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Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/26/22 9:59 a.m.

Mod Edit: this thread is evolving into the Gen2 Prius Buyers Guide.  Also see top of page 2 for lots of info.

 

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1076393366527687/

This seems cheap. It claims battery issue, and ive asked the seller for more information. 

Can anyone give me an idea of what i may be looking at from the ad? Im seriously considering picking this up in the next day or two if it's going to be something affordable to diy repair. However, i have NO knowledge or experience with anything hybrid, and only partially understood the stuff John welsh posts about them. 

I do 5k a month for work. At .56 a mile, the mpg boost over myazda would make me money pretty quickly if its its something I can fix. 

 

So, any guessing or links for stuff like this?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 10:06 a.m.

Buy it.  Like anything, get it for as cheap as possible.  

Ask if it still has the factory catalytic converter.  The reason for this is that cat is worth $1k in scrap alone!  

This one needs a little love but I just sold my '07 w/ 160k miles for $5,800 (in 7 days.)  So, if this is a $6k car (less miles) and you can buy it for $2k (or less) it won't need more than $1k.  Net result may be that you have a $6k car for under $3k.  

 

The ad says:
possibly needs new battery
screen blacked out

 

I'm gonna guess the seller means that it needs a hybrid battery, the big battery.  I am doubtful.  But, if true it is $500 answer.  Could just be the 12v AGM battery (car battery in trunk) and that is a $200 answer.  

Screen black out is the center stack screen.  Common problem.  Pulg and play, just replace with a better used unit.  About the same a replacing a radio. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVROSJsPB3I&ab_channel=Sw6074

 

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/26/22 10:10 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Any ideas what it will need from the lights? Apparently the screen is dead as well. May or may not be related. 

 

It has the cat. I need to find someone to come with me. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/26/22 10:44 a.m.

Other than a bad battery, could there be a common issue that knocks out the electric drivetrain?

Anything to look closely at? In other words, learn me prius?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 10:45 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Get the VIN. I'll pull the Toyota Dealer service history. 

I'm on phone but soon I'll email you my Prius Buyers guide. (now added to page 2 of this thread)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
1/26/22 10:46 a.m.

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buy it buy it buy it

 

WillG80
WillG80 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/26/22 10:50 a.m.

These cars are really sensitive to 12V batteries getting old. An old or aging battery can cause all kinds of weird electronic issues so I'd start there. If I remember right there are 3 voltages to check to know if the battery is the issue. Voltage when off, when running and something else. 
 

says "running and driving" so I don't think you can go wrong. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/26/22 10:53 a.m.

Buy it. With your abilities and John's guidance, it's a win.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
1/26/22 10:55 a.m.

Also fwiw, there is a guy not far from you that specializes in Priuses (Its where we bought my ex's 1st gen).  If you do end up needing a battery or screen or something he may be a good source.  I'll see if I can dig up the info.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 10:58 a.m.

Screen black out could also be Speedo/odometer screen.  I had that problem.  I fixed mine, you can fix yours.  The answer was 69 cent resistor soldered into the board.   Officially know as the combination meter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9yi6djL2Qk&ab_channel=JustVlad

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 11:12 a.m.

2009 (newest Gen2) w/ 133k miles asking $3k   Is that one closer to you?  

Claims to need hybrid battery but also says still driving which is contradictory to really needing a hybrid battery.  More money but maybe less problems.  Does not need a screen.  

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
1/26/22 11:16 a.m.

All concerns about fixing a broken one aside, have you actually driven a Gen 2 Prius to see if you like it enough to be happy spending that much time in one?  The newer Toyota hybrids drive pretty well, but personally, I absolutely hate SWMBO's Gen 2 Prius.  As far as I'm concerned, if you ever have to work on it or drive it above 30 mph and outside of heavy traffic, it's a miserable piece of E36 M3.  In so many ways, it's like they tried to build a good car, got 70% of the way there and just said "eh, good enough". 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 11:27 a.m.

You'll want some Prius software for your phone.  

If you are Apple then you have to go with Dr Prius app (paid version.)  If you are android you can go with Dr. Prius or Torque Pro ($4.99)

I use Torque Pro.  Once purchased go here to get the Prius stuff for Torque Pro  Watch a video like this.

 

You'll need a Bluetooth adaptor.  Here is a good review of OBD2 adaptors.  I have the Panlong for Android

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 11:44 a.m.

If it is a 12v battery problem.  The problem is exaserberated by the fact that the 12v battery is in the trunk...but...the trunk latch is electric.  So, not juice means you can not get to the battery either, or so it seems.  

Under hood, in the fuse box is a poorly labled jumper point.  It is hidden under the red cover.  

So, positive to the red and negative to the strut bolt (at yellow tool.)  But, that red is so tiny its hard to grab onto with big battery clamps.  My trick...  that is a 10mm nut so put a 10mm socket into the jaws of the jumper cable and then put the 10mm onto th nut.  

