Why Not to Buy a Used Hybrid Car

Why Not to Buy a Used Hybrid Car

Rev up your engines,
today I’m going to help you decide whether it’s a good idea or not to buy a hybrid car,
now lately people have been asking me, Scotty I’m thinking about buying a hybrid
car, what do you think about that, well we’ll start with a little history lesson,
hybrid’s really started with submarines, they have diesel engines that would recharge
the battery, or run the propellers and then necessary and
they were under the water, they would run only on the electric battery
power, now the early Honda hybrids used a system
that was rather similar to the submarines but it was a failure,
people didn’t like them, they hardly sold any of them and they were really slow,
as an example of this, in 2013 Honda only sold 4,802 Insights,
while Toyota sold 145,172 Priuses, so right off the bat I’d say don’t buy a Honda
hybrid car, if you want to get a hybrid car you want to
use the Prius design, which actually most manufacturers use,
and that’s an Adkinson cycle 4 cylinder engine combined with a hybrid generating system,
and using a hybrid battery pack to store the electrical power,
now the early hybrid used nickle metal hydrate batteries,
and they were rechargeable, the modern ones use lithium ion batteries
but for a long time they used nickle metal hydrate batteries,
now in the case of the Priuses, originally they had 28 Panasonic hybrid modules
and each module had 1.2 volt cells in it, which would make 200 something volts for the
whole system, the price of these batteries has come down over time,
now you can get a new one for about $2,600, but I don’t advise going any cheaper than
that, there are places that recondition them, but
really you got an old worn out battery that’s made out of a bunch of little batteries,
if they replace a few of the battery cells in them, hey the other ones are still old
and they’re only going to break down over time,
you really have to go new if your planning on keeping the car for a long time,
so you have to decide how long your going to drive your car,
in the case of the Prius the newer ones come with a 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty,
so if your happy with that you’ll never have to worry about the battery,
but if your planning on buying a used hybrid car that’s more than 8 years old that has
more than 100,000 miles on it, then you might want to think twice about that
one, because not only do the batteries cost a lot
of money, but other repairs cost a fortune too,
like this one that burnt out the generator, a customer towed her Prius over to my place
because it died while she was driving down the road,
and found out that it wasn’t putting out any charging voltage at all,
so I checked all the fuses and relays and they were all perfectly fine,
then I thought, hey it just needs a new alternator, but guess what, a Toyota Prius doesn’t have
an alternator, it uses a generator that’s built into the
transfer case, now if it would have been an older Toyota
like this old Celica, the alternator is right here,
you just take off a couple bolts and a fan belt and replace the alternator,
you could get a rebuilt one for $100 or so and put in on in about 10 minutes,
but sadly in this hybrid system that’s not the case,
it doesn’t use an alternator to charge the battery, it uses a generator,
inside the transfer case here it’s not seperately serviceable,
I did a lot of research on the internet and you have to buy the entire transfer assembly
for $3,459.68, and if that wasn’t bad enough, it takes over
10 hours of labor to take it all apart and put it all back together again,
so most places are going to charge over $5,000 to do the job, and unfortunately in these
2002 Priuses it’s very common for the generators to short out they overheat and melt,
and unless you want to keep buying giant batteries and recharging them to drive the car,
you have to fix it to make it able to drive, and then of course you have to factor in the
cost of the car, they cost a lot more, how much gas mileage
your actually going to get, and does this amount to a profit over time,
a lot of times it doesn’t for normal people, but I recently came back from Seattle and
all the Uber drivers there were practically all driving Priuses,
since they get such better gas mile with regenerative braking,
in town, and a lot of taxi drivers do a lot of in town driving,
you see all these Priuses because they’re cheaper to operate, it’s a business and your
putting a lot of miles on it, but if your just driving your car normally,
you might find that the extra expense of buying a hybrid, and if your like me and want to
keep your car for 100,000’s of miles, the extremely high repairs your going to do
as they get old, it’s not really worth it buying a hybrid for
somebody who drives like that, now my opinion on hybrids is this,
I see them as a type of stop gap technology, there half way between gasoline cars and electric
cars and since your not fighting a war in a U boat,
it’s really not that necessary for most people, so if you never want to miss another one of
my new car repair videos, remember to ring that bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. Eh, as long as the car isn't over nearing 10 years old, looks to be in good condition, etc. it should be fine. Prius' are one of the most reliable cars ever. The chances of you having legitimate issues with them are slim to none. They can drive to the moon and back without a problem.

  3. So your opinion is based on one lady's 17-year-old car? If I were shopping for a used hybrid, I'd invest about $40 in an OBDII scanner that shows each cell's health (the $10 models don't show each cell, just the pack). And used battery packs go for around $300.

