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Smart or stupid? My new 260k 2009 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by 260kPrius, Aug 25, 2022.

  1. 260kPrius

    260kPrius Junior Member

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
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    Base
    Hi everyone! I bought a Prius 3 weeks ago. 260k miles. 2009. I paid $2700 with some known trouble codes & other stuff...let me explain

    First off...initially I was stupid...probably rash decision. I test drove my Prius and it drove well, got decent mileage and the battery seemed okay. BUT I should have taken my time...drove other cars...and probably just spent more money on a car with less miles/less work to do.

    But what's done is done and overall I think it will work out. I have tools, jack stands, garage, and extra car I can use...not the most expert mechanic...but I worked on my previous 2005 Pontiac Vibe (loved that car) and everything worked out...and the Prius reminds me of the Vibe but with better mpg :) (and of course more complex hybrid system). I have spent a lot of time reading this forums & watching youtube vids and I think I have a good idea of how to do all the work that's needed.

    Here's the skinny:
    • need to replace A/F sensor (codes P0031, P0037, P0038, P2238...I know these refer to both bank 1 and bank 2 sensor...but I think the upstream sensor should probably do). I already have the sensor and waiting on special Toyota O2 sensor removal tool.
    • ABS & VSC lights on...told it was ABS speed sensor. There's also what looks like an old front passenger speed sensor in the storage compartment trunk. Don't know enough about speed sensors to tell what's wrong...and haven't had the tires off to see yet. I bought VCI cable & plan to use Techstream to figure out which speed sensor or whatever is giving this problem.
    • front left strut is dead & clunking. Rears seem okay...slight discrepancy between fact I could 3 fingers above tire on passenger rear side and something like 2.5 fingers on drivers side. But garage slab could be uneven....in any case I probably will be replacing all the struts at once with KYB fully assembled struts and I bought a polyurethane 40mm lift kit (similar to priusoffroad looks like but polyurethane and cheaper). This is probably gonna be by far the most expensive part (like $550 in total new parts) and I feel kinda stupid for putting that in...but idk if worth it to buy used struts from junkyard...most cars there are already 150k+ or 200K miles...and new $50 monroe struts I hear are not good quality.
    • 2 issues I learned after I purchased the car: got under the car & noticed the passenger side CV axle inner boot looks like a shark took a big chunk off the boot..completely exposed. There's also too much play in it compared to driver's side. Surprised it actually is doing okay more or less. 2 issues made me look there though. slight click sometimes on slow speed turns. And I think this is related...but car is a bit jerky when letting off accelerator to go between regen braking & light acceleration. I don't have other Prius driving experience to compare what it should normally feel...but I think this bad CV inner joint might explain that. Yes, I will also change ATF fluid when doing the axle...was gonna change ATF anyway so it works out.
    • Other issue is Dr Prius showed hybrid code for bad brake light switch...which explains why cruise control won't keep on consistently and turn off when hitting a bump. Ordered the part.

    Here's what I think is the good news:
    • Battery seems to be in good shape. Driven it 200 miles and get about 41-42 mpg mixed driving...not too much hwy actually. On hwy seems like can get 45+ mpg. Battery stays about 60% SOC through most driving...only seen it go low bars/ purple once when doing a lot of reversing, creeping forward a bunch to park into weird garage situation. Did 20 min drive with Dr Prius app and voltage difference seemed low in diff situations...although I just glanced multiple times when I could, didn't log the data. That said the battery is 13 years old and I already bought a 4x100w charger...I plan on removing the battery & testing capacity (maybe internal resistance too?) and cycling the cells and rebalancing...buying a couple modules if need be. Would like some extra performance & mpg...and hope cycling the cells will bring that. The engine runs more often than I thought and battery is not fast enough to bring car up to speed in reasonable time in traffic without engine kicking in at like 8 mph. Battery is def not dead though and I can feel it working...and kinda nice when it kicks in hard accelerating from 20-45 or so. I just wish it was a bit stronger so the engine didn't work as much. I haven't done Dr Prius test but I am thinking battery is probably at 50% health or something like that.

