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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to buy a second car, and I found a really sweet little Prius C for $9,100 at CarLotz, which allegedly sells privately owned vehicles on consignment.

It's got all the features I want, in the color that I want, and it's at 90,500 miles. And the dog ate the backseat, which looks kinda rough but I am not worried about that.

Here's the problem. The Carfax report shows that the oil wasn't changed until 30,000 miles, and not again until 49,000 and then again when CarLotz got it (at 91,000). Three oil changes in 90,000 miles.

I even called the dealer where the service was done, gave them the VIN and they said that the car was brought in at 10,000 mile intervals, but no oil change was done until 30,000 miles.

I understand that if the guy did it in his backyard, it's not going to show on CarFax, but most dealerships offer free oil changes.

Should I go ahead and buy this little cutie, or let it go?

Is CarFax accurate?

Secondly, the ownership chain shows that the car came to CarLotz was sold recently at auction, and then taken up to CarLotz. So is this some POS auction car?

Thanks for any insights.
 

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Hybrid motors do not run 100% of the time like straight gas motors do. With cars safely going 15k per oil change on synthetic oil plus computers monitoring oil quantity and quality, 20k is not surprising for a Hybrid, but 30,000+ is really pushing it.

One would assume he must have done some oil changes "off the book" at home or elsewhere... but never assume.

I keep a book with the car in which I log all maintenance I do as I do it all myself and the CarFax will be largely blank for the time I own it.

Since it is a likely consignment car, ask them to put you in touch with the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for the reply!!

I did ask them to put me in touch with the former owner, but sadly, that turned out to be an investor who just snagged it at auction.

Then today, I went to a dealership in another town, and LAST NIGHT, an older gent traded in a 2016 Prius C with 20,000 miles. He wanted the full-size Prius, so he traded it in.

I bought it, and they're cleaning it up for me. I pick it up on Monday. I'm thrilled.

Thanks again for your insights and kind help.

Rose


Hybrid motors do not run 100% of the time like straight gas motors do. With cars safely going 15k per oil change on synthetic oil plus computers monitoring oil quantity and quality, 20k is not surprising for a Hybrid, but 30,000+ is really pushing it.

One would assume he must have done some oil changes "off the book" at home or elsewhere... but never assume.

I keep a book with the car in which I log all maintenance I do as I do it all myself and the CarFax will be largely blank for the time I own it.

Since it is a likely consignment car, ask them to put you in touch with the owner.
 

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Rose, you're getting 10x the car with the second one. Most places, including Pep Boys, should show up on carfax. The Prius and Prius C are not dime-a-dozen cars that many people are going to service in their driveways. Your OP didn't include tire rotations or air filter changes. For me personally, I won't wait until there's coffee in the engine before an oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rose, you're getting 10x the car with the second one. Most places, including Pep Boys, should show up on carfax. The Prius and Prius C are not dime-a-dozen cars that many people are going to service in their driveways. Your OP didn't include tire rotations or air filter changes. For me personally, I won't wait until there's coffee in the engine before an oil change.
Thanks so much for the reply! Buying a car is so nerve-wracking! Holy cow. Your comments helped assuage some of my concerns.

The little car is now in my garage. The dealership made a lot of noise about the final price, but I hope (and pray) that I got a good deal.
 

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I have no Idea what you paid. If you paid the truecar.com price and refused a warranty upsell, the dealer would surely made a stink. Added items like extending the 2/24 maintenance and selling a 6/100 extended warranty for $2,500 are how they pay for their store near the freeway exit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have no Idea what you paid. If you paid the truecar.com price and refused a warranty upsell, the dealer would surely made a stink. Added items like extending the 2/24 maintenance and selling a 6/100 extended warranty for $2,500 are how they pay for their store near the freeway exit.
It turned out to be a fairly unpleasant experience. I hope I never do business with that Toyota dealership again.

Twenty-four hours after the deal was done, the sales manager called me and COMPLAINED that I had caused them to lose money on this deal, and that I was a very unpleasant customer. I was utterly incredulous that he would talk to me like that.

This was a negotiation. I did not steal this vehicle. The transaction was handled professionally on both sides - I thought.

In the end, the general manager from the dealership called to apologize for his sales manager and said that there was "no excuse" for such behavior. It was a pretty unnerving mess, but I was grateful for the apology.

After I lot of back and forth (and me arising from the table to walk out), I ended up paying $12,800, and I am happy with the dollars. The car is clean as a whistle and the dealership had all the service records, so I was able to review them.

And yes, they pushed *hard* to sell me the extended warranty and all the other crap.

It's a swell little car and a sound value, but that sales manager really left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

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Is there an alternate Toyota dealer, or possibly an independent? I take my Camry hybrid to Horizon Automotive, which has been a Honda independent for years, and has added Toyota. One item that doesn't sit well with me is the Toyota dealer's 5, 15, 25k visits. No oil change is done; only a tire rotation and quick inspection for $60-$80. The actual oil change is at 10,20,30k. For me, Penske Toyota is not even acknowledged by the BBB.
On yelp, there was a woman who was originally from this area who stopped into Penske for an oil change. She was driving a Tacoma with a 5,000 lb trailer, and they performed a 25 or 35k with no oil change regardless. If a customer is towing a 5,000 lb trailer, shut up and change the #@$& oil!
Through my travels, a place called Electric Ave. Silverlake comes to mind as an example.
 

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Hybrids are interesting in that the gas engine DOES run less than if it were a purely gas car, but pushing oil change intervals for this reason isn't smart. They can't do full electric driving for very long, and any acceleration that's not grandma-paced will fire up the gas engine. The electric mode is pretty much reserved for traffic, coasting at lower speeds, and downhills. I exaggerate a little, but the electric mode doesn't soak up miles enough to justify pushing that OCI further than the factory recommendation.

Just a heads up, I would never do 20k mile intervals on a hybrid that calls for 10k. Congrats on the new car!
 
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