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09 prius fixer?

am looking for a car to fix and drive for awhile. motor/suspension issues i can handle. found a nice 09 prius with 76k miles for $2k. needs new door. maybe 2 doors. avg price is about 5-6k with low miles. seller says car runs fine. he has 15 folks in line to buy it. i am first. go for it?car

Does the door still work?

Seems like if damage was limited to the doors only, it would be a pretty good deal. Take your time finding a pair of doors of the correct color in the bone-yard and fixing it could be cheapie-cheapie!

going to look at it this morning. hopefully the sill is ok. i will check out the doors more closely. wife had a 2012 prius. i rarely drove it. not sure how to scope out prius/hybrid issues. seems to me they are fairly dependable.

Even with the damage that is still $5,000 below value. Get it checked out thoroughly from a trusted mechanic.

I’ll throw out some brain ramblings…

Folks here advise getting used cars checked by a trusted mechanic. I never do that myself, but in this case is there any chance you could run this baby up the road to a body shop for a quick guesstimate as to the body damage?

Does the guy/gal have an estimate, already? Why wouldn’t they repair it?

Do the doors operate? If not I’d be afraid to force them to open because reclosing them could be difficult. You will need to see the sill and center post, etcetera.

Since check-outs by a mechanic cost around $100 and sometimes folks wind up losing that because they decide not to buy a car…

… I wonder if the owner would want to make a quick 50 or 100 bucks and let you take it to a body pro? If you decide to buy it then the money is a down-payment and if you bail out the seller keeps the money.

Yeah. Right.
Never ever ever believe the seller of a used car. And never buy a used car without having it first thoroughly checked out by a trusted shop.

By the way, in NH you could not get this car inspected. All the doors must open for it to pass. Your state may be the same.


Yep. If he’s got 15 other people lined up, then one of the 15 can be a sucker and buy it without asking questions or inspecting it, absolving you from the obligation. :wink:

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seller bought it to fix. he is home mechanic like myself. no frame machine. he says door jamb is pushed back slightly so door opens/closes with effort. there is a reason it is 3-4k less than retail. doors do close and if buyer had no passengers than it is not an issue. i am looking for a driver for myself. knowing it has body issues might not be a huge deal for my purposes. i should have no trouble reselling it for same money in 1 yr?

You’re gambling, I have no idea what the odds are. An old Prius has lots of complex stuff that could go wrong, who know what kind of shape all that stuff is in. Without a Prius-savvy mechanic checking it out, I’d pass…


We had no frame machine at the body shop I (unfortunately ) managed. However repairs from damage like this were done by my guys, regularly, using a variety of Porta-Power tools, a welder, some pieces of chains, etcetera. For them it would have been fairly easy without a frame machine.

All the vehicles we worked on were uni-body construction.

I’d bet one could “google” this type of repair and learn how to do it.

Additions: Check out this non-name-brand unit for 100 bucks!>%20Auto%20Body%20Repair%20>%20Rams%20%2B%20Ram%20Kits&utm_campaign=Strongway&utm_content=46272&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqY2d8b_Z1QIVC5J-Ch3CSg6REAQYBSABEgJlZvD_BwE

Also, I googled “car door pillar damage porta power” and got lots of hits.

Personally, I would never consider a hybrid as a fixer-upper. It’s hybrid drive and battery pack can be complicated and expensive to fix, so if there is anything wrong under the hood, you’re going to have to farm out the work. I’d prefer a much simpler vehicle, like an old small or midsize pickup truck like Chevy S10, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, or Nissan Frontier. If you’re married to the idea of fixing up a small economy car, I’d consider a sixth generation (1996-2000) or earlier Honda Civic, especially if you can get your hands on the HX model.

…but I say this knowing my limits. If you’re qualified to work on hybrid systems, go for it.

I know people who say that about nearly any newer car. I fix things all the time that a DIYer is not supposed to fix.

Broken? Game on! Have you no sense of adventure, man? I love repairing things that have “No user serviceable parts inside.” :wink:

Lots of newer things are getting easier to fix. They practically tell what’s wrong. Then there are videos of almost any repair. That’s how to learn.

My cars seldom ever go to a mechanic and you won’t find repair trucks in my driveway.

I know my limitations, but they are way out there. I’ll at least give it my best shot to determine if it’s beyond my capabilities. I love the challenge!


My sense of adventure has been tempered by several of my expensive mistakes.

For example, last weekend I tried to replace my (home’s) digital thermostat with a programmable thermostat that connects to my wifi, but the wiring between the air handler and the thermostat doesn’t have enough connections for the new one. (There is no wire to supply power to the thermostat; the old one relies on two AA batteries, and the wiring appears to be routed up through the attic rather than directly from the t-stat to the air handler.) When I hooked the old thermostat back up, I couldn’t get my air conditioner to work, and if I hadn’t finally found the broken connection, I would have had to pay for an HVAC technician to fix my mistake. I think I’ll wait until my electrician friend is available to help me to do this upgrade, which is what I should have done in the first place.

i am going to pass. body damage i can live with so i would have not had to do anything to just drive the car. i got rid of the vue and i would get rid of the accord but i like having a backup car. the taurus with the missing springs is still for sale.

I’d choose the Prius over a car with missing springs.

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If a mechanic bought to fix it and now is passing it on, I would say there is more to the story.


Is he willing to give you the names and e-mail addresses of those…supposed…15 potential buyers?
If not, then his claim falls into the category of Fake News.

To quote a recent candidate for national public office, “What do you have to lose?”.
As any rational person knows, that assumption did not turn out well. :smirk:

In this case, you have a lot to lose unless you have this car inspected by a competent mechanic who is well-versed in the potential problems of used Priuses.


What? (As in what planet are you on?) I must be completely irrational (Your opinion, not mine, but who cares) because I think it turned out fine and I’m loving every minute. :smile: The economy is starting to move and I can sleep well at night for a refreshing change!

We got our latest stock market statement and Wow! Get the kids off the street! We can make tens of thousands of dollars now without leaving home! America, what a country! :sunny:

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Uh oh, heeeere we go…


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Please, let the record show that I was I sitting here sipping my “medicinal purposes” Merlot and Wham! I was blind-sided! Out of nowhere!

I wanted to let it go, but the part about “any rational person knows” couldn’t stand. I felt highly offended!
Sorry you had to see this. A man has to do what a man has to do.

I’m okay now, back to sitting down and enjoying the merlot. :smile:

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