NEWB-Interested in 05 Prius with Odd Problem! Need Help!

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Tedh1979, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Hi Everyone. I put this in the wrong section. I'm new tonight to this thread. I'm interested in a Prius (maybe) if I can get some answers here first. I've rented a few Prius cars but don't know much about them. I know a friend that owns a car dealership. He bought a 2005 Prius at the auction. He was driving it back to the lot and all the sudden the gear indicator started flashing on the display and would not go into gear. It stalled. He thinks it has a bad transmission. From what I've read I don't think it is the transmission. I read a google article that says unlike a regular car that just needs the 12V battery to start the car, the Prius uses the 12V battery in the actual drive. I saw the Prius today. We had to jump start it. I am guessing that it has a bad 12V battery but it may be more than that. The car has 268K on it. Engine seems to run good but I don't know the condition of the hybrid battery or anything else. He offered to sell it to me for $1200. I need to know if this is worth buying. Mainly, does anyone know why the Prius is doing this? Is there a way to diagnose how good the hybrid battery is without taking it on the road and having it stall? I just need to know if I should go forward, or run away fast. Thank you!
     
  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The 12v battery in the Gen 2 merely powers up all the electronics. Think of it as booting up a computer. The HV Battery is what actually spins the engine to start it. Once the car is in ready mode, the inverter powers up the 12v system, similar to an alternator in an ICE car.

    The only time I've ever seen the gear indication flash was when the 12v battery was around 8 volts. I've never personally seen it caused by anything else, but that is no guarantee. While driving, the 12v circuit should be powered by the inverter ay about 13.7? to 14 volts I believe. If the 12v battery is in extremely poor condition, I suppose it could draw that down and cause problems.

    $1200 would depend a lot on condition and trim level.

    Navigation

    Tire condition

    Is it cloth or leather interior? If leather, the 2005 leather was a port installed option. Make sure the door armrests are leather. Make sure the center console is leather. Make sure the small side trims next to the rear passenger backrest on each side are leather. If any of that is cloth, then they didn't install the complete kit or some has been removed. I've seen it.

    Is the rear hatch opening mechanism broken?

    Are the outer sides of the trunk wells or spare tire well full of water from leaks in the hatch seal area body joints?

    Is the rear trunk retractable cover present and in good working order?

    Does it have both keys and if SKS, do all functions work with each key?

    Does it have all 4 wheel trim rings?

    Is the dash trim piece with the power button cracked or in good condition.

    Does the MFD function properly? Is the display clear?

    Do all the buttons on the steering wheel work as designed?

    Do all the heat/AC functions work? Does air exit the proper vents when selected?

    Is the inverter cooling pump functioning properly?

    Does it have ANY dtc codes? A 420 code would potentially be a new catalytic converter..$$$

    That's items that just jumped out to me, but are fairly $$ to correct and should be taken into account.

    If it's really a transmission, that car had better be in pretty awesome condition for that price....but in the end, it's all about what you're comfortable with.

    I've bought some really nice Gen 2s @1k or less that needed only the HV battery fixed.
     
    #2 TMR-JWAP, Mar 29, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  3. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Thank you. I know the 12V battery is either bad or it isn't charging correctly. The only way the Prius starts is to hook a jump pack on the 12V battery and then the car will start. A 12V battery isn't terribly expensive, but I don't want to replace that AND find out that when I take it on the road, the gear indication flash goes off again and the car stalls out. I don't know hardly anything about Priuses. But I've read tonight that Hybrid battery packs go out much more often than I was aware. And this particular Prius has 268K on it. I wish there was a way to test the hybrid battery. I don't want to take it on a test drive and have it stall on me. I have an Actron OBDII scanner but from what I've read, that won't tell me about the Hybrid battery. I saw a YouTube video where a guy entered a diagnostics screen. The battery was at 12V and when the car started it went up to 14V. The guy said that was proof that the hybrid battery worked, but multiple comments left on the video said it had nothing to do with the hybrid battery. I'm on the fence about what to do. It's a $1200 car, but if it ends up needing like 3 big things instead of a 12V battery, I'll be in the red. Ive been reading for hours on here and there are a lot of 12V battery issues and hybrid battery issues. I drive a Hyundai Sonata Limited Turbo now. Everything is expensive to repair and it is a picky car. I was looking at a new Ioniq. I like that Hyundai has lifetime warranties on all hybrid batteries. But I had a 2012 Hyundai Elantra that was a piece of junk, and have a 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited Turbo with less than 70K and it's a piece of junk, so I don't think I'll ever get another Hyundai product again. But these Prius cars are much more complicated than I thought they were. Also, this would not be my daily driver lol but it may be for my son if I buy it and it's dependable.
     