  4. I deliver pizza in Arizona gas prices were killing me so I went and bought me a 2006 Toyota Prius used with a reconditioned battery I've been driving it for a little over a year I've had zero issues and only fill up with $20 a week for a 400 mile work week it's been a godsend AC works amazing and no issues with the battery at all this car pretty much has paid itself off I bought it with 218,000 miles and I only spend 3200 bucks on it all I've ever bought for it it's a pair of front tires that cost me $100 for both of them but that's it I highly recommend these cars for whatever use but especially if you deliver Pizza

  5. My brother is a car mechanic, He once told me: "If a hybrid is in an accident, place a flair in front , behind and in the back seat of the car!"' LOL These cars have over 200 computers in them which one went bad in the accident ? Who knows?

  6. Hey Scotty we have two Prius’s and one has 235,000 miles and the other has 195,000 and they both have hit deers and the only problem is one had to get a new battery! They get between 35 and 48 mpg! I can’t believe you don’t like them!!

  7. I bought a used 2004 Prius in 2006 at an auction. It had 80k miles on it and cost me $5300(steal!!). I looked the car over each of the 3 days of public inspection and, as hybrids were still relatively new, or perhaps because I was a young woman, I was given terrifying misinformation by well meaning fellow atendees( the battery will die, the car would catch fire from the battery, the battery will explode…). I still have my wonderful 2004 Prius with 270k. A couple of years ago, I took photo of my mpg graph and sent it to my friends(summer 62mpg with 216miles driven). 3 of them went out and bought Prius'. The only major things I've replaced were the 12v battery(x2 at $180 each, replaced myself) and the right front wheel bearing([email protected] $120 by mechanic). That being said, all used cars are a gamble, and not everyone is as lucky as I have been. Inspect before you buy, always!

  8. Scotty, great insights about the Prius charging system that I did not take into consideration, Sure glad I did not buy one as I really don't put that many miles on my car per year, it would not make sense to buy one. You saved me a lot of $$$. It's apparent to me now that Prius's make sense if you use them for business like the cab and Uber business drivers and if you commute over many miles.

    Think I will keep my incredible 10 year old Mada 6, has 100K on it and drives flawless…love it.

  9. love my 14 Prius CA to TX in 2019 cost me 90 bucks in gas
    they have sold over 1.6 million in the US and there on most ''top ten most reliable car lists''

  10. This is a bad video. The Prius last forever! We’ve had 4 in my family and they all go over 250k with no repairs. My father’s is a 2010 with 520k and still runs perfect. Only minor inexpensive repairs. There is something wired about this video you seem to have a biased.

  11. This video just made me second guess any video you’ve ever made. You really should be more clear and not bash such an amazing and reliable car. You could specifically talk about the first gen Prius that is almost 20 years old.

  12. I bought a used 2008 Toyota Prius for 2300$. It had 190,000 miles. It now has 210,000 miles. I've changed my own oil. Changed the breaks. Bought Tires. Still runs great.

  13. I agree. If you ever want to buy a hybrid,buy a new one.I bought a used Honda civic 2008 hybrid (was around 125,000 km then,if i recall correctly)…gas mileage was good but the hybrid battery quit on me after around almost 3 years,it was too costly to fix with Honda (the replacement cost of the battery cost more than the value of the car in my opinion)..I had to sell for a loss,I was lucky to even find someone willing to take it from with the hybrid battery issue .Yes,I got good miles on the gas but I do not think the savings on gas was enough to cover the loss when I had to sell it due to the hybrid battery failure. If you must buy one,buy a new one and that way u will drive it for years and probably safe decent dollars before the battery quits.

  14. Strange that Mr. KIlmer would form a bias after only seeing one customer's broken Prius. He is a man left behind the times. I certainly wouldn't let him touch my Prius. And I'm not a Troll, I watch all his videos, and appreciate his comments. This time, Scotty is wrong. Nobody can be right all the time. That's why stuff needs to be researched in more than one source.
    Some ICE Car fans, especially those making a living constantly fixing ICE cars, do not like the Prius, let alone an EV.
    I bought a used (2010) Prius, and if I wear it out, I'll buy another, unless I can get an EV. Car mechanics will be a thing of the past, just like buggy whip makers, some day.

  15. Scotty, the new hybrids form Honda 2014 and newer are supposed to be more efficient. I had an '03 the hybrid batter gave me problems. 2014 fixed many if not all of those issues. 2014 Honda Accord hybrid is supposed to get 45+mpg city.
    What's your opinion on this model?

  16. Not a good experience from me,i bought a 2009 prius with 179k miles for 2500 thinking i was going to save money on gas?? i did for the first 7 months and then the stupid battery died

  17. I personally owned a hybrid and I get what scotty is saying. I bought a used prius at 230000 miles and I did:
    1. Replaced a few cells from my Hv battery
    2. Clean hv fan
    3. Change inverter coolant pump
    4. Spark plugs, clean throttle body, maf sensor, change pcv valve.
    5. Replace headlight sensor.
    6. Change o2 sensor.
    7. Change tranny oil, engine oil and coolant.
    And few other minor things.
    The thing is as an engineer I could do it by myself. For the average person who knows nothing about cars this would be thousands in repair.
    So long and short if you're driving far distances yes its good on gas. But if you're just driving a few kiles to work and back, the savings in gas won't be enough to recover the cost for repairs.