I really only hook up the battery up front just long enough to send power enough to go to the rear hatch and open the electric switch..  Now, with the trunk open, I disconnect from the front jumper point and move the cables to the rear.  From the rear, I then jump start the car with the cables really hooked up right to the battery.  

I have driven salvage cars home (with dead batteries) buy just leaving my jumper pack or a spare battery right there in the trunk and clamped on. 

I have bought past salvage cars cheap because they were listed as non-runners but with this knowledge I have gotten them jumped.  I figured whoever deemed the car non-running didn't "make the effort." 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 12:12 p.m.

If it needs a Hybrid battery...  I have never done it but I've watched youtube videos.  Expect $500-$700 for a good battery.  It seems you can also buy individual cells for $50 and expect to need at least 2 or $100 and more work.  The worst part of the battery replacement seems to be that EVERY piece of cargo area plastic trim has to be removed as well as rear seat unbolted.  Not "hard" but expect 1 hour of dealing with plastic pieces.  

If putting in a whole unit, my understand is that it is just plug and play.  

The software apps will show you the voltage of all 14 cells before you even remove the battery.  This will help you determine how bad the original battery is before removal.  

Of my 5 Prius, in my ownership they have ranged from 80k miles to 227k miles.  I have never had real hybrid battery trouble with any.  Sure, heat kills them and my climate is cooler.  I'm not sure if that has been a factor but possible.  

I have had my car throw the red triangle of death.  I then then clear the codes with my reader .  I have even had times when my reader returns no code but then I hit the "clear codes" option anyway and I'll be damned, the dash lights go away and stay away.  I have called this "the cars get confused" sometimes.  As mentioned, by others, these cars are funny about dying 12v batteries and I think that have been my problem in the past.  

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/26/22 1:08 p.m.
rslifkin said:

All concerns about fixing a broken one aside, have you actually driven a Gen 2 Prius to see if you like it enough to be happy spending that much time in one?  The newer Toyota hybrids drive pretty well, but personally, I absolutely hate SWMBO's Gen 2 Prius.  As far as I'm concerned, if you ever have to work on it or drive it above 30 mph and outside of heavy traffic, it's a miserable piece of E36 M3.  In so many ways, it's like they tried to build a good car, got 70% of the way there and just said "eh, good enough". 

I have never driven a Prius. But rising gas prices, my dd mazda6 having horrible headlights despite all efforts, and automotive add have me looking. 

Now im worried ill hate one. However, at the 2k price (scheduled to go see it tomorrow night if it's still there) i think i can flip it if i hate it. 

I mean, it can't be worse than the geo metro, can it?

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
1/26/22 1:18 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

I have never driven a Prius. But rising gas prices, my dd mazda6 having horrible headlights despite all efforts, and automotive add have me looking. 

Now im worried ill hate one. However, at the 2k price (scheduled to go see it tomorrow night if it's still there) i think i can flip it if i hate it. 

I mean, it can't be worse than the geo metro, can it?

For the most part they drive like a typical mid-2000s Toyota.  You feel crosswinds on the highway badly.  The steering is pretty bad (a bit springy, numb, light).  But they don't actually handle too badly. 

Most of my complaints are around the drivetrain.  The regen braking doesn't integrate well on the Gen 2 (it's great on the newer hybrids though).  It cuts in too sharply at times (if you brake suddenly but not hard, you get brakes, a half second, then it slams into full regen).  And the regen cuts out below 8 mph, but it doesn't fade out smoothly, it just drops out.  So braking lightly to a stop, you get to 8 mph, then it feels like the brakes failed and you have to push harder to maintain your decel rate. 

As far as power, it's slow.  But the biggest annoyance is that it feels like it takes a couple seconds to get full power if you go WOT. 

Working on the thing sucks.  Fasteners all rust and break.  They eat front wheel bearings like candy if you live somewhere with potholes and they corrode into the aluminum knuckles, so if the last person didn't use enough antiseize it's a nightmare to get them out. 

I agree there's not much to lose for $2k.  If it's functional, someone else will pay at least that for one.  There are plenty of other things that'll get close in the MPG department (and a newer Prius would do better), but they all cost more money. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
1/26/22 1:21 p.m.

Go for it ,  John seems to have all the regular problems sorted out for you ....

my question , is there a Toyota hybrid thats larger and cheap when they have problems like this ?  

Thanks

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
1/26/22 1:24 p.m.

I am a big fan of ours! it has over 200k now (bought it with around 160k) and all I've done is replace coil packs and fluid changes (and stolen converter). Although I do need a screen if anyone has one, would be nice to see the radio again. I find them quite fun to drive if you're not expecting big (or moderate) power.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 1:34 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

Go for it ,  John seems to have all the regular problems sorted out for you ....

my question , is there a Toyota hybrid thats larger and cheap when they have problems like this ?  

