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Cost of Repairs: Or Why You had Better Keep it in Warranty!

4860 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  twoheads02
I own both a 2001 and a 2002 Prius. Have been a gung-ho owner and am probably responsible for the sale of half a dozen Priuses to other folks. 2001 currently has 31+k miles on it. 2002 has 17+k miles. The 2001 had to have its rack and pinion replaced. The 2002 had to have its navigation computer replaced. Both done under warranty. Then I decided to start keeping up with what it would cost to repair IF they were out of warranty. Cost of rack and pinion: $3,500.00! Cost of replacement navigation computer: $4,100.00!

Toyota replaced all four tires on the 2001 at 24k miles due to wear. I am at a decision point: Shall I keep the 2001 and spend $1,700.00 for an extended warranty to 100k miles or trade it in for something else. Discovered that my dealer would only give me Kelly Blue Book price: $10,500.00 to $11,500.00 for the car! They said "After all, its warranty is almost out."

I took it to AutoMax to see how they might price the car. Response: "We can't repair Priuses. Only Toyota can, so we won't buy them or even allow them in trade!" I said "You would probably only give me the Kelly Blue Book value anyway, right?" He said "No. Less than Kelly Blue Book!" Now I am concerned. I can remember some of us thinking that the Prius should really hold up its resale value. Apparently NOT true! We still love the Priuses though.

Your thoughts, please. Mine is currently to go ahead and spend the $1,700.00 for the extended warranty to 100k miles. That really gives me just 64k miles more of warranty. These two Priuses may prove to be the most expensive cars I have ever owned!
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In your opinion what do you think would be the fair resale value of my car. I need to sell my car in a hurry. I paid a little over $24k for it. I was thinking and spoke to a few people and they agree that $22,200 is a fair retail value for it. I would love everyones input on this also.

Its a 2002 with
single CD
side airbags
carpeted floor mats
only 4200 miles on it, had it since March
Still smells and looks showroom new
Has Daytime Driving lights
And NAV/GPS system.

Ive added small extras like new top quality floor mats to protect the carpeted floor mats and door bumpers

Guess everything else would be considered standard for the 2002. You know what all that is. Tires are the new series.
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$22,200 is what the dealer gave me fo a deal last SEPT02 for the same vehicle you describe, - NEW - 12miles on it 2002. I love it! If I had to sell it I'd take a hit!

Now that it is 2003 model year they are dealing (more) on the remaining 2002's. I have seen many 2002/2003's sitting on the lots.

I'd say fair market for a used 2002 with 4,000 miles - I'd be shooting for $19,999 (under 20K) to pull someone from a new one.

Since there was no price increase for 2003 and you do get the $2,000 deduction ($500 to $800 seen). Finance from Toyota has been 0 down and 0.0%/36months here in the East.

If some one is looking for a loan on a used car the rate is higher. It is a (2002) a model year old & getting close to actual (January) 2003 calander year - Factors people think about, not nice, but, consider.

After January it is a year old.

I did pay another $850 a few days after closing the deal for my 2002 for the Toyate Platium 7year/75,000 warranty - hoping I'd never have to use it but for a resale "Apple and Stick".
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Extended warranties

Your thoughts, please. Mine is currently to go ahead and spend the $1,700.00 for the extended warranty to 100k miles.

Maybe I'm way off base here, but I've always believed that extended warranties (for any product) are a waste of money. I figure if something works for 3 years and then breaks, it couldn't be a manufacturing defect, so the extended warranty wouldn't cover it anyway.

Car warranties are worse, because they usually cover parts but not labor, which is often the greater charge. I also distrust them simply because the salesmen try so hard to sell me one. I think it's just a way for them to guarantee that you will take your vehicle back to them for repairs, so they can charge you outrageous labor costs!

Some people buy extended car warranties as insurance against future repairs and maintenance costs, but cars do not usually require rack and pinion replacement. It would be rare to have a repair of that magnitude after your normal warranty expires--especially the Prius with its extra-long warranty for the expensive hybrid components.

With my last car, I kept track of the repair costs after the normal warranty expired, and it turned out I would have almost broken even at 100,000 miles (i.e. cost of repair parts = cost of extended 100,000 mile warranty), but that was only because several larger items failed at 99,000 miles. It was an Oldsmobile--Toyotas have a better record for longevity.

Of course, it depends on the cost of the extended warranty. If it were only $50-$100, I might buy one. However, I think $500+ is more normal and $1700 is definitely too high.

Where did you get your Blue Book value? I just went to and priced a used Prius. Assuming 2001 with 31,000 miles, excellent condition, and basic options selected (and my zip code: 53226), it said $15,490 for private party sale and $13,415 for trade-in. I think this is normal--it indicates the car lost about 25% of its value in the first year or two. They always drop dramatically in value when you drive them off the dealer's lot. When someone says a car holds its value, they mean several years later, you will still get a decent percentage. If you sell a car after only 1-2 years, you will always lose a lot of money. (Maybe you should have leased it.) Hey, look on the bright side--I think you can claim the loss on your taxes to offset any capital gains this year.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
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Used Price

Hi Smitty,
Things have changed now that the car is off internet sales.
I just looked up the retail price for a new 2003 at Carson Toyota just to get a feel of the climate from one dealer.
All the options you mention (esp NAV) plus 6-CD changer and the GBS on a new (0 mile) 2003 white for $22,599 + sales tax, license, and doc fee. Counting the deduction and state incentives (incentives in other states could impact resale value even if your state has none) the true number for comparison gets even lower.
But dealers might be pricier in your neck of the woods.
Good luck,
Thanks all for the insight, (Oops wrong car :shock: )

I guess I better lower my price and take it in the pants. I wish I could keep the car. I checked the web site Johnson talked about and I get 18900 for my car. I even used different zip codes.

My problem is that I put such a LARGE (10K) downpayment on my car when I bought it, now it seems I am going to loose about 3k of it plus the last 8 payments I have put into it. So that is pushing almost 5k down the drain.

Hate when lightning strikes after I make a major purchase. This is the first time I have bought myself a car since I was 19. (39 now). If only I waited or had that little birdie telling me the future.

Thanks again guys
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.
:? I feel for you on the prices offered by way of sale or trade on your 2001 model. I do think the replacement cost for steering unit, and nav computer are somewhat OTT though.

As an indication of resale value - the Prius is not available brand new in New Zealand. However importers are bringing them in second hand, ex Japan. I purchased one such model recently, with less than 40k miles on the clock. It came with a 36 month full service warranty, and I was able to purchase it for a little over $US7500.

The dealer whom I purchased off also warned me, the resale value after three years would be virtually zilch - especially since the battery would probably be totally sus' by then.

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