Buying a used Toyota Prius is not for the faint of heart. The Prius has been on the market since 2001, and there are now many different models to choose from. To help you get started, keep these 5 things in mind before buying a used Toyota Prius.
1. That’s Not Oil – It’s A Slippery Liquid Metal Magnet!
The parts contained within the hybrid battery pack of any Toyota Prius model are made of elements called rare earth metals (REM). Although they sound exotic, REMs are actually quite common throughout the world. The problem is that they are rarely mined in the United States. Instead, most of them are refined in China.
When you purchase a used Prius model, you are buying someone else’s REM-rich car battery. Even if it has been recycled properly, this particular type of metal is expensive to recycle. If your goal is to buy a used Prius for cheap, then the alloyed metals within the battery pack will be worth nothing more than what you can trade them in at a recycling center.
2. Do Your Own Research
Some makes/models could be too old to drive on public roads. For example, it is highly recommended not to purchase first-generation Prius cars (released 2000-2003) as they likely have high mileage today. Second-gen Prius cars (release 2004-2009) are also known for several weak spots and multiple recalls. Like any major purchase, do your research on any pre-owned vehicle before driving it away from the used car dealership lot.
3. You Can’t Fuel A Money Pit On Used Prius Oil
The Prius contains the most fuel-efficient gasoline engine in production anywhere. It takes special fuels to keep it running smoothly without producing excess emissions.
A used Toyota Prius needs an oil change every 3 months or 10,000 miles (whichever comes first) using only special oils approved by the manufacturer. Otherwise, this expensive little engine will likely stop working once the warranty expires. Although many of these cars are driven for several years before needing extensive repairs like this, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact date and cause of failure.
4. Beware of Fraudsters
If you are looking for a used car, do not let anyone convince you to buy from any online discussion forum. Scammers often use these sites to target innocent victims with fraudulent advertising scams that sound too good to be true. Getting a pre-inspection service from a reliable Prius auto shop in Chandler, AZ, is a great way to weed out potential scams and lemons.
5. Don’t Buy A Lemon – Go to a Trusted Prius Auto Shop!
As with all cars, the Prius needs regularly scheduled maintenance to operate safely and reliably over time. The Prius has many inexpensive parts, but some of its most expensive engine components are not serviceable by amateurs at home or a general automotive repair shop.
For example, the hybrid battery pack requires complete submersion in special water baths during recharging cycles. Unless you have access to this type of equipment, there is little reason for you to purchase a used model instead of a certified pre-owned one. This is not to say that you cannot save money by buying a used Prius. Just be sure to bring your car in for its regularly scheduled maintenance services at an affordable rate.
For reliable advice from a trustworthy Prius auto shop in Chandler, AZ, visit Mac’s Complete Auto Repair at 6948 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226. Our shop is open Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. You may also call or make an appointment online.