Thanks

The internet support on these things is deep.  PriusChat seems to be the busiest place for answer but being such a mainstream car, don't expect that all questions or answer are from very knowledgeable people.  Youtube has been probably my best resource.  I have yet to describe a symptom to google that has not resulted in many videos to watch.  I always try to watch two to at least get a second viewpoint.  

On your question, I think the answer is, people are using Gen3 hybrid packs on Gen2 cars.  Here is a 5 page PriusChat thread on that topic. 

This is a link to my Prius dismantler that I've used before and he mentions Gen3 for Gen2 as well...$700 vs $500

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 1:50 p.m.

All written below is prety true.  My comments in bold. 

rslifkin said:
Dusterbd13-michael said:

I have never driven a Prius. But rising gas prices, my dd mazda6 having horrible headlights despite all efforts, and automotive add have me looking. 

Now im worried ill hate one. However, at the 2k price (scheduled to go see it tomorrow night if it's still there) i think i can flip it if i hate it. 

I mean, it can't be worse than the geo metro, can it?

For the most part they drive like a typical mid-2000s Toyota.  You feel crosswinds on the highway badly.  The steering is pretty bad (a bit springy, numb, light).  But they don't actually handle too badly.  Yep, typical 2000's fwd.

Most of my complaints are around the drivetrain.  The regen braking doesn't integrate well on the Gen 2 (it's great on the newer hybrids though).  It cuts in too sharply at times (if you brake suddenly but not hard, you get brakes, a half second, then it slams into full regen).  And the regen cuts out below 8 mph, but it doesn't fade out smoothly, it just drops out.  So braking lightly to a stop, you get to 8 mph, then it feels like the brakes failed and you have to push harder to maintain your decel rate.  Maybe, but I've drive 6 different Gen2 Prius and they all act the same.  I also have over 100k miles of Gen2 driving so that maybe means I don't notice it any more.  I guess my input is if the above is true, it is at least consistent behavior and I've adapted to it.    

As far as power, it's slow.  But the biggest annoyance is that it feels like it takes a couple seconds to get full power if you go WOT.   Different race and different definition of winning.  When going WOT you notice the cvt's "uniqueness" or differences.  I get 42 mpg w/o trying and setting the cruise as high as 77 mph.  Trips on 2 lane roads in the country keeping speeds at 55-ish will result in 50 mpg (but that's not really my main travel.)  Net for me is 42 all the time w/o trying.  

Working on the thing sucks.  Fasteners all rust and break.  They eat front wheel bearings like candy if you live somewhere with potholes and they corrode into the aluminum knuckles, so if the last person didn't use enough antiseize it's a nightmare to get them out.   Yes, they are hard of front bearings.  Timkins are $100 via RA and book labor rate is 2.5 hours.  For me, if I pay to have it done, $350 per side.  ($100 per hour labor on my parts is my local deal.)  I had to buy a knuckle once due to the rust holding in the bearing.  That was $165 via Amazon and here in 2 days.  Now $219 on Amazon

I agree there's not much to lose for $2k.  If it's functional, someone else will pay at least that for one.  There are plenty of other things that'll get close in the MPG department (and a newer Prius would do better), but they all cost more money.  Agreed, other things cost more.  Don't you have a young'en learning to drive soon?  Great back up car for days when the Mazda needs repair or just to have. 

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
1/26/22 1:54 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I agree on the regen behavior being consistent.  I could get used to the 8 mph drop-out if I drove it enough, but the engagement behavior means I end up putting the car in "B" mode if I ever want to drive it hard so that it's already in regen before I reach for the brake pedal.  Otherwise a sudden grab of the brakes is too hard to judge properly. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 1:56 p.m.

Driver's seat is simplistic.  No power, heat, lumbar adjust or lift was offered on any trim for Gen2.  All manual.  I find them comfortable but, others may not.  The cloth fabric is much more durable than it looks like it would be.  With as high as 227k, I don't have a single one with a rip, tear or worn through part.  I have not encountered anything stain wise that could not be removed.   

The standard radio is simplistic.  If you have the model that does bluetooth, it only does calls.  Does not play music via bluetooth.  But, a dual din can be added if you need "tech."  The speakers are in the doors, including rear doors.  On the front door there is a tweeter opposite the rear view mirror.  Factory door speakers are riveted in but once those are gone you can screw in typical aftermarket units.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/26/22 2:29 p.m.

Steering wheel buttons not working?  Bad Clock Spring.

Notoriously, the buttons on the right fail first but they are redundant meaning they also have dashboard controls.  The cruise is right side too but it is then the only way you can work the cruise.  Left side buttons typically fail after that.  

The solution is a replacement clock spring.  Super easy as long as you have a torx bit.  I did it following this video.  30 minute job.  The actual clock spring can be gotten from $100 to $10 with ebay being the cheapest.  RA is about $50  This clock spring is not a Prius specific part.  Same part on many Toyota/Lexus around the world.  I bought a $15 ebay unit and all was fine.  

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/26/22 3:06 p.m.

Are these able to have the seats swapped around with other seats, or are they airbag fancy things im stuck with?

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