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Used Prius - am I getting a bad deal?

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Posted by als on August 23, 2007, 9:31 pm
I am about to buy a used 2004 Prius with 69,554 miles on it for
$4000. Is this price too low? I checked the carfax report and it was
clean but I am nervous still that there might be something wrong with
the car. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm going to pick
it up in two days so any feedback would help.


Posted by Bob H on August 24, 2007, 2:49 am

Have a competent shop ck it out before you lay out your money.  Good
bodywork can be hard to spot.  As can small leaks etc etc.

Posted by Michael Pardee on August 24, 2007, 12:30 pm
It could be a great deal or the owner may know something you don't. In that
vein, two things come to mind. A good look at the undercarriage - especially
the catalytic and muffler - for damage is a good idea. It isn't hard to hit
either of those on a road hazard or even a large speed bump and do damage
that costs a couple thousand to fix.

The other area of concern is the transaxle. Failures are rare but are very
costly; I understand the part itself is $000 US. Listen for whines or howls
and pass it up if you hear any. It may not be the transaxle but that isn't a
chance I'd take unnecessarily. There are other transaxle failure symptoms
but those are hard to miss and hard to hide; serious loss of power (like
just enough to get off the road) and big warning lights on the speedometer

Beyond that, the Prius has fewer trouble areas than most cars. I don't think
I've ever heard of head gasket trouble. Do check the coolants (there are
two) for traces of rust and walk away if you see any - that's my advice for
any car. The radiator is normal but there is also a translucent reservoir at
the top of the engine near the firewall for the inverter coolant. Both
should be pink and clean.

There is a service record booklet called "Passport to Performance" that
comes with the car. It should be up to date and I would hope the 60K mile
service was done. The 30K mile intervals are extensive checkups and deeper
maintenance. (There is no timing belt to be concerned about as there is on
many other cars.)


Posted by als on August 24, 2007, 3:28 pm
a used 2004 Prius with 69,554 miles on it for

Thank you so much!
I am going to pick it up tomorrow and I am going to print out your
message and take it with me.
The carfax has showed no problems but you never know. The dealership
that has the car is in Knoxville and I am in Atlanta. The guy that is
helping me said that it is their policy to lower the price on cars if
the have been on the lot for more than 25 days. The car was listed at
16k but now its 14k. He said that there is not a huge demand for the
Prius in Knoxville like there is in other cities (esp. Atlanta). If
you would like to take a look and let me know what you think here is a
link to where I found it.
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id"3390270&dealer_id 0007440&default_sort=priceDESC&model3=&end_year 08&address0316&make2=&start_year 03&fuel=&certified=&keywordsrep=&color2=&search_type=both&max_mileage=&drive=&min_price=&distance00&engine=&transmission=&make=TOYOTA&model2=&keywordsfyc=&color3=&doors=&style_flag=1&max_price=&advanced=&make3=&model=PRIUS&color=

Thanks again for your comments! I really appreciate it!!!

Posted by Piper on August 24, 2007, 5:20 pm



That's correct 5.8 to 5.9 liters per 100km at 100km/h of highway
driving. I drive 400Km per day every day. I get consistently almost
1,100 km per tank. I jam in about 62 - 63 liters. I have just
purchased low friction tires and I am hoping that they will provide
less resistance than the Nokian i3 that they replace. I have also been
informed that I should try using 0w20 synthetic in place of 0w30
synthetic. My target is 1200 km. That way I would fill up at the end
of every 3rd day. Cheers.

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