Who should and should NOT buy a 2001-03 Prius

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by bwilson4web, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. foshbone

    foshbone Junior Member

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    bwilson4web I have and love a 2010 prius 4 and love it (wifes car). Problem is my commute just quadrupled 45 mi day. I'm looking at a 2003 with 95/100000 mi on it What is the life expectancy of these cars if driven on flat land and temperate climate. would a gen 2 be a better idea longevity/technology wise. Anyone eles please chime in. Thanks Tom
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    The simple answer, go for an NHW20. The NHW11 are nice, compact sedans but they are getting 'long on the tooth' and have problems in heat and speeds over 65 mph. We've learned the traction battery and transaxle are significantly weaker than the NHW20. If you live in an urban area where you can commute at true speeds of 65 mph or less, Ok, but Texas, even urban areas, are a challenge and finding shade to park in . . .

    In contrast, the NHW20 can handle high speeds efficiently and handles heat much better than the NHW11. For example, the NHW20 has an electric air conditioner compressor so the engine does not have to run on engine power. The traction battery modules are much improved which is why I upgraded my NHW11 traction battery to NHW20 modules three years ago.

    So I would suggest survey the 'completed' Ebay listings for all Prius:
    1. Model year, miles, salvage title (Y/N), and price paid
    This will let you plot the going price for a Prius based upon year and miles.

    Use this to figure out what any given model is going for and the price-performance points. It is your road-map for a good deal. Also, look at what the car is expected to do.

    We have a 2003 Prius that is our in-town, work commuting car. Every trip I take with it are miles NOT put on my wife's 1.8L, 2010 Prius. At over 150,000 miles, the 2003 works fine but my commute is only 10 miles each way and all within Huntsville. My commuting routes avoid the segments posted at 65-70 mph.

    Now if you do go with the NHW11, we'll be happy to help you with early preventative maintenance and health check. We'll share what works and the tools to keep this car running efficiently for the longest time possible. They don't fail instantly but we'll go over a plan of short and long term things to keep it running as long as possible.

    Bob Wilson
     
  3. foshbone

    foshbone Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input. Tom
     
  4. lueung

    lueung Junior Member

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    Thanks for the details :)
     
  5. lueung

    lueung Junior Member

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    This is my 1st 2001 Prius and so far I fixed the traction battery on it. (I plan get another as I learn more about it as I am planning to make a solar mod addition to a Prius).

    Using Techstream I noticed that it failed the Evap test and checking VSV rear and front seems to be in order. However, I noticed that when I open the gas cap to put gas in the tank there is no sucking noise like I get from my Nissan.

    I am wondering if this is normal for the Prius not make the sucking sound? I am trying to isolate a leak somewhere.

    Thanks :)
     
  6. winterfling

    winterfling Junior Member

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    my mechanic puts the car on a lift and sprays liquid wrench (or other equivalent) on the frozen valve and charges me $20. customers call me back the most because of this as the car will not pass inspection if this valve is frozen. all in all an easy fix if it's just the valve; i've never had a bad catlytic converter.

    I saw your comment on the prius catalytic converter. My question is : do the cars you sell have high miles? I just got the converter code and have 166,000 miles on mine. This would be a miracle if that is all that it is.
     
  7. slimfrancis

    slimfrancis Member

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    Hello. I usually have lower mile cars but it's easy to check. Lift up the car and take a look at the valve that sits on top if cat converter. It's very common for it to rust and stick.
     
  8. winterfling

    winterfling Junior Member

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    Thanks for the response- I will see if I can get someone to look at it today and let you know.
     
  9. winterfling

    winterfling Junior Member

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    Thank you so much! I made arrangements for someone to clean the valve later but all by itself, the light went out and the gas mileage went from 39 back up to 42. I'm so glad I checked here first instead of spending several thousand for a part I didn't need.
     
  10. dame94

    dame94 Junior Member

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    Just acquired an 02' with 143k, can anyone give a few details on this, and does anyone know what this specific recall #/code is?, and if its still free (or recall has already expired) .... I'm getting a rattle on the front end and couldn't for the life of me figure out where it came from.....


