when should you trade in your Prius,before it becomes a money pit?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ski.dive, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    at how many miles should you trade in your Prius,before it becomes a money pit car?

    100k , 150k, 200k

    what do you think?
     
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I trade mine in right before the hybrid warranty is up. Mostly because I want newer technology. The problem is, you never know if something catastrophic is going to break and buying a new car is never cheap so it's almost always cheaper to keep your old car even if there is a major repair.

    If it's headaches you want to avoid then do it before the hybrid warranty is up.
     
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  3. flyguy108

    flyguy108 Junior Member

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    We bought a used 2008 Prius with 31,000 miles on it and plan to keep it until they don't make parts for it anymore! I think it will be worth maintaining a car that gets us on average 47 to 52 mpg, especially as gas prices rise. I know of more than one owner with over 200,000 miles on their Prius and they’re still going strong.
     
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  4. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    It depends on your definition of "money pit"... but as F8L said, it often makes more sense to repair a car than to replace it. Even if you face a $2k bill to replace the traction battery... let's say that gives the car another 100k of life... that's still cheaper than the depreciation your new replacement car would incur when you drive it off the lot, let alone the delta between the resale value between your used car, and the cost of the new one.

    If money were your primary concern, you'd drive that car until it was down to one cylinder, a handful of batteries, and only three straight wheels.
     
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  5. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    FWIW, I kept one car for three years before finally parting with it. In the end I was putting 3K into every year. Bought a new one and still had repair's on that one within 4 years that were coming out of the pocket. Each car will be different, and no two Pri or any other similar brands will be identical one to another. It is hit or miss on car's, just like anything else man made. Best bet is to use you your own discretion, and try to get all the value you can out of your hard earned money. Even if you trade every year, you will still not come out ahead. Depreciation get's you as soon as you drive it off the lot.
     
  6. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    The economic factors change quite a bit if you DIY. Given the that dealerships have turned to making money on repairs rather than from selling cars, anything that one can do towards DIY repairs will save large amounts of $$. It was sites and info bases like this that confirmed my decision to get a Prius, even though it can be challenging to fix. People have posted fixes for the worst case scenarios, so if one can turn a wrench, the car can be kept on the road a long time.
     
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  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Depends on what you mean by "money pit."

    A Prius? Seems to me that the longer you keep it, the cheaper it gets. You're paying a little more for a Prius than you are for...say...an Elantra.
    Fine.
    Keep them both for 100K miles? Depending on who is bending the numbers which way, and how much gas is going for? The Prius is probably going to be paying a return on the extra that you paid up front.

    You Prius Prudes?
    Retract your talons for a second and listen up. I've already heard all of the "Hybrid Premium" preaching from both sides of the argument. THAT ain't what THIS is about.

    Almost any small, front wheel drive eco(no)box is good for about 100,000-150,000 miles before things start breaking...even my Geo Metro lasted for 175K before the clutch cratered on me.
    Most cars today....even very humbly engineered ones? They're good for six figures before something goes Tango-Uniform that requires a visit to your friendly dealership. If you stick to the maintenance schedule? You're probably good for Lunar Mileage. If you do the maintenance half-heartedly? You're still probably good to six figures.
    THAT's why some of the auto makers give 100K POWERTRAIN warranties for cars these days.

    So....
    From a standpoint of reliable transportation (which is the point of having a car for most people) your "investment" is probably sound out to about 250K before a combination of ancillary system repairs start to eat away at the "worth" of the car.
    Remember.
    Most (modern) cars don't go to vehicular Valhalla for a driveline problems.
    Most of the time?
    It's relatively little stuff that costs a heckuva lot these days compounded by dealerships "Easter-egging" a trouble. By this I mean that they keep replacing parts (and charging the customer) until they stumble on the right piece/part.
    If for example your HVAC goes out it's usually the better part of $1,000 if the compressor is bad, which may be different than whether or not they SAY that it's bad. ;) . If the car is "only" worth $5,000? That's twenty percent of the value of the car----never mind that a car is perfectly operable without A/C.
    Brakes...power steering...alignment...CV joints. They all add up.

