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. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Our cars are always money pits. My wife can get in them and drive to Whole Foods. :(
     
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  2. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    How funny. Also looking at a BM Prius but Limited rather than Prime.
     
  3. jack sparrow 111

    jack sparrow 111 Junior Member

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    i met a guy yesterday with a 2004 prius and has 237,000 and still going strong...
     
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  4. Aegean

    Aegean Active Member

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    The time to replace your vehicle is when the market value reaches 10% of the replacement value of a new equivalent vehicle according to established engineering economic analysis practices. For example, when the market value of your Prius is $2500 and a new Prius is $25,000 it is time to sell it.

    A very accurate market value determination is the kbb private sale value. This includes several factors like mileage, cosmetic and mechanical condition, market demand etc. However, accident free cars, own owner, complete maintenance records etc also play a role. Adjusting for all factors if you can not sell it at least 10% of an equivalent replacement vehicle then sell it ASAP.

    Keeping most cars when their value is less than 10% of equivalent replacement increases the risk of becoming a money pit exponentially!

    Your options are a new car ideally or like he most of us buy a used car even at 20% value if you can not afford or do not want a newer one right now. For example sell your 2004 Prius for $2,500 and buy a 2010 for $5,000. Still a much better economic decision than keeping the old one and keep throwing money at it.
     
  5. Hockstedler

    Hockstedler Junior Member

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    So how many miles do you have on it now? If you did not keep it up to this point how many miles on it before you let it go and did you have any problems with it?
     
  6. Zeppo Shanski

    Zeppo Shanski Active Member

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    I just rolled 150,000 miles on my '05 G2. I took a look at the oil 2,000 miles short of it's next change.





    I looks like I just put it in.
     
  7. Renee'

    Renee' New Member

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    ski.dive I don't know that I will ever replace mine! Daytona Hybrids in Titusville Speacializes in Gen 2 Prius repair. They offer warranty on all repairs at a very reasonable price. From every thing to headlight to engine/trans replacement. They have been keeping me on the road for several years.
     
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  8. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    Me and my friends/family have 16 in total. I service most of them and know the history of those which I don't. I'm finding 220k miles is when head gaskets and hybrid batteries often go bad. If you wish to avoid those repairs you can hedge your bets with dumping turd gen Prius before that. Clearly this is not every car, but I'd say more half of our fleet prove my statement.
     
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  9. The Big Sleaze

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    Read somewhere that it takes about 100K miles before a new one-owner car STOPS being a "money pit", and starts "making money" by delivering low cost fairly trouble free miles. Of course much of that is how you drive for those first 100,000+ miles and beyond. EVERYONE I've ever known who has bought a "piece of junk" also drives like a lunatic, but is denial about it. The throttle and brakes are not just on and off, sir.
    Also depends on how much you utterly depend on car and your method of repair. If you can "shelve" a car for a while, while your mechanic buddy waits to sneak it in to his shop VS calling the Dealer's valet to pick it up and saying "yes" to anything they find to do.
     
  10. dpower

    dpower Member

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    I’ve got a 2005 with 190,000 miles, I did a lot of suspension mods when I first got it as I don’t like they way the car flexed all over the place.
    I’ve replaced the traction battery last year and now rebuilt most of the A/C.
    Averaging out those two major repairs for this 2 years I was paying the equivalent of a $170 a month car payment. I’ve thought about getting a newer model but have heard about to many problems with the 2010-2015 engine design. I like buying 3 year old program cars after I run some oil sample tests to see if they have been abused. The 2016s seem to be going for 19-22 k which is more than I can afford so I’m hoping that I can now go a couple of years more without any major repairs and then pick up a clean used one. I don’t care about fancy and this car has been a dream for over 14 years.
     
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  11. gene

    gene Member

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    At that price, I would check the "Prices Paid" thread in the Prime forum--as after Toyota rebate, dealer discounts, and if you can take advantage of the $4500 federal tax credit you're starting to get into that price range, but for a new vehicle with better milage/etc. Might not be as much "fun" with repairs for a while (hopefully) though.
     
  12. Boris the American

    Boris the American Junior Member

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    I have a 2006 Prius that I bought new and now has 313,000 miles on it. I generally run cars until they pretty much won't go anymore or they become unreliable. This one, however, just...won't...die.
    I replaced the hybrid battery at 205,000. From what I read that's about typical, so I was expecting it. It cost me $3000 to replace it but I know now I could have done it for significantly less. However at the time, although $3k was a lot, I figured that was a lot less than buying another car especially since this one had otherwise given me no trouble.
    Then at 271,000 miles I had to replace the catalytic converter. I tried to ignore it but as the error codes built up it caused the computer to shut the car down a few times. I balked at the cost (another $3k almost, which is more than the car was worth) and finally took a chance on an aftermarket cat at a third of the price. That may have been a mistake but the jury's still out. From what I read, aftermarkets don't work so well with the computer and the check engine light comes on frequently, but I check the error code with the OBD2 & TorqueLite phone app to make sure nothing else is wrong, and I reset it daily to prevent the error codes from building up, and so far so good. And as long as my gas mileage doesn't start to decrease I'll assume my cat isn't clogging, if my admittedly untechnical mind understands correctly how they work.
    I burn 1-2 quarts of oil between oil changes but I figure I can buy a whole lot of oil for what a new car would cost.
    Some time ago I dropped the collision insurance due to the value of the car, which saves me a little.
    The past couple of years I've been commuting 80 miles each way, 160/day, and this car has served me extremely well. I'll likely run it until it dies or becomes unreliably, and then I'll figure out some way to give it an honorable burial.
    The finest car I've ever owned.
     
