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John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/11/16 1:16 p.m.

EDIT: This thread is from a pre-historic time in a land where you needed a 3rd part to host pictures.  Also from the time before that 3rd party became dick-ish and disabled all those pics.  


Some reposted pics to keep your attention:  





2007 w/78k miles for $5,800 I bought from a private party who bought it 2.5 yrs ago at 40k miles. He added like 16k per year. He paid $9,500 so he sold it for $3.7k less than he bought it. It cost him less than $1.5k per year to own the car. Not bad for him. For me, I see even the highest mileage examples asking $4k so even if they settle and sell at $3k, I then see the bottom of the market for these at $3k. I hope that means that even if I take this car to 200k (120k more than current) in 3 years, I should still loose less than $1k per year in value. All the while, I hope that I will benefit from low maint/repair costs. I don't know a lot about Priuses other than they have a good reputation. For those that know better, is there a good owners forum? At 79k I'm taking a leep of faith that the battery is good. I have some proof of synthetic fluids and a recent, proper, radiator flush. Also wearing good tires that are 1.5 yrs old or likely 25k miles on a 70k mile rated tire Other than that, little to nothing else has been done to it. I looked at a Prius V but had a hard time finding an example that represented the right value for me. Though I have been on a kick of buying southern cars, this one locally looked well cared for and surprisingly has low rust for it's near 10 years old. Light Green would not be my first choice but everything else seemed right. Wish me luck and I'll take any guidance you have.

Kreb GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/11/16 1:20 p.m.

Sorry, but Prius owners aren't welcome here.

Joking. Actually I'm curious what an automotive enthusiast thinks of the Prius ownership experience. Everyone I know who have actually owned one fits into Maytag crowd, if you get my drift.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/11/16 1:24 p.m.

I bought it to be an appliance.
15 mpg on Premium fuel from a Q45 is fun but not economical.
I expect (and accept the fact) that the Prius will be economical but not fun though should be quiet and comfortable. The JLB radio and all the steering wheel controls should be a little entertaining.

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) Reader
11/11/16 1:31 p.m.

The interior looks cherry for a car of that age/miles, so it is either really well made, or was really well taken care of...

Ashyukun GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/11/16 1:49 p.m.

I bought a 2005 with well over 200k on the clock to try and flip about 2 years ago- and actually really enjoyed driving it. It had a lot more pick-up than I expected due to the instant torque from the electric motor, but if you drove it properly you could get some ridiculously high MPG numbers. It proved to be a shockingly good car when we got a massive snowstorm. With newer all-season tires on it, it handled the snow better than SWMBO's FWD SUV- it just hummed along and didn't seem to care about the snow.

If SWMBO hadn't really not liked it I might have considered keeping it for longer than I did, but I sold it for a bit of a profit after owning it about 8 months and driving it through the winter and spring.

rslifkin Dork
11/11/16 1:52 p.m.

In reply to Ashyukun:

I'd never thought about this before, but due to the weight of the batteries, a Prius probably has much better weight distribution than most FWD cars.

hotchocolate Reader
11/11/16 1:54 p.m.

Welcome to the club! Seen purely as a commuter, I can't think of a better vehicle for the money and cost to own. It doesn't have a sporting bushing in its chassis but it does nail its intended function perfectly. Besides oil burning issues at higher miles it is pretty solid. Mine has 211k. Battery has deteriorated some, but it still works well enough. I think the electric power and CVT let it drive more relaxed than other vehicles in its class.

This might get me kicked of the forum, but I sold my 07 civic si and kept my Prius because I couldn't find enough time to use the civic in the scenarios that it was clearly superior to the prius namely autox and track days. I am getting old. So far I don't miss the civic at all. Unfortunately I never really bonded with the civic--though it was very competent. I did however miss the miata and the e36m3 that came before it.

I would like to hear your views after you have lived with it for a few months.i have a feeling that you will end up liking it more than you think.

kb58 Dork
11/11/16 2:00 p.m.

