HCH II-Specific Discussions Model Years 2006-2011

Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

  #1  
Old 06-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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Default Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Hi All,

I’m a newbie, looking to buy a used 2008 HCH. It has 200,000 miles on it, appears to be the original battery. I test drove for about 20 minutes, both city and highway. Battery appeared to charge and assist just fine. Auto-stop was working as well.

Anyone have advice or things I should check out before making the purchase? It’s a good price, so even if I need to get a refurbished battery in a couple years, it’s probably still worthwhile.

thanks in advance!
 
  #2  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Run as fast as you can. If your goal is cheap, reliable and fuel efficient transportation, wrong car. So wrong. At 200K your maintenance risk is extremely high.

Refurbs don't last very long. You need to be okay with spending another $2K or so within 30 days of purchase.

I owned 2X '06. I wouldn't take a free one in perfect working order. Well, okay, I would, but I'd sell it the day after.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
Run as fast as you can. If your goal is cheap, reliable and fuel efficient transportation, wrong car. So wrong. At 200K your maintenance risk is extremely high.

Refurbs don't last very long. You need to be okay with spending another $2K or so within 30 days of purchase.

I owned 2X '06. I wouldn't take a free one in perfect working order. Well, okay, I would, but I'd sell it the day after.

Thanks for the info! Not necessarily what I was hoping to hear, but useful information nonetheless. Are you talking about maintenance issues beyond battery replacement? I’m used to Hondas running forever, but maybe that’s not the case with the HCH II models?
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

CVT
HV Battery
Inverter
A/C compressor

All of the above are semi-common $2K replacement burdens associated with a mediocre platform.

G2 Insight has been the most reliable of all Honda NiMH based hybrids.
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-2019, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Thanks again for sharing your experience. I appreciate the info. Maybe it’s best if I steer clear of this deal.
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Regular civic, corolla or similar is a much better choice than a used hybrid.
 
  #7  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

Thanks again, sir. I know you said non-hybrid, but I also saw on another thread that you drive an 07 Prius. How do you feel about an 07 Prius with 124k miles for $3500?
 
  #8  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Newbie looking at ‘08 HCH

I have 3 Prii (03, 08x2), 3 Honda hybrids (02, 05 G1 Insight, 03 HCH1) and an 05 Ford Escape hybrid, but i can fix them at a fraction of the cost of the average Joe.

It's a great choice if:

1) You have always wanted a Prius and feel strongly about environmental **** and such and don't mind that it's a "driving appliance" with bad ergonomics and the most boring drive experience EVAR!
2) You run a carfax and check maintenance records via VIN at http://toyota.com/owners to confirm mileage (their combo meters fail, and often they are replaced with salvage units with lower mileage)
3) You are okay with spending another $2K within the next 30 days of ownership.

Extremely common failures:
  1. Combo meter (dead dash), aftermarket DIY; $150; dealer: $900 (this is where mileage gets screwed up - contains the computer that holds the odometer info)
  2. Inverter coolant pump (causes inverter to overheat and shut down), DIY: $150; dealer: $550
  3. Clock spring (all or some of steering wheel buttons, cruise and airbag won't work), DIY $340, Dealer $600
  4. Hybrid battery (car will not drive reliably with a failed battery), recondition: $1000-2000 (2-3 year life MAX), dealer new: $3000-3500, new Toyota pack bought from dealer, DIY install: $1950+tax (BEST option)
  5. Coolant valve, DIY $100, dealer: $500
  6. ABS Actuator (brake assist severely compromised): DIY salvage: $400, aftermarket shop salvage: $900, DIY new: $1700, Dealer: $2500.
The ABS actuator isn't an if, it's a when. Of the 250+ Prius I've sat in, almost all of them show some signs of ABS actuator failure or reduced function. One of mine does, and the other doesn't, but it only has 60K miles on it.

I have encountered vehicles that have experienced ALL of the above in their lifetime. Of those same 250+ cars, ALL have had at least two of them.

new hybrid = high cost of acquisition, low maintenance risk, high reward potential
old hybrid = lower cost of acquisition, ver high maintenance risk, low reword potential

They're just like any other used car, except they have two propulsion systems and related hardware that can fail.

When friends or family ask me what used hybrid they should buy, I basically tell them the above. Heck... I'd even tell an enemy the same.

LOTS of used reliable hybrids out there, BUT you WILL experience high cost of ownership due to maintenance events. Period.
 
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