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  13. Boris the American

    Boris the American Junior Member

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    So to add to my post and answer the original question, when to replace the car before it becomes a money pit, it really depends on why you have the car. To me, it's a machine to transport me to work and back. Therefore, in my mind, once a car's paid off it's really hard to conceive of it ever making financial sense to trade it in as long as it's dependable. Or if you have a safety concern. What you've spent up to today, in economic terms, are sunk costs; in other words, nothing you can do will recoup those costs. The trick is to try to project what the car is going to cost you from here on out. When the next repair finally does come up, is the car likely to last long enough for the cost to be worth the investment? Do you have the time to deal with the inconvenience of breakdowns which may increase in frequency (again in economic terms, there's a cost there too, in the value of your time away from work etc). So, back to my Prius, if I make it to 400,000 miles and I need to replace the hybrid battery again, I'll likely do it (except I'll probably replace it myself with one of the kits that are available now rather than going through the dealership) unless I'm expecting other reliability problems. $1700 is only worth a few car payments on a new car. On the other hand, if the engine blows, that might push me over the edge especially since I'll be close to retirement then and I won't need the extra car.

    Or, if an overriding reason to have a newer car is to impress the girls, then pure economics might not matter that much. But I'm not sure a Prius is the way to do that.
     
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  14. snakeshoes

    snakeshoes Junior Member

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    Throwing my two cents in. Three weeks ago I traded in my 2007 Prius for a new 2020 Prius Prime. I bought the 2007 with less than 10 miles on the odometer and took it to 115,000. I know those numbers are not high compared to many others on here as I don't drive that much. However, lots of those miles were long road trips. Here's why I decided to replace a fully paid off car with a new car payment:
    • We're a single car household - if that car dies, I'm taking public transit to work and an Uber to the car dealership.
    • The last 3 months, I was in the shop a lot with repairs and had deferred much maintenance. Notably, nothing related to the electric system and all to do with the ICE - hole in exhaust manifold, leak in timing chain case, muffler that needed to be replaced, leak in gasoline vapor recovery system, heat shielding that needed replaced - or were general repairs (wheel bearing, alignment, headlight).

    Putting those two together, my wife made the successful argument that I could sink $3,000 into repairing the car now to drive it for maybe another 5 years with repairs along the way or have something bigger happen sooner and find myself in a "I have to buy something right now to get to work" situation or I could shop now for something new while I had the options to walk away from a negotiation deal. Current dealer incentives and tax credits tipped the balance in favor of getting a brand new car with updated technology, new parts that hadn't seen 12 New England winters worth of salt and crappy driving, and new warranty coverage.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate having the car payment but it made sense to decide now was when we reached "drive it until it's dead". I'm sure someone will buy my old car as a used vehicle and get another 5 years or so out of it.
     
  15. GoingGreenDetailing

    GoingGreenDetailing Junior Member

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    I just bought a 2009 Prius from the 2nd original owner with 364k miles. It still runs beautifully. Traction battery was refurbished last year. It is throwing a P0301 and P0420 code.

    Wish me luck!
     

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  16. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    You already posted this in another thread. please be aware it not a good idea to post the same thing in multiple threads.

    Also, you are not very clear on whether you are asking for help or just letting people know your situation.
     
  17. Alain D

    Alain D Junior Member

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    interesting - I've read 2010-13 can burn a lot of oil which would cause premature blown head gaskets.

    I bought an uber 2014 with 145k (now 161k and 9 months later) which had battery health of 65% (just did and got 63% so no changes really - using DrPrius app), but doesn't eat any oil but EGR coolant was almost all clogged up, so I cleaned that up and intake manifold, PCV valve and pup an oil catch can to prevent any oil from burning again. Should keep things clean going forward.
     
  18. Alain D

    Alain D Junior Member

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    that is likely your problem! all that oil burning will clog up the catalytics and all the EGR piping and eventually a blown head gasket! I would HIGHLY recommend you clean the EGR cooler/pipe/valve, intake manifold, new CVT valve and install an oil catch can like I did following those videos (mine were pretty clogged on 2014 with 150k then even though I'm not seeing oil consumption). Easiest to do it all (and spark plugs, coolant while you're in there.




    Hint: you can speed up 2x the video and still understand him! make sure to read all comments as they missed a few parts

    for the battery, cleaning the fans (they also show that) might have helped. I'm at 65% health (according to DrPrius app) with 162k now.
     
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  19. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Most of your post is not relevant which highlights the danger in posting in the wrong forum. The Gen 2 does not have an EGR to clog or clean.
    I presume you meant the PCV valve. They could do these two things. A member has recently added an OCC and a few of us are following that experience.
     
  20. Paul Schenck

    Paul Schenck Active Member

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    I thought I’d be done with it when the lease ended that was ove 500,000 miles ago the whole car cost, gas, oil, tires, Insurrance repairs, interest on the lease, buy out at the end of it, All of it is 17¢ per mile.
    If I could have waited as my wife did and bought it at 40,000 miles it would be 10¢ per mile.
     
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