Author Topic: Used Hybrids  (Read 4607 times)

Stacheintraining

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Used Hybrids
« on: May 02, 2014, 11:28:25 PM »
It's time for a a new car... I've been thinking about a used hybrid and was wondering if any other Mustachians have done this, or thought  about it and decided against it... Appreciate your thoughts!


Nords

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 11:45:50 PM »
It's time for a a new car... I've been thinking about a used hybrid and was wondering if any other Mustachians have done this, or thought  about it and decided against it... Appreciate your thoughts!
We bought our 2006 Prius in 2008 (and paid too much because gas prices were spiking) and we bought our 2005 in 2011.  We found them both on Craigslist from private sellers.

They've been great cars and we've had no major problems with either one.  The 2005 seems to have an intermittent refrigerant leak from its air conditioning system, but I add a bottle of R-134 every 2-3 years.  The 2006 had an inverter cooling pump go bad, but that was replaced under a recall.  In 4-5 years the 2006 will reach 100K miles, which generally means an overhaul of the brakes, spark plugs/wires, and a coolant change.  The 2005 doesn't get driven very often and will probably be old enough to vote or even drink alcohol before it gets to 100K.

I've even bought an aerodynamic Thule longboard roof rack for the 2006.  I can't tell that there's any change in the car's gas mileage.

Jamesqf

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2014, 12:45:23 AM »
Bought a 2000 Honda Insight in '03 or '04.  Had 50K miles on it then, now up to about 175K, averaging 71.2 mpg.  I figure the money I've saved on gas, compared to even a 'good' 35 mpg conventional car, has come close to paying the original purchase price.  Have had very few mechanical issues other than regular maintenance: IIRC an O2 sensor and a wheel bearing.  No real problems with the hybrid system, at least once I figured out that it needs a charged 12-volt battery to run the electronics.

CarDude

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 09:18:33 AM »
^ Yup, from everything I've read, used hybrids are a good deal. Just look out for specific issues related to the model you're interested in. For example, the 2007-2011 era Camry hybrid has a recall waiting to happen with part of the ABS sensor. It basically breaks early and requires around 3000 to fix, because if you don't, there are no guarantees that your ESC, ABS, or even regular brakes will work. I feel that's why you can find a lot of models from that generation for very similar prices to the non-hybrid Camry; people sell them quickly when they get that bill. It's a good idea to join or read forums specifically to your hybrid of choice, just so you're aware of stuff like that before purchasing.

MicroRN

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 10:14:04 AM »
I bought my '04 Civic hybrid in 2010 from a friend.  It had very few miles on it, since she had spent 2 years of her ownership in the Peace Corps.  I really lucked out, because the hybrid battery died shortly before it went out of warranty, so I got a brand new battery for free.  I did have an issue there where they replaced it, then replaced it twice more within 2 months, but that was a Toyota battery manufacturing issue, not a car issue.  Each was replaced under warranty, and the recent one has lasted with no issues.  The bad ones died very quickly. 

frugally

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 10:54:43 AM »
We bought our '01 Prius last year with 140k miles on it and have really enjoyed it so far.  It had just had the main hybrid battery replaced, so we're hoping to get another 70k miles or so out of it.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 10:56:14 AM by frugally »

DollarBill

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 04:43:23 PM »
Quote
2000 Honda Insight averaging 71.2 mpg

This drives me nuts!!! How in the heck can we hit those numbers in yr 2000...fast fwd to 2014 and they are still only putting up averages between 30-50 mpg's??? I have a 2012 focus that gets 34 mpg's on the hwy (32 around town). At 65 mph I'm running close to 3000 rpm's. If I had a sixth gear I could break into high 40-50's mpg's. Why is this not an option yet??? Drives me nuts I tell ya!

Personally I would rather have an all combustion engine instead of all the electronics & batteries. If a hybrid breaks most likely you will need to take it back to the sealership.

kendallf

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 09:13:25 PM »
two Priuses here (2007 wife's, 2009 daughter's), absolutely no issues.  I work on all of our cars and I'm glad there are active forums for the Prius; I've seen posts on everything from adding plug in capability to pulling the motor.

