Author Topic: Prius owners...advice?  (Read 1545 times)

AceStache

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Prius owners...advice?
« on: September 13, 2020, 05:56:25 PM »
I'm looking at a 2011 Prius Four. Has 158,000 miles and they're asking $7,250 from a private party seller.  Appears to be on the lower end of blue book.  I've never had experience with a Prius, or any hybrid for that matter. 

Are there any particular questions I should ask the seller?
How many years and/or miles are the batteries typically good for? Is there a way to have the battery health/life remaining checked? And do you know how much they are to replace?

I've never in my life purchased a car with this many miles on it, so I'm a little hesitant in that regard.
Is a Prius of this age/mileage even worth messing with in your opinion, or is she still in her prime?

Just looking for any kind of comments or guidance you can share.

Thank you!
Andy
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 06:02:17 PM by AceStache »

Abe

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 10:07:55 PM »
Prius taxis rack up quite a bit more miles on them than that, and they seem to work fine.  The battery capacity does degrade over time depending on its use, so your mileage may be a bit lower than a new one, but probably not a noticeable difference. The main things you want to do is test drive it a fair distance in the city to see how quickly and completely it recharges with regenerative braking, and how much it discharges during acceleration before the engine turns on. Also see how far it will run in pure EV mode, about 1-2 miles is normal.  Compare that to a new Prius to get an idea of how well it performs, with the understanding that the batteries have significantly improved over the last decade.

Replacement for the battery is several thousand. Probably almost as much as youre paying for the car. At that point Id just not worry about the battery and use it as a regular car.

Eilonwy

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 10:14:21 PM »
We just had to have a Prius battery replaced. With parts and labor it was $1500.

My husband and I, coincidentally, each have a 2006 Prius which we bought used. They really last.

Abe

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 10:39:30 PM »
We just had to have a Prius battery replaced. With parts and labor it was $1500.

My husband and I, coincidentally, each have a 2006 Prius which we bought used. They really last.

Wow, much cheaper than when we first bought a Prius (never had to replace it, but was curious. Then they wanted $5k).

2sk22

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 06:52:39 AM »
I have a 2012 Prius v (the bigger model). I absolutely love the car as its the perfect size - overall fairly compact but has a huge cargo capacity. No real problems in the nine years that I have owned it.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 06:16:21 PM »
I have a third gen Prius also, 185,000 miles or something now, about 150k when I picked mine up 5 years ago. It's been pretty reliable for me but obviously I haven't put a lot of miles on it. The main packs are supposed to generally last 150-200k miles and I've noticed as summer has worn on, mine tends to show the battery quickly run to 2 bars every time I get in the car, taking a couple miles to charge back up to the normal level of 6 or however many bars it normally sits at. Previously it would only run the battery down if I was driving a long time on electric or running the A/C while sitting idle in a parking lot, so I suspect I may be getting down to the last year or two before my main pack gives out. I was seeing quotes up in the $2500-3000 range for warranteed packs with installation, which if it helps me get, say, another 5 years out of the car I'd be fine with.

I've only run up $1741 in repairs and maintenance in the last 5 years and 35,000 miles which I feel is reasonable. Puts my maintenance and repair cost around $0.05/mile, or about half or a third of what I'd been planning for. Then again, a $2500 battery replacement would instantly skyrocket the cost per mile, so there is that to think about. I think that long term it's reasonable to assume $0.10 to $0.15/mile of maintenance including when various other things fail like axle seals, shocks, A/C compressor, and so on. Little things that can randomly fail when you're driving a car to 15 years old or more, especially if parked outside in severe climates.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 09:17:18 PM by Sid Hoffman »

Indio

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 06:58:34 PM »
My experience is that the Prius is super reliable. Have a used 2008 and haven't had any repairs. I don't drive a lot but when I do, I get about 500 miles per tank highway and love that the fossil fuel consumption is so low.

There are Prius chat sites that you can go to ask questions about the model you're considering.

