Should I get a 2011 Prius with 50k miles? Pl guide.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by boxweg, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    Asking price is $6500 but I might be able to get it for much much less as owner is desperate to sell since a long time and there are no buyers in the market for this car in my country.

    Condition is such:

    Second owner.
    1. The MIL light is glowing.
    2. The hybrid battery is weak, discharging light is glowing
    3. ‘Check hybrid system’ message shows on display
    4. Engine mount has excess vibration, auxiliary noise.
    5. Engine oil leaking from tappet cover.
    6. Steering, suspension are hard and have abnormal noise
    7. It also says alternator bearing noise, but I guess it meant generator.
    8. Parts like apron and cowl top are rusted
    9. Tires are such:
    • Left Front Tire - 69-85%
    • Right Front Tire - 69-85%
    • Left Rear Tire - 38-53%
    • Right Rear Tire - 69-85%
    • Spare Tire - 6-22%, Damaged
    What might be the cost of above repairs roughly?


    Non accidental, body looks good, small scratches and dents on all surfaces. Has maintenance records, basic trim level.
    Price is so high because new Prius sells for 240% of its price in my country.

    I will have to put a new HV battery. But is there a risk of Generator or transaxle assembly going bad? Or stuff like inverter, compressor?
    Is there a risk of a short circuit which can damage the new HV battery? Any other issues that have a chance of popping up?

    If a part like a generator or transaxle goes bad, the repair will be more than the value of car, which would make the car worth nothing.
    If you guys think the value of the car should be much lower then pl tell me what the right price should be.

    This car is very rare in my country so buyers are few, info is less and I might be able to negotiate quite a bit, maybe even 'bully' the owner because he has been trying to sell it for a long time.


    My plan is to get it for around $1500-2000 and spend the rest of my budget for battery and repairs.

    Would really appreciate your advice.
     
    #1 boxweg, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  2. 2012PriusII

    2012PriusII Junior Member

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    I am not a mechanic so it will be good if someone qualified chimes in.

    Irrespective of the price difference for your country, I would not buy it based on what you have listed. It seems like a lot of things for a Prius with only 50k miles.

    Even if the repairs are reasonable, which I think would be more than the car is worth, there is still the risk of something else to go wrong with it.
     
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  3. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    Apart from the HV battery, which repair will be expensive according to you?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the big issues are a/c compressor and brake actuator. how is the salvage parts market, and your hybrid diy skills?
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I like to say there are "used" cars and then there are "used up" cars; this one seems to be the latter. Pass.
     
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  6. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    There is no salvage parts market here. I don't have diy skills but in my country labour work is very cheap, so servicing cost is not a problem. Does the compressor and actuator go bad much? How much would the actuator cost?
     
  7. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    I see. Roughly how much would you say the likely repairs would cost, other than the labour costs?
     
  8. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Headache, PASS on it.

    There is no good deal in it if you don't DIY.

    It may be simple as in 12v battery, but may be non simple as in it will cost you dearly in
    time and money and pain to repair many parts on it.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i would look up parts prices that are available to you. the comressors are pretty robust, but expensive if they do fail.
    the brake actuators are defective, and are covered under an extended warranty in some parts of the world.
    look up replacement hybrid batteries, or talk to one of your inexpensive repair shops about costs, and their hybrid repair knowledge. if they can't give you clear information off the top of their heads, it's gonna be a problem when you do need repairs.
     
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I have no idea what those costs would be in your part of the world. We have a PC member who does similar type repairs/work on rare Prius in Lagos, Africa: @Dxta He may have better insight on this.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  11. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    What kind of conditions was this vehicle driven in. I've never heard of a Prius with so few miles with so many problems.

    You can check out the health of the hybrid battery by buying on OBDII bluetooth enabled adapter that plugs in to the diagnostic port under the dash. You then link an android phone by bluetooth to the adapter and run the Dr. Prius App. You might find that you can have one or two battery modules replaced to temporarily improve performance while you trouble shoot the rest of the issues.

    The App will also give you codes that are causing the "check hybrid system" to display

    I am thinking that the battery is in poor shape because the vehicle has be used so little that it hasn't been kept up to a healthy level of charge.

    Also, how do you know where the "bearing noise" is coming from?
     
  12. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    It's been driven in Bombay, so lets say hot and humid. Cars here have fewer miles by comparison as travel is not so long in cities.

    I read an inspection report on the listing, it said 'alternator bearing noise'.

    A lot of people are saying 'so many problems', but I'm trying to understand how there are many big problems. Apart from the HV replacement, maybe the MIL light and 'check hybrid system' could be due to the HV battery? And engine mount vibration and hard/noisy steering and suspension could be fixed with some simple maintenance? Am I mistaken? Same with oil leaking from tappet and bearing noise?
    Because the owner has the audacity to write 'excellent condition' and no repair needed on his listing.

    Pl correct me if I'm wrong.

    Thanks for telling me about the OBD device.
     
  13. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    Big difference between asking if it's a good buy for $6,500 vs $1,500. The general advice around here is to put in a Toyota hybrid battery, not a battery from a 3rd party vendor regardless of the warranty.

    But with only 50k miles and all of these problems, I'm guessing that this is a salvage title, or a cursed lemon. Either way, I'd stay away from this one and wait for another Prius that has a good bill of health. Do you have companies in Mumbai that allow you to see the vehicle history?
     
  14. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    Apart from HV battery, which other problem that I've listed might cost a lot to fix?
     
  15. Priuslover09

    Priuslover09 Member

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    Not if you let sit for 8 days otherwise hybrid battery and the 12v will die on you sooner then you think. If your going to drive the car daily then go ahead buy it.
     
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  16. 2012 Prius v wagon 3

    2012 Prius v wagon 3 Active Member

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    On the alternator ... my understanding is that these cars don't have them. They have DC-DC converters, which are solid state (no moving parts) electronics that step voltage down from the ~200V of the traction battery to the ~12-14V of the auxiliary battery. Nothing moves, and there is no bearing, so your alternator bearing is not bad. You don't have an alternator. And the thing that does the function an alternator does not have any bearings.

    So that's one specific issue with the inspection report. But it leads me to question a lot of stuff about the whole story here:
    - a ton of problems, although none sounding fatal, on such a low mileage car (even at 100k miles, that list would be surprising)
    - owner says excellent
    - inspection list is huge

    Not sure what to believe. If it turns out that the list of flaws is exaggerated, it might be a great deal (considering the import taxes, low labor costs, etc.).

    But if the list of flaws is true, I would be wondering if the mileage is accurate. And would be expecting that there is a lot more that has failed than was identified in the inspection.

    So it's definitely a gamble if you have to decide based on this info only. Sometimes taking a risk like that can get you a great deal, if you can afford to be wrong.
     
  17. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    Are the problems from 4 to 8 a big deal? Or expensive to fix? And couldn't the problems 1-3 be only due to HV battery?
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the only thing i see is the tranny bearing noise. a new/used tranny would be big bucks.

    hard to believe it's a problem at 50k though. are you sure someone didn't turn back the odometer?
     
  19. boxweg

    boxweg New Member

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    Haha, here, among all the available 10 year old Priuses, this is the highest mileage. All others are around 40k miles.
    Are you referring to the transaxle? Could the 'alternator' bearing noise be from that?
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    idk, because there is nothing like an altenator on a prius, but there are some systems that perform a similar function
     
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