Thanks to our local troll and his soon to disappearing posting, I
found this Huntsville web site full of FUD to post asking about buying
a used Prius:
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Like most things: good, fast, cheap ... pick two of three. We have
two, a 2003 Prius (NHW11) bought used in 2005 with 49,000 miles
(cheap, good) and a 2010 Prius (ZVW30) bought new in 2009 (fast,
good.) You haven't mentioned budget but let's go over the models and
NHW11 (2001-03) - 1.5L sedan styled like a Ford Focus
With just under 90,000 miles added, we are getting a life-time average
of 52 MPG:
However, as the first Prius in North America, there were a lot of
lessons learned. Still there are good buys available IF you are
willing to turn a wrench and it so happens, I live in Huntsville and
do 'house calls' with scanners, maintenance manuals, and spare parts.
Recently, I helped Stephen B. get his 2002 Prius bought for $,000 at
auction back on the road again. He had two problems, inverter and
transaxle problems, but for only for $00 and some 'sweat equity,' he
is on the road and happens to have a spare, working traction battery.
NHW20 (2004-09) - 1.5L, hatchback
The 2004-05 had a latent weakness in some solder joints but there are
fixes available. The 2006-09 have no know weaknesses but I don't
follow them closely.
ZVW30 (2010-current) - larger, 1.8L Prius hatchback
Larger than the NHW20 with a more powerful transaxle, this is
depending upon how you count them, at least the 3d or 4th generation
Prius. It has a substantial number of improvements. I also used an
accelerometer to map the brake-pause problem and confirm it is fixed.
Used Prius Market
There is an NHW11 Prius in Birmingham with ~160,000 miles and a
problem that sounds like "safe home mode" for sale for $,500
including a free tow to Huntsville. It is on Craig's list and if you
decide to investigate, contact me and I can loan you a scanner to
check out the codes. Once we know what is broke, we can fix it.
Stephen had tested the car and did not detect the failed transaxle
Another friend is going back to school and selling his Prius. So back
in April, I mapped the completed sale prices of different Prius:
If you'd like more information, I'd recommend:
YahooGroup - "Prius_Technical_Stuff" that started in November 2000, 30
days after the first Prius in the USA. Check out the photos and files
YahooGroup - "Prius_Owners" a little less technical and more user
http://hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius/ - my niche in the net.
http://www.myhybridcar.com/forums/ - great place for a mileage
database and a place I help moderate ... very anti-SPAM
http://www.myhybridcar.com/forums/ - for those who have a wider view
of fuel efficiency and 'do the experiment.' One of the places I
happily donate to support ... donations are optional and access if
http://priuschat.com/ - another source, a place to search and/or ask
USENET alt.autos.toyota.prius - unmoderated so some SPAM and trolls.
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Also, nonsense about battery replacement:
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"Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components,
including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control
module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000
miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions
warranty. Refer to applicable Owner's Warranty Information booklet for
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