Should I repair my 2008 Prius or lease a used car?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Annnastacy, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Annnastacy

    Annnastacy New Member

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    Hello,

    I’m a 24 year old college student, the Prius was a gift from my grandmother. The car is a 2008 base model. Currently, the check engine light is on and is missing it’s catalytic converter as it was stolen a few weeks ago.

    Before the converter was stolen, I took the car for repairs and to get a diagnosis for the check engine light. I was advised to go to a hybrid only shop in order to run ALL codes on my Prius. The mechanic stated that it may be time to replace the hybrid battery. My grandmother has had the car since 2008 and may not ever have replaced the hybrid battery.

    With both the engine light on and missing converter, there is a possibility that the hybrid battery would also need replacing. Would it be worth it to consider repairing my Prius or to lease a newer car?

    The car is in my driveway and is not running. I haven’t decided whether it’s worth taking to get inspected by the Hybrid only mechanic. The fact is my Prius would need to be towed multiple times to and from the shop and possibly to the car dealership as well.

    Any advice?

    Thanks.
    -Annastacia
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The battery issue is manageable... the Catalytic converter in California is the expensive problem, unless you can get a muffler shop to bend state law a little and install a non-Toyota aftermarket catalytic converter.

    No reason to go to a dealership, their estimate for both these problems will be twice the value of the car...

    If you can find an affordable fix for catalytic converter replacement, we can go into greater detail about battery pack. There's a chance that fix could be as easy as charging the pack up with a high voltage charger. Or at least that would be possible if the car sat for a long time without being used and that's what caused the problem.
     
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  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    She probably had no need or reason to replace it. If she bought and kept it in California, or in any of numerous CARB-law states, then it came with a 10 year, 150,000 mile warranty.
     
    #3 fuzzy1, Feb 26, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    If you took out a loan for $4,000 and used it to have the exhaust repaired and the hybrid battery replaced, how would that look compared to lease payments on something else? Not sure what other car you had in mind, just trying to suggest a way to compare the bills you'd face.

    Note that I just pulled the $4k figure out of thin air, please use actual numbers from your mechanic.

    I think there is value to be preserved in this car- you know where it's been since new. Use that to your advantage.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I hate to say it but this is kind of a tough situation.
    The Catalytic Converter being stolen really complicates the situation.

    Since the vehicle was only inspected by a Non-Hybrid mechanic who evidently didn't have the capability to run or obtain all the codes, you are stuck with only partial information here.

    I wouldn't necessarily fear the dealership, because you need the codes ran, and to know whether the Hybrid Battery has indeed failed or not.
    If it's under California CARB warranty it is probably still covered, BUT Toyota won't replace it unless it's defined as failed. So to get it covered under warranty you need definition that it actually has failed.

    Then unfortunately, the now absent Catalytic Converter complicates everything. That alone will cause a Check Engine Light, and you need to have that replaced. Also not cheap.

    But you really need better definition of exactly what the vehicle may need.
    Catalytic Converter we can be sure of...everything else is really only semi-defined.

    Also unknown is the overall condition of the vehicle.
    How many miles on it?
    How well maintained is it in all other regards?
    Would you consider it outside of Hybrid Battery and Catalytic Converter in Great Shape, Good Shape, or Bad Shape?

    This may of been a gift...but it's a bit of a challenge now.
    I think the best I can say or recommend is that you need to get better definition of what exactly is needed to get this vehicle running safely.

    But I would say a low mileage, 2008 Prius, in good to great shape, can be a decent investment.
    But at this point, I'm not sure what investment beyond a catalytic converter you might need to make.
    I need more information before I feel I could even offer a real recommendation.
     
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  6. Annnastacy

    Annnastacy New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! My Prius has 65k miles on it, the check engine light was indeed on before my cat. was stolen. The condition is decent. I wold just need a bumper replacement and a medium sized scratch on the side of the vehicle. I just replaced the tires and did the alignment before cat was stolen. So decent shape I guess?


    Thanks for the reply! Yes I am considering this more and more. I have made a decision that leasing a car was not the best option for me . Instead, along with repairing the Prius I thought about financing maybe a Honda, or Hyundai with a loan from my credit union and using the Prius as a trade in. However I'm observing all of my options before I do something stupid. Haha.

    Thanks for the reply! Yes the California cat will be an obstacle.

    Ahhh I see. Thanks for the reply!
     
    #6 Annnastacy, Feb 26, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2020
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    With only 65K miles on this car, if you can get it working again on the cheap it will be a worthwhile investment that will be good for a decade or longer. Low mileage Prius that haven't been driven daily are more likely to have hybrid battery problems that can be fixed with a simple charge and balance of the battery pack.

    Of course that check engine light is a bit of a mystery. Or maybe you're referring to the red triangle, which is hybrid battery ? If it really is check engine light, how has the oil level on the engine been in your experience with it? Also did you notice it running rough when check engine light came on?

    In general Prius are at their best if they're driven everyday and they're the most cost effective in relation to maintenance if you do lots of freeway driving or between 40-70mph. If you just need a car for occasional trips around town, it's probably not going to be as wise of an investment. But if you plan on putting a couple hundred thousand miles on the car and only want to pay for a hundred thousand miles of gas compared to a non-hybrid car... :)
     
  8. Annnastacy

    Annnastacy New Member

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    The car was driving fine even with the check engine light on. It’s really the engine light, it’s the orange square like light that says engine. The oil level was normal. My grandmother didn’t drive it much but I have been driving it some everyday. I’ve been doing 30 mile trips lately.



     
  9. Mavi

    Mavi Active Member

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    $1600 for a new battery pack, plus you can pay someone 200-300 to put it in from newpriusbatteries.com, then find a shop or someone to replace the cat on craigslist (300-400 max. You can also call local prius or hybrid repair shops and see if they have any units they can install for you from a salvaged car. Just note.. don't get a refurb battery, not worth it as they last only a year or less most of the time. ). I do believe it's worth the repair if those were the only issues. Can easily sell for 6k or so if issues are fixed.
     
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  10. Christov Tenn

    Christov Tenn Junior Member

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    I'm driving an '08 with 206,000 miles on the odo - bought in December 2019 with 202 k miles. From CarFax and the Toyota owner's website (make an account, enter your VIN to obtain all Toyota-known service history as well as other information about the car) - mine's never had a traction battery replaced. Your vehicle may have open recalls and the Toyota site would have that information as well. I'd say with low miles and depending on what a reputable hybrid mech says, fix it and drive it - pain up front in terms of paying for repairs versus many months of pain making lease payments. $.02
     
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