  18. OK The battery for the Prius has gone down in price, but what about the labour to get a new one installed once the old one has died? I've heard that the number of hours to install a new battery is like 10-12 hours of labour!! I this true?? Thanks!!

  19. There is a lot of truth here! In Minnesota, all of these plastic parts cost money! When you get large clumps of snow, it will hit the undercarriage and more.These plastic parts are not cheap! The new Camry's are the same way, let's get closer to the ground. From what we understand, the tailgate on the Prius Prime is made of carbon fiber. If someone rear ends you, you are looking at about a $4,000.00 repair or more. The big thing in Minnesota is raised trucks, with modified exhaust, and more. You must be able to be able to pick up women with these trucks.

  20. he's just shouting away in the entire video, it was grating even with low sound volume… BS info as well…

  21. I've been ignoring all your videos based on your dumb titles, here's the first video I watched less than half of and you obviously are just spitting your opinion around. The prius and any toyota hybrid is one of the most reliable and low maint cost vehicles there is. Because the electric generator does all the braking you never have to replace brake pads, toyota genuine coolant is pretty much good for life, the older ones have a tiny serpentine belt thats only a few bucks IF it wears out, the newer ones don't even have a drive belt to go bad, gas is cheap, the batteries last plenty long. I worked at a toyota dealer and we rarely replaced hybrid batteries and if we did it was on the 1st gen a sometimes 2nd gen.

    Older honda hybrids aren't "unreliable" they are basically just an oversized starter motor that helps spin then engine. It was kind of weird to drive.

    Buying a used hybrid, especially a toyota hybrid, is a very good choice

  22. sorry but have to disagree with scotty on this one you simply can't base the reliability and cost of ownership of a prius based off a 1st gen prius if you are going to buy a used prius stay away from the 1st gen ones and go for at least the 2nd or 3rd gen which are much much more reliable and hybrid battery is miles ahead of the gen 1 prius hybrids

  23. Has this guy actually owned a prius? I have a 2007 hatch and a 2013 station wagon – both were second hand and both have been completely reliable, quiet and give much better mpg than any similar sized petrol car like Honda civic or honda fit that we had before going hybrid. This video is raving nonsense.

  24. Hey Scotty I love your honesty I want to buy a Camry 2008 with 168000 miles they want 4000 dollars is that a good price is it that to many miles thanks, Ervin

  25. the reason 145,000 pris were sold is because the u.s. goverment didn't allow more than that to be imported because doing a favor for opec the oil cartel to maintain the price of oil high which certain people in the u.s. goverment found it finiancialy beneficial for their oil stock and a personal benefit of the office they were holding at the time.? aint being a politician great!?

  26. I'm considering a 2015 lexus ct 200h used, around 40k miles – they are relatively affordable and i hear very low cost of ownership. I'm a commuter in LA, and for many other reasons I keep coming back to this car as a great option for me. I would hope to expect this car will last an additional 100k + miles, w/ same battery – anyone dissagree?

  27. I didn't listen to Scotty and bought a 2007 Prius from a dealer. I paid just under the KBB. In just 4 months the 12 volt battery died, so I replaced it; the radiator started leaking (was cracked), so I replaced it. Then the ABS module went out and the hybrid battery died. With the triangle of death blaring bright red I drove to another dealer and traded it in

  28. Hey i hope to hear from you soon. Please i want to if it ok to buy a 2008 toyota highlander hybrid limited or the normal highlander

  29. 2012 Prius bought w/20K miles, just turned 240K mostly highway miles. A little rust over the windshield but otherwise no issues. Religiously change oil every 6K miles with synthetic. not a hyper-miler type but I routinely get about 40 mpg.

  30. 250K miles in my 2010 Prius, just got new battery packs from Toyota for $0, well… it was a good pick so far.

  31. I feel at times Scott is just putting unsupported topics just so his loyal subscribers have something new to see and meeting YouTube’s demands of new content requirements.??‍♂️ Btw, I’ve bought two Priuses 2007, 2013, and 2008 Camry hybrid I’ve not had any hybrid battery issues or any major repairs on all vehicles and drove over 100k miles on each vehicle, the 2007 is at 230k, the 2008 at 208k, and the 2013 at 172k miles. I used these vehicles for business and I’ve been amazed how they keep running trouble free and save me so much gas and unscheduled repair cost.