    • Other good news is I just got the car into the Toyota Owners service history webpage & found a bunch of Dealer history on the car I didn't know previously (bought as-is...kinda stupidly i admit) I uploaded it as PDF here if you wanna check it out. The car was owned from 2009-2020 by original owner. Looks like was brought in regularly for 5k-7k oil changes. Couple recalls done. About 20k miles per year driven. In 2019 at 190k miles was brought in with engine misfire codes & tech writes the spark plugs were badly corroded, replaced and this fixed the code. In 2019 as well at 200k miles was brought in with bad inverter pump code and inverter pump was replaced. Paid $40 for carfax...but was not worth it...All I learned was the car was sold in summer 2020 to 2nd owner. I assume 2nd owner put about 50k miles on the car and then sold it to dealer/eventually me. Looks like since 2019 has had the ABS, VSC code on and owners didn't really fix it.

    • Brake actuator seems okay...but it does turn on several times during a normal 20 min drive or whatever. Seems like it will be obvious and run a lot when it finally dies and throws a code. I watched several tutorials on how to replace it and looks like PITA but still...can be done when time comes.

    • Already has Cat shield installed. I assume this was probably reactive not proactive and the OEM cat was stolen...but is there anyway I can check easily? It's kinda hard to see markings on the cat when I'm under the car because of the shield. I'm in Minnesota, a non emission testing state so it would be nice if it was OEM and I could sell it to California.

    Anyway to wrap it up. Might have been stupid...but I think it will work out. I have done ton of research & reading here & feel confident I can accomplish all the work that needs to be done. I already have the windshield cowl off to do the A/F sensor but I think I will try to tackle everything at once....Struts, CV axle, A/F sensor since I'll have diff parts off already (was gonna do proactive spark plug change, PCV valve change, MAF & throttle cleaning but might back off of spark plugs & even PCV). Finally a couple questions for you guys:

    • Does the dealer note of badly corroded spark plugs worry you? It was at 190k miles..is that normal for such long interval or mean could be underlying issue? Also I was going to change the spark plugs but they were changed 3 years ago (and 70k miles ago)...is it worth it considering the new ones probably have life left in them? I unfortunately don't know if car drinks oil yet with only 200 miles on it....but was gonna look into pistons under the spark plugs and maybe do the berrymans piston soak that seems to work for people on the toyota piston rings (example: )
    • Do you think it is worth going to junkyard for a CV Axle when a lot of those cars are 150K -200k miles? RockAuto Cardones are $55 but I read differing opinions on quality of those. NAPA & other dealers I read are all Cardones as well but with differing warranties. I don't wanna buy a new OEM axle...but I also don't want to have to replace these anytime soon. Also do you think the 1.5" (40mm) lift kit is bad idea regarding CV axles? Priusoffroad says 1.5" is a good medium regarding to stress on suspension parts...but idk. Would like the extra clearance for bumps, driveways, and fact that I like to go camping, gravel roads that type of stuff.
    • Was kinda happy to see Inverter water pump was replaced at dealer 3 years ago so I don't need to proactively replace it....but question: does this mean the dealer replaced the inverter coolant as well? Was thinking about doing coolant change but if I can hold off a bit on the inverter side, saves me a little work for a while.

    Man...ton of words...thanks to anyone who read all this word vomit about my car, haha. I can take pictures if anyone wants to see something. CV axle picture might be interesting to some. Cheers!
     

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    #1 260kPrius, Aug 25, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
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  2. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Nope I paid about $800 less 2 years ago for the same car that needed a tad bit less work but even so wouldn't have really matter to me drive axles and all those consumable parts need to be dealt with probably once in the car's life and you got the car at that time it's just a look of the draw like the vibe it's a decent car to work on most everything can be done in the driveway you won't really need air tools for anything if you do get the big DeWalt electric gun the 20 volt thingy that does 700 ft lb and a few extensions and whatnot and that'll take care of any hard to turn nonsense on the Prius. It's a lot of fun to mess with. Batteries all the hobby charging business and sell to sell work forget it just buy yourself a battery when you get a minute unless you just have plenty of time on your hands and hours and hours of time to charge each cell and discharge each cell. Great second or third car actually it should be able to take this bad boy to 500,000 pretty easily and I mean pretty easily The little bit of work you got here is peanuts even having to replace the hybrid battery do it right and it'll probably last to 18 to 20 that the original one did but if you're a young guy and you're looking to get out of the car as fast as you got in so you can buy a whatever you insert. Then maybe not bother.
     
