirror down there".

    I'm inclined to agree. Maybe mediocre mechanical skills are enough, if you're careful, and not in a rush. But yeah, it's definitely a "problem child"... :rolleyes:
     
    Tim Jones likes this.
  13. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    523
    235
    3
    Location:
    SE Texas
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    LE AWD-e
    Good Advice............ ok till they get miles or start burning oil or head gasket. Then traction battery, master cylinder pump, inverter, water pump, plugged egr system and.......
     
    #13 Tim Jones, May 11, 2020
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
Loading...