  32. So this video actually says that you need to buy a Honda NOT a Prius.
    When the battery dies on a Honda civic hybrid, it will stil drive and function normaly.
    So DO buy a used Honda and DONT buy a used pruis. This upinion is based on the example of this video and car in this video. Otherwise maybe buy the prius XD.

  33. Average lifespan of the battery is about 10 year in Hot florida, and slightly higher in colder temperature zone. The millage does not effect as much as the age. 2nd generation or newer 2004 are very reliable. the battery replacement cost less than $3k new or about $800 refurbished with 1 year warranty. In my opinion, if you get one that has new battery than in average you are safe for another 10 years. If it fails, just buy refurbished battery and sell it. For average 12k miles per year, fuel saving compared to Camry/Accord already cover refurbished battery replacement in 1 year of driving. So, in short, If you drive it more than 1 years, you already save enough money to buy battery replacement.

  34. Well, i only had $3000 budget. For this amount i couldnt find any decent car that gets 50mpg and has automatic transmision. So i went with 1st generation Prius with a new hybrid battery. I intend to keep it as long as i can.

  35. In the long run, it will cost more to service than regular cars or trucks, when and if it has problems. For the 5000 dollars of service on it, I could have driven a big SUV that will take me anywhere for years in gas. So for me, unless the cost of servicing goes way way down (which it won't) I'm saving money driving a regular gas vehicle. I do most work myself too, which saves. Regular gas vehicles are fairly easy to work on, unless you have something fancy. I like a good, old, truck or SUV. Safe, reliable, and cheap. LOL!

  36. I took a taxi cab out in California the cabbie had a Toyota Prius with over 350,000 miles on it and I will still humming along good

  37. The Prius is so ubiquitous now that rebuilt traction batteries and inverters with warranty can be had for a song. His point is moot.

  38. Clearly scotty didn't do his homework on this one and thats a shame. I've been a prius owner for the last 8 years and in that 8 years ive spent $0.00 on repairs.

  39. I bought a used Toyota Prius 2007 for my mom which has 100k miles on it and still it works like charm and now it has 140k miles never had any problem

  40. My husband and I both have used Priuses and they've been great. The mileage is awesome and they're zippy little cars so I can get around all the trucks on our Texas roads.

  41. Hasn't Honda gotten better with their hybrids? They have an Accord Hybrid now, and the Honda Clarity PHEV looks promising.

  42. I agree with Scottie; either buy a piston engine car, or an electric car. A hybrid gives you the worst of both worlds; you have an engine towing a battery pack, generator and motor it doesn't need, then you have a motor towing a gas tank, piston engine and transmission that it doesn't need. All of it needs maintaining and is shoe horned into limited space. Electric only cars will be the main option in 20 years, once the charge storage issue has become more refine.

  43. Wait what I cant believe what Scotty said. I know you are thinking about something he said about the hybrid cars or battery no He said he recently went to Seattle no way Scotty sorry but I can't believe that. You should be in geico insurance commercial

  44. Bought my 07 Prius on 2015, now 103000 miles, yesterday it started showing 5 failure codes, I'm soo frustrating.

  45. Bla bla bla, I just had a coffee and spaghetti. Great breakfast. I don't care about his opinion, probably he is the last person to ask for car opinion. I wrote this comment as long the advert was on.

  46. Comparing the PSD (power splitting device) to an alternator is inaccurate. Scotty is comparing basically the transmission to an alternator. Oops.

  47. That sweet sweet fuel efficiency is tearing me apart. Should I get a used 2002 – 2006 Lexus ES 300 or a used Toyota Prius 2nd gen or 3rd gen?

  48. I'm looking at a 2007 toyota highlander hybrid with 127k miles. super clean, and I'd be buying it off my uncle so he'll give me a deal on it, but any advice for that? I see a lot of people saying your opinion is only based off a first gen prius, but what about newer toyota hybrids?

  49. Just saw where a CA company replaced the battery for $1500 after $1500 purchase. $3000 for a solid car. It was a 2005

  50. And misses the whole point, hybrids /electric vehicles wasn't designed to be about being cheaper/less expensive. It's about the environment. BUT it does work out cheaper on tax and fuel so the cost your saving goes towards your maintenance costs. If you look after your car it is centrale to run and lasts longer, same goes regardless of drive train /fuel system.

  51. I got mine for $1000 and swapped a few battery cells myself and now have an extremely reliable fuel efficient commuter that can get me into the HOV lane with a fraction of the fuel costs. Sorry Scotty. You’re way wrong on this one. My Mercedes GLS can now sit back and live only for the weekends.

  52. Hi They are now on the 4th generation of hybrid The toyota lexus model is they keep improving per generation I have a lexus rx-400 h 2nd gen with 200k miles and Just picked up a 2012 lexus ex 450 3rd gen with 100 k miles Has 295 comb hp and gets 28 hwy and 30 city in a med suv

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