Faramir

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 02:01:36 AM »
We have a 2010 Prius that's done 110K miles (same generation 3 as the 2011 you're looking at).  Considering the relatively low mileage we were a bit unlucky to need to replace the battery recently.  It was working perfectly until we got the "Hybrid System Check" light.  It cost us US$2,100 for a genuine new (not reconditioned) battery done by a Toyota garage.

It's worth asking if the battery is the original.

I worked out that even with this big replacement battery cost and the higher upfront cost of a Prius vs petrol equivalent car we will still save more in fuel over the course of its expected lifetime than a petrol equivalent.

I would still recommend a Prius and would consider buying one again in the future. 

The main website referred to buy Indio is www.priuschat.com which is very helpful.  I spent a lot of time on that website for the first couple of weeks of owning a Prius.




Loretta

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 05:36:19 AM »
I have a 2016 Prius that I bought with about 46K miles on it and it seems like it will go forever.  My dealership where I bought mine (it was an Internet Special) likes to tell the story of the Colonel who had 300K plus miles on hers, working at the Pentagon with a long commute. 

Travis

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 06:22:07 AM »
Mine is a 2008 with 200k miles. Original battery pack. I bought it in 2015 at 160k miles.  MPG is stuck in the low 40s this year, but that might just be the environment we're driving it in right now (very short city commutes). Before we moved out here it was in the mid to high 40s.

There's a self-test you can do on the battery system from the touch panel on the dash.  It won't tell you how much life is left in the system necessarily, but it will let you know if you're looking at a lemon.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 06:28:23 AM »
The battery issues are often just a few bad cells, which can be replaced for far less than the whole battery pack. Particularly if you're comfortable DIY-ing it. Tons of YouTube videos about cell replacement.

mrs sideways

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 09:07:24 AM »
Priuses may last longer than other cars but they still need their share of maintenance. Has it been looked over by a mechanic? At 150k miles there could be a lot lurking under the hood, depending on how the current owner treated it.

Side note, we got a used Prius Plug-In and we love it. We can get 10-15 miles of electric driving out of a full battery, which covers most in-town trips.

maisymouser

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 11:24:36 AM »
Prius taxis rack up quite a bit more miles on them than that, and they seem to work fine.  The battery capacity does degrade over time depending on its use, so your mileage may be a bit lower than a new one, but probably not a noticeable difference. The main things you want to do is test drive it a fair distance in the city to see how quickly and completely it recharges with regenerative braking, and how much it discharges during acceleration before the engine turns on. Also see how far it will run in pure EV mode, about 1-2 miles is normal.  Compare that to a new Prius to get an idea of how well it performs, with the understanding that the batteries have significantly improved over the last decade.

Replacement for the battery is several thousand. Probably almost as much as youre paying for the car. At that point Id just not worry about the battery and use it as a regular car.


You can't drive it without a functional hybrid battery. This is the main complaint about Priuses (Prii?). We just replaced a battery in our 2004 last month for somewhere in the range of $2500-3000, including labor and a 3-year warranty. As long as the rest of the car stays intact for those few years we will have saved thousands on what would have otherwise been spent on a new used car (not to mention savings on insurance, registration, taxes...)

RainyDay

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 11:33:02 AM »
I've never in my life purchased a car with this many miles on it, so I'm a little hesitant in that regard.
Is a Prius of this age/mileage even worth messing with in your opinion, or is she still in her prime?


I felt the same way!  My 10 year old Prius (2010) with 90k miles was the oldest vehicle I've ever purchased and I was really unsure about it. But I've had it 9 months now and so far, not a thing has gone wrong.  It sailed through inspection and is saving me $$ in gas, insurance, and property taxes.  And it's the perfect size!

CogentCap

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Re: Prius owners...advice?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2020, 01:28:30 PM »

I've never in my life purchased a car with this many miles on it, so I'm a little hesitant in that regard.
Is a Prius of this age/mileage even worth messing with in your opinion, or is she still in her prime?


Absolutely worth messing with. I drive a 2003 Prius. (Granted, it's "only" got 158,000 miles on it). I bought it in 2016. No problems so far.

My husband drives a 2012 Prius, now at around 160,000 miles. Never a problem. 

Anecdotes, but FWIW.