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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm looking to buy a used 01 prius which has 170,000 km on it or 105633 miles for $11,500 US and was wondering if I should be prepared to shell out money if any hybrid components break down. Also the car I'm interested is a private deal so I doubt no warrenty comes with the car but I am prepared to save some money on the side for repairs. When checking the car out what should I look for besides the battery fix in the back? Did anyone still have their original priuses from 01 and if so did you have any major repair problems up to today? Anyone bought these babies used as well and wouldn't mind reporting their experiences under this thread. Your words can be the outcome of my decision! Thanks for considering!

Any first Gen priuses experiences are welcome as well as I'm debating if I should get a used first gen prius or a new subcompact for the same price. Unfortnately I'm not finanically stable enough to own one of those second gen priuses. From my point of view the mileage difference between the two models aren't great enough to offset the difference in price.

So far I've only read one post about someone actually having to replace the power split device which equalled to 8000 US!!! And also read that the catalaic converter used in the prius is a special one and can cost up to 2000 US! Wow for a catalic converter I'm impressed.

I'd like to go hybrid, but was wondering if the trouble was worth it as I do require a reliable car to get to work and home (current car is a 2004 civic coupe which I plan to sell). But also I'm a fuel economy freak and the prius is equipped with everything I need for 100 percent efficency. At the end it comes to reliable boring new car, or used hybrid fun car that can break down in the middle of the road one day :twisted:!

Again thanks for reading.

Phil
 

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used 01

Hi Phil I have a 2001 Prius now at 83k miles. I have bought tires and a new 12 volt battery. Toyota replaced an ECU and a rear wheel bearing. One of these days I will need to get new windshield wiper blades.

Details fuzzy, but I believe that both of the transmission/CVT/power split device failures were replaced by Toyota on terms the owners found acceptable. In fact motivated by those cases, I paid real money to have that fluid drained and the sump checked for metal particles. Nothing there. That was $120 or so I did not need to spend. I am not the only one who did so!

I would like to sing praises for the gas engine because several engine oil analyses show that it is not wearing *at all*.

If these cars do not run forever, it will be because of some computer problem I suppose. Sadly, people get crashed at the typical rate, so (happily for the rest of us) there is a steady stream of parts available for less than Toyota's prices.

The car you are looking at should have had the high voltage battery resealed. You should also have it independently inspected by someone who knows their stuff. If all OK, I say buy it, but perhaps offer 9 thousand dollars?

Yes there are other cars available for the same money but I would urge you to drive both before deciding. The Prius is quite nice and will deliver mid-40's mpg for most users.

DAS
 

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We have a 01 Prius but only 65K miles. No problems although I did use Bridgestone 185/65 B381 tires instead of the potenzas. The B381 is what is used on the Civic Hybrid and is LRR. I believe they put too much weight on the smaller Bridgestones thus the quick wear outs on tires. Note I have potenzas on my Insight and still have 1 original tire at 140K miles and it still has over half its tread, so its not the tire but the weight of the Prius that causes the early failures. The B381's still look new but keep in mind it is putting a small error in your odometer, speedometer and mpg readings because the tire is a little larger than the stock tire.
 

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I should also add that it is getting hard to change the stereo on the Prius. Coastal makes a wiring harness adapter but I don't think they have the demand for the product to make them up (At least I havn't gotten a response from my order). The PCI, blitzsafe and soundgate products work on toyotas but not the Prius. Another prius owner has a adapter but it only works for 2 Jensen models that are no longer in production. So be prepared to live with the stock system. Have fun, Rick
 

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I took issue to the whole transaxle needing replacement for a bad PSD, but my dad pointed out that in his experience with planetary gear systems, they are machined so tight, that they aren't really interchangable with another body without creating other problems, so entire system replacement becomes justified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow thanks for the responses so far. I'm the kind of driver who knows how to drive efficiently (high 30's for my current car) so I'm very curious to see how well my mileage would turn out if I ever get to drive one of these things. I don't mind stock since I'm pretty much a stock kind of guy with my current car now (cept when it comes to comfort) , as long I can replace a speaker or something if any blows up. But dissapointing I have to get some new tires for the car instead of using its current stock ones, and modifing my numbers is going to be fun. What are they off by?

As for dan's reply, so what your saying is the whole car falls apart if the PSD were to fail on you? :shock:

Phil
 

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Any car with this amount of milage is going to be subject for repairs. On this car now out of warranty they not only can cost considerably but the lag time for the wait for parts even from salvage yards could be lengthy.
Backyard mechanics and the shop down the street can not work on these cars.

Realistically, you probably already know what makes sense if you really need reliable transportation and the additional MPG of an older hybrid will never be made up if you incur just one shutdown.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
damn, I guess I'll never get to know whats its like to play the game even though I'm obsessed about reading upon it. The only hope of me actually believing that one of these puppies will go on and on is what I read on hybridexperience.ca, their data was very convincing but it sounded too good to be true. And this is on the area where I live!!! HMM...

