Prius noob about to go look at a used 2008 Thursday. What should I check for?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ChadInOKC, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Other than the standard things you would look at on a used car, what things specifically should I be looking at? This car has about 100k miles, appears to be a package 2 car as far as I can tell. It is for sale at a dealer. I have read a few things, but looking for specific tips so I can look like a Prius Pro. I looked it up on the toyota site and it shows that some regular maintenance was done at like 35/40k miles. Not much else after that is showing. Any tips would be great.

    Looking at a 2nd car for myself to keep miles off my Tundra. I have been driving more and more lately and this month so far, I have dropped $375.00 so far on fuel alone. I have always been interested in the technology aspect of the Prius, so I figure it is something else I can fool around with and save money at the same time.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Prius904

    Prius904 Junior Member

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    Congratz on your soon to be car! Im excited for ya! I just got my new to me prius a few weeks ago. Have them confirm that all recalls have been fixed. I found one that had not been fixed a day after I bought mine. Luckily they went ahead and replaced free. I wish I had noticed that the electric locks and the 6 cd changer were not working. Somewhere on this site is a very simple way to check your 12 volt battery yourself..
    My advice is do all the negotiating, get to the absolute lowest best price, then investigate these things and say "ok ill take it at that price but be sure to fix these things first.." Good luck!
     
  3. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Awesome! Thanks for the reply. This is the stuff I am looking for. :)
     
  4. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    You can check the 12 volt with the MFD. Here is the link.

    Weird stuff happening? MPGs dropping? Test The Battery | PriusChat

    A NEW FULLY CHARGED 12 volt will read the following

    Accessory Mode: 12.6 volts or higher
    Ign On Mode: 12.4 volt or higher
    Ready Mode: 13.8 - 14.2 volts

    If you see Accessory Mode around 12. 1, the battery is weak and should be charged overnight then retested after standing at least 12 hours.

    Also if you see Ign. On Mode around 12.0 or below, chances are the battery is on it's last legs or very weak.

    It is normal to see these batteries under charged if the car has been setting awhile. However when the battery gets low, the plates get sulfated. Once they sulfate the battery won't perform well and you may have trouble down the line. There are a lot of reports of folks who have electrical weirdness that goes away once a new battery is installed. Of course there are the naysayers here too that claim the 12 volt thing is all hype.

    For the record, the Prius takes a JIS AGM type battery. It has small posts on it and is also vented. The batteries at NOT cheap and there are only a few alternatives to the OEM battery. Some have converted to a standard flooded battery. You can do that at your own risk, however I do not recommend that practice. In case of a rear end collision, the battery could be crushed and battery acid could escape. A AGM battery is built differently from a standard flooded battery which is found in most cars today. If you have any doubts about the battery, have the seller install a new one before you buy the car.

    Also, make SURE you get TWO WORKING keyfobs. Again, those things are expensive, and they have to be programmed to the car. Again, have the seller take care of this before you buy the car.

    Best of luck to you and welcome to Prius Chat!
     
  5. SteveLee

    SteveLee Active Member

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    Check the vehicle history on the Toyota owners website and CarFax, look into the recall replacements, drive the car and see what kind of current MPG you get at 55mph. Is the engine cycling off at stop lights? That's a good thing. Driving below 41 mph with the cruise on does the engine cycle off and the MFD show electric only for about a mile? Another good thing. As a not so great indicator but may be interesting, what does the Average MPG readout say?

    I wouldn't worry about the miles. The car typically has many more miles of reliable use with reasonable care. At around 15k a year, in 3 years you'll have 150k. You may or may not want to consider selling and replacing it then but it will still have a great resale value while you saved lots on gas. Repairs? No one can foretell the future. But statistically the car is one of the most reliable and maintenance free on the road. The incidents of large repair bills happen but they are rare. 1.5 million of these cars in America today. A few have had large repair bills. 1% of 1.5 million is 15,000. But that is still a relatively low number. And the cost of many of those repairs is continuing to go down with the use of salvaged and remanufactured parts and more hybrid capable mechanics.


    Read more: http://priuschat.com/threads/2006-prius-97-000mi.131446/#ixzz2fFHWfut4
    Follow us: @PriusChat on Twitter | PriusChat on Facebook
     
  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    If I bought a used Prius I would change the 12 volt battery immediately. Wouldn't even bother checking it.
    It prob sat on a car lot till the battery went dead. Most likely has been jumped started a few times.

    If you buy a Prius make sure you never ever ever let the 12 volt battery go dead and have to jump it. Hundreds of posts here on this forum where owner's incurred $ XXXX.XX amount of damage with a simple jump start.

    Also make sure you buy a Prius with smart key. That's the best feature. If it has a black plastic button on the outside drivers door handle you can press with the fob in your pocket to lock the car it has a smart key. Don't buy a Prius without it.