    Hanging on with 286k likes this.
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you made a good decision in the current environment, consider tech stream, and a service manual.

    all the best!(y)
     
    Hanging on with 286k likes this.
  4. highmilesgarage

    highmilesgarage Active Member

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    $2700 for 260k miles, you can't negotiate? that seems to be on the high side with all the issues. My budget is always on $1k with issues or need collision repairs. I haven't spent $1k on DIY repairs on my previous $1k Priuses (they're at 245k miles)
     
  5. MCCOHENS

    MCCOHENS Member

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    II
    Prices went crazy this summer, so previous sales really don't mean much. Regardless, this is the place to be if you want to keep it running. The more I learn about these cars the more I like them. And truth be told I thought they were crap. But now both kids have them and I got one this year when gas went nuts. Not a bad car, got my first over 50 MPG tank this week. Of course now something expensive will break!
     
    Hanging on with 286k and Another like this.
  6. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    Just take it as it comes. Your personal good experiences with multiple Priuses will be more valuable than hypotheticals.

    While PC is a great resource, it often presents a biased view of the reliability or rather the supposed unreliability of the Prius. Probably happens because people come here with problems to solve. It’s like reading an Ask Abby column sometimes. Some posters here like to interject negative possibilities of reliability at every instance. Often the negative comments are without substantiation.

    With the millions of Priuses on the road over the past two decades compared to many ICE vehicles the number of problems with the Prius is small.

    When I bought mine, I figured I’d take the risk it would fail. The party I bought it from who was the second owner, owned it for a decade, maintained it according to Toyota spec and told me the only reason they were selling it was because his daughter didn’t think it was cool enough to drive. She leased a Jeep instead that gets one third the mpg of the Prius. Genius.

    So far the car has not failed me. Will fail eventually but so will my body. I don’t fret over it. I love owning and driving this car.
     
    #6 Another, Aug 28, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2022
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  7. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    It is hard to lose money n a Prius if you buy it for $1k. It's Cat is worth that.
     
  8. Michael Crestohl

    Michael Crestohl Junior Member

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    ----USA----
    Report from the Boston area! I bought a 2007 with 122K miles last week. It is loaded with options, leather seats, etc, new tires, new 12 Volt battery. Someone stole the original car. It wqs replaced with an aftermarket cat and O2 sensors. CEL stays on. No big deal here in Mass; fifteen year old cars are exempt from emissions testing. Couple small things, all basically DIY and cosmetic repairs. Will not bore you with the details. Nice car. $5,000,

    I looked for two months for 2005-2009 2nd Gen and saw a lot of Priuses ( Prii?) advertised on Craigs List and facebook Marketplace. Most had high mileage and equally high prices. This one was found in Brockton Mass and was being sold on a mechanic’s lien of $3,800 worth of repairs. Advertised on Facebook Marketplace. This is my first Prius. I think I done good.
     
    #8 Michael Crestohl, Sep 1, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2022
  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's also a great deal to have a little fleet like that, get the best use out of one set of tools and spare parts.
     
  10. James Analytic

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I was about to spend $5000 on another 2013 for backup and potentially a 1.5" lift kit modded ride. I've also been wanting to have a complete gen2 to work on and study being most the diverse application openinverter.org designs (vehicles and mains output so far... I want to add universal generator inverter, welder and plasma cutter) seem to have came from the gen2's inverter/converter assembly.

    Well, the 2013 seller backed out and I was left with wondering what to do. Saw a $400 2006 Prius drive off on me (read actually) before I could get down and then a $1,500 north of there that was offered to me for $1,400.

