Used Prius shopping w/ battery issue

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by kjbetz, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. kjbetz

    kjbetz Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I'm looking at purchasing a used Prius. Most likely my budget (low!) will get me into a Gen 2. Here's an ad I found:

    "For sale Toyota Prius. The battery in the car went bad, needs a new battery and I dont want to spend more money on this car. Before I started having issues with the battery, the car drives and runs good.

    (Car battery start with jump, but dont hold charge for long time)"

    Now, this car is already priced like the HV battery is dead. Is it possible with the description of being able to be jump-started that it's JUST the 12V battery needs to be replaced?

    It's a 2004 with 200K on it. I haven't been out to look at it yet.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    anything is possible. is it likely? no

    pull in, have them start it, take it for a test drive, if you like it and the price is right, buy it and replace the 12v.
    if it won't start, proceed with caution. it's 15 years old
     
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    If it’s a 2004 and has the original battery it’s going to need a hybrid battery. It’s probably the main reason people sell there g2s.

    Any car you look at get it’s vin and go to

    Toyota.com/owners

    Join that forum and input the car under scrutiny’s vin it will show every time the car has seen an authorized Toyota dealer service center. You may see a dealer condemned the hybrid battery and it was traded in on the spot Or it limped back home so the owner can drill somebody on Craigslist.

    Be careful buying a g2.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  4. John321

    John321 Junior Member

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    "The battery in the car went bad, needs a new battery and I dont want to spend more money on this car" (he implies it is the hybrid battery that is bad. A 12v cost less than $200 and would be an easy fix and he could then sell the car as running with no problems - he is not doing that or trying to recharge a spent 12 v battery. )

    Sounds like you would be getting exactly what the the seller described. Don't know how he could be more honest in his description.

    He is cautioning whomever buys this car know that they will immediately spend $1,200 up to $3000 or more depending on how you approach the problem.
     
    kjbetz likes this.
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Seller does not say its the hybrid battery and infers its the 12 volt battery with the jump start comment which is why the op is on here asking about this. So seller info is confusing and anything but clear.

    But doesn't matter really its going to need a new hybrid battery.
     
    kjbetz likes this.
  6. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Before you consider buying ANY used Prius, go out and buy yourself some diagnostic tools.
    That will put you so far ahead of the game.

    You should be able to get the tools in under a week through Amazon and cost you under $100
    Money well spent sice you will wnat these tools even after you buy a car.

    - Android phone/tablet that can access wifi
    - Torque Pro App (The paid version, not the free one)
    - Elm 327 Bluetooth OBDII adaptor

    If you buy a used Prius that is over 8 years old or over 150,000 miles you will liekly be buying a hybrid battery during the time you own it.
    So be sure to budget for its replacement.

    I recommend a NEW hybrid battery, which will be $2,000 or so at retail pricing. Less if you choose a non-Toyota version, or if you have access to wholesale pricing.

    Do not waste your time buying a USED battery. (Other euphemisms for USE are, refurbished, rebalanced, rejuvenated, etc)

    If these costs are out of you budget, then you may want to consider any of the non-hybirds that are reliable like corolla, matrix, etc.
     
    kjbetz likes this.
  7. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    If the traction battery were bad the car would not start with a jump. The jump only puts power to the 12v battery, not the traction battery. As others have said you will need a traction battery sooner than later. Set how much you are willing to pay accordingly.
     
    kjbetz likes this.
  8. George W

    George W Member

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    I didn't see anywhere to enter a vin at that site
     
  9. kjbetz

    kjbetz Junior Member

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    This was my main question and thought. (Maybe I should have phrased it better.)

    Would the car start without traction battery? Or, are the two unrelated?

    I'm wondering if the guy just didn't know and assumed traction/HV battery is gone.

    I think I'm going a different direction anyway, but still good information to have.

    The ODB reader is a good idea too.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Buyers with limited funds and limited mechanical aptitude should consider that an old beater Prius is not a wise purchase.
     
  11. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    I understood your question. The 12V battery does not start the car, the traction battery does. The 12V battery runs the computers and closes relays to achieve this. Therefore if the car starts the traction battery must have enough energy in it to start the car. How good is it beyond that???m
    If that’s the only Prius your budget will allow I would move on to a non hybrid, like a Corrola or something.
     
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