repair bill > car value; offered $1200 for car; fair price?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Sarasota, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    Hello PriusChat members,

    Received the sad $127 diagnostic news yesterday that my 2006 Prius needs $5600 in work. That's more than it's worth so looking to get the most I can out of it.

    Car repair shop offered me $300, said the owner would use my car for parts for his Prius.

    Called another place in Tampa Bay that deals in hybrids and after seeing the photos and running my VIN, he has offered me $1200. I feel inclined to accept and have AAA tow it there tomorrow, but thought I'd check here quickly first.

    The hybrid battery works. Leather interior, silver dollar sized hole in back seat leather. No voice navigation. Back-up camera. Airbags. 121,888 miles. Paint is faded. Four tires not good. 12V battery not good. The biggest problem, they (car shop + hybrid dealer) tell me, is the ABS is bad. $2600 to replace.

    Does $1200 sound like a fair offer to you? Whatever I get will be used toward a new (used) vehicle, after I can find one.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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    IMHO grab the $1200 and run. Just had our 2008 appraised by several different places, including running it ourselves on Edmunds KBB and we are getting $2800 as an average and ours has no problems whatsoever.
     
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  3. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    Oh, and the AC works.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's a great car. low miles, needs a few k and someone will drive it to half a mil.

    the cat alone is worth 1200
     
  5. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    ENGINE DIAGNOSTIC

    Vehicle has been sitting advise. Performed inspection of vehicle.
    Vehicle needs oil change with recommended BG hybrid kit,
    4 new tires due to flat spots,
    alignment,
    12V back up battery,
    ABS lights are on due to left rear speed sensor INOP and ABS actuator brake booster fault.
    Customer states cluster would not light up. When parked cluster currently is working when vehicle is jump started but recommend replacing cluster ECU.
    Estimate to perform services to vehicle is $5622.
    Customer declined repairs at this time.
     
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  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Lol... If you lived on west coast I could fix most all of these things for less than $500... The actuator I'd take a wait and see approach and replacing tires due to flat spots sounds like a scam to me. Replace the tires once they're worn out unless you're constantly driving on the freeway at 80mph.

    It's inevitable if you or a friend don't DIY and can't make use of all the info on this website that a mechanic is going to recommend repairs costing ten times more than what a DIY repair person will charge. This is how most people end up giving up their beloved Prius. If I were you I'd find a friend or nearby mechanic to fix stuff on the cheap and get more life out of the car before giving up.
     
  7. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    Thank you for your replies, Stevewoods, bisco, and PriusCamper.

    PriusCamper, darn, I was living in California less than two years ago. I missed my chance!

    The tires have flat spots due to the car sitting for a year, I think. (Haven't driven it as I had it towed to the shop, but that's what they told me. Seems credible.)

    The dashboard lights had been sometimes not lighting (a very intermittent problem) before the battery died. I guess that's what they describe as the cluster. I had taken the car in somewhere once to check about the dashboard but they hadn't been able to get the problem to occur. I'm sure I poked around this site back then trying to figure out what to do.

    About a year ago, it didn't start one day. I tried charging it which I had done successfully in the past (this site has helped me more than once with various repairs and easy DIY maintenance), a neighbor who is Mr. Many Fast Vehicles also tried to jump it with his stronger charger, and we still couldn't get it started. Unfortunately the pandemic had recently hit and at that point I didn't have the funds to do anything further. *Don't wanna talk about the past year.*

    I was afraid the hybrid battery would have conked out completely by this point, but it didn't. The ABS stuff was news to me, and the repair bill is too steep. If I thought I could fix my old Prius myself, I would do it! :)

    I wish my neighbor liked working on hybrids! He'd be perfect; he just retired a couple of months ago and is always fussing with various cars, motorcycles, boats, go-karts, etc. He wants nothing to do with hybrids, alas. I don't know anyone who works on cars besides him.

    I purchased it used in 2008 and it's been a good car. I told the shop I would have it towed away from their place on Monday. I will think over what you all have said as I decide whether to tow it to Tampa Hybrids or to my house.
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Unless you or a friend wants to work on it, it's not affordable to have a shop work on it at this point... Post an add on craigslist 'as is' for best offer and by Monday you can decide if you meet the buyer at the repair place on Monday or do something to keep it going in your life in an affordable way.
     
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  9. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I just replaced my mother in-law's brake actuator. It's not trivial but it's not difficult either. Just timing consuming. Plan to spend an entire day if you're a novice mechanic. You can buy used brake actuators on ebay with 90 day warranties for about $300.

