This comment is a reprint from the MK1 Prius Forum. It highlights the problems with purchasing a NHW10 Generation 1 Prius hybrid.
It seems that there are a few people out there, who cannot get a clear vision of the Early Prius.
Well, I bought Prius #1 4 weeks ago, and it was bought as not working etc, etc, with battery doubts etc.
The car looked neglected by under-educated garages over time when we got it, but I figured with my background, it would at least be worth the price in parts if it failed, and could not be ressurected.
We drove it home, and drove as advised by the vendor. Well, it was flawless right from the start.
It was an excellent buy, we cannot be happier.
Since then, it has done the daily work run for the wife, some 57Km's daily, and four runs across the city, and free-way driving. It spluttered for the first 2 Km's on the first Free-way run, and was obviously over fuelling, or not running hot enough by the "Rotten egg" odour from the rear. it seemed to clear itself out, and never missed a beat. Some 4 weeks plus, it has covered all types of driving, including the last 24hrs, some 758Km's, and amazingly, the fuel tank does not need a top-up. INCREDIBLE!
I have to admit I was a little weary of buying one, but now two of them, but figured the parts alone were worth more than we paid for each one, so what the hell we said. We had always been curious, but the price tag of the recent ones was high, especially if we were left with a "Lemon"
My recommendation... Buy a cheap one, and try it first. If you like the economy and quality, then trade the one in, and go for the newer item.
The wife is not letting go of hers, no matter what, she is seriously in love with it for all reasons.
Recommend not going to the average garage to get it serviced, or it may finish up like Prius #2.
#2 is now at home, running, and gently charging its battery pack. Have to admit, it can be worrying when they don't function normally, but given the 1998 Prius's shining example, I have faith I can resurrect it over time...
Rule #1... a REAL garage who knows what battery and spark plugs to use, and can, in fact change the air filter, rather than say they have.
Not the car, its the people who service them.
My conclusion after first month... I AM going to trade one in for a recent model for certain, the 1998... well, I have to get the key from the wifes hand before I even dare.... after all, after 2000Km's in four weeks, What a car, no way gonna buy a "Normal" gas guzzler after I have tasted such luxury and technology from last century.