    #3 Tedh1979, Mar 29, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  4. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I live in Indiana and never seem to find good deals around here. I do flips cars on occasion although lately I'm starting to doubt if it is worth it anymore. Cars in Indiana sell really high. We are a very conservative state and have a good economy so cars go for top dollar. But all around us we have Michigan, (Detroit and Flint), Illinois (Chicago), and Ohio, that all have struggling economies and lower income people. So, usually when I find a deal, I have to drive a long distance. Lately I've met a guy that has a car lot and he has let me buy a couple cars at the auction. But usually he sells me cars off his lot for a discount, but he buys a lot of cars that are just junk. He is not the most honest guy so I'm thinking even though he told me $1200, he is still making something off the car. You gave me a great list of things to check for. For a Prius, it's an ugly Prius. Tan with foggy lights. The inside looked decent but there was a towel wrapped around the center console lid. I found a wrecked Prius in my area tonight for parts, and another not wrecked Prius for parts as well. Where are you finding Prius's for $1000 and under? I'd gladly purchase one of them and put in new battery or replace all the cells. I'm hoping the $1200 Prius has a good hybrid battery but I don't have the proper computer to diagnose. I'll test everything that I can.

    One comment you made that has me confused. You said the 12V battery in Gen 2 merely runs the electronics. The HV battery spins the motor to start the vehicle. So if I open the door and nothing is on, then I'm thinking the 12V battery is dead. But you're saying the HV battery should start the engine? The only way this Prius starts is to jump it through the 12V battery with a jump pack.
     
  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Correct. The 12v battery provides power to all the 12v circuits like a typical car, except there is NO 12v starter motor. The transaxle is the starter motor. The 12v battery must be able to power up all the electronics, otherwise the ecu's (all 17? of them) will be dead, including the HV battery ecu. No 12v power means no functions in the car at all...it would be like trying to use your mobile phone while the battery is removed.

    As for good deals on Prii? I mostly keep my eyes open on CL for a 200 mile radius and I'm always looking for interesting things when driving locally.
     
  6. cthindi

    cthindi Member

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    If you have a blue tooth OBD sensor you can try Dr. Prius app which shows activity of 14 banks. It also has a battery test mode.
     
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  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    You should do a little due diligence before buying this one.

    First, take the VIN and look it up on Toyota owners.
    This will give you any dealer service history.
    You may quickly be able to see what has failed on the car if it was recently at the dealer.


    You can spend less than $100 on some diagnostic tools
    - cheap android phone/tablet that can access wifi so you can download an app
    - elm 327 bluetooth obdii adaptor (less than $20)
    - torque pro app ($6) use the paid version, not the free version.

    With this setup you can read and clear codes.
    See Hybrid battery data including the individual module voltage.

    A Prius 12v battery will set you back $200.
    But for testing purposes you could use a jump pack or another known good 12v and jumper cables.

    I'd be happy to brief chat with you about this before you get yourself too deep.
    Feel free to call 608-729-4082

    Buying used older high mileage Prius is a big gamble.
    You will win sometimes.
    But there are plenty of other times where you are going to get burned big time. Especially if you can't go over the cars before purchasing them.

    Properly fixing them can sometimes be too expensive if you are trying to flip it.
    For example, a New hybrid battery is ~$2,000 if you are able to get a discount
    But how much is a 268,000 mile Prius worth on the open market? Right?

    You don't want to get into the trap of only half-fixing, or poorly fixing Prius and then reselling them. Putting in crappy used batteries, swapping out one module. That is just crappy. And bad karma for life. Don't be that guy.
     
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  8. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    On the subject of HV battery testing, the Hybrid Assistant app for android phones, along with a bluetooth OBD device will allow testing and graphing the 14 blocks of the HV battery using the A/C as a current load. (can also be done using the transaxle if desired). The thread linked below used those tests for the battery charts.

    Just Another HV Battery Thread and Experiments | PriusChat

    It makes it very easy to see weak blocks.
     