    I jumped on the chance, got a bus trip booked and the seller picked me up from the Bus Station. We notarized the title at the bank and I drove her home with knowledge the cruise control didn't work, almost all the brakes had been redone other than the ABS Actuator-Accumulator (maybe C1343 isn't RR tab needs pressed in and adjusted out to increase pressure), custom exhaust where cat and O2 sensors need replaced (later found P0031, P0037 and P2238 codes) and maybe the 12V battery dated 2020 needed replaced to get the dash lights to go away. Also reported, burns 1/2q oil every 2000-3000 miles and had to add a little coolant to the inverter coolant tank after 20k miles. All fluids were flushed at the Toyota dealership at 212k miles with service all being at Toyota or Japanese service shops.

    The TPMS light came on as well and the seller noted that, that light just came on and he didn't notice before nor was in his video (P2122, P2123 & P2124). I did find after stopping for gas and checking over again after driving out of the city, the rear driver tire pressure was 32psi compared to the rest being ~40psi where I inflated them all to the same. Also, along the drive I was introduced to the clunky sounds coming from what I assume to be the suspension. Didn't seem like tie rods and was reported as loose spacers. That will need to be inspected some more to make sure no drive shaft issues regarding lift and other down beneath. Plan to do in detail when I swap strut springs.

    Cruise wound up being placing the shift lever out of "B" position and I've so far picked up most the parts I need or wanted from the 50% Sale at the salvage yard (front grill, LF inner fender & misc parts, x2 - RF bumper guard clip, rear hatch handle part along with another connector for custom inside switch, AWD Matrix front springs, gen 2 inverter/converter assembly to play with). I'm thinking I'll get another set of rims and tires for touring since came with 215/70R15's and the lift that's 1.5" lift blocks and RUBBERSOX brand coil spacers.

    Holding down the TPMS button didn't seem to reset as the seller noted in a later message.

    Any thoughts or considerations I'm missing?


    Is yours actually a Prius 3 as in Gen3 or a 2009 Gen2? As noted above, I knew I was going to be spending some like you're noting... with
     
  11. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    If you want the TPMS light out, you need a TPMS tool that can "ping" each sensor to see if it works. (avg battery lifespan is about 10 years- might be time for new sensors).

    Then you need a scantool to talk to the TPMS system on the car and see if the sensor ID numbers are correct.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  12. James Analytic

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    OK, I'll try to read into some more.

    Oddly on my 2013 prius, I just had a pair of Yokohama YK740's installed and my TPMS light came on after maybe fifteen minutes on the freeway after I hit a bump. I stopped, checked pressure and found 48psi, so reduced to 42 and about the same time after back on the freeway hit a bump again and came on. Not sure if the bump was related or timing or what.

    Was thinking maybe the soapy water fluid possibly impacted the signal or maybe leaked into?

    On another note, got the rear AWD Matrix struts from the yard where I was surprised to find another 50% sale period happening. Found a gen 3 rim with good enough 195-16R15 tire as well as some trim pieces and another hatch handle part that I'm going to make a DIY re-enforced design either using stainless steel mesh or sheet metal ironed into the part with I'm thinking epoxy potting over all that or maybe polyurethane since I have some tubes of. I got another inverter-converter assembly as well to work with. Debated getting the sway bars off the Matrix, though seems like more weight that isn't required. More likely sway bar linkages and bushings need replaced or maybe with the sway bar some rubber hose pieces DIY'd for now to fill the gaps if needed. Not sure if there are joints that can interchange as those might be better to use.
     
    #12 James Analytic, Mar 4, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2023
  13. James Analytic

    Joined:
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    Discount Tire checked my 2006 tire that I noticed has a slow leak. They patched and balanced the tire for free as well as checked all my TPMS sensor for free. All but three were barely able to be powered enough to be detected and only the one provided a psi measurement.

    They noted $20 to install for each wheel a customer purchased TPMS and $65 for their 6 year warranty TPMS purchased there and installed for each wheel.