    Unless the car sat with flat tires for a year, the flat spots will come out with a few hundred miles of driving on the freeway if not much sooner.

    In the Bay area, there are Gen2s with 100K miles selling for $10K. We're in a period of hyper inflation and used car prices are on a vertical climb right now made worse by chip shortages all over the planet causing multi year long delays in making new cars.
     
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  10. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    Thank you for your messages, PriusCamper and sorka.

    No, the tires were not flat for a year, but the car did sit idle that long. I could certainly take it out for a careful, albeit bumpy, drive to try to fix the tires.

    I am absolutely a novice at mechanical work (so maybe the brake actuator would take me quite a while) but the pandemic had me carefully figuring out how to do all kinds of stuff (home maintenance: plumbing, HVAC, dishwasher, replacing bulbs in 15'-25' ceilings, spraying a three-story building to remove faint mildew and keep the HOA happy, etc.) on my own that I normally might not have tried. Thank goodness for all the helpful service people and the DIYers and their YouTube tutorials!

    So unless something when replacing a brake actuator takes brute force or expensive equipment I wouldn't have access to, I might be able to manage? Anything 'brakes,' though, seems intimidating.

    I used this site before to check out buying tires (think they were Japanese) through the mail which I'd never done before. It worked out just fine. And I'm sure it's easy to take the car in for an alignment.

    Pretty sure I've read discussions here about best 12V batteries to purchase (years ago it used to be a yellow one? Optima or something like that?) and that shouldn't be too hard to have installed.

    That leaves left rear speed sensor INOP <-- no idea
    and oil change with recommended BG hybrid kit (I think he said they needed to run some kind of liquid through 'the gas tank and the whole system' since it sat for a year, maybe that is the BG hybrid kit?)
    and replacing cluster ECU <---which I think they quoted me $800 to do.

    Well, the paint still looks bad and there's still a small tear in the back seat, too, but those aren't as important.


    Something unexpected happened where I no longer have to rush it to Tampa Hybrids right away; I could put it in my driveway and think about it a while. Also don't have to repair everything all at once now. Hmm. What a difference a day makes.

    I did take a look online at some used Priuses (Prii?) at Tampa Hybrid. They were starting around $5K.
     
    #10 Sarasota, May 3, 2021
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  11. jkisf

    jkisf New Member

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    Hey Sarasota, where are you located?

    Honestly that is a terrible price but you really gotta think of it as a business aspect and they have overhead to pay for.

    When I see that, minus the cosmetic and/or holes in the interior, I pretty much see a nice running car once actuator, cluster, 12v, and abs speed sensor is replaced. Yes, a DIY mechanic can repair these easily for under $500.

    I would personally skip the rest.
     
  12. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    I am in Tampa Bay now. Moved away from Sarasota.

    I am waiting for the tow now. Todd at Tampa Hybrids said he would look at it for a second opinion.
     
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  13. Thebakerman

    Thebakerman Member

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    You know to be honest. I had the similiar issues with my car after sitting for a while which was a 2009. She was pretty but alot of miles. Like well over 250,000. This is what I suggest which is different then what everyone else has suggested. My hunch tells me it's your wheel abs speed sensor which gives you INOP and makes your abs go out. The was almost every night on the dash. Abs wasnt there, no regen breaking. It brakes like a regular car. Feels so weird in a prius like that. Sometime it would be there and other times it wouldn't. Then one day it came on full time and wouldnt go away for 2 while days. All I did was buy a newer OBD2 scanner and used car scanner pro. Brake actuator, abs system, even a hybrid failed message. Found the sensor that was INOP on reading and went to autozone for 110 bucks OTD and replaced it. Reset system via Scanner app. Shut down and restart system, works great! I drive 2-300 miles daily. About 3 weeks later the samespeed wheel sensor failed and same story. 3 yr replacement. Took it off, back to autozone and worked for another almost 50k before I traded it. My point is start with the bad wheel abs speed sensor and I can almost guaranteed save you 1000's...

    Might I add that local shop wanted over 5k too. It took me a hour with basic tools and jack. Saved car , and 5k. FYI

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The shop is not saying the tires were flat for a year, just that sitting that long will create flat spots. That’s debatable. If you don’t just sell it, I would definitely hold off on tire replacement, till you’ve driven it some. Even if you ARE hearing a minor thumping, give it a while; see if it smooths out.
     
