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Stay Away From This Type Of Used Toyota Prius

If you are searching for a used Toyota Prius right now, I am sure there are many coming out of the wood work. Be careful though you may end up with a lemon. Take a look at one kind of Prius to stay away from and why.


Gas prices are through the roof. I spent $70 today filling up the family minivan... ouch. Typically we all jump in the Prius and use it for our daily exercises, but the tank was empty, and it desperately needed a wash.

One of the main reasons I am telling you this is because my story is not unfamiliar. Many people are searching for a fuel-sipping Prius to help curb the irrational price of gasoline. The search does come with a fair amount of problems, though there are a plethora of scam artists out there claiming they have "the perfect Prius" for you.

My warning here is a few things, but one mainly: to stay away from a specific type of Prius. Here is what it is and how to know for yourself.

Avoid This Type Of Toyota Prius
Prius is a gasoline-electric vehicle. The high voltage system that encompasses the car is subject to some severe issues if it gets flooded.

I would strongly caution you to not purchase a Toyota Prius that has any type of flood damage. The moisture in the car will wreak havoc on the HV wiring and computers. Trust me, I have dealt with this many times, and it is not a pleasant experience.

How Can I Know If A Prius Has Flood Damage?
Several factors are going into knowing if a vehicle has flood damage. One is that you will most likely smell mildew growing on the inside of the car, gross.

Another sign is to look for watermark lines on the carpet or trim inside the car and engine bay. Flood vehicles leave a very distinct water/dirt mark behind, which is a tell-tell sign of flood damage.

Lastly, check the title to see if the vehicle was salvaged due to a flood. It may not state it on the label, and the owner or dealer may try to pull the wool over your eyes to get you to buy the car.

In my experience, a flood Prius is only suitable for parts. Suppose water has penetrated into the engine, transmission, or anything electrical. In that case, it is a nightmare to get it all sorted out.

After buying a flood car, I would never do it again. The cleaning alone is not worth it. Getting the mildew smell outtakes an insane amount of effort.

Have you considered a flood vehicle? If so, let me know your thoughts on it. That is all for today. Remember, Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.