Phil
 

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Lower Mainland eh?

Yeah, the car's completely out of warranty, even on the hybrid components. That's a lotta mileage for an 01 and the price seems a bit high given that mileage. Shop around and see if you can find a lower mileage one. I know Frank over at PriusChat bought his from Saskachewan and drove it back here.
 

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philmcneal said:
As for dan's reply, so what your saying is the whole car falls apart if the PSD were to fail on you? :shock:

Phil
Someone reported that his PSD went bad (or so the tech said), and he also reported that a few others had similar issues. The dealer wanted to replace the whole transaxle, which was $9K. I couldn't understand at the time why the PSD itself couldn't just be replaced, thus rebuilding the transaxle. My dad explained why.
 

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We have a 2001 Prius with >118,000 miles on it, primarily highway driving. I cannot recommend this model and currently regret buying the car. Yes, the environmental benefits are great, but the better gas mileage and even the tax rebates do not make up for the extra costs.

First, purchase price is high. Second, maintenance (tires, dealer servicing versus using a local garage) is higher than a non-hybrid car. Third, there are some real problems with the early Prius models. We've personally experienced a long wait time for parts, great difficulty in getting a good diagnosis on problems, more expensive repairs required (regular battery replacement, the issue with the steering column, and an anticipated large battery replacement), and an ongoing problem with getting the regular engine to start at high or low temperatures. I am so disappointed in this car that I'd love to sell it if I could find someone who would pay us decent money for it.

To minimize environmental impact, I recommend you buy a non-hybrid used car, which will most likely save you money even if you end up with some repairs needed. Be patient; in a few more years, with more hybrids being produced, the used hybrids will become more available, more reliable, and cheaper to buy and maintain.
 

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We have a 2001 since 9/2000. It has 80K miles now and runs just great. We will continue to use it regularly despite the addition of a 2006. It had some recalls and stalled a few times, but everything is finally fixed. Over the years, we've spent about $300 in repair that's not covered by warranty, and of course we upgraded to better and cheaper tires. The MPG dropped about 3% due to the tire upgrade, but otherwise remained consistent to date.

I think the engine and brakes of a hybrid car should be in better shape than those of a traditional car with the same mileage. Still, the price you mentioned seems a bit high, especially at a time when you can get a hefty tax credit with a new Prius. I know you are not ready to buy a new Prius, but the market force should make used hybrids cheaper in this tax-break season.
 

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Story of our '01 - Engine Failure at 116K

We have had our Prius since 12/00! Well : several sets of blown sidewalls on the front tires, it blew it's transaxle at about 50,000 miles, bloew a wheel bearing somewhere along the line, had to have a handful of glitches and patches to the computer dealt with, and now the engine has failed. The dealer says it's because of not changing the oil enough, and he'll have to tear into the engine to see what's wrong. But this just doesn't jive with what I know and read about oil replacement and wear in the engine. Oh, and they say the Hi-Voltage battery pack needs replacement.

If they had their way, I'd probably be looking at upwards of $5,000 in repair costs, but the jury is still out on how this is going to resolve.

By contrast I had an 88 Corolla for 200k miles with almost no major problems at all. We have a Mazda MPV with 200K miles --- no problems at all. Knock on wood.

So: good luck to you - I think I would pass on the deal.

(ps you can see more on my situation under the repair and maintenance thread "Red Triangle of Doom = Major Engine Failure?")
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Story of our '01 - Engine Failure at 116K

geewhiz said:
We have had our Prius since 12/00! Well : several sets of blown sidewalls on the front tires, it blew it's transaxle at about 50,000 miles, bloew a wheel bearing somewhere along the line, had to have a handful of glitches and patches to the computer dealt with, and now the engine has failed. The dealer says it's because of not changing the oil enough, and he'll have to tear into the engine to see what's wrong. But this just doesn't jive with what I know and read about oil replacement and wear in the engine. Oh, and they say the Hi-Voltage battery pack needs replacement.

If they had their way, I'd probably be looking at upwards of $5,000 in repair costs, but the jury is still out on how this is going to resolve.

By contrast I had an 88 Corolla for 200k miles with almost no major problems at all. We have a Mazda MPV with 200K miles --- no problems at all. Knock on wood.

So: good luck to you - I think I would pass on the deal.

(ps you can see more on my situation under the repair and maintenance thread "Red Triangle of Doom = Major Engine Failure?")

can't find your thread for red triange of doom, when was the last time you drove your 01? and what was your life time mileage? Any idea why the car died on you so early?
 