  15. Thebakerman

    Thebakerman Member

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    I would start at wheel sensor bearing first not last. That's the cheapest, most likely cause of the problem to begin with. Happened to me twice actually. 110 dollar fix free labor by your truly. Fyi
     
  16. jkisf

    jkisf New Member

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    Im not recommending the wheel sensor last I am recommending the cluster, abs actuator, 12v battery, and the wheel sensor all together.
     
  17. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Hey @Sarasota. I just came across this thread. Todd at Tampa Hybrids is a stand-up guy. He has been so honest with me that I've bought six cars from him. He can fix that brake actuator a LOT cheaper than the Toyota dealer. Either way, you're smart to get second opinions on that stuff because some of it smells a little fishy. Todd should be able to give you a clearer picture of what's really needed. That instrument cluster, for example, is likely just the capacitor that gives out on a lot of Gen 2 Prii.
     
  18. Sarasota

    Sarasota Junior Member

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    Thanks for your posts, jkisf, Thebakerman, Mendel Leisk, and jerrymildred. I will try to remember all of these ideas!

    Would be THRILLED if I can get it running for much less than that initial repair quote, and your thoughts are giving me some glimmer of hope. We'll see what Todd says tomorrow. I mentioned PriusChat to him a few times and congratulated him on having earned a good online reputation.


    It took AAA about six hours but they finally got a tow truck dispatched to pick up my Prius from the shop and drive it to Tampa Hybrids. In case anyone else doesn't know, AAA rushes to you if you've broken down (good) but if you're towing from one car place to another, even if they tell you at 10:45 AM your car tow is marked *PRIORITY due to computer problems preventing your tow yesterday* and the tow truck will be there in under one hour, you really will be last priority for the day. Even if your membership is Premier.


    I went up to Tampa Hybrids earlier in the afternoon with a relative and talked with Todd who showed me:
    • two used cars which were similar to my car except running nicely, ha. I test drove them. They both seemed fine, although the AC was stronger in one than the other, a major consideration in Florida.
    • catalytic converters (and he explained how thieves take them from many cars but especially hybrids, even in broad daylight in mall parking lots(!), and a metal shield he sells to stop/deter them)
    • a bunch of hybrid batteries, just 'cause they were sitting there

    His inventory is down and instead of getting in 10 cars/week, it's been much lower recently due to the whole supply chain issues for new cars from the pandemic + few deals on new cars due to short supply + stimulus money + people avoiding Uber/Lyft/public transportation + tax rebates. He says prices in used cars have gone up considerably in the last three months.

    He will look at it tomorrow and we'll see what happens. He had various ideas in mind, like buying one of his 2005-2007 models and swapping in my leather seats and the sliding cover for in the hatchback that I have but those cars didn't (I always put that cover over my groceries or whatever I place in the back, in case of an accident). Of course those issues aren't on my mind quite as much as a safely running car (with running AC, of course).

    Todd agreed with those of you who suggested that it is possible I might be able to drive on the tires for some distance and not have to replace the tires, but he hadn't yet seen my car.

    He also seemed to think that despite the other shop telling me the hybrid battery is working, since it is a 2006 which has never been replaced it is coming to the end of its expected mechanical lifespan. Also, since it sat for a year, he thinks the hybrid battery could be in trouble. (This had been my fear, too.) Again, will find out tomorrow.


    I don't HAVE to have a Prius for any particular reason. I'm just used to driving one for the past thirteen years (minus one pandemic year = technically twelve years). It suits my needs. We'll see.
     
    #18 Sarasota, May 4, 2021
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  19. Thebakerman

    Thebakerman Member

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    But why?? When the wheel speed abs sensor goes out it creates similar condition. Threw 3 codes including brake actuator, hybrid system fail, and a couple other things. They were telling me over 5k to fix everything. When in reality it was one part creating additional issues. Start at the part that caused the issue in the first place, especially when this issue has seen many times in priuses. I wouldn't say common but a fair share. When that speed and sensor goes (which is all the same piece bearing, sensor, and abs attatchment btw) it's really easy to replace. Litterly just a few bolts and comes right out. This usually will save you the headache of having to replace all said above which will save you thousands. Look if it's not broke don't fix it, that's my rule. I'll see if I can find a screenshot of the codes that it threw in a bit.
     
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  20. Thebakerman

    Thebakerman Member

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    Threw 4 codes actually but one is permanent. All that over just 1 rear passenger abs speed sensor. I would start there first after battery change. I bet that's all it is. When hybrid system is on low aux battery. It can throw all kinds of codes. Battery and wheel sensor. Reset with obd2 and I bet that's all it needs. Might I add this happened to 2 of priuses.
     

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