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  9. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Thanks! Still don't know about that Prius yet. I've seen some other Prius cars out there with bad HV batteries and they are asking $2500 with a bad HV battery. And I've read a lot about HV battery cells. I've learned to buy them all together and in order. I've seen them around $500. They come with a very short warranty, a month or two. But I've also read people saying that these are 15 year old batteries so even if they test good now, they probably won't last long. I have seen companies with refurb batteries and a three year warranty, but that's over $1500 just for the cells.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can buy a new battery for $1,600., but if you don't diy, i'd pass.

    doing business with a known 'not the most honest guy' seems like a no brainer
     
  11. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I would definitely do the battery replacement or battery cell replacement myself. I don't know that the Prius I wanted even needed a Hybrid battery. I know that it needed a 12V battery. Anyways I decided that I would buy the car today. Yes, the guy I know is not the most honest guy, but when he offers to unload a Prius for $1200 because it stalled on him, I have no reason to believe he is lying. He thought the transmission went out. He knows a decent amount on some cars and knows nothing on others. Anyways, I called him to tell him I'd take it, but he sold it this morning. I guess it wasn't meant to be. I've looked within a 500 mile radius for a Prius. I was told they could be found with bad Hybrid batteries for $1000. I couldn't find a Prius with a bad HV for under $2900. I did find one Prius for $3000 but it was severely rusted out. I'll be patient and hopefully will find a nice one that needs a HV for a good price.
     
  12. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Also, I just downloaded the Dr. Prius App and ordered one of his recommended Bluetooth OBDII adapters. I already have an Actron OBDII Scanner but it only does the basics. Now I'll be more prepared to test Prius cars which I'm in the process of finding.
     
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  13. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Stupid question while looking at Prius cars for sale. I know the 04-09 have a 1.5L Yaris engine and the 2010 and up has a 1.8L Corolla engine. I've driven an 04, 10, 16. I liked the 2004-2009. I think that doing everything on the touchscreen is a little distracting. On the 2010 model it thought it looked neat inside. But the video screen was missing. The energy monitor for example is on the display but I didn't like the way it looked. The 2016 I used had a nice radio with touchscreen and the speedometer and display was beautiful in color, but some of the things were just terrible. For example, the radio knobs had no light rings around them, so while driving in the dark, you are blindly feeling around for the radio volume. Gas tank eject button had no light either. Some things that were weird was that the display was so nice, but then the "idiot" lights looked very old fashioned and all over the place. Like when the lights went on, low on gas, things like that. There were always multiple lights on the display that didn't match the nice display.

    I've been shopping for 04-07 Prius models and they are around $3500-$7000. But tonight I've found that the newer style 2010 models can be purchased for $3500 as well. I've found 20 of them under $6000 which is about what I've found with the older models. So, why is that? Which engine is more reliable and will last longer? Which design is more dependable? What are drawbacks to both the gen2 and gen3 models? I do like the 2010 headlights better but I don't really like the inside much. But for the price, I can get used to each one. Why is the price of a 2010 model equal or even less, even when factoring miles, than a 2004-07?

    The other thing I can not for the life of me figure out....What is a Prius 1,2,3,4, etc. I understand they are "packs" of features. Most Prius cars for sale are just advertised as a Prius and most owners don't even know what pack the Prius has. Seemed Prius did a stupid job of marketing this. So since I'm in the looking stage of getting a Prius, can anyone mention the PROS/CONS between a 2004-2009 and a 2010+ model?
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    prius package designations have been awful for 15 years. finally, in 2019, they changed them to match other toyota designations.

    gen 3 (2010-15) has a known defect. the egg circuit clogs up with bypass product. if this goes unchecked, it can force back pressure, blowing the head gasket. 2010 has seen the worst of it, because it is the oldest. other years are showing up.
    it can be prevented (most believe) by cleaning the circuit. it is a tedious diy (or expensive) job.
     
  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    You might even say the egr circuit has issues. ;)
     
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  16. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    But that’s not unique to the Prius in regards to the egr circuit ;).

    Ever see the Cummins diesels:eek:.

    Just something to be aware of and something I will monitor now that I’m Prime for an upgrade (y).
     
  17. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I just bought a Prius less than an hour ago. I bought a 2005 Prius with 183K on it. The lady said she was driving it and the check engine and triangle light came on and it stalled. It won't start back up so she assumed the engine is bad. It could be the 12V battery, could be the hybrid battery, could be both. It may even be something different. But I paid $800 for it. Heck it's worth that in parts. I don't know if this will be the "Prius for me" but for the money I couldn't turn it down. I know how to replace the hybrid battery and I'm going to assume it needs one unless I get lucky. I ordered a bluetooth OBDII scanner and have the Dr. Prius and Torque Pro app, but unfortunately the scanner hasn't arrived yet. But it's mine now so we'll see....... Prius1.jpg Prius2.jpg Prius3.jpg
     
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats! love the color. how can you go wrong?
     
  19. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Congrats.
    Let's see a shot if the dash.
     
  20. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I'll post more photos when I have it towed home on Wednesday. I like the color too! I really wanted black, but like you said, How can you go wrong? For $800 it's worth more just being a parts car!
     
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