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Re: Story of our '01 - Engine Failure at 116K

philmcneal said:
can't find your thread for red triange of doom, when was the last time you drove your 01? and what was your life time mileage? Any idea why the car died on you so early?
Well the thread is several days (going on a week) old, so ... seek and you shall find?

So far the mileage is 114K, and the jury is out on what is actually wrong. In response to feedback on this board and others I've taken it in for a second opinion and the outlook for the future seems better than it was. But I don't want to say more until the new place has a chance to work with the car. So - sorry but I don't have anything definitive at the moment, except I have realized a couple of things:

1 - you are beholden to dealerships for repair with a Prius, because there just don't appear to be independent shops in sufficient quantities that are equipped and trained to deal with it, AND

2 - not all dealers are created equal!

More as it develops ....
 

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Plenty of 2001s still around (that haven't been in an accident yet), but with a 5 year old car, many people seem to have lost the excitement to post all about it on the boards. You'll find more owners of Classics over at the older http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius/ list. (you don't say where you are from, but I'm guessing Canada. you might want to also try the Canada-Prius yahoogroup as well for some older members.) Priusonline and PriusChat are just too new and few older members moved over...

I'll note that the founder of the toyota-prius yahoogroup, Eric Metzler, is up to 184,000 miles now on his 2001 (his wife now drives it, he switched over to a used Insight).

I can't say a whole lot about my 2001, since it is a few weeks shy of 5 years, and just over 42,000 miles. 1 flat tire (drove over a nail), repaired for free by Toyota. 1 new set of Bridgestone Potenza RE92 XL tires, replaced for free by Toyota per the CHA/JDH DOT code recall/swap. 1 new set of wiper blades purchased, and I should probably be replacing them again soon (I don't remember price, but less than $20). Set of 4 snow tires with steel rims purchased, for New England safety reasons, about $600. New front exhaust pipe assembly (which includes the catalytic converter), replaced under emissions warranty for a sticking/binding valve per US TSB EG015-02 (would've been a US$1600 part). 1 new accelerator pedal assembly, replaced under my extended warranty (would've been US$431) per US TSB EG018-02. 1 new ECM for an engine no-start occurance at startup per US TSB EG011-03, replaced under emissions warranty. NO power steering problems, even though notified about a potential shuddering issue. SSC 40G hybrid battery resealant applied, no cost service campaign.

There is a used Prius price graph for US Classic Prius over in the toyota-prius-sat1 yahoogroup, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah see this is where in some cases, a higher mileage prius that still runs actually has a better chance of avoiding problems than a lower mileage one due to upgrades in the past. But unfortnately the one I'm interested in has no previous maintainence papers, although it has new brakes, tires, clean body and air filter. I personally haven't checked the car myself but even if I did I wouldn't know where to start looking for the upgrades. Although the owner said to me he brought the car to a Toyota dealer and the technican used the car's built in diaonostic program to show that there were no error messages. Hm... I wonder if this is one of those magic priuses that will run and run as long you keep changing the needed parts.... :roll:
 

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Again, the dealer should be able to run your VIN through Techinfo (or you can with a paid techinfo subscription) and see what campaigns were applied or are yet to be applied. Unfortunately that doesn't cover TSBs, but then TSBs are done on an as needed basis. Some dealers will do a particular TSB proactively if it is still under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What does TSB stand for again?

edit: NM i'm snooping around the yahoo prius forum, lots of good classic info in there. Is it true that 01's didn't come with an engine immoblizer? Hm i'm pretty paranoid about theft around here, oh and does anyone know the differences between the Canadian and American model besides Cruise control? Thanks!
 

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I'm approaching 120,000 miles on my 2001 Prius.

But, then again, I purchased it pre-owned with 115k miles on it. I bought it at a local Toyota dealer who performed all the service, including recall and TSB work. All regular scheduled maintenance was performed, and it came with a new set of tires. Under warranty, the original owner replaced the throttle assembly, the steering assmbly, the steering column electical "clockspring", and the battery terminal sealant service.

For the close to 5000 miles I have driven it, it has been solid. No problems.

I too was concerned with maintaining my commuter car. As has been mentioned, there is NO shortage of wrecked/salvage replacement parts. The prices for the replacement of major components like the ICE, transmission, inverter, etc. are reasonable.

Like any other Japanese car it's probably capable of being kept running, until the body or interior materials start to discolor and disintegrate.

geewhiz, where do you live? If your'e in a major metro area find a Toyota "tuner" shop. You know, those guys that modify their cars so they sound like leaf blowers about two inches off the ground. They can replace your entire ICE with a unit from a low-mileage wrecked Prius. If you simply replace the broken parts with working salvage parts, your done. No diagnosis, no dealer trained technician necessary. Those guys are very good at bolting on stuff, and they have access to all the salvage yards in the country, overnight parts from anywhere to anywhere.
 
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