A few months is long enough for the neutering to heal though the emotional scars will take longer , buy yeah, I've been considering one as well

Kylini HalfDork
11/11/16 2:05 p.m.

I really enjoyed mine while I had it (my parents regretted loaning it to me and took it back).

The LED headlights on the 2010+ made a huge difference in driving the car. Obviously, you can't add them to your older generation, but you should look into lighting upgrades. The only suspension mod worth considering is a rear sway bar, but again, TRD only made one for the 2010+. The only comfort mod that was insanely worth it to me were WeatherTech floor mats. You'd be surprised at the difference the trunk mat makes in your willingness to shlep dirty stuff.

PriusChat.com is a good source for aftermarket discussion (they lean a touch on the "riced out" side, but always discuss and endorse good parts and maintenance).

ProDarwin PowerDork
11/11/16 2:22 p.m.

You really have nothing to worry about with the battery. That 'leap of faith' is no more of a leap than trusting that any car's engine is still in good condition at 100k miles.

That price for a 78k mileage example is a killer deal.

Comfort mod I've seen - shimming/lifting the front seat mount slightly to give the seats some rake. I'm not a fan of how little rake they have.

IIRC the rear swaybar is interchangeable with the Corolla of that generation, so an upgrade there isn't that difficult.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/11/16 2:35 p.m.

For what it's worth, I dig the light green.

KazeSpec New Reader
11/11/16 2:46 p.m.

enjoy it, I have a 2012 and love it.


JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/11/16 2:48 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: For what it's worth, I dig the light green.

But it won't lend itself to a cool retro TRD livery.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/11/16 2:55 p.m.

Welcome to the club!

chandlerGTi UberDork
11/11/16 3:00 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote:
David S. Wallens wrote: For what it's worth, I dig the light green.
But it won't lend itself to a cool retro TRD livery.

That's what the practice with vinyl was for though, right?

clutchsmoke SuperDork
11/11/16 3:14 p.m.

That's a sweet commuter you picked up at a nice price! You really don't have much to worry about on this car. And they don't seem to rust.

The JBL system you might find somewhat underwhelming. It lacks clarity. Maybe my friend's was a dud?

Vigo PowerDork
11/11/16 3:29 p.m.

I know not many will agree but i think the 2nd gen Prius is one of the best cars ever built. I bought an 07 w/217k for $4500, and it now has 254k with no work done other than replacing the ORIGINAL 12v battery (which lasted NINE YEARS) with a slightly less old used takeout from another Prius that i got for free. Oh and i think i put a used tire on it. We've gradually ripped all the front underplastics off of it, and i've got about $2k of other people's insurance money. It's got body damage now but nothing else is functionally any worse than when i bought it (it always burned oil) and if you consider the insurance payouts, if I were to sell it right now i'd probably MAKE money. But why bother getting rid of a car that literally asks for nothing?

Honestly, i like how it looks, like how it drives (other than over-aggressive traction control), love the interior usefulness, love the reliability, love the mpg, love the value proposition... You really have to go out on a limb to claim that these are not EXCELLENT cars, usually by claiming dubious subjective qualms about driving engagement. And that's fine, i get it. But I decided a long time ago that no one car does everything, so i catered my life around owning lots of different cars. I don't ask my Prius to do everything, but what i ask of it, it overdelivers on, and nearly for free.

Coldsnap Dork
11/11/16 3:32 p.m.

Even got the puke green color! Seems like a sensible car for the money. Ive spent more on some cars where in the end I'd take a clean prius!

bentwrench Dork
11/11/16 3:33 p.m.

You! With the Prius!

Please move across the street with the anti-Trump rioters.....

flatlander937 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/11/16 3:53 p.m.

They're very solid, reliable cars. Look into the special stuff you need to do when it comes time to replace brake pads though... the brake system on them is probably the most complex thing on the entire car.