    Unless you're an idiot...or you just drive like one, your brakes should be good to about 150K----then all you should need is pads. Your motor should last well past 250K (all of mine do.) The CVT?
    If you change the fluid when needed (YMMV!) it should last for life.
    You see where I'm going with this.

    If you're one of those drivers who goes running to the dealer when the presets are erased from the radio, or when one of the power windows doesn't go up as fast as the other three, or when the battery dies in the key fob thingy?
    Yes.
    Then you're looking at a money pit...but not the car.
    The driver.

    Most people go three years and out because they like rolling new sheet medal...and there's nothing wrong with that at all!!! There's a recession on, and no matter how you vote(d)(last) fall? It's probably still going to be on when it comes time to buy Christmas presents....NEXT year.
    Car dealers need to buy food and pay rent too.

    Generally speaking though?
    I don't call trading out of a fairly new car with five figures on the clock "getting out of a money pit."

    YMMV! :)
     
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  8. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    105,000 and counting.
    I change my own oil every 6,000 miles and am thinking about my second change of tires.

    Damn, I'm practically hemorrhaging money with this car!
     
  9. Fubar1764

    Fubar1764 Member

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    True words!
    When my sister asked me what car she should buy, I told her whatever she wanted. This is how the conversation went:
    Her: I want to be smart about buying a car.
    Me: A car is an emotional purchase. The most unreliable car today is as reliable as the most reliable car 20 years ago. Get whatever car you want.
    Her: So what should I get?
    Me: Get a car that makes you smile. You work hard and you can afford most any car on the market. No car makes economic sense because they're emotional purchases. If you want to buy a car that makes sense, buy a 90s Honda Accord. The depreciation curve is flat. The car is reliable and cheap to run. Otherwise, buy what makes you happy.

    We all try to justify "money pits" when we want the car. We call them "money pits" when we want to get rid of the car. Does the car make you smile? If so, it's a good car. When I look at my '08 Prius #6, I smile. I smile every time I go to the pump. I call the consumption graphs and the power distribution screens, "the video game." Tonight, my cousin told me he hadn't heard the words "Prius" and "fun" in the same sentence. I explained you have to enjoy the engineering and the cleverness to appreciate a car like this. You'll never hear me say a Malibu is a fun or cool car because it's not. And if you own an Aztek, you've announced to the world you have given up on the possibility of attempting procreation. ;)
     
  10. nhguy78

    nhguy78 whirr...........

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    I have a 2009 Prius 2 with 124K miles. I will be getting a 2013 Prius I think soon.
     
  11. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    A Prius taxi fleet in Vancouver BC has over 500,000 mi on it and is going strong.
     
  12. '04Prius

    '04Prius Junior Member

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    I just acquired a 2004 Prius with 99000 miles on it. My dad's which has 120k miles is still going strong. Once it is out of warranty the cars aren't actually that hard to work on. I am hoping to keep my '04 past 200k miles.
     
  13. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    On the earlier Gen IIs Toyota made it quite easy to tell when the Prius has been "all used up".

    When the odometer reaches 299,999 miles. LOL!!!!

    Thanks Toyota!
     
  14. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Now that is funny!

    Ron
     
  15. joedirte

    joedirte Member

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    This is meaningless to say in discussion of money pits.. Was that original MG2? How many traction batteries? The taxis benefit from high mileage in a short period so they often get a new traction battery under warranty. For other Prius owners, new traction batteries can be considered a money pit when the car is only worth $4000
     
  16. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    joe, you're not new to the Chat.

    So how is it possible you've never heard of 2 fas 4 you? He had an 09 liftback with nearly 500K miles he put on it which still had the original MG2 and traction battery when he traded it in for a V. He now has well over 100K miles on the V - he's a courier and he drives A LOT!

    There are many Gen II owners with over 300K miles. Most of these cars have not needed MG2 or traction battery replacement.

