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Discussion Starter #1
My sister in-law offered to sell me her car for a fair price according to KBB. The car has 160k miles. She's kept up the maintenance, and had the suspension replaced. Other than that, there's been no other major repairs. My biggest concerns are the hybrid battery lasting; the catalytic converter/sensors; and that the car has resided in Las Vegas -- so maybe the heat and cold have prematurely worn the car? She says that she's never had any codes come up. To feel confident with this purchase, I can only think to take it to a Toyota dealer for a complete check-up. Does anyone have any advice on this purchase? Or, if there is a way to test the hybrid battery, and smog system for wear, etc, etc, etc. Any help is much appreciated.
 

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What are you going to use the car for, primary transportation, work car, or a spare to just have around and use as needed? I would say a dealer is the last place to go, they will want to completely rebuild the car for lots of $$$. Prius's are popular enough that there are indys that are very well versed on them and their maintenance. I know that toyota hybrid batteries are rebuildable cell by cell if needed, would lesson the one time major expense of a complete new battery. As far as the emision system on the engine I wouldn't be any more afraid of it than any other 7 year old vehicle with that mileage. My personal opinion and this is strictly my opinion is I would never buy a hybrid, id lease one and return it before warranty expired. Hybrid technology is progressing every day so youd already be 7 years behind. Its all in what you want, id go into it with the idea that a 7 year old vehicle is going to need some repairs, fix it and go on and accept it.

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Buying a vehicle from or selling to a friend or relative is never a good idea . It can cause hard feelings both ways . You buy it and it needs expensive repair you are unhappy . The seller is unhappy because you broke the vehicle they did not have problems with .
The only way I would buy a hybrid is new , never used. If you do want it then have a dealer look at for a fee then decide . I might even want to pay the KBB trade in price.
 

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09 HL LTD 2WD
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Discussion Starter #4
I have a highlander. I get about 15.5 city and 20 to 25 hwy depending if I put on the roof luggage carrier. I'm really looking forward to saving gas, and wear and tear on the highlander. This might become our main car to run to the store, and see family on long distances. I'd probably use my highlander to move larger items, camping, and such. I think we'd get the Prius for $5k; then I hope repairs for the first three years don't exceed $3k.
 

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1. get Torque or Dr Prius app, OBD2 port bluetooth dongle, for like ten bucks. Then scope hybrid battery for cells state of charge. It will tell you the truth. Should be around 7+V per cell. Thos batteries are very reliable, why do you think there is so many Prius cabs ..
2. How is relationship with your sister? Very good? She won't sell you crap. So so? Hate? I'd not buy it then.
3. Biggest question is - WHY did she have suspension replaced and what exactly was? Suspension is a lot of parts and they are not replaced as a whole, unless vehicle was in major damage there. You need to find out. Ask her for repairs print outs. Post here.

4. Based off #3 , have you always seen your sister driving that car? was there a period of time that she drove something else for few weeks, while "mine is at the shop for some work"? Maybe she wrecked it and was covering it up.
5K is good price for the year. Vehicle is out of any warranty though. So scope hybrid battery with app and have the rest inspected by any body shop. Body shop, not engine mechnaic. They just glance at it and will tell you, if something happened to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1. get Torque or Dr Prius app, OBD2 port bluetooth dongle, for like ten bucks. Then scope hybrid battery for cells state of charge. It will tell you the truth. Should be around 7+V per cell. Thos batteries are very reliable, why do you think there is so many Prius cabs ..
2. How is relationship with your sister? Very good? She won't sell you crap. So so? Hate? I'd not buy it then.
3. Biggest question is - WHY did she have suspension replaced and what exactly was? Suspension is a lot of parts and they are not replaced as a whole, unless vehicle was in major damage there. You need to find out. Ask her for repairs print outs. Post here.

4. Based off #3 , have you always seen your sister driving that car? was there a period of time that she drove something else for few weeks, while "mine is at the shop for some work"? Maybe she wrecked it and was covering it up.
5K is good price for the year. Vehicle is out of any warranty though. So scope hybrid battery with app and have the rest inspected by any body shop. Body shop, not engine mechnaic. They just glance at it and will tell you, if something happened to it.
Ok. So the sister-in-law is letting us test the car for a few weeks. Driving it home from Las Vegas to California (about 4 hours) we got 46mpg, and I kept it at about 75mph most of the way. I guess that's okay? (Sister says she gets about 41 city and hwy.)

The rear is squeaky, and I have a feeling it's the bushings. It's not the hatch, and it's not the spare tire. The shocks are new. I don't think it's the seats. Most concerning is that it was pulling to the right pretty hard for about 50 miles, but then stopped pulling!!! I don't think it's the brakes. Braking does not change the amount of pull, and the wheels don't seem hot. My guess is that the bushings are so bad that the alignment goes out of whack. (Sister's husband said that they over-weighted the car for a camping trip, and blew the shocks and struts. My guess is that they blew the bushings as well, and who knows what else.) In addition, I think the car, especially rubber parts and paint, are wearing faster than usual in the brutal heat of Las Vegas. The clear coat is not looking too good in many areas due to the heat.

She was rear ended, and pushed into the car in front of her back in 2013. I believe that it was fixed as well as any insurance will cover it -- at least the front and back paint match, and don't seem to be fading. However the left rear bumper does not stay tight on the quarter panel. I guess I could live with the 1/4 inch gap. Sister says it's not related to the accident, and that a lot of Prius' have that problem. (Scratching my head.) She also denies hearing the squeaking, and says maybe the new suspension needs to be "broken in." (More head scratching.)

I noticed that the brake fluid is a bit low. I will top that off, and keep my eye on it.

We drove around town recently about 15 miles -- it's only getting about 30mpg. Maybe I'm not driving it right, but that seems quite low. I thought this Prius is supposed to get better city mpg vs hwy? Again, we got 46 hwy. I still need to perform that traction battery test.

For about $150 the dealer will do some sort of used car inspection. I'm wondering if it's worth it; as bad as dealers might be, I don't trust anyone else any more than them. Today, I had a big name tire/suspension/alignment shop look at the alignment. Well they were supposed to check the alignment. He told me that one wheel looks worn on the outside -- that was his alignment check!! It was a free inspection. The tires have fair tread, but he confirmed what I saw -- some light cracking. He said that I should replace them because of the cracking. I'm hoping that we can wait a little longer on that. I'm not sure, if that's a good idea though.

The car just has that really tired look. Lots of stains in the interior hatch area, and some on the ceiling. I think it's a really old looking 2012. So for $5,250 that she's asking, it might be too much. My 2009 highlander looks new compared to this Prius. However, I don't think we care about aesthetics as much as how much money we might have to put into it.
 

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The very moment I heard "rear ended", that was it.
Hybrid battery is in the rear. I would stay away from that vehicle no matter how appealing it is.
And it does not sound appealing at all.
 

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I agree with ukrkoz. Previous damage to the rear is not good. Also, IMHO, the price is a little high considering it has been in an accident. Go with your instincts. :)
 
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