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What Should I do with this 2007 Prius I just bought? Help! It's been a nightmare

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusChick10, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. PriusChick10

    PriusChick10 New Member

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    Bought a 2007 Prius a little over a month ago in Carmel, Indiana. Have lost sleep over thinking about what I should do with this car. 1st car as I’ve lived in NYC for over 16 years and made a lot of mistakes - not purchasing a Carfax report prior to purchase and didn’t have a trusted mechanic look at it. Water under the bridge. The car is squeaky clean and only has 60k miles on it. The engine looks superb. The dealer (which I never met, his dad showed me the car and some dude in the office handled the paperwork). On our drive home, the car started shaking and we realized one of the tires had gone bad so we put the spare on. Then had the tires replaced for $500. “Runs and drives like new”….right.

    I’m moving to LA in a month so I just wanted to get a car and be done with it. I had a mechanic look at it and these are the issues they found:

    -Replace ABS actuator

    Light isn’t on tho, but an intermittent noise is going off every 10 sec when I open driver car door, when car is turned on, nothing to do with accelerating or breaking, and also when car is turned off for about 20 min. Didn’t know that this job would be around $2k

    -Codes P1116 & P1121 were scanned so my dad and I replaced the inverter water pump, 3 way valve and the coolant sensor. We bought parts for $284.

    Have no idea what the state of the battery is. My guess is it’s the original battery and the fact that it’s a 15 year old car will most likely need a new one soon. And no idea what state the 12v battery is in.

    Initially, the mechanic quoted us $3k to fix ABS and coolant system, that is why we did what we could but afraid to tackle the ABS. Bought the car for $9,500. Title is clean.

    This is the biggest issue. Obviously, I felt the dealers were screwing me bc none of this was disclosed so I purchased the Carfax report. And in 2015, the car was in an accident and the insurance company deemed the car a total loss. However, the title certificate doesn’t say salvage or rebuilt so it looks clean to me. I also went to the DMV and they said yes, the title is clean. And my insurance company accepted the car and the car is fully insured. I’ve spoken to 2 lawyers and they said I really don’t have much to start a case bc the title is in fact clean. This has me feeling crazy.

    The 1st owner put 51k miles on it (2006-2019) and 2nd owner put 8k miles on it (2019-2022). There are no records of maintenance being done to the car with 2nd owner just passing safety inspections.

    When I googled the vin # a link to an auction with a final bid of $2,550 showed up dated 4/12/22. I bought the car 5/31/22. The pics were my car and the vin matched.

    The title certificate is from Texas. And it has this random sticker on bottom left with a bunch of codes, a QR code and the word “junk”. No idea if that’s related to the title. But DMV saw it and said “yep, clean.” And what’s interesting is on the title under “assignment of title” is this company called Peddle. Their slogan says “we pay cash for junk cars.”

    I know I made a ton of mistakes and I’m sure it’s making you cringe reading this. But this is where I’m at today. So if anyone has any insight, would really appreciate!!! It’s been a nightmare dealing with this.
     
    donbright and bisco like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if the brakes aren't giving you a problem, you can hold off on the actuator. you'll get a trouble light leading to the appropriate codes when it needs to be replaced.

    hv battery could last for years, get doc prius app for a health check.

    12v can get a free load test at auto parts stores, call ahead.

    all the best!(y)
     
    Kaptainkid1 and SFO like this.
  3. PriusChick10

    PriusChick10 New Member

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    Ok thank you!
     
  4. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Senior Member

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    Your actually lucky the car has a clean title. It's resale value would be significantly less with a salvage / branded title. There's actually a little cottage industry; where a car moves from state to state to remove a salvage brand from the car's ownership title. This is why companies like Carfax exist. Since there isn't a federal law that regulates this; it's left up to the individual state's consumer protection agencies.

    Anytime you buy a car from a dealership; even a small mom & pop dealership - they all have access to something like Carfax. Insist on seeing the print-out and match up the VIN to ensure it's the right car. They don't like to get taken; just as you don't like to get taken. An honest outfit wouldn't have a problem with your request.

    re: the actuator, it's been know to draw-down the battery - so you may want to keep a jump pack in the car, so you don't get stranded somewhere.

    Best of Luck...
     
  5. alftoy

    alftoy Senior Member

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    Ooh boy, sorry you’re in this mess. If you are in LA maybe member @JC91006 can be of assistance to you
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    This car although having low mileage, it's been in an accident and many things can be wrong with it. Just the issues at hand now, brake actuator, that's going to require some good money to fix and new parts may be harder to find.

    Since you're in it for $9500, you have to decide how much more you're willing to put in. This car will eventually need a new HV battery, the brake actuator replaced, The 3 way coolant valve issue fixed, and possibly other items.

    If the dealer is still around, you can request that they do the replacements and possibly charge you the parts price (they provide the labor). Do your best in negotiating a repair with the selling dealer, because if you go elsewhere, you would need to pay more.
     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Wow that's really a difficult situation.

    I would not drive that car from NY to Ca though. Not with an impending ABS nag. The really bad news is most people sell there G2's cause it has a bad or worn out hybrid battery. With such low miles thats not good. You must get the Doctor Prius app on your phone and you will need a $30 Clarista bluetooth adapter then it will pull hybrid codes like the hybrid battery.

    The other horror I must let you know about is the Prius Gen2 your car is on the #1 hit list for cat theft. The rampant cat theft going on now started about 2 years ago with this car as it has a very very expensive cat. And if it gets stolen in Ca you must use the OEM cat to pass emissions testing. Its a freaking nightmare. The cats are $2000 and have been on back order.

    Go on youtube search PRIUS STOLEN to understand the Ca cat theft issue.