    The GenII Prius is a gem, really. Properly maintained and driven, the vast majority are sure to last well over 200K miles without needing MG2 or traction battery replacement.

    Money pit? Hell no!

    I would buy a 2007 liftback with 150K miles for my wife in a NY minute if I could find one for under $7K.
     
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  17. John H

    John H Senior Member

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    When you can replace it with a vehicle that uses even less gas. :)
     
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  18. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    With cars with new and expensive technology, F8L has the tipping point, when the warranty for the expensive hybrid parts runs out. With older technology vehicles, where the most expensive thing is an engine or transmission, then keeping it as long as it runs makes the most financial sense.

    Wanting to drive the latest technology means driving vehicles with high risk and no track record so I use the three year leasing which usually includes free maintenance and 100% warranty coverage for everything in the car, lowest financial costs over the three years plus the option to cash in on any difference in book vs. market depreciation. Usually you can make $2K on that while there is no downside risk.
     
  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    I am not trying to be off topic, but lately this string has had a lot of input about the Chevy Volt. Because of that, I am adding the following link which discusses both the Prius and the Volt.

    As the article plainly states, it really boils down to each individuals preference and type of driving. Both car's have their own individual merits. Furthermore, is one better than the other? Like the article says, it depends on several things.

    Here's the link Chevrolet Volt Vs. Toyota Prius: Compare Cars

    Now back to the topic, I still think that a well maintained Prius can be a economical choice even after all of the warranty has expired. I do agree with F8L that you run a risk anytime a particular part of a warranty expires due to the unexpected cost of repairs. However, most individuals that buy used car's do so because they cannot afford a new car and should understand that a used car at times will require a out of pocket expense that may not be considered normal.

    What is one person's opinion of a moneypit may be totally different from another person. It boils down to each individual making his or her decision as to where to draw the line.

    Finally, there are quite a few poster's on this board who are reporting still running on original traction batteries without transaxle repairs past 200,000 miles. That does not mean that every Prius will last 200K or more. What it does mean is that it is possible.

    IMO, if you maintain your vehicle to the factory recommended spec's and even do additional things like changing transaxle fluids as suggested here on PC, I believe that the average Prius should not be a moneypit for a reasonable amount of time and miles after all of the warranties have expired. The car's made today are totally different from the car's built twenty or thirty years ago. Back then, if you got 100K out of it you were lucky. IIRC, the best warranty you could get from the BIG 3 was three years/36K and then you were on your own. Many folks traded their car's in after three years. Today, the average new car is traded in five to six years after it was purchased new.

    Ron
     
  20. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Sure, it's fine for folks who don't drive more than 10K miles per year. I should be so fortunate but I'm stuck in my current home until the depression ends and home prices fully recover (if they ever do in this lifetime [or next]).

    Granted, car buying (or leasing) is a different for everyone. Since you lease, you never see anywhere close to 100K miles so how can you know what reliability is. And if you only drive 30K miles in three years, your fuel cost savings don't amount to much compared with people who drive 25K miles per year (like me) or even more.

    The OP wanted to know when a Prius becomes a money pit. It depends. But as I said in my earlier posts, the Prius is a really reliable car (not just a really reliable HYBRID). In fact, the Prius IS more reliable than many of the basic ICEs on the road. The residual value of 7 year old Prii tells you so.

    Full insurance coverage is THE money pit. If I had been able to save all the money that I've wasted on car insurance the past 35 years (by cheating the system and being an uninsured driver), I could be driving a Tesla right now. I've had only one minor fender bender that was my fault in 37 years in the driver's seat (in 1989). Dear old Dad paid for my insurance from 1975-1976.

    Gasoline is the next big money pit. Even though most of the cars I've had since 1992 have achieved more than 40 mpg, I've still spent many ounces worth of gold on the liquid stuff.

    So when you look at the cost per mile, while the car itself efficiently removes money from your wallet, it isn't the only thing that does.
     
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