A buddy of mine just picked up his second 2000 Honda Insight; he's getting high 60s for mileage as well.  He found a local guy who buys them and has some parts cars, and I'm considering one to replace my 1994 Lexus SC300.  The Lexus has 205k and runs perfectly, but I just don't drive it anywhere as I'm too cheap to put gas in it these days and I'm either on the bike or the motorcycle.

I would like to be able to go 30 or so miles to a couple of group rides around here during the summer, and 18 miles back and forth to the house I'm working on with supplies, and the Insight's mileage might make the payoff reasonable. 

jnik

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 03:44:36 PM »
Quote
2000 Honda Insight averaging 71.2 mpg

This drives me nuts!!! How in the heck can we hit those numbers in yr 2000...fast fwd to 2014 and they are still only putting up averages between 30-50 mpg's???
Part of the reason is that the 2000 Insight has nothing to do with the current one. Maximum passenger + luggage load of 350lbs, IIRC...at the time, I couldn't buy one because my wife and I wouldn't have been able to ride in it at the same time.

Another part of the reason is that most of the advances in engine tech have gone into more HP instead of better efficiency.

Jamesqf

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 04:42:10 PM »
Part of the reason is that the 2000 Insight has nothing to do with the current one. Maximum passenger + luggage load of 350lbs, IIRC...at the time, I couldn't buy one because my wife and I wouldn't have been able to ride in it at the same time.

There's a point: the fuel efficiency of a car depends on its weight (car plus expected load).  If people insist on buying cars with seating for 4-6 people, even though they never carry more than one passenger, they're going to pay the price of the extra weight.

CarDude

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 04:47:07 PM »
Quote
2000 Honda Insight averaging 71.2 mpg

This drives me nuts!!! How in the heck can we hit those numbers in yr 2000...fast fwd to 2014 and they are still only putting up averages between 30-50 mpg's??? I have a 2012 focus that gets 34 mpg's on the hwy (32 around town). At 65 mph I'm running close to 3000 rpm's. If I had a sixth gear I could break into high 40-50's mpg's. Why is this not an option yet??? Drives me nuts I tell ya!

Personally I would rather have an all combustion engine instead of all the electronics & batteries. If a hybrid breaks most likely you will need to take it back to the sealership.

Besides the good points jnik raised, keep in mind the original Insight weighed ~1850 lbs and had a 1L engine. If you're willing to build a car to those specs, even without the hybrid component, you'll get 50 mpg without much trouble at all, especially if you pay a bit of attention to aerodynamics. However, as noted earlier, adding HP reduces mileage within a given generation of technology, and most people like to be able to carry more than themselves and a tiny bit of luggage. The Prius gets 50 mpg while seating 5 and weighing 3000 lbs empty, which most people found to be a much more interesting proposition.

greaper007

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 04:51:33 PM »
I have an 07 Civic Hybrid.   We bought it new and so far I've done almost all the maintenance on it.   It's really not that different than most cars for the things you have to fix.    Oil changes, transmission fluid (expensive cvt fluid) etc are about the same.   Brake fluid is a really wacky system so I pay the dealership for that.   

We had the battery pack replaced once under warranty at about 75,000.   I just replaced the front pads and rotors for the first time about about 88,000 (got to love regenerative braking for ease of wear).    Otherwise it's been a great car with very few maintenance issues.    If the battery pack goes again, I'm really considering a manual rebuild.    There's some manuals for sale on the internet that seem to make it pretty straight forward.

Can't Wait

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Re: Used Hybrids
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 06:56:33 AM »
I have a paid for Honda Civic that averages about 37-39 mpg and I thought pretty hard about trading it in for a used 2004-2009 prius at an average cost of $5000 or so after the trade in and tax, title, tags etc. Driving the prius will save me roughly $437 a year in gas. Only looking at gas savings, $437 a year isn't enough to warrant the $5000 that it'll cost me to save that $437 a year in the first place.

If I was in a situation where my car died or it was totaled in an accident then I would most definitely purchase a used prius since I would need a new car anyway. However, right now, the cost to upgrade to the prius exceeds whatever savings I'll get by driving it.