    Use the search forum link up top and search DR PRIUS lots of post on how to set it up it will show you how to get it set up its very easy just need the Clarista BT adapter like $30 on Amazon.

    Sorry I could not be more help.
     
    donbright likes this.
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    I guess she will have to get a dog instead.

    If it were me, I would take it to a body shop and have it inspected for accident or flood damage. I don't think the abs actuator is enough for anybody to allow the car to sell in auction for $2k. If there is no body, flood or suspension damage, the flipper might have put in a used hybrid battery for $600 and cleared the abs and coolant related codes.

    Even the fact it was junked in Texas and ended up in Indiana sounds like title washing to me. Title washing is a term used to describe the practice of moving a vehicle with a flooded, rebuilt, or salvaged title to a different state where its title issues are hidden to get a clean title. Texas does not enforce this federal law.

    In any case I would fix the abs, if not now, as soon as you get to LA. It can be dangerous because you can suddenly get reduced braking power.
     
  9. JohnPrius3005

    JohnPrius3005 Active Member

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    Hi PriusChick,
    This is a hard story. I'm sorry it happened to you. But looking of the bright side, all of us have made mistakes many for much more than $9500. Don't beat yourself up. You paid for and received a college level education on human nature. This will serve you very well in LA!

    A few comments which might be helpful:
    The scum who sold you this car knew exactly what they were doing. If you are worried about being sued and don't want to mention their names on PriusChat, then mention them in private to someone who will publicize their evil natures. The chances of you getting any help from them are low, not zero but low. They have a lot of practice at this - preying upon people.

    The car market is still crazy hot so you could:
    Sell the car to another unsuspecting buyer. This would let you take a small financial loss, but put you in the same karmic boat as those who sold to you. Not good.
    Sell with full disclosure. The crazy hot market means people in LA are paying ridiculous prices for cars with salvage titles. Not a bad option.
    Realize that the only practical way to "buy a car and be done with it" is to buy (or lease) new, with full insurance coverage, and trade in as soon as the warrantee period expires. This is expensive but it takes "car" as close to off your worry list as possible.
    Find a good person in LA to provide you with secure off street parking to lower the chance of cat theft.
    Learn to do everything cheap. For example, low cost tires are available from Walmart, and cheapie tire installation guys will install them for $15 cash.
    You obviously have some skills since you scanned things. Good.
    Get another, back up car so that you are not put in the situation of "I gotta have this fixed now whatever the cost in order to have wheels"
    Realize that everyone but your closest trusted friends have the propensity to rip you off. This makes you cynical, but is a helpful survival tool.
    In all you can drive Priuses, using various tricks, for a long time with a lot of things wrong with them. 3 of my 4 have check engine lights and "the red triangle of death" on all the time! If your car is registered in Indiana (??) verify whether Indiana has smog checks. If it does not, keep it registered there. LA smog checks mean you fail with check engine light and many minor issues. Hawaii does not have smog checks but they do have "safety inspections". So each year I have to put the "new looking" wheels and tires on each Prius before I get it inspected. Then I take them off in exchange for junk wheels and tires, and save the good ones for next year. I'm not recommending this, just giving an example of being cheap.
    If the recession really does hit there will be deals on cars again.

    Good luck. And congratulations on passing your college course. No one promised it would be easy. Don't lose sleep though.
     
    rayluo likes this.
  10. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I agree with John and don’t ruin yourself by trying to drive it to California.
    You breakdown in bum f Egypt single lady oh no.

    see how bad the hybrid battery is. If it fails and they all are failing you can’t even start the car. Must have a healthy battery to start the car.

    Bad hybrid battery is the #1 post on this site. #2 is the huge mystery’s of the 12 volt battery in this car.

    the screen above the radio is the MFD SCREEN it has 2 pages one shows the battery charging behavior in a vertical graph in colors.

    The graph reflects how much of a charge the battery is holding and how well it holds it.
    Blue bars are good. If the graph goes to purple bars real quick like at a light and takes a long time to get one or 2 bars of blue in it be aware that’s not good. If your seeing a red bar the battery is very bad.

    good luck.
     
  11. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Active Member

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    those noises you describe when first opening your door for the day and upon shutdown doesnt necessarily mean anything is wrong with the car. Mine does the same thing and has since day 1. Pretty sure it’s coolant being pumped in and out of a thermos type contraption to warm up the engine faster. Why was the ABS recommended to be changed? not sure if i missed that
     
    bisco likes this.
  12. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    The pump for the coolant tank usually runs after you power the car to "ready". When you open the door, the ABS ecu will run the brake actuator pump so the brakes have full pressure before you press the power button.

    If the pump has to run periodically without you pressing on the brakes, that means that there is a leak inside the actuator that's bleeding off high pressure fluid. This is a "common" fault for a Prius. Repair is to replace the actuator assembly.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  13. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Active Member

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    How has your move been? I’m sorry for your troubles. Texas is known for title washing unfortunately. On the other hand Colorado cars get totaled for minor hail damage. Like 16 small hail dings on roof and hood. Bam totaled. Slapped with salvaged title label forever. Happened to me. Still own and drive it today. My wife’s Prius was hit in a hailstorm and we haven’t filed a claim because I know they will total it and just cut us a check. However that check won’t buy a new one and I have done a LOT of work and upgrades to her car. Which we won’t get in a stock Prius.
    Hope your move went well.
     
  14. Danny13pruisc3

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    are you moving to LA state or LA Cali? there's a high amount of cat theft in cali and the insurance might , well mostly total the car if it gets stolen... and you might have issues getting paid out if they see the total loss history. I woudl recommend you selling it if moving to LA cali.