If you have a caliper off for pad replacement... and open the door, it will shoot the piston out when the pump runs to precharge the accumulator.

It's really a very interesting system. I can't access the factory manual at home(or find it online) that explains the breakdown of each component and how they interact, but this guy seems to have the best summary I've seen:

When you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is moved in a piston just as in a regular car. However, in normal use, that piston doesn't then move fluid in the brake cylinders. Instead the pressure change is monitored by a pressure sensor connected to the Skid Control ECU. (The fluid enters a device called the Stroke Simulator, which provides the same sort of feel you expect from the brake cylinders.)

From there, the Skid Control ECU works out how much braking force you want, and asks the Hybrid Vehicle ECU to provide up to that amount through regeneration. The HV ECU replies saying how much it can provide. The Skid Control ECU then makes up the difference, if any, by controlling valves from a high-pressure reserve (the Brake Accumulator) to the brake cylinders, which increase the pressure in the brake cylinders, and other valves from the cylinders to the fluid reserve tank, which reduce the pressure.

The rear wheels are always braked with friction brakes as regeneration only operates on the front wheels (the motors are only connected to the front wheels).

If the wheels lose traction, the Skid Control ECU asks the HV ECU to stop providing regeneration and it modulates the pressure on the wheel cylinders to try to keep the wheels just on the verge of locking up. This is ABS.

There is a variable resistor - like a classic volume control on an amplifier - which monitors how fast you press the brake pedal. If you press the brake pedal quickly, it skips asking for regeneration (the HV ECU can't react quickly) and just applies the brakes. It also applies more force than you asked for - this is called Brake Assist - as it's known that drivers frequently don't brake hard enough in emergencies.

If there's a problem with regeneration, the HV ECU will report no braking effort and the Skid Control ECU does it all with the friction brakes. If the Skid Control ECU doesn't see a response from the HV ECU it assumes no regen is available and does all braking with friction brakes.

If there's a problem with the electronically-controlled braking system, the Gen 2 opened and closed valves to isolate the Stroke Simulator and send the fluid moved by the driver's foot directly to the front brakesonly, with no power assistance. There are actually two pistons in the Master Cylinder, both of which are pressed by the rod that the brake pedal connects to, which gives two independent brake lines. One connects to the front left wheel and the other to the front right.

Gen 3 (2010 Prius) improves on this by using the accumulator as a booster and sending fluid from one Master Cylinder piston to the front wheels, the other to the rear. I believe it can keep electronic control of one pair and use driver's effort for the other.

Hopefully this fail-safe mode is never needed, but some people here have experienced it.

-Mike Dimmick from PriusChat

Found it from here: https://priuschat.com/threads/how-does-the-brake-pedal-work-brake-by-wire.75300/

92dxman SuperDork
11/11/16 4:13 p.m.

It sounds like you got a good deal . I think the rear sway bar from a Corolla will bolt on.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/11/16 4:14 p.m.

Side note:
I had a 10:00 am appt to meet the seller at his house to see the car. It was likely exactly an hour later when we were leaving the Notary and the deal was done.

So, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour there was a moment of silence when I popped the car into D and it made absolutely no noise at low speed until the engine kicked it.

Here's to hoping the car will be a tough little soldier dressed in it's own version of combat green!

iceracer PowerDork
11/11/16 5:02 p.m.

Is it Pry us or Pree us ?

Stampie GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/11/16 5:06 p.m.

Wonder how it would be with some 18x10 wheels and sticky tires. Anyone ever autocrossed theirs?

mbmsg New Reader
11/11/16 5:08 p.m.

Well bought, I grabbed an 04 with 40k for 6500 this past summer for my 16yr old. Its been rock solid and pretty boring but easy on the wallet. Don't worry about the battery plenty of utube tutorials on replaced cells to deal with any battery issues. I agree the headlights suck but I use it like an appliance and just drive it drive it.

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