Newbie here looking to possibly purchasea prius

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Recian, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    So I'm soon going to be in the market for something cheap and fuel efficient. I'm wanting to get something I can see just how far I can push the Mpg. I've always liked to push all my cars beyond the rated mpg. (I had my wife's Kicks doing 46.4mpg yesterday)I've been looking at TDIs, Honda hybrids civic and insight and of corse prius. I'm wanting to get well into the 40 range. I'm basically looking for a beater (not junker but basically no car payment) Just something cheap I can buy outright less than 4k and can get the mpg I'm looking for.

    My daily commute is mixed with 65-75% highway 55-70mph. And 33 miles round trip. Min 10-12 miles per trip and 2 days a week it's around 50-55 miles when I drive to next county for some night welding classes. That trip is 100% highway. A CO worker has a 2nd gen and his whole family drives prius. He says he gets like 36 with his. I believe he lives less than 10 miles from the shop. He's close to my 2nd job which is about 8 miles from the shop.

    I've read the forums a bit and see that occasionally people complain about sub 40 mpg and it's related to driving distance and ICE not warmed up so I wanted to make sure this style car is right for me. There's tons of cheap 2ns Gens in my area with 150k plus miles. There's a 2011 with 200k original owner who maintained it well for $4000 which is max in my range but I prefer 3rd gen for its looks and that ones we'll cared for.

    I can fix stuff myself as long as I don't need dealer only software. I have scanner that'll do plenty of stuff. I've been a mechanic many years. I did hybrids when I worked at Honda, plenty of IMA batteries and start clutches. I'm currently nissan master with leaf specialization so I'm No stranger to electrical power trains.
     
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  2. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    This is easily achievable in a Prius Gen 4 - more like well into the 50's for most driving. The Gen 3 has about 10% less fuel economy, if I recall. The Gen 2 is probably 10% less than that, but my son has a Gen 2 with 115K miles that can easily top 48 in the driving you describe.
     
  3. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    I'm seeing plenty of 2nd Gens some in As low as the 2k range but there's a few 3rd that need a little work in the price range I'm looking to spend
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    my commute was 7 miles one way, and i easily got 50mpg in decent weather. there are a lot more reasons than trip distance for poor mpg in an old prius.

    you can get the dealer software (which you will need) on amazon for 25 bucks and you need a compatible windows laptop.
    service manual subscription is $20. for two days.

    all the best!(y)
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Welcome... If you have experience as a mechanic you're gonna love a gen2... Though they aren't cheap like regular 15 year old cars... And if you have experience working with Honda hybrids and are really serious about maxing out everything possible for max MPG I'd suggest you buy a Gen1 Honda Insight... The entire car is aluminum and plastic and only weighs 1800 pounds and you'll have way more modification options than with a Prius.

    Both PriusChat and InsightCentral will help you fix anything that stumps you... And you might consider getting a Honda or Prius battery pack first and do a recondition and rebuild so you have more options of what to buy. The rarest dream come true for us battery rebuild nerds is someone wanting to ditch their hybrid for cheap because the dealer quote on battery replacement scared the heck out of them.
     
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  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Gen3 have a bad EGR system that requires regular cleaning and an oil catch can or the you blow a head gasket... Whereas a Gen2 has no EGR system other than keeping the exhaust valve open long enough to suck in a little exhaust fumes to satisfy that requirement... It's a superior design once you're talking about driving a vehicle with hundreds of thousands of miles...
     
  7. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    Actually that 4k one has a p0401 egr code that's why it's cheap. I would love to find one that needs a new battery for Cheap and attempt a rebuild. Greentec sells upgraded cell batteries with warranties for 2k ish. I had considered an insight. They're cheap too. I need a 4 door so I can't do 1g insight. I had considered the pre 2005 civic hybrid and love the 5 speed hybrid option. 06 up is not an option. I worked at Honda in that time period and we put the most batteries and transmissions and clutches in those while the 01-05 body hybrids were still running and getting better mpg by far. It's a unique experience with the 5 speed but I like the prius cargo space. Can't put back seat down on a civic. I think insight is identical to prius for the most part space and utility just a Honda. I prefer the 3g prius and 2g insights looks but it seems 2g prius would be easier to own and maintain even tho 3g can get better mpg.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    for 2k, you can find a brand spanking new oem battery

    for $1,600., you can get a new aftermarket battery from @2k1Toaster

    3g is not a problem for you. if the the head gasket isn't blown, just clean the egr circuit and add an oil catch can
     
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  9. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    It is my humble opinion that when one is trying to buy an inexpensive used car, one is better off with a regular gas burner. This is because most used car people are trying to find a cheap car, and a cheap hybrid will be low in price due to the possible pending high costs of repairs that may happen in high mileage hybrids. The gas mileage you save with a very old, cheap "used" hybrid will destroy your budget with a new battery, inverter, brake booster, brake job, clogged exhaust thingy (can't remember the name of it) and blown head gasket.

