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Risky Buying Prius that is rarely driven? 2017 with 4500 miles

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Anotherpriusguy1, Apr 9, 2024.

  1. Anotherpriusguy1

    Anotherpriusguy1 New Member

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    is there any risk in buying a 2017 prius with only 4500 miles? Can that be bad for the engine with fluids not moving through, or age the hybrid battery?

    I've read a few articles suggesting this may be the case? Any help is welcomed.
     
    bisco likes this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't think so, definitely not the engine. the battery is probably fine, but you could have a dealer run a health check if you're uncomfortable, or use the dr. prius app if it works on gen 4.
     
  3. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

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    To some extent it depends on why the mileage is so low. For example, if it sat for months at a time (snow bird who left it sit) without being cared for could create problems. Or is just a vehicle that was used for short trips around town but yet driven every week or so.
     
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  4. Anotherpriusguy1

    Anotherpriusguy1 New Member

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    -Yes, they said they will do a full inspection that includes plugging in and testing the battery. I don’t know how much that inspection will show though. You never know with dealerships…

    The car was owned by an elderly couple, who is actually selling because she got her license removed due to old age. So my guess is it’s just sat in the garage, mostly gone to get groceries and that kind of thing.

    They have full maintenance records and even with low mileage maintenance was performed at the dealership. It also appears the miles are mostly distributed through the lifetime of the vehicle for the most part, it wasn’t like they took it on one road trip for 5000 miles and never drove it again.
     
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  5. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Active Member

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    change the fluids if you’re worried about it! Batteries don’t like to sit and discharge for a long time but engine should be good! Inspect it and go for it if the price is right!
     
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  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Probably fine. The hybrid batteries don't love to sit but this isn't horrible either.

    Might need fresh gas, probably needs tires and should be checked for mice. They notice when a car sits still.
     
  7. Anotherpriusguy1

    Anotherpriusguy1 New Member

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    It was dealership maintained based on time, regardless of mileage. But thanks, I'll keep it in mind! Priced at 26,000 Canadian = $19k USD. Seems good?

    Its undergoing a full inspection before sold. Tires seem ok, I test drove one set
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    The point of my post was to remind you that seven year old tires are pretty much used-up even if they have a lot of tread left. They certainly won't perform like their published reputation.

    The inspection might tell you about mice and other things. I wouldn't expect it to tell you much about the battery, because that's a much harder call to make.
     
  9. Doug McC

    Doug McC Active Member

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    Then I wouldn’t be afraid of it at all. Think you might have found a gem.

    Tires age and you run the risk of a blow out with 7 year old tires. Trust me, I learned that the hard way.

    If the coolants and brake fluid haven’t been changed yet at least have them tested as the anti-corrosion additives become depleted over time and on a 2017 you don’t want to be running depleted coolant through the exhaust heat exchanger.
     
    #9 Doug McC, Apr 12, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2024
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  10. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Senior Member

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    As stated above; exhaust gas heat exchagers are a common failure point. Less so in 2017 but very common in 2016 model year. Keep an eye on the coolant levels at every fill up; until your comfortable with it.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    only you can decide if the price is good by comparing to other cars in your area
     
  12. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I'd love see pics of the trip meters and some of the other gauges on the MID screens. They would more than likely bring back pleasant memories and might even make some of us reading here a bit jealous. ;)
    One thing I'm pretty sure of is that it's going to be pretty difficult to find another 2017 Prime with 4.5k miles on the ODO-meter :whistle:
    whether it turns out to be the right car for you in the long run or not.
     
  13. dbstoo

    dbstoo Senior Member

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    When I bought a used 2017 Prius Prime in 2019, it had fairly low mileage. The car had been sold twice, more than that if you included dealer trades. Mileage was about 5K per year.

    Only after I bought it did I find out that the $100 12 volt battery needed to be replaced. It had sat at the VW dealer's lot without being driven nor charged for half a year, damaging the battery. The defect was masked by the service department charging the battery while I talked with the salesman. The LI-Ion traction battery was fine. The car's battery management hardware/software prevented over charging as well as discharging too much. The 12 volt was not able to start the car the following week

    When I had the battery replaced the next week at the Toyota dealer I was informed that they had serviced the car for the VW dealer (a sister company) and had given the battery a clean bill of health 4 months ago.

    Either way, it's a good idea to replace the 12 volt battery once it has failed outside of the warranty period. You never know what abuse it's suffered.
     
  14. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    These are 3 of the almost 50 screens that I wished I had pics of early.
    The first one is how my 2017 Prime looks after the car is Ready to be put and gear and driven but is still in Park. So you can see if the one you are interested in also looks this way.

    P1030325.JPG


    The next 3 are the Odometer and Trips A and B with the Drive Monitor screen showing on the MID.
    To look through the screens use the circle and buttons on the steering wheel. Left side bottom button below the circle selector. switches the odometer and trips. Push that button 4 times to get to the odometer than once more for trip A and again for trip B. ( Holding the button for 2 or 3 seconds, resets the MPG of the Odometer gauge and also resets the miles and mpg of the Trip gauges )
    To get the Drive Monitor showing on the MID, us the scroll circle / ring on the right side of the steering wheel and push the down arrow twice or the up arrow 4 times.

    Odometer and Drive Monitor showing on the MID (After Reset) was 6 years ago.

    P1030326.JPG

    Trip A was also reset once many years ago.

    P1030327.JPG

    Trip B - I believe this is lifetime and hasn't been reset since the car was new. See it is only a few 1/10 of a mile different from the odometer ( Both Trip A and B flip back to 0 miles after 10,000 miles )

    P1030328.JPG

    These 3 screens tell a lot about the car, but it takes a while to understand what they are showing.
     
    #14 vvillovv, Apr 13, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2024
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    Open Road Toyota Port Moody (always like to give them a "plug") tried simiilar with our brand-new 2010, which I later deduced had build date 15 months prior. When we came for a test drive they had it running, to "warm it up for us". The ruse fell apart in the course of signing the paperwork when we went out and tried to start it up, to check the odometer reading.
    Four months should do it, in.
     
  16. Anotherpriusguy1

    Anotherpriusguy1 New Member

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    Wow thank you all for the detailed responses and help

    They did a hybrid battery diagnostic for me, here is a picture of the results

    Can anyone confirm this seems like a good hybrid battery? I see different voltage on the battery blocks? Is that normal?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Anotherpriusguy1

    Anotherpriusguy1 New Member

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    Update:

    Bought it. So far everything seems exceptional. Feels like a brand new car.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for an affordable way to get some details on the hybrid battery health?

    Here is a post of the mileage - I’m in Canada so its in KM
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I bought an Autel 2500E diagnostic device the other day. I bought it to solve an unrelated issue, but it does provide detailed battery stats*, works with any modern smartphone, and cost me $58.


    *Stats are not as useful as a live load test, and so far nothing comes close to the accuracy of the test built into the car. (people don't like the built in test because it is a simple pass/fail with no advance warning whatsoever)
     
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  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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