Buying A Used Prius With Over 100 000 Miles
There are a few factors to consider when purchasing any vehicle that is over 100k miles. The life of the battery, its past history, accident reports, and the last time the owner took the Prius to get a tune-up.
But if the owner has already replaced the battery, within the last year, then it should be fine. But a Prius with 100,000 miles on it that has a brand new battery will not be as cheap as a Prius with its original battery.
The Toyota Prius is a fantastic used car purchase. The Prius has proven itself to be a reliable, affordable vehicle in the used market. Toyota, and the Prius, both win awards over and over again for reliability, durability, and quality. So why the alarm? Not so much an alarm as a heads up that some years have proven less troublesome than others. So why buy one of the years owners have had issues with?
Toyota Prius Excessive Oil Consumption IssueThe Toyota Prius has experienced a problem with excessive oil consumption. The problem generally manifests itself shortly after the 100K miles mark. Not a bad time for a problem to start if you owned the car new. However, if you are buying it used, why buy into a problem?
Since the oil consumption and also the headlight issue overlap the 2010 and 2011 model years, we suggest that used Prius shoppers consider a purchase of one of these two years carefully before buying.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.
What Does "Highway" Mileage Mean?When a Prius has higher mileage, let's say over 200,000, and the current owner says those were all highway miles, you need to understand something.
When a car is driven on the highway for long periods, it usually stays within "optimal" operating temperature. That means the vehicle is not generally getting heat-cycled a lot or driven on roads that will beat the suspension. It also means that the brakes are not getting used as much.
What Does Low Mileage Mean?Low mileage can be a good thing, depending. If you are looking at a Gen 3 Prius, low miles may be a point of concern. One of the issues with Gen 3 Prius is that if it does not get up to temp or it "heat-cycles" a lot, it can plug up the EGR system and cause premature head gasket failure.
Like Gen 2, an aging battery is still a concern. With a battery that has not been "exercised" regularly, it can go into premature failure as well. You can learn ways to mitigate battery issues; more information on battery failure is found here.ConclusionIf you find a high-mileage Prius with a stack of service receipts on it, chances are you will get many more miles out of that vehicle. Do not discredit a high mileage car just because of the mileage.
In the end, we suggested she consider getting a used Prius with only 3-4 years on it and the lowest total mileage she can find, which will give her several years of service with no worry about battery life.
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