    Just get a used yaris and save money your money for a fun new car in a few years, or, if you're lucky, and you live near a Pruischat person, if they are selling their Prius, there is a good chance the maintenance has been great!
     
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  10. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    I'm looking for a cheap car because I just don't feel like having a payment not because I cant. I'm not desperate for transportation. Im not dead broke I'm just cheap lol I've owned at least one of every manufacturer car except euro. I've owned everything from 3 cyl to v8 to diesel to rotary to 4 cyl turbo. Had all size cars from miatas (I'm 6'1 260 BTW and yes I fit with the top on) to mile long mega cab rams. I have other vehicles if this one goes down. I've just never owned a hybrid. It's more something I want to toy with out of curiosity. I've always been a nerd for getting Mpg out of what I drive. A yaris is definitely not in the question lol I'd own a xB or a Cube before one of those but im not in the market for those. I'm looking for a different reason. I'm ready to toy with something in the 40-50mpg club. I've reached the point where I just want to drive a to b most days and not shift gears all the time. I however don't mind putting a little work Into the car if need be
     
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  11. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    I talked with my coworker today who has the 06 2nd gen. He's got 107k and averages 39.7 mpg. He hand calculated it a few times and it's close. Said he does slightly better on hwy maybe low 40s. He's running junk tires, maybe inflated to 35. He driives spirited and lives maybe 7-8 miles away and doesn't really go anywhere. He has had the car a couple years and said it's never given him any issues or left him stranded it's just ugly. They call it the beige bullet. It even got flooded a year ago in Florence. They yanked the carpet to dry and he hasn't put it back. Still kicking with no issues. I like that. I think with different driving habits and better maintenance it could get mid to upper 40s.
     
  12. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The original poster clearly explained they used to be a mechanic in a shop that worked on hybrids... And while the cost of repairing an old hybrid is more expensive if you are taking your car to a mechanic... If you happen to be a mechanic not only do the costs not go up with a hybrid, but the repair work is actually much more interesting than boring planet destroying regular cars.
     
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  13. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Duly noted. Just my opinion like I stated.
     
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  14. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    Priuscamper nailed it. It's about the only unique type of vehicle that I haven't owned yet next to a 1g Leaf full electric. They aren't practical for my driving. Working on and driving rotaries and boxers was the most fun of all the stuff I've owned because they're unique. Working on diesels.. My diesel is a cummins 24v. It just runs.. Always. Never needs much work but diesels are easy. I think working on this car will be fun too even tho a few people I've talked to in person that own them say they're practical and fuel efficient if you can get over the prius stigma they will be good cars that give you little trouble. Last Toyota I owned was a 94 hilux and it was damn near indestructible.
     
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  15. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Sounds like you are up for a new project car to have fun with, get good mileage and drive!
     
  16. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    As I look through lists I'm noticing more 3rd Gens with 160-180k or better miles than anything. Should I be concerned over anything at that point?
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, because you can fix it yourself. otherwise, absolutely
     
  18. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    I utilized the search on this site more and when it comes to buying used forums the people are pretty much 50/50. One person comments they've done nothing but repair different thinga on the car within the first month of buying a 10 year old car the next person has owned 3 05-08s and never done anything but replaced the 12v battery. I've got my eye on a 11 touring fully loaded minus solar roof 157k miles for $7k or a well recorded and maintained 08 185k for mid $4000s but no leather
     
  19. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    That’s the fate of a used car buyer. You never really know how the car was driven and maintained unless you know the original owner. Also remember most people that come here are looking for help with a problem. Most Prius owners never come here so you can get a skewed view of the car.
     
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  20. Recian

    Recian Junior Member

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    Very true. I found one lower priced 2010 III. It's not too far away either. Everything is less than 2 years old so no tire or brake or suspension maintenance. it has p0401 and higher miles because the owner commuted 100 miles a day with it is why it's cheap. thinking of picking that up and doing a little work to the EGR system clean it out good from exhaust to intake and add a catch can. For the price it wouldn't owe me anything compared to other 3rd Gens I've seen.
     
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