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Hi all, I just bought my first hybrid - a used '02 Prius. Think I got a fairly good deal -- it was $16,200 BUT it only has 7,200 miles on it. I know the lady that had it and it hardly got used. Any advice for me on how to drive it or any possible problems I might have with it?

Thanks
 

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Hi Kirby,

Drive it like any other automatic transmission car. But ignore the engine sounds (or lack thereof) for a while because they won't be the same as other cars. You'll get used to it after a while.

Keep watch on your tire pressure, if it get's low, it can cost you mileage.

Ask the previous owner which service bulletins were done. In particular, you probably want to get the high voltage battery inspection/sealing done if it hasn't been done yet.

Read through John's site, especially the user guide (under "Prius Info").

Hope you have a lot of fun with your new Prius.
 

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kirby said:
Hi all, I just bought my first hybrid - a used '02 Prius. Think I got a fairly good deal -- it was $16,200 BUT it only has 7,200 miles on it. I know the lady that had it and it hardly got used. Any advice for me on how to drive it or any possible problems I might have with it?

Thanks
I have 12.000 kms on my 3 months old 2005 Prius :) MPG increased after 11.200 kms.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

I went to the local Toyota dealer and got the service history on the car. The lady brought it in like clockwork every 4 months to have it checked out. Last oil change was 1100 miles ago which was July-04. They said they replaced the hybrid battery pack as part of a recall in Dec-04.
 

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Re: Thanks

kirby said:
...They said they replaced the hybrid battery pack as part of a recall in Dec-04.
This sounds unlikely. More likely is that they opened the battery pack, sealed the individual module wiring with silicone sealant, and replaced the copper busbars with new ones. Battery replacement is vanishingly rare.

That is just a quibble of course. What you need to know is that 11 months is a long time for engine oil (even without miles) and it is not unreasonable to change it and the filter. Many dealer-servicers have a propensity to overfill the engine oil, so watch for that.

Presumably the electric assist power steering has not been replaced, so you are eligible for that for free (should it develop symptoms) 5 years from vehicle in service date with no mileage limitation. Actually, check that, because the Toyota letter on the subject specifies "2001 through early 2002 model year" and yours may be late 2002. A check of the vehicle identification number (VIN) would clarify.

Tire inflation already discussed, but please keep that donut-spare at 60 psi. Inflated to OEM specs, the tires do not usually last very long, but they do better about 42 psi front 40 rear, if you are willing.

If you leave the gas cap loose, the screen may show a error message. The most common error message (I believe) would lead to technical service bulletin EG011-03. Repairs under that TSB are wholly covered for 36 months/36k miles. A subset (which is all I needed done on my 2001) is covered 96 months/80k miles. Having said all of that, many Prius drivers never have the problem.

A rarely driven Prius might need its 12 volt battery replaced sooner than usual, but no need to worry in advance.

In fact messages like this often carry the wrong tone. There is no need to worry about much of anything. This car is going to impress you in many subtle ways. Enjoy it.

DAS
 
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