    On a side note i just registered on here today, and im positive given enough time using the search feature i'll find it, just trying to get a lil "headstart"
     
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    The Toyota web site has an owner's 'registration' page where you can put in the VIN and your contact information. If the car has not already been registered, it would be a good place to start.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
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  12. dame94

    dame94 Junior Member

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    Doing it right now!
     
  13. bigblock67

    bigblock67 424k and terminal maybe

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    Just passed 300k in my 02. No main battery issues but AC light flashes alot.
    resetting sometimes works.. Probably posting this in wrong section. sorry if so.
     
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I wanted to add this post from another thread because it illustrates the importance of a technical reference and Prius-aware scanner:
    There are half a dozen computers that operate this car and they want to report errors. But the traction battery controller is NOT found on ordinary cars so ordinary car controllers never see it. And as Chapman points out, there are sub-codes for some major codes that narrow down to specific areas. It is the difference between stumbling around in the dark and turning on a light switch.

    Bob Wilson
     
  15. royfrontenac

    royfrontenac Member

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    Roy from canada here:

    The valve on top of the converter diverts or bypasses exhaust air from one side of the catalytic converter for a short time during the warm up of the engine. This is done by vaccume from the intake manifold. When this valve sticks and will not move with the vacumme applied a code is triggered. The solution is to raise the car,spray the device with lubricant while moving it back and forth manually, I use never seize lubricant plus a silicon spray lubricant.
     
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  16. royfrontenac

    royfrontenac Member

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    Your AC light blinks (I think) because the clutch is slipping. When new there are 3 shims in the clutch plate, removing the smallest one will reduce the magnetic gap and allow the magnet to pull in better ( right now it is intermittent thus the blinking light) . It is an easy fix if you follow some of the posts on this site that tells you how to do it. Some posts give more detail then others so look at more than one.

    Roy from Canada
     
  17. vaughnstark777

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    If the 12v system Is functional, all you need to do to check the inverter pump is turn on the ignition, open the cap in the inverter pump reservoir and you should see coolant moving in there. If not there are some very good YouTube videos showing how to replace it, it's quite simple.
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Open the cap? You're working too hard. You can see through the plastic reservoir. :)

    The coolant returns through the hose at the front. The reservoir is shaped so if the coolant is flowing (which should be at all times when the ignition is on), the level at the very front of the reservoir will be a couple cm higher with a little mini-waterfall down to the level in the rest of the tank.

    -Chap
     
  19. PeterHaas

    PeterHaas Member

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    I generally agree on all points, excerpted above.

    However, I also own a brand-new 2014 c One and a slightly-used 2012 LB Two, and my reason for subsequently purchasing the 2001 was mainly to own, use and admire Toyota's first-year Prius, certainly a "historic" hybrid if there ever was one (lots of other folks must believe the same, as there are at least five 2001-2003 Priuses within a three block radius of my residence, two of these "first gens" being in a three Prius household along with a "second gen").

    My 2001 was not a "salvaged" car, but it was a "livery" car (essentially, taxicab services from my suburban town to international airport cities, and return, and is noted "Prior Taxi" on the "pink slip").

    What I quickly discovered was that:

    1) the 2001 is actually a better car, for my intra-city purposes, than my 2014 c One, which I plan to sell, and

    2) the 2012 is hands-down the better car, for my inter-city purposes, than any of them (perhaps no surprise here).

    Obviously, should the 2001 fail, my fallback is the 2012, and that is a pretty good fallback position to be in.

    I usually put about 35 miles daily on my 2001, running errands in and around my town, or to the next town, and the performance of the 2001 to date has been flawless. The car had been exceptionally well-maintained by its former taxicab company owner, and when I purchased it it had received all new filters and fluids and new tires, and had no DTCs whatsoever.
     
    #39 PeterHaas, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
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  20. Nowaytess

    Nowaytess New Member

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