    SKS and Camera are package #2.Like mine.
     
  7. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I am pretty sure that this one has the SKS as I can see some black button on the door handle from the pic. Going down tomorrow to look it over. I hope it turns out ok.
     
  8. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Good luck. These cars are really great and reliable IMO
     
  9. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Alright, I'm back! Turns out the 2008 I looked at was a POS. You could tell just by looking at it that it was not cared for at all from the inside out. Made a terrible exhaust noise, headliner was ripped, seats were filthy, interior panels were all scratched up, just blah. However! I did find a 2004 with 113k miles that was very nice inside and out. Drove it around for about 15-20 miles. Checked all over the car and everything was in great shape. Carfax was good. There was a ton of service history from a local toyota dealer on the toyota owners site. Tires were pretty new, the 12v battery was replaced 2 years ago and still tested good. I'm going to perform some maintenance over the next few days and get everything fresh. I just drove it from Arlington, TX back to OKC, OK so at least I made it home! I will try to get some pics posted later if anyone cares to see. Haha.. :LOL:
     
  10. SteveLee

    SteveLee Active Member

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    Congrats on your purchase!! And welcome to the Prius community.
     
  11. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Here are some pics!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    Ignore the dirty toolbox.
     
  12. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    That is a very clean 04. Congrats!! How much did you have to pay? Is there a scratch or a ding anywhere?
     
  13. SteveLee

    SteveLee Active Member

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    Nice. I have noticed the hood paint on these cars get dinged over time. Probably needs more or better clear coat in that area. But that is one nice looking 04.
     
  14. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    LOL, looks almost like ours. Difference between the two your and ours. Ours has the plastic wheel covers, your doesn't. Lot's of folks pull them off anyway. Some think they look bad, other's don't

    Congrats on your purchase.

    Try to figure out if the coolant has been changed in both loops. Also try to figure out if the spark plugs were done. You might want to drain and refill the transaxle also. No flush is required.

    Welcome to the club, I am sure you will be happy especially when you fill up. Until you get used to the bladder and the guess gage (fuel gage on dash), I would suggest you fill up when you see two pips (blocks) left. FYI, the bladder holds less fuel when it is cold and more fuel when it is warm. Another tip is to fill up with the slowest setting on the handle. When the pump kicks off, hang the nozzle up. Don't top off or overfill. It also helps if you will let the tank breathe a little bit before you start filling up. Also, be certain the oil in the engine is in between the two marks on the dipstick. Overfilled is not good and causes problems. Normal oil change with a filter on a Gen II is 3.5 quarts. That will put the oil just below the top mark on the dipstick. Maximum is 3.9 quarts. Fours quarts is TOO MUCH and will overfill! Check your oil regularly. Older Prius are known to use oil. At the bottom mark, it takes 1.6 quarts to bring it back up to the top mark.

    Expect to fill up at three pips about 6.5 gallons. Two pips about 7.2 One Pip about 8. If you see the last pip flashing buy gas NOW. You don't want to run out of gas. Finally, learn how to jump a Prius properly. If you don't do it right, over 4K damage can be done.

    Not trying to scare you, just giving you a heads up.
     
    koolingit likes this.
  15. SteveLee

    SteveLee Active Member

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    hmmm, got me scared!:(
     
  16. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Nah, I'm not scared. Oh, mine had two of the wheel covers on it and one was all scuffed up real bad. I just yanked those two off before I took the pics. I may get some new ones. I haven't decided yet. I checked the oil and it is right at the top line and still looks pretty clean. I might go ahead and switch it to Mobil1 soon. I was looking through the service history and Toyota changed the coolant in both the ICE and the Inverter at 80k which was 11/28/2011. The fluid still looks nice and pink, so I might let that go for a while. I will do the drain and fill on the transmission for sure. I am also going to get a set of plugs and a few other things as well. Probably get the Densos. ;)
     
  17. scotrinaf

    scotrinaf Junior Member

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    Congrats on joining the Prius family, and on a great looking car. :)
     
  18. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    :(
     
  19. Prius904

    Prius904 Junior Member

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    Good looking car man, I just bought mine a couple weeks ago and is almost same mileage as yours... Yours looks much cleaner. Guy above mentioned hoods of prius get dinged up over time, that's very true for mine. I ordered the stock gold touchup paint from Toyota for 10.01$ just an fyi. May our "new" cars carry us over the roads for another 200k miles! Congratz!
     
  20. ChadInOKC

    ChadInOKC Junior Member

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    Awesome! Yeah, mine has a few chips in it, but so does my Tundra too. I guess it depends on how much highway driving you do. Those semi's and their Rocks are bad news for hoods/grills.
     
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