1. sub-atomic duck (quark)

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2021
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    Location:
    VA
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    N/A
    I am looking at buying a nice 2009 Prius that is a great deal, but while test driving it I noticed some strange things and I'm not sure whether to get it or not. This will be my first car and I have never even ridden in a hybrid or electric car, so I'm not familiar with what they are supposed to sound like.
    While I was driving, it made a repetitive whirring rattle that I can't find anywhere on the internet. The sound would last for about 2 seconds, and then stop for about 5 before happening again. It was always in these even intervals, and it didn't change based on how I was driving. It only happened while the car was running and was louder on the inside than the outside, so I'm thinking it's not for warning pedestrians. Under the hood, it seemed to be coming directly from back right corner of the engine, but I couldn't see anything amiss back there. It also continued while I was parked. The owner said that it has always made that noise and that Toyota said it was ok, but I'm not sure I trust either of them.

    Any ideas as to what the noise might be?
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

    That noise is not normal, it's a bad/failing brake actuator pump. $2000+ repair.

    If the car is cheap enough, then buy it and replace the $2000 and you should have a good car. Although the seller may be a dousche bag liar for saying Toyota said it's OK
     
    burrito likes this.
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Every Prius will make that whirring rattle, but only every so many times you have applied the brakes. Normally, brake fluid is only used when you use the brakes, and you have to use a certain amount of it before the pump (that sound) has to pump it back up.

    If the pump is having to continually pump the fluid back up even when you're not doing anything with the brakes, there is an internal leak in the assembly JC91009 referred to, which is in a tough-to-access location and not very fun to replace.

    I only mention what it normally sounds like so if you do buy the car and replace the part, you won't panic when you hear it run normally. It's fine as long as it's only every few times you brake.
     
  4. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
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    Are you wealthy?
    Would it be OK for your car to be in the shop or out of service for a long time?

    If you answered yes to both of those questions then go ahead and buy a Prius (or other hybrid.)

    If you answered no to either of those questions, as a first time car owner you would be better served buying a reliable normal car (not a hybrid of any sort) like a Civic, Corolla, or Mazda 3.

    (There isn't enough data in yet to determine if an electric is a good car for a first time buyer. Up to this point they have been relatively expensive to purchase new, hard to find used, and most first time car owners are not rolling in dough, so it was usually never an option.)
     
    bisco likes this.
  5. burrito

    burrito Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    There's a reason it's a "good deal."

    Mine was a good deal too. It turned out to have a falsified odometer reading. :(
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Vehicle:
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    V
    Well if a seller meets you at Walmart parking lot to sell you a car, it's pretty much a given it's going to be a good deal and there is something shady going on with it. And I bet the title wasn't even in their name
     
  7. Another

    Another Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Naples, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Ask the seller if you can take it to a local hybrid mechanic and maybe have to pay them $50 to listen to the sound and give you an opinion?
     
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