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brand new Prius owner... asking for input

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by doogster, Mar 12, 2012.

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  1. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    I just bought my first prius... a used 2008 with 116K miles. The car appears to be in excellent shape, visually. Here are some questions I have right off the bat and I'm looking for input on what I should actually have done - because I have no service records.

    1) Is there anything special about a Prius oil change? I mean, when I show up for the $15 oil change special, is the guy gonna say "Not for a prius!"

    2) Does the electric motor require any maintenance?

    3) On the back door, there is a cloth-like material that covers the arm rest... and it is ripped... can one be ordered and easily replaced?

    Thank you for your time.

    BTW... I don't even know what prius I have... a base or I or II or whatever.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, no and... i don't know. :) welcome aboard!
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  4. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    1. Nothing special about the oil. BTW, it's a very easy DIY job if you want to make sure it's done properly.

    2. No. However you should check the coolant level (and circulation) in the inverter coolant reservoir. If you "thread search" here you'll find tons of info on this. I also second the transaxle fluid change for preventative maintenance.

    3. There was a guy selling leather cover kits for armrests and center console on ebay. Some members here have used the product and liked it. Maybe some who's done this could give you more details.
  5. Cory151

    Cory151 Junior Member

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    Transaxle fluid change, spark plugs (if original), and clean out the HV battery cooling fan located near the 12v batt (may as well change the 12v batt too).
  6. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    Listen... I've NEVER gone to the dealer for anything in my life - unless the car was still under warranty... and I realize no one here mentioned going to the dealer... BUT - might this be a good time to bring a car to the dealer? I have no history on what has been done... maybe this Prius has been maticulously maintained... maybe not. I am the furthest thing from a mechanic there could be. I'm nervous if I bring this into Midas or something they are not going to know what to do...

    I don't want to get soaked - but I also want the Prius maintained properly...
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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  8. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    Wow... not too good.

    Thanx for the info... signed up and checked the records... while the car was under warranty, the original owner brought it to Toyota for everything... including oil changes...

    Once it was out of warranty (or around 40K miles) he never went back to the dealer.... so....

    was ANYTHING done to this car? Total mystery.

    Back to my question... might it be worth a trip to the dealer for a once-over?
  9. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    Does the Prius have an automated system that analyzes the oil and tells you when it needs to be replaced? I've had some other cars that did this....

    Also - can I ASSUME (you know what happens when you do that) that I can go 10K miles between changes now on the 2008? Or did they make some sort of mechanical change to the 2010 and above where it requires a change only at 10K mile intervals....
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    No. It's a set interval. Some people pay for oil analysis and use that to determine an appropriate interval, although they're actually having the analysis done to make sure the car's running OK.
  11. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    ok... so a light will come on when I need the oil change, based on mileage? Because my Prius had no oil change sticker telling me when it was last done... so I shouldn't worry and just wait for the light?
  12. ZitterZap

    ZitterZap New Member

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    Are there any DIY instruction for cleaning out the HV battery cooling fan?
  13. ZitterZap

    ZitterZap New Member

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    Yes every 5,000 miles you will have the Maint Required light come on due to mileage. You can reset it but I do not remember the instructions. Do a search you will find it easily. It goes something like open and close dooor three time.. etc ... etc I think.

    I just let the light stay on. Too lazy to reset it.
  14. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    doogster:



    Is there any reason(s) why you did not (or could not) check with the previous owner to get info. on the maintence of your car???
  15. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    Yes... unfortunately I bought it on Ebay from a guy that buys these at auctions and resells them... so I have no idea who had the car before that
  16. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    SOOO - he even titles the car in his name before he flips it ??
  17. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    If you don't know when the oil was last changed, assume that it was never changed. It's time for an oil change.

    Tom
  18. penquin230

    penquin230 My Flying Biscuit

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    Here is an email I got from a friend when I asked about Prius maintenance after I purchased mine:

    I have now had my car long enough to speculate about what maintenance a Prius should have, and it’s a very short list!
    It’s also very different from other cars, just thought I would share:
    1. Clean the throttle body: 50K miles or when you change the air filter.
    2. Clean the battery cooling fan: 100K miles, this might vary with conditions.(if you drive with the windows open or transport animals a lot)
    3. Change transaxle fluid: 100K miles.
    4. Check the 12V battery: This battery lasts 5-7 years as the hybrid battery starts the car. It’s easy to check voltage from the MFD, just ask me.
    5. Check the inverter cooling pump: This was a common failure on ‘04 and ‘05, and is easy to check, Toyota may replace under warranty, ask.
    That’s pretty much it, of course change your oil (I like synthetic), tires, alignment, ect. I recommend changing the cabin air filter once in a while, it’s no problem for the car but you would like to breath clean air.

    Things not on my list, Brakes, I have 126K miles on my car and the original brakes look almost new. Spark plugs, I replaced mine recently, the old ones look much like the new ones, think I wasted my money. Belt, my water pump belt looks fine, think it will last as long as the water pump.
  19. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    I don't know about the title... my credit union financed my purchase and I never even saw it... they sent him the money... they got the title.
  20. penquin230

    penquin230 My Flying Biscuit

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