To Buy or Not to Buy

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by thefloorman, May 8, 2022.

  1. thefloorman

    thefloorman New Member

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    I am very new to this forum, but I wanted to ask a question. I am currently in need of my first car, and I have been looking into a Prius. They seem quite reliable, but I wanted to ask about a couple issues, and finally, weather or not it would be a good idea to buy one. The main issues I have come across are the battery, and the head gasket. I have heard here that there can be some issues with the head gasket on the 2010-2014 models. I have also heard that the batteries usually have about 150k miles before they break. Is this a good estimate, and are there any other big issues to watch for? Finally, I have an opportunity to buy a 2012 Prius with 147k miles on it. I am worried about the battery especially, and have also heard that the generator can be an issue. If there is any issues I missed, do tell me, and thank you all for your time.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    first thing to do is find a hybrid mechanic if you can't diy. they are few and far between, and a dealer will send you to the poorhouse.

    on the gen 3, you have it covered except for the failing brake actuators.

    battery life is not determinable. it can fail tomorrow, or last another couple hundred thousand miles.
    you can get dr prius app which gives a percent of life left, but idk how reliable that is.

    personally, i would avoid a hybrid for my first car, unless i was i were a great shade tree mechanic, had deep pockets, or could afford gen4 2016 and up, or at least gen 3 with piston/ring upgrade.

    all the best! (y)
     
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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Hybrid batteries in taxi cabs go 400K miles without issue because they are always in use... Most battery pack problems are when car sits for a while or vehicle is used irregularly.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    This car is arguably the most complex car ever made. This third generation has far more flaws than the generation before or after. In most areas you have to tow your broke down Prius to a dealer or tow it out of town to one of the few independents capable of repairing a hybrid problem. All of which makes the cars expensive to repair.

    The high voltage (hv) battery does not just "break", it normally gradually degrades from 150,000 to 200,000 miles. When they do light up the dash, the hv battery system often can be reset and driven several months or more. There is a somewhat involved hv battery diy that can give you another year by replacing weak cells with better used modules. In the end, a new set of cells, brand new, can give you another eight years. Maybe $2,500 installed if you shop. Used or refurbished is a year to year problem.

    However this predictable battery issue is not as bad $2.5k for an out of warranty brake booster system or a $2.5k-$5k head gasket/engine repair. The gen3 Prii are also bad on oil burning and clogged egrs. The oil burning can ruin the expensive catalytic converter or can cause the engine to starve for oil if not religiously monitored.

    Ask yourself, how you would feel if you had $5k in unexpected maintenance in the first year? What if it blew the engine with a hole in the block? What if the inverter strands you a hundred miles from home? All can and has happened.

    The original owners got a good deal when they bought it, benefited from high mpg for ten years, did not have expensive hybrid repairs (in some States the battery and other hybrid parts were warranted for 150k) AND the original owners are receiving inflated prices on a car realistically worth $5k-$7k. The used buyer really takes it in the shorts because he did not get the original owner benefits and nearly has a new car loan to buy a well used 2012 Prius.

    Buy simple, buy reliable. Corolla, Camry or Civic. I especially like the Civics and Camrys even if they are older. Check out any of these as well.
     
    #4 rjparker, May 9, 2022
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
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  5. thefloorman

    thefloorman New Member

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    Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. JohnPrius3005

    JohnPrius3005 Member

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    No-one could have said it better!!
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    I doubt the 2015's are immune to head gasket failures.

    The only difference is revised pistons/rings: the revised rings are higher tension, and the new pistons are mainly to accomodate the increased dimensions of the rings. All of this is due to reports of excessive oil consumption on the earlier years. The piston/ring rev happened somewhere in model year 2014; the cut-off VIN is explained in the attachments.

    My 2 cents: all of this above makes little or no difference, to the EGR's propensity to carbon-clog, and subsequent head gasket failure.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    (n)Well, if the new rings/pistons reduce/stop oil from blowing by and getting burned, then there will
    be less burned oil going through the egr cooler. Which would mean it won't get clogged,
    or as clogged, which would mean there wouldn't be the back pressure to blow the head gasket.

    Right????

     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    Maybe. I've got zero noticeable oil loss so far, at least keeping an eye on the dipstick. But mine was carbonning up nicely. Still, as you say: if it's burning oil, maybe happens faster.
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Exactly right. There is a big difference between some buildup yet the egr still flows and the intake is not a swimming pool of muck. Instead we get excessive oil consumption, blowby, a completely clogged egr and carbon thick on the valves and pistons causing preignition and pinging. After 150k miles. Reporting no head gasket problems prior is irrelevant.
     
  11. fil100

    fil100 New Member

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    My newly prius 2010 with 243´ km on it has no oil usage yet after 3000 km. Maybe I was lucky. Egr was also not fully clogged.

    I see from service history there has been a mix of 5-30w and 0-20w oil used. Personally I use the latter.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you have a 12 year old car with only 243' km on it? does 243' mean thousand?
     
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  13. nicoj36

    nicoj36 Member

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    If you're mechanically inclined and DIY, get it. Just do maintenance, clean EGR, intake manifold, throttle body, replace all fluids, spark plugs, lots of TLC, etc. And the car should serve you for a hundred thousand more miles.

    Also this product helps against the head gasket issue. But you still want to clean the EGR and intake manifold to make sure. Liqui moly seals leaks and tiny holes in your engine such as gasket gaps. It also stops oil-consumption and is used on luxury cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes.

    Good luck

     
  14. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    I would never as a first car no Siree. The headaches etc will take a bit of your life . Start with Yaris or Corolla First . You may not stay in a car that long . Scooters .narrow tracks. And all that are a happening . But if a cars really a thing . Try that advice.ive driven corolla's since KE on 71 1.1 litre bullet proof . Prii can be very great cars . But are you ready to give up your life and live on the web to keep up your car are you a mechanical person as any of this interest you big questions that need serious answers from only you don't take my word for it