Thinking about buying a 2012 Toyota Prius

Should I buy a 2012 prius with < 85,000 miles and a recently replaced battery? What kind of repairs should I expect?

Owners generally report problems with lights, followed by brakes, engine, and electrical issues. Your best bet is to have the car checked out by a mechanic of your choosing prior to purchase.


Have a 2007 Prius hybrid, not plug-in, original owner. Only problems encountered were:

  1. The small 12 v “lawn mower” type battery that keeps the computer running and available for start up (different than the big, power battery pack) needed changing at abou 90 k (now have 120K+). We might have left a door ajar and dome light drained it in cold.
  2. HEIGHT, or lack of it. Living in rural Maine we have our share of dirt roads, poorly plowed roads, and unplowed roads, and have had several pieces of the undercarriage plastic “aerodynamic” panels drag, and fall off. So some of that is our fault, some could not be seen in time. But in general, it rides low! Our other vehicle is a Subaru Forester, our “truck” by comparison. Highways, long distance, we take Prius. Snow, back, or unknown roads, Subaru is the choice.

Good luck! When we finally run the Prius to its end…(maybe another 7+ years?) we hope to get a lightly used plug in-Prius.

Was battery refurbished? New? Got receipt?

if that receipt is below mid-4-digits, it is NOT a high-voltage battery

8 years is around time where 12V auxiliary battery was supposed to die and get replaced

You can get a rebuilt high-voltage battery for $1650 near me.

$550 including labor and with 6 months warranty near me…

point is: this is a cheapo-rebuild

replacement HV battery is $2700+ only for Toyota parts, then $1000+ labor

OK, your prior post said it wasn’t a high-voltage battery. Did you mean it wasn’t a high-quality battery?

Prius has two batteries:

“Auxiliary”: the one providing 12V for the car electronics

“Traction battery” AKA “high-voltage battery”: the one providing 200V for the hybrid system

Replacing auxiliary battery should be in a ballpark of $300-500, depending on on if it is OEM or aftermarket and shop markup.

Replacing (not refurbishing!) high-voltage battery should cost at least $3500+

@wildflowerlewis92 said “recently replaced battery”.
it was not told which of the batteries was replaced

from the car age, it is too early for the high-voltage/traction battery to require replacement (although if car was very infrequently used, it might happen), so my guess is it was a auxiliary battery… these batteries tend to fail after 7-8 years, so it’s about time

having receipt on hands would answer this question as @Cavell pointed out

it might be easy for OP to jump into conclusion that since “some battery on a hybrid was replaced, it’s all fine”, but with no additional details, most likely the most expensive battery was not replaced

Got it, we don’t know which. I guess my point is the big battery could have been ‘replaced’ with a rebuilt unit, installation included, for $1650 near me, with a ‘lifetime’ guarantee, who know what that’s worth.

and I pointed that the same high-voltage refurb is advertised near me for $550, but only 6 months warranty

I did my own refurb for $200 :slight_smile:

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I have friends that own Priuses and really like them. One friend did have the main battery go bad and traded the Prius for a Nissan Versa. I don’t know how old or how old her Prius was. At any rate, she said she wanted another Prius and just a month ago, traded her Nissan for a 2017 Prius.
I drove a Prius and was impressed. If I didn’t need a minivan, I would own a Prius.
As with any used car, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic.

We leased a 2012 Prius. I never felt so disconnected with driving a car. It was in our household. I drove it few times each year.

Mom’s 2010 Prius has had no more problems than any other modern car. The tire pressure sensors webt bad recently but otherwise it’s been trouble free.

The Prius is one of the most reliable and durable cars around. It’s a good bet if it meets your needs and wants. If the condition of this particular one is good, it could last a long time for you.