What to look out for in buying used for daughter?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Laura Drew, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Laura Drew

    Laura Drew Junior Member

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    We are just starting our search for a Prius for our daughter who is graduating from college in Portland OR.
    Our $$ budget is $10k and we saw a 2013 in Salt Lake City at a dealership which we might have been able to talk them down to 10K. I have looked online and it seems there are not too many options near us (Parents live in Jackson WY) so looking for suggestions on where to look and what to look out for.
    The things my husband specifically asked about is:
    Timing Chain
    Battery
    and any other things that are known to start going kerflooey!
    I know that may be a long list. I did read some old threads one specifically about timing chains NOT needing replacing.
    Thank you for any and all advice. My daughter was driving a manual 98 subaru outback until it was stolen- apparently it is the #3 car stolen in Portland. So any info on that nugget would be appreciated as well. thanks:)
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The Gen 3 (2010-2015) have a beltless engine so the water pump, A/C and other accessories are electrically driven. This means there’s no timing belt or chain.

    There are two batteries - your standard 12V car battery and the hybrid battery (sometimes known as the HV battery, or traction battery). You’ll want to check both. The hybrid battery will have to be checked by a Toyota hybrid technician so I would take it to a Toyota dealer (if the car in SLC isn’t at a Toyota dealer) to have it inspected.

    Just ensure that the recalls are up to date and that the engine runs fine in idle (no weird noise from the engine itself). When you’re test driving it, ensure the hybrid battery can hold a charge (it’s programmed to stay at the 80% mark on the dashboard display. It won’t go full unless you go down a steep hill so don’t worry if you never seen full). It’s more worrying if it stays near 10-20% on the battery meter display (which indicates that it can’t hold a charge).
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Depends on the mileage and how many miles she wants to keep it for.

    Once you get near 100k, a lot of expensive repairs are possible unless you diy.

    Try finding a hybrid mechanic outside a dealer$$$$$$$

    Maybe a Corolla or something else simple?
     
  4. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Huh? There is a timing chain. It doesn't seem to be high on the list of troublesome parts on this car, thankfully.
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I thought the Gen 3 Prius’ engine was beltless. - that was one of the points Toyota brought up at the launch presentation.
     
  6. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Find the lowest mileage one that you can. These cars have some very expensive issues (in addition to the battery) once they approach the 150K range.

    If $10K is your budget, there may be other cars that are a better fit.

    The engine does not have drive belts for the accessories. But the camshafts and the crank have to rotate in sync - which is what the timing chain does.
     
  7. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Not sure about this information? Gen 3 has no timing belt, it has a timing chain, that should never wear out.

    Gen 3 can go 200k plus miles with very little issues. Gen 2 and Gen 3 are some of the most reliable cars on the road.

    Gen 3 can burn oil, it important that oil is changed at 5K miles not 10k miles. Check oil every fill up. Use thicker oil then 0W-20. I currently use 0W-40.
    Change trans fluid every 60k miles. If the car has 100k miles to 130k miles make sure EGR is cleaned out. If the car has more miles and EGR has yet to be cleaned I would pass. May have head gasket issue down the road.
     
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  8. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    The headgasket issue is kind of a wildcard. Cleaning the EGR may help but I'm doubtful. Mine was cleaned and the cooler was not blocked. Yet my headgasket still blew. I would say that if you plan to keep the car past 150K, be prepared to replace both the headgasket and the battery at some point.
     
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  9. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    How many miles when you cleaned the EGR?
     
  10. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I cleaned the valve and tube at about 160k (I think), and then cleaned the EGR cooler at 179k. The headgasket blew at 185K.

    The valve and the tube had a light amount of buildup. The cooler had some buildup, but it still flowed fine.
     
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  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Thanks for that!
     
  12. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Sorry you had your head gasket blow. But I think you waited too long to have your EGR system cleaned. I think 100k miles is best to clean your EGR.
     
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  13. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    But if the cooler was not blocked, what advantage would have been gained by cleaning at 100K?
     
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  14. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    I am certain the cooler was 99% blocked at 100k miles.
     
  15. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Every cooler is going to load up at different rates. It really depends on the driving conditions.
     
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  16. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Well the ones that have been done at 100k miles or so have been clogged up.
     
  17. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    All the ones I have done (the number is 10) have all been at varying degrees of pluggage;).

    No two are the same and no two are in similar situations :cool:.

    Don’t forget 8 of these 10 are for Prii in a generally calm, sedate and easy on the car condition. And I’ve not had one plugged solid ;).

    But they are out there(y).
     
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  18. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    Calm, sedate and easy on the car condition? I assume you are speaking of the drivers? Any EGR that is not free and clear is causing restriction and higher temps. I just had mine done. 105k miles. I am very easy on my car. There was a pin hole of light that could be seem through the cooler.
     
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  19. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I wonder if that is part of the problem. Mine is driven hard - I have a heavy foot. I average 40-42 mpg (on 17" wheels), 30k out of a set of tires and 90-100k out of a set of front pads. Cars that are driven tend to have less carbon buildup.
     
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  20. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    By that I meant California. The closest one to completely clogged I had was from @SacLexToy who lives in the Sierra Foothills and does elevation changes frequently as well as deals with wider temperature swings. California is relatively flat for the populated areas (I know there are extreme mountains and I’ve taken our 2010 to Tahoe and over the grapevine annually) and moderate climate compared to the rest of the country, and there maybe something to the environment with which you live having an effect on what the engine and related components see and ultimately experience.

    The other 2 coolers were from New York or the New England area where cold and more hilly terrain exists. One of the coolers was only at 94k when I cleaned it and it was comparable to the coolers I see from here around 130k miles.

    Sorry for not being more clear(y).
     
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